The Mystery of Jesse Garon

What is my role, my duty, my goal, amidst this bewildering breathtaking

drama in which I find myself involved?

The life and death of his stillborn twin brother, Jesse Garon, was a precious mystery to Elvis, an indelible part of his life. But then, Elvis was always intrigued by the mystery that lay at the heart of all existence.

When it came to Jesse Garon, he told me that as a child he would talk about him to anyone who would listen. “I have a brother!” he announced proudly, telling everyone how close they were, and how they talked together all the time.  At night as he lay in his bed, in the dark and silence of his room, he would have special conversations with Jesse, and later tell people what his brother had said to him.

I knew Elvis had a stillborn twin brother; my own younger twin sisters had told me after they read a story about him in a movie magazine.  It was only after we met in April of 1964, that I came to realize how deeply Elvis had been affected by this unfulfilled relationship.

“I’ll tell ya Larry, being a twin has always been a mystery for me. I mean, we were in our mother’s womb together, so why was he born dead and not me? He never even got his chance to live. Think about it, why me? Why was I the one that was chosen? An’ I’ve always wondered what would’ve been if he had lived, I really have. These kinds of questions tear my head up. There’s got to be reasons for all this.”

This was our very first conversation. I was a virtual stranger, yet for some reason Elvis felt that he wanted to bare his soul about Jesse Garon.  I learned over the years that this was one aspect of his life he rarely if ever spoke about.  But on this particular afternoon he opened the floodgates freely, revealing something so intimate that it was obvious that he was deeply burdened by the notion that he might have survived at the expense of his twin.

Elvis sat in silence for a moment with his eyes fixed on the ground, then looked up at me. “Larry, listen, I’m going to tell you something, and it might even sound strange, but it’s something I’ve secretly thought about before. Maybe, maybe it was me. Maybe it was something I did, ya know?  Who knows, maybe when we were in the womb together we were fighting like Jacob and his twin like it says in the Bible. Man that story always stuck with me.  Maybe I was like Jacob who tried to stop his brother from being born first.  Hey, I’m just saying…anything’s possible.”

I learned so much about Elvis that first afternoon; his freedom of expression, his willingness to explore, and most of all his vulnerability.   And I’ve always felt that all during his life he reached out for the brother he never had the chance to know; the seed was always there. He called us his “family.” Yet at all times, even when he felt betrayed, he felt a deep concern for the very ones who hurt him most. And in a curious way the guys were a composite of his twin – but never really a replacement.

It wasn’t until 1977, just a few months before Elvis’ death that I heard him bring up Jesse after all those years.   Elvis was so open; he loved to talk about anything under the sun.  From sex, politics or religion, to intimate details about family, friends, wives, girl friends, co-workers and private thoughts and feelings about his career and his own life, nothing was out of bounds.  But I can’t remember his ever really talking about Jesse Garon…not until one day in the spring while we were on tour.  I entered his room while he was still in bed.

“Lawrence”, Elvis declared excitedly, “You won’t believe the dream I just had. Man, it was so real.  An’ I can’t remember dreaming about my brother Jesse Garon since I was a little kid.  But there we were together – on stage.  Seemed like thousands of people in the audience, and they were screaming at us. It was wild!  We were dressed alike, wearing identical white jumpsuits, and we were both playing matching guitars slung around our shoulders. . There were two blue spotlights, one shining on him, one on me.  An’ I kept looking at him, and man, he was the spitting image of me.

I’ll tell you something else Lawrence…” Elvis grinned.  “Jesse had a way better voice than me.”

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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58 Responses to The Mystery of Jesse Garon

  1. Mary says:

    Dear Larry, I have a different connection with Elvis. I was born on his birthday and so was my son. Every year he calls me and sings me an Elvis song for our birthdays which we share in respect of Elvis. It wasn’t till I visited Graceland that I felt connected to his life, his soul, his pain and his happiness. I imagined him in every room. To hear that he had a twin makes me understand this passionate man so much more. Thank you for your story. When you visit Graceland you can feel his presence. At peace. We know he is happy singing with his brother and friends in the hereafter.

