Elvis Presley: Were the Memphis Mafia always armed with guns? King’s cousin shares truth

Elvis Presley: Were the Memphis Mafia always armed with guns? King’s cousin shares truth


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During the 1970s, Elvis Presley became obsessed with guns and was often carrying a firearm. Last year, Express.co.uk spoke with Elvis expert David English who said The King increased his personal security after receiving a death threat. In his Las Vegas residency shows, Elvis would walk through the audience and give girls a kiss.

English shared: “But that was quickly stopped because a few weeks after that there was a death threat made against him. It got quite complicated. There was a paternity suit as well.

“So there was a heavier security presence. He got really eccentric with guns after this death threat. So all through the autumn of 1970, he started to collect – almost obsessively – guns and contacted lots of police forces around the country.

“He would fly to their headquarters, donate money and then they would give him a badge. He did some fairly eccentric things, going further into the seventies.”

But since the Memphis Mafia were his bodyguards, were they armed with guns when Elvis was out and about?

Speaking on the Memphis Mafia Kid YouTube, Danny Smith, the son of Elvis’ cousin Billy Smith, shared his memories.

Just a child living at Graceland at the time, he said: “Yes a lot of them carried guns.

“I know when Elvis would rent out the Whitehaven Plaza and Lisa [Marie] and Rory and Laura and me and Joey and Amber or just all the other kids, would go.

“I know Dick [Grob] carried a gun, I think Al [Strada] did. I know Daddy did sometimes. Pretty much probably over the years, I would say at one time or another they probably all carried guns.”


Elvis and the Memphis Mafia liked to practice their aim around the back of Graceland, where bullet holes can be seen to this day.

The shooting range, which included targets, is located by Vernon’s office behind the mansion.

Some of the misfires in the brickwork are cleverly covered up with paint to this day.

However, there is a bullet hole found in the bottom of Lisa Marie’s slide right nearby.

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While just across the road from the Graceland mansion, fans can see one of the TVs that Elvis shot.

He had been watching American singer and Broadway star Robert Goulet in his Palm Springs house.

Speaking with the Associated Press in 2006, Graceland spokesman Kevin Kern said: “There was nothing Elvis had against Robert Goulet.

“They were friends. But Elvis just shot out things on a random basis.”

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