Someday

All our lives are abundantly graced with a variety of mentors, lights and mirrors in whatever form they might appear. Some we recognize, some we don’t; some have gone on. To all those who have crossed and even stumbled onto my path, I bow with folded hands.

This blog is dedicated to my beloved friend and brother, Christian Dome, whom I miss now and will always miss.

Someday

One afternoon at Graceland in 1966, during a hiatus from making movies, I went upstairs as I always did, to take care of Elvis’ hair and talk. I knocked on his bedroom door and he invited me in. Elvis was sitting on the edge of his bed, and from the expression on his face and his body language, I knew immediately something was up.

I asked him if there was something wrong – he handed me a movie magazine. Its bold headline read, “Elvis still in deep grief over his mother’s death,” placed over a teary-eyed Elvis, a picture actually taken from one of his films.
Elvis was visibly upset, shaking his head from side to side. “Can you believe this? Hey, a lot of reporters do their best to do their job and report accurately; I respect that. But a few of them downright lie and just play on people’s emotions. Anything for a buck I guess.”

Elvis then asked me to read aloud the story itself. I’m paraphrasing here, but the gist of the article went like this. ‘Elvis’ family and friends are extremely worried about Elvis. He’s deeply grieving over his mother’s death, and he feels desperate without her. They hear him pacing the floors in the wee hours of the morning, lamenting and weeping over her passing. One insider is worried that he’s so distraught he might want to join her.’

“Grieve! Larry, I hope you never have to go through and grieve like I did. But listen, that was 1958, it was eight years ago. Don’t get me wrong; you can never really get over something like that completely, but I’ve come to terms with her death.

“Man, you can’t believe what I was goin’ through back then. I mean everything was just crashing in on me at once, every dream I ever had. Just when everything was going my way, the Army calls me. My career comes to a screeching halt; all the movies I was starring in, my records, TV, everything. To tell you the truth, I actually considered that maybe, maybe nobody would even remember me after I served my time, that I’d be some kind of flash-in-the-pan. You know, people would say, ‘hey, remember that guy, the one that used to shake his body, what’s his name?’

“Then the first thing they do when I’m inducted is buzz my hair off!” Elvis shook his head incredulously. “Can you imagine that, Larry, my hair? And that picture of me with that silly-ass grin on my face – damn man, I was dying inside. Then, when I’m struggling to deal with everything, then the final blow, my mom suddenly dies! My Mom! My mom was the light of my life, my best friend; I mean, she’s the one I could always go to…man, no matter what. About the only one I really trusted. That’s a blow you can never really get over.

“An’ that’s when my real grieving began. Hey, I bought Graceland for my mom and dad. I bought the pink Cadillac for my mom, an’ jewelry, furs an’ whatever I could, just to make everything up to her for all she had to go through her life…make her happy. Cause she knew what pain, poverty and strugglin’ was all about, she lived through it.

“Grieve? Just put yourself in my shoes. I mean my mom, my career, everything, overnight, just like that. Then they send me half around the world to Germany. I’ll tell ya, I wasn’t sure what the future had in store for me. I’d lay there at night in the dark and say ‘Why me, why me Lord?’ I’ve always believed in God, that’s the way I was raised. An’ I’ll tell you, there were times when I really began to wonder.

“And I’ll tell you this Larry; I didn’t have to go into the army the way all the other guys did. They told me that if I wanted to I could be in a Special Services unit; you know, represent the army and tour the other bases around the world, talk to the guys, maybe entertain and sing. I didn’t even have to think about it. I flat turned their offer down. I didn’t want to be treated special or anything like that; I just wanted to let everyone know that I was just like every other guy.

“So I’d just lay there on my cot, and held everything inside. I couldn’t let the guys see my grieving.”

Elvis became very quiet, lost in his memories. “You know me, Lawrence. I’ve always had an inquisitive mind; I want to know what’s behind everything. I can remember when I was a little kid, I would always be askin’ my mom about my twin brother Jesse, you know, why he never had a chance to life. I can still hear her voice telling me just like it was yesterday, “Honey, God took your little brother back home to heaven ‘cause it was part of his plan. He has a plan for everybody: for your daddy, for me…and for you too, Elvis. Someday I’ll be goin’ back home, and someday Daddy’s gonna go home. And even someday – a long, long time from now – God’s gonna bring you home, too. An’ then we’ll all be together again, all of us back home in heaven.’”

Elvis looked at me intently. He leaned forward and with conviction in his voice, said, “And that’s exactly what I believe Lawrence; we’re all going home…someday.”

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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11 Responses to Someday

  1. john kline says:

    I feel like elvis talks to me still! I hear him sometimes in the quietest times.

  2. Denise says:

    Thank you Larry for sharing this beautiful heartfelt story. I read your book years ago and loved it! Glad to see you have a new one out. I will be reading it soon.

  3. Annbelle says:

    I’m 15 and a big fan of Elvis. I started reading all about him, listening to his songs, and watching his movies..anything I can learn about him and get a feeling of what he was like. He was an angel on earth and it’s crazy how he doubted himself sometimes and how amazingly humble he was He was generous, kind, and his way of thinking was really different and more modern than those of his time. Too bad he felt like he was missing parts of his life. May he rest in peace with God and those he loved in heaven.

  4. Ruth Carroll says:

    Dear Larry: Recently purchased your book Leaves of Elvis’ Garden & finished reading it today 11/5/2014. I was so emotionally touched by what you wrote. This book allows the reader to see a side of Elvis very few of us knew. You were truly blessed to be his friend & confidant. Thank you for writing this profound piece of work.
    Ruth C

  5. Larry, I love reading biographies of rock stars. I always wanted to read about what made Elvis…’Elvis’. Your book ‘If I Can Dream’ finally gave an insight into his life. Thank you. The fascination with me is; what happens to an artist when money becomes no object and is there some sort of ‘shaman’ gene that these artists have been given to create their enormous celebrity on the giant stage; maybe a stage that a true Shaman probably shouldn’t be given. Prior to reading your book, I assumed that the endless wealth would have drawn Elvis down the path of heroin and other addictions, I was prepared for that, but the true story was one of constant seeking and some sort of food addiction. (I recently saw a BBC documentary on the incredible power of fat+sugar combination). And then ultimately cancer. “Why me, why am I Elvis?” Must be a thought that all rock stars have. I thought you might have written about his mesmerising showman (shaman) abilities more, but thank you for your book, it was truly insightful. Gary

  6. Anmarie Uber says:

    Larry, if you read this comment, could you please contact me. I am writing a numerology book, and would like to get copyright permission to use your book as a source. Thank you so much!

  7. Linda says:

    I lost my brother on my 9th birthday, Elvis saved me that’s the honest truth cos I had no one to turn to. He was also there when my sister died.
    Never let’s you down.
    I understand what he meant about the loss of his mother because my brother was my everything x

  8. Jack says:

    Larry,
    Why didn’t anyone stop Elvis from taking the drugs? Why didn’t anyone do anything? You all knew he was in a terrible condition the last few years. Did no one have the guts to say anything? What was going on? Did you try to talk him out of it, did anyone? You had the honor of knowing him for years, please tell us!
    Please reply!!!

  9. Mario says:

    Well Larry, seems like it happens to us all at some point in our lives. Friends , family , even pets leave us to grieve. When a loved one is gone we all question why and then come to terms with the loss. I just lost one of my best friends after 15 years of joy, my little dog Frankie, and still can’t come to terms with the loss. Even although Frankie was a dog the love was genuine and intent . Well as Elvis said ………..someday.

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