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Interview with Mac Davis Part 4

Q: Did Elvis ever tell you how happy he was for your success?
A: No, he never did. I didn’t have a lot of communication with Elvis. It was, I’ve told people this before. You know, you had to go through a barricade to get to Elvis. It was people hanging on every word and I felt very uncomfortable a lot of times. You know, if it was just me and Elvis one on one, which only happened once or twice in the times that I did see him, it was a really comfortable. He was a cool guy. He was a great guy. Laughed, you know, easy laugh, nice guy. But you always felt intimidated to be around him because everybody was hanging, you know, everybody was afraid you was gonna say the wrong thing to him and they was gonna have to deck you. At least you felt that way. So we really never talked much about music or anything. And I’m sure that Elvis was happy for me. I think he was the kind of guy that enjoyed other peoples success, especially if he had something to do with it. And, you know, I never tried to ride his coattails or anything but I’ve always given him credit for all the good things that have happened in my life.
Q: Where were you when you learned of Elvis passing?
A: I was out on the golf course, 1977, a guy came riding out in a golf cart and said, ”Did you know that Elvis died?” And I just said, ”Well, there you go.” You know, it was like I had kinda been expecting it and but it was still, it was like a shock. I remember just sitting there in the golf cart for a long time and right out in the middle of the fairway and just going, wow, what a waste. But, life goes on.
Q: What type of impact did Elvis have on your career?
A: Well, you know, if you look at my early pictures, performing on stage in Vegas, you’ll see I’ve got on one of those Bill Belew suits with the sequins and stuff. And, of course, it was never as nice as Elvis’s because Bill Belew would have lost his gig if he’d have made me one as nice as Elvis’s. But I had two or three of those things made. And he made a huge impact. Every performer who ever performed in rock and roll or even close to it is lying if they tell you that they weren’t influenced in some way or another by Elvis Presley. He turned the world around. I mean, he turned music around singlehandedly.
Q: Why do you think Elvis is still so popular?
A: This I don’t know. If I knew that, I’d probably be the president of a great big record company but I’m not. And I think it was just that Elvis came along at a time he made it okay for white guys to sing black music. He made it okay for, I don’t know. He really just changed the face of music when he came out. You know, he made it all right to wiggle and shake your hips and be sexual and sensual with music and still be a nice clean cut fellow and, you know, someway and another, he made that all come together and pulled it off.
Q: I had a lot of fun interviewing you. Thanks a lot.

Source: Elvis World Japan

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