How Elvis Almost Became A Villain In The 1970s – He Was Bad
Elvis Presley in an interview - Media Collection / Youtube
In the 1970s, Elvis Presley, an idol to many, began to show a different side, often being critical of other performers and displaying erratic behavior.
Elvis, who was once admired by many, became known for his explosive fits of anger, occasionally pulling a gun on people who frustrated him.
According to his bodyguards, he was especially critical of other singers, rarely speaking highly of them. Red West, one of Elvis’s bodyguards, revealed in the book “Elvis: What Happened?” by Steve Dunleavy:
“For instance, Elvis doesn’t like too many other singers — at least living ones. He did admire Bobby Darin very much, but he has passed away. But generally Elvis will always have something critical to say about another singer. He doesn’t like competition.”
To avoid triggering Elvis’s anger, his entourage learned not to discuss other performers around him. When other singers came to meet Elvis, he would try to assert dominance by discussing his possessions and keeping them waiting.
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Among the singers Elvis disliked, Robert Goulet was the one who triggered him the most:
“Worst of all, he really hates Robert Goulet for some reason,” West revealed. “I don’t even remember whether he had ever met him or not or whether he had seen him perform live.”
The incident in 1974
When Elvis fired shots at the television screen just because Goulet was on it:
“Anyway, one afternoon in 1974, he is eating breakfast and on comes Robert Goulet on the big-screen television set,” West recalled. “Very slowly, Elvis finishes what he has in his mouth, puts down his knife and fork, picks up this big mother of a .22 and — boom — blasts old Robert clean off the screen and the television set to pieces. He then puts down the .22, picks up his knife and fork and says, ‘That will be enough of that s***,’ and then he goes on eating.”
Over the years, Elvis’s behavior escalated, and he began making excessive demands of his entourage. His fits of anger became more frequent, and he sometimes reacted violently when his requests weren’t immediately fulfilled. According to West, this behavior was a stark departure from Elvis’s earlier years when he was known for being one of the boys, sharing everything with his close circle.
This change in behavior ultimately led to Elvis’s bodyguards, including Red West, releasing the tell-all book “Elvis: What Happened?” to shed light on the legendary singer’s tumultuous later years.