It's been 40 years since the king of rock 'n' roll died, but his legend lives on. Here's five fun facts you probably didn't know about the king
1. A pair of his soiled pants were once put up for auction
In September 2012, a framed pair of Elvis’ soiled underpants were put up for auction in Manchester. The light blue cotton boxer shorts, complete with stubborn brown understains, had been worn by Presley beneath one of his famous white rhinestone jumpsuits during a gig in 1977 – the year of his death aged just 42. The grubby grundies were expected to sell for several thousands of pounds, but incredibly no one wanted to buy the King’s skiddy undercrackers! Funny that.
2. Elvis floored Muhammad Ali with a karate kick
When Muhammad Ali turned up at one of Elvis’ Las Vegas shows in 1973, the king was thrilled. He was a huge admirer of the legendary boxer, and so on being told he was in the crowd Elvis announced – ‘In the audience tonight we have a fella who says he is the greatest, and he IS the greatest – Muhammad Ali’. At which point Ali stood up, pointed at Elvis and shouted – ‘No, you’re the greatest!’
Backstage the men chatted, with Elvis confessing to Ali that he too would like to try boxing. By now Elvis was already a black belt in karate, but Ali pooh-poohed the idea, telling Elvis he was ‘too pretty’ to be a boxer. At which point Elvis, who was 6ft tall, leapt to his feet and struck a karate stance. Ali, who was two inches taller than Elvis, leapt to his feet and struck a boxing pose. For a few seconds the pair eyeballed one another, then with one swift move Elvis kicked Ali’s legs from under him, and the world boxing champ hit the deck! While Elvis and Ali’s bodyguard’s froze, the two superstars suddenly burst out laughing. It was the beginning of a firm friendship, Elvis even getting a special white rhinestone gown made for the boxer, with the words People’s Choice written on the back.
3. Elvis died while having a poop
Sadly, this King was sat on the throne when the grim reaper finally came knocking. Due to years of chronic prescription drug abuse and unhealthy eating, Elvis suffered not just from morbid obesity, but an array of health problems including glaucoma, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and an enlarged colon. Elvis also suffered from chronic constipation which meant a trip to the toilet could last quite a while. So on the afternoon of August 16th 1977, Elvis decided to take a book about the Turin Shroud to the loo with him. Struggling to move his bowels, Elvis began straining, when he suddenly had a massive heart attack and fell onto the bathroom floor, his book dropping beside him. He died face down in the foetal position, aged just 42 years old.
4. Elvis had naturally blond hair
Yep, you read that right! The man famous for his jet black quiff was actually a natural blond. As a child his hair was extremely fair, darkening to a light sandy blonde in his teens. It’s said he first started dying it black while he was at high school because he thought it made him look ‘edgier’. Either way, he continued dying his hair until the end of his life.
5. Elvis had an identical twin
Elvis indeed had an identical twin brother name Jesse Garon Presley. But tragically, Jesse was stillborn 35 minutes before baby Elvis was born. Elvis is said to have felt his twin’s loss keenly, and often spoke as a child of having ‘conversations’ with his dead twin. It’s mind-blowing to wonder what may have happened if Jesse had survived. Would he have shared his brother’s incredible voice as well as his looks? Sadly the world will never know.
Because the Presley family were incredibly poor when Elvis was born, Jesse was buried in an unmarked grave. In tribute to his beloved brother, a memorial headstone was erected in Graceland. As to the location of Jess’s actual grave? No one knows for sure, though theories abound. Watch the video below to see one man’s theory as to the final resting place of Elvis Presley’s twin.