Am 01. Juli 1956, um 20:30 Uhr gab Elvis in der „Hy Gardner’s Live TV Interview Show“ ein Telefoninterview. Elvis war gerade von der Aufzeichnung der Steve Allen Show in sein Domizil – das Warwick Hotel in New York – zurückgekehrt, als Gastgeber Hy Gardner anrief und den King Of Rock ’n‘ Roll Fragen zu seinen Schlafgewohnheiten, zu seiner aktuellen Karriere und zum Einfluß der Rock ’n‘ Roll Musik auf die Jugend stellte.
Original Wortlaut des Interviews
Location: New York, Warwick Hotel – 01. Juli 1956 um 20:30 Uhr
Interviewer: Hy Gardner.
Gardner: Hallo, Elvis.
Gardner: Did you have fun tonight on The Steve Allen Show?
Elvis: Yes, sir, I really did, I really enjoyed it.
Gardner: First time you ever worked in tux or tails?
Elvis: It’s the first time I ever had one on, period.
Gardner: You mean you’ve got, they say, four Cadillacs but no tuxedos?
Elvis: No tuxedos, I usually drive the Cadillacs in blue jeans.
Gardner: Well, that’s very interesting, particularly when the cops stop you and want to know if you own the car, eh?
Elvis: That’s right, you have to show them all your ownership, papers and different things.
Gardner: You know, less than two years ago you were earning fourteen thousand dollars a week as a movie usher, and then thirty-five dollars a week for driving a truck in Memphis. Today you’re the most controversial name in show business – has this sudden notoriety affected your sleep, your appetite or the size of your head?
Elvis: Not the size of my head, it’s affected my sleep.
Gardner: How much sleep do you get?
Elvis: Oh, I average about four or five hours a night, I guess.
Gardner: Is that enough?
Elvis: It’s really not, but I’m used to it and I can’t sleep any longer.
Gardner: What do you keep in mind mostly, I mean, some of the songs you’re going to do or some of your plans or what – what goes through your mind?
Elvis: Well, everything has happened to me so fast in the last year and a half, till er, that I’m all mixed up, you know. I mean, I can’t keep up with everything that’s happened and er…
Gardner: I think that you’ve got very good company in Colonel Tom Parker, his feet are on the ground and I think he’s doing a wonderful jog of keeping things rolling nicely. You know I want to give you an opportunity here to go over a lot of the rumours that have been printed about you, including a few that I’ve printed myself, because some of these can be checked and some can’t and I think that we ought to sort of fix up the record. Now your style of gyrating while you sing has been bitterly criticized even by usually mild and gentle TV critics like Ben Grose, now do you bear any animosity towards these critics?
Elvis: Well, not really, those people have a job to do and they do it.
Gardner: And do you think that you’ve learned anything from the criticism leveled at you?
Elvis: No, I haven’t.
Gardner: You haven’t, eh?
Elvis: Because I don’t feel that I’ve been doing anything wrong.
Gardner: Do you read the stuff?
Elvis: Do I read, you mean the…
Gardner: The reviews.
Elvis: Not if I can help it.
Gardner: Do you keep a scrapbook at all?
Elvis: Only of the good stuff.
Gardner: Only of the good stuff – that’s smart. Tell me, what kind of a teenager were you – did you consider yourself well behaved?
Elvis: Yes, well, I was raised, you know, in a pretty decent home and everything. My folks always made me behave whether I wanted to or not.
Gardner: Now how do they feel about your success and the things that come or the critics have said about you, both good and bad?
Elvis: Well, I guess that they’re just like myself, they’re very thankful for it, I mean we always lived a kind of common life, we never had any luxuries, but we were never real hungry, you know, and I guess that they’re just, you know, they’re real proud just like I am.
Gardner: Well, now there are two or three columns this week that carry items that you have bought four Cadillacs – not what is there to that, Elvis?
Elvis: Er, er, it’s…
Elvis: It’s the truth, I do have, I do have four Cadillacs.
Gardner: What do you do with four Cadies?
Elvis: Well, I, er… I, I don’t know. I haven’t got any use for four, I just, you know – maybe someday, I’ll go broke and I can sell a couple of them.
Gardner: Well, some people collect stamps and government bonds and I guess Cadillacs are probably in the same category. I understand you gave one of them to your folks, is that right?
Elvis: Well, anything that’s mine is theirs, I mean, all four of them is theirs. I’m planning for seven, I mean, I want seven, you know.
Gardner: You want seven?
Gardner: Well, you know what’s going to happen, you’ll wind up and be the Presley car renting corporation.
