Elvis Presley Wanted to Be an ‘Avenger’ but Wouldn’t Put Himself at Risk

<p id=”par-1_69″><a href=”https://www.cheatsheet.com/tag/elvis-presley/”>Elvis Presley</a> had a team of employees who were willing to step into the line of fire for him. Elvis <a href=”https://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/elvis-presley-seemed-disappointed-shot-terrifying-concert.html/”>received death threats</a>, meaning that his bodyguards had to be constantly alert. He also expected them to settle other, non-safety-related grievances for him. After a handful of dangerous encounters, one bodyguard realized that if Elvis wanted to be an avenger, he should be willing to put himself at risk.</p>

<h2 class=”wp-block-heading” id=”h-elvis-presley-s-bodyguard-thought-the-singer-should-fight-his-own-battles”>Elvis Presley’s bodyguard thought the singer should fight his own battles</h2>

<p id=”par-2_77″>As Elvis grew bored of his career, he began to think of himself as a righteous defender of justice. He’d long been fascinated with law enforcement, even occasionally joining them on drug raids. He sought out <a href=”https://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/elvis-nearly-wept-federal-narcotics-badge.html/”>a federal narcotics badge</a>, imagining that he would be able to use it to get drugs off the street. Elvis also sent his bodyguards out on errands to avenge people he believed had been wronged. Often, the wronged parties were his step-brothers. </p>

<p id=”par-3_40″>“He had complained that this big guy was hassling [his stepbrother Billy Stanley] and his girlfriend,” bodyguard Sonny West said in the book <em><a href=”https://www.amazon.com/Elvis-What-Happened-Steve-Dunleavy/dp/0345272153″ target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener”>Elvis: What Happened?</a></em> by Steve Dunleavy. “Elvis wanted me to take care of the guy, whip up on him.”</p>

<figure class=”wp-block-image size-full” id=”emb-1″><img decoding=”async” width=”1200″ height=”1121″ src=”https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/04/Elvis-bodyguards.jpg?strip=all&quality=89″ alt=”Elvis has a towel around his neck and wears sunglasses. He walks with his bodyguards. ” class=”wp-image-3646854″ srcset=”https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/04/Elvis-bodyguards.jpg 1200w, https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/04/Elvis-bodyguards.jpg?w=535&h=500 535w, https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/04/Elvis-bodyguards.jpg?w=1024&h=957 1024w, https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/04/Elvis-bodyguards.jpg?w=768&h=717 768w, https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/04/Elvis-bodyguards.jpg?w=375&h=350 375w, https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/04/Elvis-bodyguards.jpg?w=181&h=169 181w, https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/04/Elvis-bodyguards.jpg?w=200&h=187 200w, https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/04/Elvis-bodyguards.jpg?w=543&h=507 543w, https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/04/Elvis-bodyguards.jpg?w=64&h=60 64w” sizes=”(max-width: 1200px) 100vw, 1200px”><figcaption class=”wp-element-caption”>Elvis and bodyguards | Tom Wargacki/WireImage</figcaption></figure>

<p id=”par-4_55″>Sonny West said that the confrontation ended up being incredibly “embarrassing,” as the man didn’t appear to be a threat at all. This wasn’t always the case, though. Once, Elvis’ bodyguards confronted a group of people who fought the singer’s stepbrothers. The men were unapologetic and pointed a hunting rifle directly at bodyguard Red West.</p>

<p id=”par-5_73″>“I can see that gun pointing at my belly to this day,” Red said. “It was a damn fool thing to get into, but it just goes to show you how we would react to Elvis’s orders. I always figured if he wanted to be the avenger, he should go out and do this stuff himself. It’s too easy to get killed. And for what? Just because you are taking orders. No, sir.”</p>

<h2 class=”wp-block-heading” id=”h-elvis-presley-made-his-entourage-want-to-defend-him”>Elvis Presley made his entourage want to defend him</h2>

<p id=”par-6_24″>While Red West bristled at Elvis’ lack of concern about his bodyguards’ safety, he was still willing to do almost anything for the singer.</p>

<p id=”par-7_47″>“He demands fanatical loyalty, expects it,” Red said. “There have been times that I have felt that Elvis bordered on being a bit of a nut, but look at the loyalty we gave the man. We broke our backs for him. We’ve risked our lives for him.”</p>

<p id=”par-8_17″>He explained that Elvis held power over him even if he disagreed with some of his behavior.</p>

<p id=”par-9_79″>“I have risked getting my fool-a** head blown off for him,” Red said. “He certainly had a power over us. He certainly had a control over me, I admit it. We didn’t do it for the money, because we never got much. We didn’t do it for the women, because we had all had that and we are all married. We didn’t do it for the excitement, because we were all a bit old for that kind of thing.”</p>

<h2 class=”wp-block-heading” id=”h-he-occasionally-put-himself-in-the-middle-of-things”>He occasionally put himself in the middle of things</h2>

<p id=”par-10_67″>While Elvis often sent out his bodyguards to do his bidding, he still sometimes put himself in the center of things. Though he <a href=”https://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/elvis-told-bizarre-lie-snapping-mans-neck-helping-drug-raid.html/”>made up stories</a> about his involvement with police business, he did join them on drug raids. He also involved himself in fights between complete strangers. After seeing a disagreement at a gas station, Elvis pulled the car over and tried to put a stop to it.</p>

<figure class=”wp-block-image size-full” id=”emb-2″><img decoding=”async” loading=”lazy” width=”1200″ height=”1107″ src=”https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/Elvis_44b27b.jpg?strip=all&quality=89″ alt=”Elvis wears white pants and a white shirt. He walks in front of Graceland.” class=”wp-image-3644493″><figcaption class=”wp-element-caption”>Elvis Presley | Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images</figcaption></figure>

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<p id=”par-11_41″>“He jumped out of the car, Jerry [Schilling] and Sonny [West] following him,” Priscilla wrote in her book <em>Elvis and Me</em>. “Going up to one of the men, he said, ‘Hey, if you want to give somebody trouble, give it to me.’”</p>

<p id=”par-12_15″>Priscilla said that Elvis <a href=”https://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/priscilla-presley-said-support-fantasy-elvis-good-fighting.html/”>wasn’t good at fighting</a>, but he managed to break up the disagreement.</p>

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