Elvis Presley first met Priscilla Presley when she was just 14-years-old. Before long, they were in a relationship, and the King conditioned her to be the woman he wanted her to be. On May 1, 1967, Elvis and Priscilla were married in secret in Las Vegas, Nevada. From then on, she was officially a part of his life and his career.
But on one occasion Elvis asked Priscilla her opinion on his music, and he didn’t like the answer.
At the time, Priscilla was expected to be seen and not heard. He even controlled what clothes she would wear. And shortly after she arrived in the USA for the first time Priscilla stepped over the line Elvis had set out for her.
She recalled the event in her memoir, Elvis and Me, when she was listening to some songs before they were released to the public.
Priscilla wrote: “He asked me what I thought of each song and since I knew what the kids back in Europe were listening to I felt my comments might be helpful. At least I wanted to believe they were.” She told Elvis: “I really like the fast-paced ones like Jailhouse Rock.”
However, her next comment sent Elvis into a rage.
Priscilla followed up by saying: “Why don’t you record more songs like that? These don’t seem as much like rock and roll as your earlier records.”
Elvis instantly turned on Priscilla.
She penned: “Elvis shot me a look of such pure disgust that I was petrified.”
He shouted at her: “God damn it. I didn’t ask for your opinion on what style I should sing. I asked if you like the songs, that’s all. Yes or no.” The King yelled: “I get enough amateur opinions as it is.”
Although Priscilla’s comment frustrated Elvis, she was right. Jailhouse Rock is one of the star’s best-known songs of all time. At the time it was certified 2x Platinum for selling more than two million copies worldwide. Jailhouse Rock also topped the Billboard charts.
The track was taken from the film of the same name, which starred Elvis as Vince Everett, a jailbird who had hidden talents.
This wasn’t the only time Elvis was aggressive towards Priscilla.
Priscilla recalled doing her homework at home with Elvis when he hit her on the head. She wrote: “I remember sitting down doing my homework, and when I would look up at him, he would slap me on my forehead and say: ‘Don’t do that, it gives you wrinkles on your forehead.'”
Priscilla looked back on being just a girl at school: “At the time I didn’t even think about wrinkles back then!”