  2. Merritt Holmes says:

    This was so interesting

  3. Debra L. Simonetta says:

    I seen Elvis “Live” in 1974 at the Olimpia Stadium in Detroit. I have followed him ever since. I was mesmerised. That was 42 yrs, ago. I will be 59, at the end of July. I have read several books, seen many pictures, interviews, video’s, have a lot of memorabilia, love my Red Crew Coat, with black leather sleeves, with TCB on the arm, Elvis In Concert on the front. I have a logo on my car too. lol I went to Graceland just this April (2016) And last April too (2015) The new Hotel The Guest Suites of Graceland is being built. It will be ready in 4 months. We stayed at The Heart Break Hotel both times. When I went into Graceland, I can’t explain it, I was in my own little world. Had anyone come up to me, and asked me a question, I proberly wouldn’t have answered, for a few seconds. You just get a feeling. No I am not crazy. True story. I just loved everything about him. His Voice, His presence, His looks, His smile, His southern gentleman charm. I just can’t explain it. The Best Entertainer of my life. I wish I could have met him. You seemed like a wonderful friend, who gave him, honest answers about life. Spiritual and otherwise. So glad you were there for him. He seemed so isolated, he needed honest people like you, to be around him. Thank You, even though we have never meant, for being his true friend. You proberly won’t see this, but I wanted to write it anyway. I will continue reading your Memories. Gosh I loved Elvis singing that song too. Some of my favorites are Glory, Glory, Halleujah, How Great Thou Art, Separate Ways, My Way, I Just Can’t Help Believin, Believe Me, Suspicious Minds, In The Ghetto, my goodness, and so many more. Hope everything is going well, with you, and your family. I hope you do get this Larry. And I hope there were many times, when Elvis was truly happy. I know his wedding day, or the birth of his baby girl. And I want to Thank Elvis, for all that he gave to everyone. His true fans. And that continues to this day. A Good Man and his Songs. I think he said that in a speech once, he will continue singing a song. Music can heal, and soothe the world.

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  5. Faith a myatt says:

    I want to know why Elvis didn’t bring his baby twin brother to graceland. Why was he left in tupilo in an unmarked grave . I feel he should be brought to graceland with his brother an mother. I’m shocked Elvis never done that when he was his twin I know I would want him buried by me.

    Sincerely yours

    • Larry Geller says:

      There were no graves at Graceland until Elvis passed away. His father didn’t know where Jesse Garon was buried; as you said it was an unmarked grave and they lost track of it many years before.

  6. Jerry fluty says:

    Elvis was loved by men and women alike, but it’s amusing that the greatest number of comments are by far from women. Although he was an amazing talent his incredible impact on the ladies is one of the defining parts of his mystique. We’re all so jealous ha ha.

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  8. Casey Grimes says:

    I have read several books about Elvis.I feel it would have been too much had his twin brother survived(always a comparison),it happened just the way it was supposed to.Elvis was one of a kind and that’s the way it had to Be!Elvis #1 Fan Casey Grimes

  9. Casey Grimes says:

    I love Elvis much,and I really don’t know why…. we have a strong spiritual connection is the only way it can be explained.I want to visit Graceland! Love Always,Casey Grimes

  10. It was very interesting to read, thank you.

  11. Tonya Gibbs says:

    How can it be that no one knows where his twin , Jesse , is buried? How could his father not have known? Why would they not have had him buried near the cabin he born born? This doesn’t make sense to me especially given the religious side.

  12. Hello Larry, I am glad that you are here and able to shed light on E’s fans who still need him in their life. Amazing isn’t it, how one man made such a difference in so many other people’s lives. And continues to do so without the type contact he used to
    have. A great many stories abound; is he really dead or not? All I know for sure is he
    said many times that he was so tired of all this, of being ELVIS. He said it was slowly killing the spirit within him – and he wished there were a way out of “all this” “I don’t need it” he said. I am on the side of those who wish he did find that way; I hope he did and that he found a way to do the simple things of living that he wanted to be able to experience. He said he wanted to “quit, to have peace of mind and be able to just be me…if know now who the hell that guy is really!” He was dead serious when he said “it’s killin’ me…I can’t keep doin’ this sh–. Really.” And soon, he was gone…for
    all intents and purposes, buried at Graceland, his beloved home and near to his momma. It seems logical; but from his point of view logical was not exactly always the way to go. Take care Larry, I hope your family is doing well and that you are still healthy and found something fun and exciting to be involved in. Love always, wjbh

