Elvis’ Last Birthday

January 8, 1977.  We were in Palm Springs at Elvis’ house, having a wonderful, carefree time, looking forward to the year ahead.  After I finished doing his hair in the bedroom he put on his black suit – he looked fantastic.  He turned to me and said, “This is my day, Lawrence, my birthday, and I get to do whatever I want.  C’mon man, watch this!”  He had a big smile on his face as he picked up the book The Prophet and a stack of money, motioning for me to follow him to the living room, where everyone was waiting.

“Will all you guys please leave me and the ladies alone; I want to talk to them for a while.”  We all left, leaving our wives or girlfriends with Elvis.  For the next forty-five minutes he read to them several passages from The Prophet. Then he said, “This is my birthday, and what I want most is to give you all a gift.”  As he handed each one a new hundred-dollar bill, he admonished, “Now you have to promise to spend this on yourselves, and I’m havin’ Robinson’s keep their store open late tonight just for you.  No one’s gonna bother you; I’m sending security with you.  So you all go and have fun for me on my birthday.”

So what does the man who has everything want for his birthday?  If he’s Elvis…just the joy of giving to others.

Happy Birthday, Elvis!

About Larry Geller

Before becoming Elvis Presley's personal hairstylist, spiritual mentor and confidant in 1964, I worked with the famed Jay Sebring in the very first men's hair styling salon. Our clientele read like a Hollywood Who's Who: Frank Sinatra, Paul Newman, Marlon Brando, Steve McQueen, Peter Sellers, Rock Hudson and many more. The last time I did Elvis' hair was for his funeral in August of 1977.
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28 Responses to Elvis’ Last Birthday

  1. Ginnifer Bluthardt says:

    Omgoodness you worked for the great Jay Sebring and Elvis!! I stumbled across Jesse Garon and read your bio. I am also a hairdresser, I always dreamed of doing the stars hair but know that will never happen. Hair is absolutely my passion and I also have a large clientele I never ever credited myself as being any good at it ( been 20 years and still going) until I had to get a real job so as it turns it I am amazing at it and very artistic and loving it frosts the cake!! Any way I think you are amazing and I wish I was alive (I was born Nov of 77′) to have been obsessed with Mr Presley too!! Blessing in all you do!!

  2. jh says:

    I started to learn about elvis when I was 9, my auntie was crazy about him. he seemed to be in touch with his inner spirit like someone was always talking to him or communicating someway. I don’t mean the colonal either he was reaching out to something sometimes. my mother and father were lucky to at least see one of his concerts in vegas. something deep down inside him was really bothering him I guess that why he did his drinking and drugs to escape it. he was so talented in his singing I to would have like it if they let him do his own serious acting. now he is singing to the lord.

    • Larry Geller says:

      Thanks for your comment. Only one thing: Elvis never drank alcohol, and the drugs he took were all prescribed by his many doctors.

      • Emily says:

        I have been curious about Elvis ever since I was a baby and I love him and his music especially his voice. But when I brought up a conversion about Elvis when I was in Costa Rica I’ve done some research and found out he actually died of a toxic megacolon since he had as a child

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  4. As some of your fans of Elivis have expressed I too feel a closeness to him that’s very spiritual and human. The day he died is when I became kin to him! My mother and grandmother are Elvis fans as well! My mother attended an Elivis concert with my Aunt Ann Epperson when she was 14. The family rumor was that Elvis had signed my Aunts slip! Supposedly my daddy kept it for me but when he passed circumstances were were bad and I’ll never know! My mother is hushed on the subject!
    Anyway back to August 16th, 1977! The news confirmed his passing. I came home from a date with my daughters father. Tears were streaming down my mothers cheeks as she greeted me at the door Elvis died! I said so? They’ll never be another Elvis! Yes there will I said unsmpathically. Who? I said REO speedwagon eye. He must have heard me because at that moment and every day since I have had an undying love for Elvis! I live in Oklahoma and have been to Graceland 7 times. The most impressive was when I was sixteen. Born in Atanta , Ga. In 1960 I know what a true Southern gentleman is and Elvis was that! Crazy or not I spend 24/7 with Elvis and it is not always by choice! His huge heart, undying love for his mother, and the quest for life’s understanding leads me to believe he sitting on a throne now!

