Eric Clapton meeting Elvis Presley
Source: Jerry Schilling
December 8, 2007
Jerry Schilling: That happened through my friend, Richard Cole, who was Led Zeppelin's road manager. After Zeppelin met Elvis, I became pretty good friends with Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and Richard Cole. I hung out a lot with all of them. I hadn't seen Richard in a year or so, and he called me and said he was doing the 'I Shot The Sheriff' tour with Eric Clapton.
Richard said, 'We're doing this big show at the Mid-South Coliseum, and we're supposed to fly in and fly out, but Eric will come in the night before if he can meet Elvis'. I said, 'Richard, Elvis doesn't really meet many people'. I really felt bad because when I went to a Led Zeppelin concert I'd sit on the side of the stage with Peter Grant bringing me Dom Perignon champagne. I said, 'We go to movies quite a bit, so let me see if it's okay with Elvis if he comes to one of the movies'. I said to Elvis, 'You remember Richard Cole?' And he said, 'Crazy Richard'. I told him he was the tour manager for this tour and that Eric Clapton was this great guitar player. Is it okay if we go to the movies that I bring him by and introduce him?' He said, 'Yeah, that would be okay'. We were down at the Circle G Ranch in cowboy boots and cowboy hats driving our trucks. As we're going to the movie theater, I reminded Elvis that Eric Clapton was gonna be there. We drove up, and there's two limousines, and there's Elvis in a truck wearing a cowboy hat. He goes, 'Who in the fuck is Eric Clapton? Goddamn limousines! Why does he have to bring a fuckin' limousine to a movie theater?' I said, 'Oh my God, what am I gonna do?' Then, to top it, Elvis always sits in a certain place in the theater, and Eric's sitting there (laughs). It's like rubbing salt in the injury.
I made the introductions, and Eric was just his wonderful self, and he said everything right. Elvis liked him immediately. We stood and talked for about 15 minutes, and then it was time to start the movie. Elvis invited him and his wife, Pattie, to stay and watch the film. Then he went out to the bathroom, and someone would always go with him. When we go out there, he said, 'Hey, you know that Eric is a pretty nice guy' (laughs). I told Eric that story years later when Scotty Moore was being inducted at The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame. I went up to him and introduced myself, and he said, 'I know you, Jerry. You introduced me to Elvis'. I said, 'Well, could I introduce you to Scotty Moore?' and he said, 'Where is he?' So I got to make that introduction.
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Tupelo's Own Elvis Presley DVD + 16 page booklet.
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