  13. Dalila says:

    This truly breaks my heart. It seems to me like Elvis always felt like a piece of him was missing. I can only imagine how close him and Jesse would have been had he lived. Perhaps their would be two kings of rock instead of one. (like a duo) But at the same time despite Elvis never knowing Jesse he already shared a strong brotherly bond with him. God does everything for a reason, even though it’s hard to understand why sometimes.

    • GenetiveTexan says:

      Yes, who knows. We don’t know that they were identical twins or if being a duo would have stunted Elvis’ career. What’s most sad to me is that Jesse’s remains were lost thus not buried at Graceland.

      • Kathryn Worrell says:

        Vernon has said they were not identical

        • Ledia says:

          Kathryn Worrell, I think your right. They were “Twins” but not identical. Not, sure what that is called then? Born at the same time, but not looking exactly the same. I would believe what Vernon said, over anyone else.

          • Margaret S says:

            The name for non identical twins if Fraternal, they are 2 separate eggs fertilised as opposed to one egg splitting in half creating 2 identical people.

  14. I have always loved Elvis. My cousin and I saw him at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo in the 1970’s. We were very fortunate that my Daddy worked on the Arena Commity at the Astrodome in Houston, TX. Elvis was spectacular as always. I can’t even imagine if there were two of them performing that night or any other night. The world was blessed with Elvis. He was perfect to listen too and perfect to see. everything Elvis did as far as performing was perfect. He was one of God’s perfect creations in my opinion. I am jealous because my cousin is with Elvis and God. I watch the videos over and over of Elvis. Can’t get enough. He was a sweet man and I am sure his brother would have been also. The ties between twins is remarkable. Just think about what they both would have done for this world.

  15. The feelings of emptiness and powerlessness arises from this story. These are not tears of joy. And, may we all one day rest in peace.

  16. David Goble says:

    Thank you very much for your story. A friend recently told me about Thomas Didymus in the Gospels, and why he had such a “raw” doubting personality. His pastor suggested to him that Thomas was also a twin-less twin. As it turns out, Thomas means “twin” in Aramaic, and Didymus means “twin” in Greek. Then I told my friend the little I knew about the twin brothers Elvis Aron and Jesse Garon, and how “raw” and shy Elvis had been as a boy. It brings tears to think of his pain. He was such a good and caring soul — always wanting to please and be a part of something good and helpful. And it seemed that all his inherent goodness came out when he was singing Gospel with his friends. I will forward your story to my friend.

  17. Hi Larry, long time no see/no hear. Glad to see your out and doing things; it is just so very touching how much our guy is still loved, praised and also doing good for so many as well. He’d be humbled by it all, fer sure. I hope your feeling well, and your family also. Best to you always, thanks for being there for so many. Love always,
    Wanda June

  18. marie almstrom says:

    Thank you for your story, I had never known there was a twin. I have always wondered what it would have bern like if Elvis life had been different, and not ended the way it did.

  19. I HAD A DREAM TWO WEEKS BEFORE ELVIS PASS, IN MY DREAM HE ASKED FOR A GLASS OF WATER, SOMEONE SAT IT AT THE BOTTOM OF THE STAIRS, AFTER HE HAD THE WATER HE DIED, I WOKE UP SETTING UP IN BED, I WAS SWEATING AND THINKING HOW REAL THIS WAS, TWO WEEKS FROM THAT VERY NIGHT HE WAS GONE, I HAVE ALWAYS WONDER WHY I DREAM THIS NIGHTMARE,PEOPLE SAY I LOOK A LOT LIKE HIM, IT WAS LIKE I WAS RIGHT THERE WATCHING ALL THIS,I WENT TO GRACELAND AFTER THEY OPEN IT UP, AND EVERYTHING LOOK JUST LIKE IT DID IN MY DREAM, WHEN I SAW THE BOTTOM OF THE STAIRS I GOT COLD CHILLS ALL OVER ME,

