A Tale of Two Kings

  • Post by  Stephen Tullius Jul 13, 2012
As I was making a playlist for our ride to Sturgis, I felt in the mood for some nostalgic music, and decided to delve into my Elvis and Cash collection. We all know who Elvis is right? But how much do we really know about "The King" besides that signature haircut and voice. Well, follow LRS as we explore a bit about the King and his love for the King of the Road, Harley-Davidson in this edition of LRS Myths, Legends and Tales from the Road....

If you don't know who Elvis Presley is, well chances are you've been living under a rock for that last hundred years. While Elvis is well known, and his music much beloved, he had another passion besides music, women and drugs. Elvis was a Harley- Davidson enthusiast.
Elvis Presley was born January 8th, 1935. He is probably one of the most well known singers of the 20th century and a cultural icon of his period. During his career he released hit after hit and became labeled as the "King of Rock n' Roll". Elvis was conscripted into military service in 1958, which he worried, would end his singing career. After his basic training, he would be deployed to Germany, and be attached to the 3rd Armored Division. While there, he became introduced to the amphetamines by ones of his sergeants. Throughout his time in the military he convinced others to join him in indulging in the benefits of amphetamines.
  

Presley also learned Karate while in the military, and found a deep enjoyment from it. He studied Karate seriously and later would even use it in his performances. He was adamant that he be treated like any other soldier, and even donated his arm pay to charity and bought his base televisions, and his fellow soldiers extra fatigues. He was honorably discharged as a sergeant in 1960. Once home He continued his career, which was more popular than ever. He also continued his love affair with the Harley Davidson. Unfortunately, his lifestyle and his experimentation with drugs led to his ultimate demise. He gained wait and his health failed. He tragically was found dead on August 16, 1977.
Elvis Taking Possession of his Harley-Davidson FLH
      30 years after his death, Harley would release a limited number of Elvis Presley Signature edition softails modeled after the 1957 FLH model that Elvis was fond of. The replica started out as a 2007 soft tail and cosmetically overhauled to look like the 1975 FLH that Elvis was know to ride. The first replica sold for just over 100K, and the bikes numbered 2-24 went for $58,000 . Purchase of one of these 25 motorcycles included a limited edition print of Elvis taking ownership of his 1975 Harley (shown above) , a bronze of the bike to match, as well as a pre-delivery party at Graceland in Memphis, Tn.
Delivery of Elvis Signature Series Bikes at Graceland
Elvis Signature Series #1 of 24



A few films in which evlis rode a motorcycle:



In "Roustabout" Elvis is a wandering singer, Charlie, who gets fired and hits the road on his motorcycle.  After crashing his motorcycle he then takes on a job as a Roustabout in a carnival.  Charlie falls for the co-manager's daughter, Cathy (Joan Freeman).  His singing makes the carnival do very well, but after some troubles he quits his job and goes elsewhere.  Still, he is needed back to save the carnival.
Elvis sings "Roustabout", "Poison Ivy League", Wheels on my Heels", It's a Wonderful World", "It's a Carnival Time", "Carny Town", "One Track Heart", "Hard Knocks", "Little Egypt", "Big Love, Big Heartache", and "There's a Brand New Day on the Horizon".

 Pilot Mike Edwards (Elvis Presley) finds himself in a dilemma. His partner and friend Danny (Gary Lockwood, Wild in the Country, 2001: A Space Odyssey) has gambled away the money Mike had set aside to pay their debts. Since they now have no money and a $1,200 debt, the local sheriff takes possession of their plane, Bessie, a cropduster. If they can't come up with the money in twelve days, Bessie will be auctioned off to the highest bidder.

While Elvis may be gone, his memory and his music will live on as many who own bikes blast his songs while breathing the free air of the road from the back of a Harley Davidson motorcycle. So while you roll down the highway, maybe you can't help but feel "all shook up" as you feel the freedom of cruising on your Harley Davidson. Stay tuned next week for another LRS Myths, Legends, and Tales from the Road...
 

Elvis And Mary Kathleen Selph On His Motorcycle In Memphis Tn June 30, 1972