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What does it feel like…to meet Elvis


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Lawrence Sammeroff

It’s an enduring memory and something I’ll never forget. My cousin Jerome and I were told that when we were in Paris [in 1959] that there were two clubs we should go to. One was the Folies Bergère and the other was the Lido.

We had no booking, we were very naive so we went to the door of the Lido and asked if we could have two seats. He said we can only sit you at the bar. My cousin slipped him a few bucks and that took us about half way down and they sat us there.

There was a bit pole in front of us and again, after some more bribery and corruption, we ended up at the very front table.

They told us we could spend the minimum, which was half a bottle of champagne. There was a very attractive lady at our table with two young kids who said she was here to see Elvis. We were trying to appear nonchalant.

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She said he had been there the previous night and was on leave from the army in Germany.

When it came to the interval we were told that Elvis was coming in for the second show and to keep a couple of seats for him.

When the lights went down, lo and behold, in he came with a young lady. [Elvis met his future wife Priscilla that year when she was 14].

When the lights went up after the show that’s when the word got around.

We spoke to him afterwards. He was quite shy and very polite, very well mannered. Of course he was very slim at that time and he didn’t drink.

We asked him when he was coming to the Scotland and he said he had never been to the UK but he said to us, ‘I’m sure I’ll make it. He never actually made it to the UK, it was only when he stopped off at Prestwick in 1960. Colonel Parker had him tied up in movie contracts.

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The trouble was that there was no photographer but he waited patiently while we got one. I’m such a huge fan. I would say my favourite song is, It’s Now or Never.

The next night we went to Folies Bergère and we were so disappointed he wasn’t there. We were so high from the previous evening.

It was purely a chance encounter.

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