  20. Erritt Smith says:

    Larry
    I have a twin brother as well when he married and moved out to marry someone
    Who treated him wrong for five years it broke my heart we could not speak to him or see when he divorced her in may of 2008 he moved in with my grandmother until she died in June 2011 in October he moved back in with me it was like a reunion we have been very close ever since we were little

  21. Samantha martin says:

    Larry, such a beautiful story, I know in my heart Elvis and Jes are now together living in peace. I love reading ur memories of ur time together, u must feel honoured xxx thanku

  22. Angel McGinnis says:

    Dearest Larry,

    Spreading news toward family, I lay into the sight… that there is one weird mystery. It is now 2014, and yet… the news still goes on. Crying, on the first few paragraphs of the article, I am amazed. Of the realationship bonding, just on here! Spectacular, and clearly amazing. I thank you a bunch, and R.I.P Jesse and Elvis Preseley… will forever remember them… and now let them see each other and be happy of their new found relationship there. He nows bears the forever memory of “Wow, I have a twin brother.”

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  24. Justin Morgan says:

    Hi Larry –
    My late brother, Todd Morgan, always spoke fondly of you. You and I have met a few times briefly during Elvis Week…I often wonder how Todd is doing “over there.” I feel his presence all the time…especially when I am troubled. He and I had a strong spiritual connection and I believe it is even stronger now. Anyway -just dropping by.
    I enjoyed your story about Jesse.
    -Justin

    • Larry Geller says:

      Justin…of course I remember meeting you in Memphis during Elvis Week. todd was a beautiful and sensitive soul who was loved by everyone. I’m sure he received extra special treatment wherever he is now.

      Many blessings,
      Larry

      • Justin Morgan says:

        Thanks Larry – the thought that he is happy and safe…that gives me great comfort.
        Kind regards, and perhaps see you in August…
        -Justin

  25. Michael-Steven Deleon says:

    Lawrence,

    I just discovered your website and I enjoyed what I read above…you have a real insight-
    ful character and I think that must be one of your most winning qualities as a man, a human being. I read your book “If I Can Dream” and it was a great tome to a friend and
    fellow human being; if anything, you were like a true brother to him…and I mean it.
    Thank you.

    Michael

  26. crystal nicole says:

    Larry,
    It must have been amazing working with him, I watched all his movies and listen to all his music growing up as a kid, and I must say there will never be another man that sings or acts as good as he did. I never met him but wish I did, he seems like he would’ve been a great guy to talk to. And I know all this talk about Elvis being alive or dead is getting very old, I’ve heard it ever since I was a little kid and I tell ya lol wow people never give up do they. I say may the man rest in piece where ever he is, and may God bless his family and may the people stop their talking.

    All my love: C.N.G

  27. Becky says:

    Hi Larry,

    Thank you for your beautiful blog, it’s so inspiring to read..
    One thing I was always wondering, is it true that Elvis mentioned he was Jewish?

    Thank you Larry and keep up your great work!
    Becky

    • Larry Geller says:

      No, but he knew he had some Jewish blood in his background. His mother’s grandmother was identified as Jewish.

      • Sadie Hill says:

        I wonder if Elvis ever said anything about Jesse’s burial. I saw on the net that Jesse was buried at Priceville cemetery just down the road a bit from the Presley’s home. I went and identified the stone that was shown on the net, but there was no inscription, date, nothing. I had heard that they were so poor, that they buied Jesse in a shoe box. Any knowledge of any of this.

      • Laurence says:

        So that means he’s jewish!! Since Judaism is passed by the mother!!

  28. J V L I V S says:

    Dear Mr. Geller,

    I have this particular page bookmarked on both my laptop and iPhone. And I read and reread this article. I’m too young to remember Elvis the last few years of his life, and I’ve been a fan of his since childhood. And when I found out that he had a twin, I became an even bigger fan when I found out that I, too, had a twin who didn’t make it. I have embraced my twin status more times recent years than I have my entire life. I composed a poem entitled; “I am Half” as tribute to my twin. Like Elvis, my imagination runs wild at the very thought of him being here today. I also envision Elvis and Jesse being in the spotlight to this day. I look forward to the day when those who died will be resurrected in Paradise as promised by Jesus Christ. Including us twins.

