ELVIS INTERVIEWS BY JOE KREIN

Gloria Pall

JOE KREIN : GLORIA CAN YOU TELL ME WHERE YOU GREW UP AND WHAT YOU WANTED TO DO WITH YOUR LIFE .
 
GLORIA PALL : I GREW UP IN BROOKLYN NEW YORK AND FROM MY EARLIEST YEARS THAT I CAN RECALL I HAD A TREMENDOUS DESIRE TO BE IN FRONT OF AN AUDIENCE . I WANTED TO BE GLAMOROUS AND TO SOMEDAY BE ASSOCIATED WITH HOLLYWOOD . I SAID SOME DAY I'M GOING TO BE A MOVIE STAR . I DIDN'T BECOME A MOVIE STAR BUT, I DID BECOME A TELEVISION STAR . THIS WAS IN 1954 . I HAD A TELEVISION SHOW CALLED "Voluptua" WHICH APPEARED ON ABC TV FOR 7 HOT WEEKS. THEY SAID IT WAS TOO TORRID FOR TELEVISION. THEY FIRED ME AFTER THOSE SEVEN WEEKS. I THEN BECAME AN MC FOR OLD LOVE MOVIES AND I WAS SUGGESTIVE , AND IT WAS ALL DOUBLE ENTENDRE . I HAD ALL KIND OF INNUENDO , IT WAS  JUST SUGGESTIVE . AS I SAY I WAS CORNY NOT PORNY -BUT THE PUBLIC COULDN'T HANDLE IT AT THE TIME. IT CAUSED A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF PUBLICITY FROM IT .
 
I KNOW ELVIS EXPRESS  - IT'S FEATURED IN ENGLAND . I HAVE FAMILY THERE. THE BBC WANTED TO PUT ME ON TELEVISION THERE IN 1955. THIS WAS AFTER I WAS FIRED IN THE US .ENGLAND SAID "SHE IS GOOD ENOUGH FOR US!" BUT THAT DIDN'T COME ABOUT BECAUSE THEY WANTED ME TO WAIT THREE WEEKS , AND I COULDN'T DO THAT. I HAD TOO MANY OBLIGATIONS HERE IN CALIFORNIA . WHEN I WAS 13, I WAS NOTICING BILLBOARDS. I SAID TO MYSELF, ONE OF THESE DAYS I'M GOING TO BE ON THAT BILLBOARD . TEN YEARS LATER, I WAS ON A BILLBOARD NEXT TO THE SUNSET STRIP . IT WAS ADVERTISING ACME BEER . SO I PRETTY MUCH LIVED MY DREAMS. NOW I ENJOY TALKING TO THE FANS ABOUT MY MEMORIES.
 
I BET YOU WORKED WITH A LOT OF STARS?
 
I WORKED WITH KIRK DOUGLAS , BOB MITCHUM . THE FANS THAT KNOW THE FIFTIES WOULD KNOW WHO THESE PEOPLE ARE . PEOPLE LIKE CHARLES LAUGHTON , MICKEY ROONEY , THE LIST GOES ON AND ON.
 
SO WHEN DID YOU FIND OUT YOU WERE GOING TO WORK IN "JAILHOUSE ROCK " ?
 

