Watching an old interview with Elvis Presley truly makes you miss the entertainer and his easy sense of humor.
The video clip from a 1972 Madison Square Garden news conference gives just a glimpse at his personality. This visit was in advance of four nights of sold-out concerts at the venue where he performed for 80,000 fans.
Before sitting down, Presley joked, “First of all, I plead innocent of all charges.”
When asked why he started making public appearances again, he remarked: “I just missed it. I missed the closeness of a live audience, so just as soon as I got out of the movie contracts I started to do live performances again.”
When asked his opinion of war protestors and if he would refuse to be drafted, he answered, “I just as soon keep my own personal views about that to myself,” adding, “I’m just an entertainer and I’d rather not say.”
When pressed to get his opinion on whether other entertainers should keep their views to themselves, he said, “no.”
Presley was also asked his thoughts about his image as the “King of Rock and Roll,” to which Presley responded, “The image is one thing, the human being is another,” adding, “It’s very hard to live up to an image, let’s put it that way.”
Asked if he was like his shy, humble country boy image, he rose to open his jacket to show off a huge gold belt, certainly not humble or country, by any stretch!
Those commenting on the YouTube video are true Presley fans, with notes such as “A true class act,” “Awesome presence!,” and “One of the coolest guys that ever lived.”
One commenter noted: “I really respect Elvis for his response to the war question. He was a class act and knew not to shove his opinions down people’s throats. If only more of today’s stars followed his lead.”
Another person echoed that sentiment, remarking: “Elvis had a good head on his shoulders! He knew what to say and what not to say. These big mouth arrogant singers we have today should learn from him. RIP Mr. Presley.”
Another commenter added this perspective: “Elvis had the right idea here. He was just an entertainer. Complex political issues were way beyond his understanding. At least he was smart enough to realize that. I wish modern entertainers and sports people took a note from his book. It’s a quirk of modern life that these ‘celebrities’ have a much bigger forum for their views than their credentials merit. They should recognize that whilst they have no credentials to talk about these subjects, the mass of sheep listen to them. So they should be more responsible and keep their views private.”
Another fan noted: “He was so natural. You can see that he didn’t think he was better than you or anybody else. That’s what I like about Elvis.”
One commenter made this astute observation, writing: “Don’t make a stand on the war and you won’t offend any of your fans. The war was a very dividing force and no matter what Elvis said about the war he was bound to upset a lot of people, so I am sure he was coached not to talk about it.”