Elvis Was ‘Not One for Moderation,’ Even Overdoing It on a Simple Gift From Priscilla Presley
In the 1960s, Priscilla Presley gave Elvis Presley a gift that occupied many of his waking hours. She didn’t intend for this to happen. The present, while thoughtful, was a relatively simple one. Within several weeks, though, he built an entire room for it. According to Priscilla, this was typical of the musician. When he liked something, he could rarely consume it in moderation.
Elvis dedicated every night to a gift from Priscilla Presley
While living at Graceland, Priscilla decided to gift Elvis a miniature racetrack with remote-controlled cars. She knew he liked speeding around in real cars and thought he might enjoy a smaller version. She was right.
“One evening, I gave him a little racetrack with remote-control cars,” she wrote in her book Elvis and Me. “A few weeks later, he had an entire room added onto the house with a professional game track. There he played night after night until he had his fill and then he never went back to the room until much later, when the annex was converted into a trophy room filled with his gold records and awards.”
She explained that this behavior was typical of Elvis. He became fixated on certain games, behaviors, and foods, indulging until he grew sick of them.
“Elvis was not one for moderation,” Priscilla wrote. “Whether it was motorcycles, slot cars, horses, amusement parks, roller skating, sex, or even eating the same dinner day after day, if he enjoyed it, he’d overindulge.”
Many of Elvis’ indulgences were food-based
One of Elvis’ most well-known indulgences was the food he consumed. When he liked something, he ate a lot of it; on the first day Priscilla met him, she watched as he ate five bacon and mustard sandwiches in a row. According to Priscilla, he ate the same breakfast — orange juice, a Spanish omelet, home-fried potatoes, two pounds of bacon, and a black coffee — nearly every day.
One of his all-time favorite foods was banana pudding. He reportedly requested that its ingredients be available in the Graceland fridge at all times.
Priscilla Presley appreciated the way Elvis valued the gifts she gave him
While Elvis eventually forgot about the racetrack Priscilla gifted him, he clearly valued it for a time. She appreciated that he seemed to enjoy all the gifts she gave him.
On their first Christmas together, she nervously gave him a pair of bongos. He seemed to have everything he could want, and she feared he would reject the gift.
“This was the gift that, oh my gosh, I was so nervous about it because I was only 14 years old and what do I give Elvis Presley for Christmas?” she told The Guardian. “It was in Wiesbaden and I would go from store to store looking for things I could possibly give him and I chose the bongos because he played music every night that he was there.”
Despite her trepidation, the present seemed to thrill Elvis. He put them on display near his guitar, much to her delight. She was even happier when, days later, she discovered that he valued her gift above the other bongos he owned.
“It was not until many days later that I discovered a whole closetful of bongo drums — mine not included — in the basement,” Priscilla wrote. “That my white elephants had not been consigned to dark oblivion but stood prominently displayed beside his guitar made me love him all the more.”