I GOT A CALL FROM MGM , THIS WAS A YEAR AFTER I MET ELVIS IN VEGAS. I MET HIM IN 56 AND 57 WAS THE CALL FROM MGM . THEY WANTED ME TO BE A STRIP TEASER , I DIDN'T KNOW WHAT THAT WAS. I WAS A VEGAS SHOW GIRL , THAT'S WHERE I MET HOWARD HUGHES. BUT THAT'S A WHOLE OTHER STORY. I DID A COUPLE OF MOVIES FOR HIM ALSO. WELL IN 56 I WAS AT THE FRONTIER HOTEL VISITING MY GIRLFRIEND BACKSTAGE. MY FRIEND ASKED ME IF I HAD MET ELVIS PRESLEY. HE WAS IN THE CORNER CHECKING ME OUT. LOOKING ME UP AND DOWN. I DIDN'T KNOW WHO HE WAS . SO HE GOES OUT AND DOES HIS SHOW . HE'S JUMPING AROUND AND WIGGLING AND DOING THESE GYRATIONS . THE PEOPLE JUST LOOKED AT HIM , WONDERING WHAT HE WAS DOING. SO HE FLOPPED , THE COLONEL THEN TOOK HIM OFF THE BILLING . I REMEMBER OUT FRONT AT THE FRONTIER THEY HAD THIS BIG ELVIS , I HAD NO IDEA WHO HE WAS.  SO BACK TO JAILHOUSE ROCK , I WENT TO THE INTERVIEW AND THEY SAID I WAS PERFECT FOR THE PART . THEN ELVIS WALKS OVER TO ME WHILE I'M IN MAKE UP . HE SAYS "YOU REMEMBER ME MAM?" I SAID YOU LOOK FAMILIAR. HE SAID "I MET YOU BACKSTAGE AT THE FRONTIER" . I SAID THAT WAS YOU? (LAUGHING) I REALLY GAVE IT TO HIM .BUT ELVIS HAD A GREAT SENSE OF HUMOR. HE THOUGHT IT WAS FUNNY THAT I WAS PRETENDING NOT TO KNOW HIM. I SAID ARE YOU AN EXTRA? WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE? HE SAID "I'M THE STAR ." I SAID YOUR PUTTING ME ON. HE SAID "NO , I SWEAR I'M THE STAR !" HE SAID "ASK THE MAKE UP MAN " . SO I ASKED HIM , IS THIS GUY THE STAR , OR IS HE PUTTING ME ON? THE MAKE UP MAN SAID , YEAH HE'S THE STAR . SO I LOOKED

AT ELVIS AND I LOOKED AT THE MAKE UP MAN AND I SAID HE WINKED AT YOU RIGHT? NO I REALLY AM THE STAR SAID ELVIS . SO ELVIS STARTED TO FOLLOW ME AROUND , HE WANTED TO TALK ABOUT VEGAS . HE SAID THAT HE FLOPPED THERE BUT HE WAS GOING TO GO BACK AND BE A STAR . I SAID OH SURE , THE MORE I TEASED HIM THE MORE HE LOVED IT. I MEAN EVERYONE WAS APPLAUDING HIM EVERYWHERE HE WENT , TRYING TO ATTACH THEMSELVES TO HIM . TO ME HE WAS JUST A KID , I'M EIGHT YEARS OLDER THAN ELVIS. BUT EVERYONE WAS LATCHING ON TO HIM BECAUSE HE WAS ON HIS WAY UP THE LADDER. HE HAD THE MEMPHIS MAFIA WITH HIM AT THE TIME.

 

 

DID YOU HAVE ANY RUN INS WITH THE MEMPHIS MAFIA?
 
I REMEMBER TALKING TO LAMAR FIKE , HE SEEMED TO HAVE A NICE PERSONALITY , HE WAS JOLLY AND JOVIAL , VERY PLEASANT. HE WAS THE ONLY ONE THAT ACTUALLY SPOKE TO ME. THE OTHERS JUST LOOKED
 
.
BUT I MET ELVIS SEVERAL TIMES. I MET HIM BEFORE
THE MOVIE AND AFTER THE MOVIE. ELVIS TOOK ME OUT TO LUNCH , HE WANTED TO APOLOGIZE TO ME. HE SAID HE WAS RUDE BACK IN VEGAS WHEN I FIRST MET HIM .
 
WHY WAS HE RUDE?
 
THAT'S IN MY BOOK. I DANCED BEFORE THE KING.
 
YOU HAVE SOME GREAT PHOTOS ON YOUR SITE, GLORIA
 
YES I HAVE A COUPLE GROOVY PHOTOS . THERE IS A PICTURE OF ELVIS LOOKING UP AT ME WHILE I AM DOING A DANCE AND THERE IS A GREAT SHOT OF MY LEGS.
 
