My Raymond used to know this bloke from the Rose and Crown who told him an amazing story about something that happened in 1977. This bloke in the pub had a cousin in Birmingham who knew about this bloke called Dennis Pizzler, who was a big fat bloke who lived with his mother in Walsall. He smoked 80 Marlboroughs a day, ate nothing but full English breakfasts, and drank nothing that didn’t have alcohol in it.
He was also a big fan of a certain American singer called Elvis Presley. He had all the records, and magazines, and had even started recording videos of the films off the telly on betamax. He even looked a bit like Elvis, apart from his straggly hair and the scar he above his right eye from cycling accident he had had at the age of 11 in 1947 where he had gone over the handlebars and banged his head on a metal gatepost. Apparently, he used to write to Elvis regularly, telling him about the ups and downs of life in the West Midlands, his worries about the future, his failed attempts to form relationships with women, his health problems, stuff like that. He bared his soul to Elvis. He used to say that when he listened to Elvis Records, he felt like Elvis was the only person in the whole world who could understand him. He even told Elvis that in more than one of those letters. Of course, Elvis never replied.
Until July 1977. In that month, Dennis got a letter back from Elvis inviting him to Graceland! There was even a plane ticket for him to go to America. Airport connections with National Express and Greyhound buses had also been sorted out. He was stunned, he was over the moon. He couldn’t believe it. The only thing was that Elvis said that he mustn’t tell anyone about the trip. He didn’t either, except for his mother. And she told her sister. And she mentioned it to her son, who told a bloke who went in the Rose and Crown, and he told my Raymond.
Dennis flew to America on Friday August 12th 1977. He never came back. The world was stunned by the announcement of Elvis Presley’s death on Tuesday August 16th. Millions of Elvis fans went to pay their respects, and watched his funeral cortège slowly progress through the streets of Memphis. Even Barbara Windsor went. It didn’t take her long to fly over on Concorde. She cried her eyes out at the funeral. But Dennis never came back.
His mother came into a lot of money, all of a sudden. She moved to Four Oaks, and ended her days with private care assistants.
Apparently there was a bloke who looked a lot like Elvis used to visit her now and again. It wasn’t her Dennis though. He never came back from Graceland. This bloke came from way down near Brighton or somewhere.
Have a look at that photo of Elvis in his coffin. Look closely above his eye. I’m not saying anything. I’ve probably said too much already…
Auntie Doris’s top popper of 1977. “Way Down” by Elvis Presley… “Way down, where it feels so good. Way down, where I hoped it would. Way down where I never could…… Way down… Way on Down.”