    Respectfully,

    Angela Matney

  5. Ariane says:

    Oh how nice, all these information about Elvis, people love to hear, definitely!
    And after all those years you still remember so much and want to share it, real nice.
    What did ‘The Prophet’ meant, Jesus? Cause he saw Jesus as the King, right?
    He was right about that, he was.

    I will look you up at facebook Larry!

  6. john bradley says:

    hi Larry Geller i am a long time fan of elvis have you got a book out on him which you wrote about you and him if so would you tell me how much you would wont for a signed
    by your self many thanks from john bradley

  7. Hi Mr Geller I’m a 16 year old boy iv been a fan of Elvis since I was 12 years old. I have a question for you how did you style Elvis hair back in 1970 iv been trying to style my hair like his but it’s not easy. Also what hair styling products did you use?

  8. Jacqueline Creighton says:

    Hi Lawrence

    Could you please explain why Elvis’ sideburns were shaved off after he passed away?

    Thank you.

  9. Marie says:

    That to me is something I find so heartbreaking is that his acting talents were never allowed to be taken seriously. He would have been amazing had he been given the chance. , but
    I’m curious, I know the Colonel was good for him in the beginning, but I can’t help thinking he worked him, and worked him when he wasn’t strong enough anymore to do it.
    It’s good to know Elvis had a friend such as you who allowed, and encouraged him to look inside himself, and to the glories of the universe.

  10. Larry its a pleasure to converse. With you; I live in phx. Az since 62. Saw. ELVIS
    Twice once in phx. Sat up behind the stage. 73 grt. Show/////also a collector. I need to know. Where your products are. Capt d I also here geo cline. Talk about you. All the time think your prayers were. All answered. The day. You. Met. Elvis to do. His. Hair. For. The first. Time; good luck Larry its and.honor to talk to you god bless you ;;; Larry geller//// capt d/// DENNIS BOCKELMAN. 73yrs soon but. Feel. 50//////// Love life. Grew up. With Elvis. An//////////// Sinatra collector of. Both. They. Made. The with world. A better place

  11. Matthew says:

    Hi Larry. Just thought I would share some interesting connections I have with Elvis. I am a diehard fan. I discovered Elvis when I was 2 when I was 2 and my dad and uncle popped in a video tape of the 68 comeback special. I’ve been a fan ever since. In wore my hair like him in gradeschool even till now. I was laughed at and picked on for years about it but I still wear my hair like the 50’s Elvis. I’m myself am a musician thanks to him. Anyway the weird connection is that Elvis passed August 16th 1977 and I was born August 15th 1986, almost 9 years to the day after he died. My parents wedding song was one of his. Another connection is that he was an only child as am I, though I’m not a twin. As he was I myself am very close to my mother, a similar conncetion that he had with his mother, one that alot of people can’t quite understand. Little minor connections is that I myself have dirty blond hair, as anyone would know you would that was Elvis’ real hair color, as well as blue eyes. I’m about the same hight as he was. One last minor connection although it could be considered a major connection is that as I mentioned I am a musician. I sing write, and play guitar. Unlike Elvis the singing took me a little while to get down. I started to find my voice so to speak in high school and college. I was delighted to discover that like Elvis I am a baritone. I don’t sound exactly like him but their are similar tambres in my voice to his. Weirdly enough the more I sing in my own voice and not try to sound like him the more I sound like him, not just like him but a similar voice. I’m sure you hear stories like this all though time and I don’t mean to sound weird but I truely feel a spiritual connection with Elvis. Elvis himself said there was no such thing as quincadence. I know you probably hear alot of things like this from fans. Either way it must have been a blessing to know Elvis, not for the fame or talent but just as a person. Thank you for these stories. Very interesting.

  12. Donald Glass says:

    Dear Mr. Geller,
    Though it’s been 35 years since Elvis was called home, I was wondering if you still style hair and sideburns?

