Elvis Aaron Presley is a musician and actor who rose to fame in the mid-1950s—on the radio, TV and the silver screen—and continues to be one of the biggest names in rock 'n' roll, and is often referred to as "The King of Rock and Roll", or simply, "The King". By the early 1970s, Elvis remained a popular draw in Las Vegas and on tour despite wrestling with several personal problems, including a growing addiction to prescription drugs, weight gain because of poor diet, his divorce to Priscilla and the loss of custody to his daughter, and not having the same appeal with younger audiences that he did in his early career. In 1973, his frustration with his record label RCA and his manager, Colonel Tom Parker, has caused him to reconsider his legacy, and desires to take his career in a new direction. He is based on the historical figure of the same name.
Episode 7: The King and I Edit
In 1973, Richie Finestra and Zak Yankovich fly to Los Angeles to sell the company's private plane to a rival record mogul, but Zak and Richie don’t jump on their scheduled flight back; instead, they head to a Malibu beach party with the intent to “steal half his roster". At the party, Richie overhears two record executives discussing an alleged rumor that Elvis Presley is unhappy with RCA Records and is looking to switch labels. This gives him the idea to fly to Las Vegas and pitch to Elvis and his manager, Colonel Tom Parker, about joining American Century Records to increase prestige to their label with the idea of having "The King of Rock and Roll" as the front-runner of the label.
Richie and Zak arrive at the hotel and meet with the Colonel. They are given tickets for Elvis's show and are both told to wait for his call and that if he likes what he hears, he'll allow them to speak to him and Elvis. At the show, he performs Polk Salad Annie to a crowd of mostly middle aged and elderly women while Zak is thoroughly disappointed to see "The King" in his overweight and unhealthy state and nothing more but a shadow of his former self. He sees his lackluster performance as the biggest tragedy in the world and firmly states that "Rock and roll has died tonight!" Richie recognizes his disappointment and decides to meet with Elvis alone while Zak fools around with the two Vegas girls they met earlier by the pool to prevent any setbacks, and sells him the idea of getting back to the basics and recording a real rock & roll album again. Seeing how his appeal to a younger generation is gone and having to be forced to sing to "old ladies", he attempts to sell him the ’68 Comeback Special again, to repeat history and make one more raw album to appeal to both old and new generations of fans. He initially agrees to his deal, until the Colonel bursts through the door, incensed that he didn't wait for his call. Elvis cowers in the Colonel's presence, and asks Richie to fill him in on their conversation. Before he has a chance to explain his offer, he requests Elvis to perform a martial arts demonstration that he once taught Richard Nixon's secret service on him, which leaves a startled Richie on the floor, with Elvis pointing a pistol at his face. He then leaves the room to sleep and the Colonel tells Richie to leave.
Songs featured on Vinyl (HBO) Edit
The King and I Edit
- Polk Salad Annie (1970) - Elvis Presley
- Elvis Presley is played by Shawn Klush, an Elvis tribute artist and impersonator of over ten years; he has many times been dubbed "The closest to 'The King' in concert."