    Revelation 21:3, 4
    John 5:28, 29

  29. Kerry-Anne Ward says:

    Dear Larry

    Hello

    I have 19 year old twins Lily and Indigo they were born on 9 January 1994. When they were younger and if one was unwell and did not attend school the one at home would talk about the other twin all day constantly saying, “When will Lily be home?” or, “When will Indi be home?” They did not like being separated at all. Indigo and Lily are my gifts from God.

    Elvis and Jesse are together again forever. The two Kings are playing their guitars and singing their hearts out in heaven. Listen, can you hear them singing – How Great Thou Art?

    God Bless you Larry

    Kind regards

    Kerry-Anne Ward

  30. Michael says:

    It is very sad that he could not have spent some time with Jess but there is always a light at the end of the tunnel ,Think about it Jess moved aside too make room for Elvis that’s what you call a precious love. I too am an Elvis tribute artist and have enjoyed the cheers of all the fans. Thanks for taking care of Elvis

  31. Brooke Myrick says:

    I just had a good cry, thank you for sharing. I had twins in 2007. My identical boys had twin to twin transfusion from sharing a placenta and we were undiagnosed. My willis was born stillborn. Walker is now 6 years old. He loves Elvis bc he knows Elvis has a twin like him. He even knows Jesse name too. I can already see signs of Walker questioning why willis and not him. It breaks my heart.

    • Libby says:

      Brooke, I have wondered the same about Elvis &Jesse after my set of TTTS boys.

      • Brooke myrick says:

        I wonder does anyone know if Jesse and Elvis were for sure identical ? It would be my guess if they were , they most likely had ttts which was probably what took Jesse .

  32. Larry, just want to thank you for my autographed copy of your book, I have both. Thanks also for sharing all the precious memories of your time with Elvis. May God continue to bless you.

  33. Justin says:

    Wow, thanks for the tear jerker, Larry (typing with blurred/watery vision).

    Only the greatest of souls can look destiny in the face and give their life for their loved ones and the greater good of all.

    Dear Jesse, what love you have bestowed upon the world – a love you would choose again without question, dear heart.

    It makes me cry again to look upon one so great that they would let go of a life so desired in gesture to preserve the life of one so loved.

    Jesse lived more life in those 30 seconds (outside the womb) than most people do across several lifetimes.

    Bless you, cherished soul – we welcome you back here again, bright star!

  34. janice smith says:

    dear larry, i have a twin sister. its great to be a twin but it has its drowbacks, I would be nothing with out herI hope I can get your book soon. god bless you

  35. Pingback: Elvis’s Dream | Lauri Loewenberg

  36. Hello Larry:
    I´m María Schiavi and I admire Elvis Presley since I was Child. He was a example of life, a generous and fighter man and excellent singer…
    It was sad death of Jesse Presley and I know Elvis miss him so much…
    I have a question…It is true Elvis lost another baby in 1943?. In many places of internet say ‘this’ .

  37. Dear Larry
    It is very nice article and it’s good find in this place you, who knew to king of Rock and Roll, Elvis.
    I know Elvis Presley was a generous, funny , georgeus and worker man and he always tought in his family, friends and fans. I know that he felt sad because he couldn’t see his brother and live happy moments with him, he miss Jessie very much. Only God know because Elvis stayed on Earth and Jessie died and went to Heaven, Only God!!!
    I have a question… It is true that Elvis lost a onother brother in 1943? In many place in Internet says that his mother lost a baby in 1943. Elvis could remembered his other brother or he never spoke about this. Thank you and good bye
    María José

  38. Cara says:

    Dear Larry,

    Thanks for taking the time and energy to publish your memories on Elvis’s thoughts regarding his twin brother. Indeed, what a complex mystery, so ripe for the unravel! It’s fascinating to be witness to the fact that Elvis was indeed, selected to live – and fulfill his life’s purpose as part of the universe’s Master Plan.

    With Elvis’s influence on the world, he obviously needed the “energy of two,” and thus, in some way, perhaps Jesse lived through his brother.

    Best,
    Cara Sands

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