VERY FAMOUS PHOTO
 
IN THIRTY FIVE YEARS  I DIDN'T SEE THAT PHOTO , THEN A FAN SENT IT TO ME . I SAID THOSE ARE MY LEGS! IT WAS ALL OVER THE WORLD AND I DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT IT. (LAUGHING) ANOTHER THING I SAY IS THE PICTURE WAS ALL OVER THE PLANET AND I NEVER LEFT TOWN.
 
I DON 'T THINK THERE IS A ELVIS FAN THAT DOESN'T KNOW THOSE LEGS. YOU HAVE VERY FAMOUS LEGS . BEAUTIFUL LEGS I MUST SAY GLORIA!
 
THANK YOU ,THEY HAVE BEEN SUPPORTING ME FOR YEARS THOSE LEGS.
 
WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU SAW ELVIS GLORIA?
 
WELL I GUESS IT WAS IN 1977 IN JULY . I WAS MARRIED AND I HAD A TEN YEAR OLD SON . WE WERE LIVING IN ATLANTA AT THE TIME. I WANTED TO GO SEE MY FRIENDS IN CALIFORNIA , SO WE STOPPED OFF AT GRACELAND . MY HEX HUSBAND , I CALL HIM . BECAUSE HE GAVE ME A HARD TIME. WE WENT TO THE GATES AND WE WERE TALKING TO HIS UNCLE VESTER. I SAID TO HIM IS ELVIS IN TOWN? HE SAID HE WAS , WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE HIM? I SAID I WOULD , BUT MY HEX HUSBAND SAID WE DON 'T HAVE TIME , WE HAVE A LONG DRIVE TO CALIFORNIA . WE WILL STOP BACK ON OUR WAY BACK HOME. I SAID I REALLY WANT TO SEE HIM NOW . I WANTED MY SON TO VISIT WITH LISA MARIE , THEY WERE THE SAME AGE . MY EX WAS A CAR DEALER AND HE NEW ALL ABOUT CARS . I TOLD HOW MUCH ELVIS LOVED CARS AND A BRIEF VISIT WOULD BE FUN . SO WHEN MY EX SAID WE WILL SEE HIM ON THE WAY BACK , AS YOU KNOW THAT WOULD BE IMPOSSIBLE. BECAUSE WE LOST HIM VERY SOON AFTER THAT.
 
IT SOUNDS LIKE YOUR HUSBAND MAY HAVE BEEN A LITTLE JEALOUS OF ELVIS.
 
NO HE WAS JUST BOSSY. EVERYTHING HAD TO BE DONE HIS WAY.
 
GLORIA DID YOU GO OUT ON A DATE MORE THEN ONCE?
 
NO WE JUST WENT OUT TO LUNCH DURING THE MOVIE , HE TOOK ME TO THE COMMISSARY .HE HAD HIS FAMOUS PEANUT BUTTER AND BANANA SANDWICH . IT WAS PRETTY GROSS. HE LIKED IT DEEP FRIED.
 
HOW WAS ELVIS TO THE MOVIE CREW?
 
I DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT ANYTHING ELSE OTHER THEN HE WAS FOLLOWING ME AROUND LIKE A PUPPY DOG.
 
I DON 'T BLAME HIM.
 
I TURNED AROUND AND ASKED HIM WHY HE WAS FOLLOWING ME , HE SAID HE WANTED TO TALK TO ME ABOUT VEGAS. WHAT DO YOU WANT TO SAY , YOU FLOPPED THERE . WHAT DO YOU WANT TO SAY? I JUST WANTED YOU TO KNOW , WHEN I GO BACK TO VEGAS , I'M GOING BACK AS A STAR . I SAID OH YEAH SURE. (LAUGHING)
 
YOU KNOW GLORIA WHEN HE WENT BACK IN THE 70S TO PLAY VEGAS , HE WAS A LITTLE AFRAID BECAUSE OF WHAT HAPPENED TO HIM EARLIER IN HIS CAREER.
 
WELL IT DIDN'T BOTHER HIM TOO MUCH THEN , BECAUSE THERE WAS A STAG LINE FULL OF GIRLS WANTING TO GET INTO HIS DRESSING ROOM . I REMEMBER THERE WAS THIS BIG STAND UP OUTSIDE , BUT I DIDN'T KNOW WHO HE WAS.
 