  13. shawn marrs says:

    Larry why dont I hear anyone tell how Elvis in the end wanted to stop touring playing rock and roll and turn to putting on Gospel concerts with JD and the Stamps and how the shows would be centered around gospel music and Elvis evangilising and preaching to his followers. You know that at the end of his last tour he invited JD to come to Graceland because he wanted to discuss with JD on doing this.

    • Larry Geller says:

      Elvis did have plans near the end of his life. He was going to leave his touring career completely for up to a year – go to Hawaii with just a few of us, and spend his time rejuvenating and getting healthier both physically and spiritually. His dream was to return after that and make his mark as an actor. Yes, he would always be a singer, and gospel music had a special place in his heart. But his professional focus would be on his acting career.

      • shawn marrs says:

        Thank you Laurance for the reply and your insight. I really appreciate your time. I would have loved to seen Elvis back in the movies making serious movies showing what he could do.

        I have another question for you. Do you ever make direct contacts with Elvis fans online? I would love to hear from someone like you that was so close to Elvis and become friends with you. If you do send me a email where maybe I can contact you directly.

        • Larry Geller says:

          The best way to stay in touch with me would be the Official Larry Geller Fan Page on Facebook. I just started it, and I will do my best to post from time to time and add some interesting material as my schedule permits.

  14. CARMAN FIORE says:

    Hey Larry ,,THANK YOU AGAIN, AS IT IS SO INTERESTING,,to know this part of ELVIS ..I Would like to get your book,, please tell me how i can purchase it. Sincerley CARMAN

  15. Sidsel Ferguson says:

    Yes, I very much agreed Yamilka, but you did not answered all her(?) quiestion. Did Elvis lay upon Ginger Alden or her sister? As I have read there where no intimity between Ginger and Elvis. Is that really true? Elvis, who had a woman in every corner? Who said no to him!! Wasn`t it so tthat every woman died to make love to him? It is much intimity here, but since the quiestion came up……!I felt sorry for Elvis. He seemed to be so good, so polite, and so very lonely. It makes me so sad. He was so gifted, his voice with the high tones, Gospel songs, as I play in my car every day. There where so many beautiful songs that he sang. Why did people reject him? Why did they, and still do, condemned him on his Gospel songs? His Gospel songs were just as good as any Gospel songs, as any other artist. It really makes me sad. I want to fight for Elvis`Gospel songs.

    Sidsel Ferguson

  16. Pingback: Elvis? Last Birthday | Elvis Presley

  17. Yamilka says:

    Hi Larry!
    First, I would like to thank you for all you’ve done and continue doing in Elvis’ name. You can’t imagine how much it means to us fans, how truly grateful and blessed we are to have people, like yourself, who personally knew Elvis and are kind enough to share your memories with us. I always enjoy your interviews, your way of telling a story, your wording and your phrasing. It’s always pleasant reading your work and a bit comforting I have to admit. I guess we’re all lost just trying to find our way right? I love your insight into Elvis’ psyche, when you speak of him he’s just a man, a beautiful soul, not a supernatural of some sort. I really like that. It speaks volumes of what he meant to you, how true of a friend you really were to him. You loved him, HIM and I hope, when he passed, he passed knowing he had at least one true friend. I do have a question. I hope it’s not too much of a bother. Since you were there on his last vacation in March of 1977, did Elvis get in the water? I’m sorry, I know it’s a silly question but I’ve always wondered. In the pictures he’s wearing a jogging suit on the beach and i always wondered if he swam. And another thing about that last vacation, i’ve seen a picture where Elvis is on top of a woman. It’s always been said, on blogs, that it was Ginger’s sister but no one seems to know for sure. I guess they were just playing around but there has to be a story there ,a funny one at that. So my question is, who’s the girl and what’s the story that goes along with the picture? Thank you so much for your time. I hope you know how deeply appreciated you and your time are.

    • Larry Geller says:

      Thanks for your kind words; they’re very much appreciated. To answer your question about Elvis’ last vacation, no he did not go swimming. But he planned to stop touring and go back to that house for a year, to rejuvenate and change his lifestyle. He planned on doing a lot of exercising – including swimming – changing his diet, meditating more, etc. I cover this in depth in my book Leaves of Elvis’ Garden.

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