Elvis: Yeah, I was thinking about the Presley used car lot, you know.
Gardner: I understand that you’ve bought a home for your folks and even though your father is only thirty-nine, you’ve insisted that he retire, is that true?
Elvis: Yes, well, he’s more help for me, he’s more help at home than he is anywhere else, because he can take care of all my business and he can look after things when I’m gone and everything.
Gardner: Well I think, I think that’s very smart. On your personal appearances, you create a sort of mass hysteria amongst your audiences of teenagers. Is your shaking and quaking in the nature of an involuntary response to this hysteria?
Elvis: Would you say that again, sir.
Gardner: Well, I say when you shake and you quake when you sing, is that sort of an involuntary response to the hysteria of your audience?
Elvis: Er, well, I’m aware of everything that I do all the times, but er it’s just the way I feel.
Gardner: I mean, for example, if somebody is playing ball they play just a little bit harder when the fans rout and I was wondering whether this had anything to…
Elvis: Oh sure, well, I guess any artistes’ audience acts like they’re enjoying it, if they act like they’re with you, well, it makes you put more into it, you know.
Gardner: Do you think that your rocking and rolling has had an evil influence on teenagers or do you think that…
Elvis: I don’t see that any type of music would have any bad influence on people, it’s only music, I mean, I can’t figure it out, I mean in lot of the papers they say that rock’n’roll is a bad influence on juvenile delinquency – I don’t think it is, er juvenile delinquency is something that er, that’s er, well, it’s just, I don’t know how to explain it, but I don’t see how music can have anything to do with it at all.
Gardner: I understand that Mitch Miller at Columbia Records defines rock’n’roll as a safe form of rebellion against mother, father and teacher – do you go along with this analysis?
Elvis: I don’t know exactly what he means by rebellion, I mean er, how would rock’n’roll music make anybody rebel against their parents?
Gardner: Well, I guess that answers to Mr. Miller. Now I’ve got a couple of questions here that I’ll like to sort of clear up, one of them and it sort of is a silly one to me, after having talked with you some length earlier, what about the rumour that you once shot your mother?
Elvis: (lacht)… well, I think that one takes the cake, I mean er, that’s about the funniest one I ever heard.
Gardner: Where did that one come from, have you any idea?
Elvis: I have no idea, I can’t imagine, when you mentioned it to me, it’s the first time I had ever heard it.
Gardner: Is that right?
Elvis: The first time I ever heard.
Gardner: Well, there’s another one too that you may not have heard before, several newspapers stories hinted that you smoked marihuana to get the bop, in order to work yourself into a frenzy while singing, what about that?
Elvis: Er, I don’t know.
Gardner: You don’t even bother answering that, well, here’s one that’s very interesting. I don’t know whether or not you noticed the column the other day, they predict that Elvis Presley will be another James Dean – now have you heard that?
Elvis: Well, I heard something about it, but I would never compare myself in any way to James Dean, because James Dean was a genius at acting, although I’ll say that er, that er, I sure would like to, I mean I guess that there’s a lot of actors in Hollywood that would like to have the ability that James Dean had, but I would never compare myself with James Dean in any way.
Gardner: Now if you had your choice, would you prefer to be an actor than be a singing entertainer?
Elvis: If I were a good actor, ‘cause I’m not a good singer, but if I were a good actor I think that I would like it a little better, although if I ever break into the acting completely, I’ll still continue my singing, I’ll still continue making records.
Gardner: Well, that’s always a very, very good sideline. Well, it was just fine talking with you and I hope that you’ll enjoy a long career, whether it’s acting or anything else and I think that all the things said about you, while they’ve been extremely critical, I think they have helped to make you the kind of a big name, that has made it possible for you to do the things for your folks that you always wanted to, so I’d sort of think that I’d look at it that way, Elvis.
Elvis: Well, sir, I tell you, you know, you got to accept the bad along with the good. I’ve been getting some very good publicity, the press has been real wonderful to me and then I’ve been getting some bad publicity, well, you’ve got to expect that and er, I know that I mean that I’m doing the best that I can and er I’ve never turned a reporter down, I’ve never turned a disc-jockey down, because they’re the people who help make you in this business and er, as long as I know that I’m doing the best that I can, that’s, that’s…
Gardner: Well, you can’t be expected to do any more and I want to tell you that’s it’s just been swell talking with you and you make a lot of sense.
Elvis: Thank you very much.
Gardner: Give my best to the Colonel.
Elvis: Sure will.
Gardner: Bye, bye.
Wer war Hy Gardner?