SO GLORIA HOW BAD WAS HE? OR WAS IT BECAUSE THE PEOPLE WHO WERE THERE WERE THE WRONG AGE FOR A ROCKIN KID FROM MEMPHIS ? WASN'T VEGAS AT THAT TIME FOR OLDER PEOPLE?
 
YES THAT'S RIGHT THE OLDER PEOPLE WERE IN THE CASINO , THE KIDS COULD NOT GET IN. HIS FANS WERE THE YOUNG KIDS THEY ALL NEEDED AN IDOL AND THERE HE WAS.
 
I CAN JUST IMAGINE THOSE GRANDPARENTS LOOKING UP AT ELVIS SHAKING HIS THING.
 
I SAID TO MYSELF , WHAT IS IT WITH THIS KID?  (LAUGHING) I WAS SITTING WITH LAURY CALHOON AND HIS WIFE RITA BARRON AND DANNY (FROM DANNY'S HIDE AWAY IN NEW YORK ) THEY SAT US RING SIDE , HE WASN'T WEARING ANYTHING SPECIAL . A TWEED JACKET AND BAGGIE PANTS . HE WASN'T THAT GREAT . WE FIGURED HE WAS A FLASH IN THE PAN. HOW WRONG WE WERE! HE WAS ALWAYS VERY NICE TO ME. WHILE WE WERE THERE HE CALLED THE STUDIO PHOTOGRAPHER TO TAKE SOME PHOTO'S OF US. THE ONES THAT CAN BE FOUND ON MY SITE . HE ALSO TOOK LOTS MORE , HOW I WISH I HAD THOSE.
 
YOU DON 'T KNOW WHERE THEY ARE ?
 
I NEVER SAW THEM , THERE WERE PICTURES OF ELVIS WITH HIS ARM AROUND ME , PHOTO'S OF US JUST LOOKING AT EACH  OTHER. THERE WERE OTHER PHOTO'S FROM THE SAME SERIES OF THE ONE WHEN ELVIS IS IN MY DRESSING ROOM . HE MUST HAVE  TAKEN A ROLL , LORD KNOWS WHERE THEY ARE NOW . THAT'S ONE OF MY GREAT FRUSTRATIONS , BUT I CAN'T GET MY HANDS ON THEM . IF I GO TO THE ACADEMY OF RADIO AND TELEVISION , I CAN SEE THEM . THEY HAVE THEM THERE BUT THEY WON 'T LET YOU HAVE A COPY .
 
OF YOUR OWN WORK ?
 
NO , THEY WILL NOT GIVE ME COPIES.
 
SO YOU DIDN'T THINK HE WOULD AMOUNT TO ANYTHING?
 
JOE WE ALL THOUGHT  HE WAS A FLASH IN THE PAN , NO BODY BEFORE EVER GOT UP AND ACTED LIKE THAT . HE WAS ORIGINAL , HE JUST WASN'T OUR CUP OF TEA. WE WERE LISTENING TO NAT KING COLE AND FRANK SINATRA , NOT A YOUNG KID THAT DANCED LIKE HE WAS ON SOMETHING. IT WASN'T UNTIL I SAW HIS FIRST MOVIE , I SAID OH THIS KID IS GOING TO BE SOMETHING BIG.
 
WELL YOU ARE HONEST.
DO YOU HAVE ANY OTHER ELVIS STORIES GLORIA?
 
IT WAS I THINK IN 1957 IT WAS HALLOWEEN , I WENT TO A PARTY WITH A YOUNG MAN THAT LATER BECAME THE PRESIDENT OF PARAMOUNT PICTURES . WE WENT TO THIS PARTY , WE SAW A GROUP OF GUYS THAT WERE WEARING BLACK LEATHER AND WAS STANDING NEXT TO MOTOR CYCLES. I SAID LOOK AT THAT GROUP , AND HE SAID YEAH AND LOOK AT ALL THE PRETTY GIRLS STANDING AROUND HIM. I SAID , OH THAT'S A FRIEND OF MINE. COME ON OVER I WILL INTRODUCE YOU. SO WE WALKED OVER TO YOU KNOW WHO. I SAID BOB , I WANT YOU TO MEET MARLON BRANDO . ELVIS STARTED LAUGHING BECAUSE THERE WAS A MOVIE CALLED THE WILD ONES . STARRING NO OTHER THAN MARLON BRANDO. HE WAS APART OF A MOTOR CYCLE GANG , ELVIS WAS DRESSED JUST LIKE BRANDO. SO ELVIS WAS LAUGHING , AND HE SAID ITS NICE TO MEET YOU BOB . BOB SAID ITS NICE TO MEET YOU MARLON. AFTER WE LEFT THEY WERE ALL STILL LAUGHING BECAUSE THEY ALL NEW IT WAS ELVIS.
I MET ELVIS ONE TIME IN TRAFFIC , IT WAS IN 1958 I THINK . I WAS DRIVING DOWN SUNSET BLVD. I HAD A 1957 LAVENDER T-BIRD , AND I HAD ON A LAVENDER , HAT , TOP , AND GLASSES. OF COURSE THE TOP WAS DOWN , BOTH OF THEM . I'M KIDDING! NO JUST THE TOP WAS DOWN. (LAUGHING) ALL OF A SUDDEN THIS BIG LIMO PULLED UP NEXT TO ME. THE WINDOW GOES DOWN SLOWLY AND SOMEONE SAYS. HEY MAM , I SURE LIKE THAT OUTFIT YOUR WEARING. I LOOKED OVER AND SON OF A GUN IT WAS ELVIS. I SAID ITS ME , AND I LIFTED UP MY SUN GLASSES , ITS GLORIA , GLORIA PALL. HE SAID HEY FOLLOW US , WE'RE GOING TO HAVE A PARTY. I SAID OK , I WILL TRY . BECAUSE I WAS BESIDE HIM , AND THERE WAS HEAVY TRAFFIC SO IT WAS NOT EASY TO GET BEHIND HIM TO FOLLOW HIM. SO I STARTED WEAVING AND THIS MOTOR CYCLE COPS PULLS UP AND SAYS WHERE DO YOU THINK YOUR GOING? I SAID , DO YOU KNOW WHO'S IN THAT LIMO? HE SAID WHAT LIMO? I SAID ITS DOWN THERE NOW ! HE SAID WHO? I SAID THAT'S ELVIS! ELVIS FOLLOW ME , SO HE GAVE ME A POLICE ESCORT BUT WE STILL LOST HIM IN TRAFFIC. HERE I MISSED THIS WONDERFUL PARTY.
 

 

GLORIA DID YOU RUN INTO COLONEL PARKER AT ALL ?
 
I DON 'T REMEMBER SEEING HIM . BUT I HEARD A LOT OF THINGS ABOUT HIM. I NEVER MET ANYONE THAT SAID ANYTHING NICE ABOUT HIM. HE WORKED POOR ELVIS TO DEATH IN THE 70S. I HEAR TO PAY OFF HIS GAMBLING DEPTS. ELVIS HAD TO MUCH PRESSURE , HE COULDN'T SLEEP . SO HE TOOK SOMETHING FOR THAT . HIS NERVES GOT TO HIM SO HE TOOK SOMETHING FOR THAT. ITS ENOUGH TO MAKE ANYBODY EXPLODE.
 
SO GLORIA WHAT ARE YOU DOING NOW ?
 
I HAVE WRITTEN 14 BOOKS , AND I HAVE ABOUT THREE SITTING HERE IN MY OFFICE . YELLING AT ME TO FINISH THEM . MY BOOKS ARE ABOUT THE INDUSTRY AND ALL THE PEOPLE I WORKED WITH. WHAT HAPPENED ON THE SET , WITH LOADS OF PHOTOS. BOOKS OF HOW I WAS A COVER GIRL , PHOTOS OF AT LEAST TWENTY COVERS.
 
I WENT TO YOUR SITE AND I CHECKED OUT THOSE COVERS! YOU WERE HOT GIRL.
 
THAT'S WHY I WORE BIKINIS BECAUSE I WAS SO HOT ! (LAUGHING)

 

 

GLORIA PALL WEBSITE