Interview: Lisa Marie Presley Sees Her Father's Spirit in Her Kids

By: Craig Shelburne
Source: CMT
October 27, 2012

Elvis Presley Home

Lisa Marie Presley turned her new music video 'I Love You Because' into a family affair. Elvis Presley fans will cherish hearing her sing with her late father and seeing home movie footage of the King, as well as his grandchildren. Elvis Presley recorded 'I Love You Because' in 1954 at the Sun Records studio in Memphis, Tenn. His daughter added her vocals recently in Santa Monica, Calif., after consulting with producer T Bone Burnett who presented her with the idea of 'I Love You Because' as a special song for her fans.

The special video for 'I Love You Because' was intended to be viewed only by the 25,000 fans attending an annual Elvis Presley tribute concert in Memphis, but she agreed to share it with the fans and release it via iTunes. In addition to footage of her parents, the video also features her 4-year-old twin girls Finley and Harper, 19-year-old Benjamin and 23-year-old daughter Riley in never-before-seen family photos.

'Every five years, I try to do something special for the fans as a tribute', she said. 'I thought, 'OK, I really want to focus on the fact that I think his spirit lives in his grandchildren -- very much'.

'I thought it would be special for the fans to see that -- to focus the attention on that -- which made it intimate and sweet, because the song is like that. It felt really right'.

And how would she describe that spirit?

'Just 'him', she replies. 'They've all got a little bit of him in them'.

'They all have their own little traits, and I can just sense it, you know?'

In this interview, Presley chats about her Grand Ole Opry debut, her Southern roots and her fondness for country music -- especially Hee Haw.

When I saw your son in the video, I had to catch my breath.

He looks so much like Elvis. Does he get that reaction a lot?

He does! He was at the Opry and was the quiet storm behind the stage! (laughs) Everybody turned around and looked when he was over there. Everybody was grabbing him for a photo because it is just uncanny. Sometimes I am overwhelmed when I look at him.

Why did the offer to sing on the Opry appeal to you?

Why was it important for you to be there?

Because I grew up in Memphis, so I know about the Grand Ole Opry and I know about Hee Haw. I'm an admirer of both and always have been. I know the history of it, and it was an honor to be asked, to be honest. I was terrified, but I did it! (laughs)

If Hee Haw was still on, you could have jumped out of the cornfield.

If Hee Haw was still on, I would have been so excited. I loved that show. We did a press conference in the soundstage [where it was filmed]. I was really excited about that actually.

How much has country music influenced the music you're making now?

I grew up with country music. I was a huge fan of Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, Alabama, Lee Greenwood, Barbara Mandrell, Dolly Parton, Hank Williams, all of them. I think when you grow up with it, it's always there. And where I'm from, it's always in you. That's just a natural thing.

How often are you in Nashville?

I'm not here very often. I'm in Memphis a lot, but I don't get here enough. I drove in from Memphis. I've been here a few times. I played the Ryman a few years ago. I've come through on tour. A few years ago, someone brought me here to possibly get a deal and do a record here. I felt it was a little too contrived for me. I didn't want it to be something forced. I wanted it to be something natural. If something is too contrived, I won't do it.

Can you hear the Southern influence in the music you're making?

Yes, I can hear it. It's in me. I'm proud of my Southern roots, without question.

What is it about Southern music that really attracts you and intrigues you?

Just the honesty. The songwriting is so honest and usually gut-wrenching and heartbreaking. Incredible storytelling. That's the job of great singer-songwriters. That for sure influenced me.

What's a typical day for you now? Are you living in England?

I'm back and forth. We're kind of being gypsies at the moment. Someone asked us that earlier and we giggled because they asked us, 'Where do you live?' and I said, 'Wherever we are'. We're L.A. and England, back and forth, mostly.

So this record will have a long life then.

Because it's not a mainstream record. It's not a pop record. So it's one of those things where you go with it and follow it where it's going. We're just going wherever it leads. There's not a big plan. It's just to work it. We all kind of knew it was going to require work.

So when somebody asks you what the album sounds like or what kind of music you're making, do you find it hard to answer that?

I kind of just come up with this Americana/bluesy/rootsy record. It's more raw and a more vulnerable record. That's the only way I can describe it, really. It's not anything specific. It has elements of everything.

Has it always been a dream of yours to make records?

I've always loved music and I've always loved writing. So I've written my whole life and started songwriting in my early 20s. It's always been an outlet for me. This is my third record, and it's something that I love doing.

What is it about writing that satisfies you?

I think it helps me purge whatever demons and trouble. ... It helps me process things and exorcise things that are going on or that I've seen or that I've heard. And I try to take that and phrase it in such a way that other people can relate to it and make it universal. Like when somebody puts a name in a song, sometimes I'm like, 'Aargh! Too much information!' I want the listener to make it their own.

Are there any other music projects you're working on?

No, at the moment we're just working this record.

Do you have a dream record that you'd like to make someday?

No, I'm really proud of this one, I have to say.

LMP cuts 'bad' people from her life

Written by Bang Showbiz.

Lisa Marie Presley has removed the 'bad people' from her life.

The 44-year-old singer - the daughter of the late Elvis Presley and his wife Priscilla - has left Los Angeles to live in England and only felt ready to make a new album after making some other changes to her life.

The mother-of-four told The Sun newspaper: 'I just needed a break, a change of scenery. I had to get rid of everything that was around me. 'I felt I was in a draconian web that I had helped spin and I needed to unspin'.It was only by clearing out the bad people - 'friends', employees, everyone with the exception of my immediate family - that I was inspired to write songs again'.

Lisa Marie - who is believed to have quit Scientology earlier this year - believes the 'toxic' influences around her had left her 'angry, unhappy and disturbed' but she now feels much better about herself.

She added: 'I was very angry before. But I didn't know why I was angry because I could not see what was around me, what I was connected to'.I was surrounded by unbelievably disgusting, despicable and toxic people. I cannot even begin to explain it but it would make an incredible movie'.I was shadow-boxing. I was angry, unhappy and disturbed, and because my life was being controlled like I was a puppet. I was fighting a lot'.But getting away, waking up with the bad stuff gone, meant good stuff came up. I began to write again'.

The musician has been married to guitarist Michael Lockwood since 2006. She was previously wed to Danny Keough, the late Michael Jackson and Nicolas Cage.

More than anything I needed normal and I've found that in Sussex

Written by JACQUI SWIFT and GRAEME CULLIFORD | The Sun. October 17, 2012

Lisa Marie Presley champions life in rural England. AS the only child of Elvis and Priscilla Presley, daughter Lisa Marie was born into a world of fame and fortune on an almost unimaginable scale.

Elvis Presley Photos Aerial photo, Lisa Marie's Country Mansion in England : January 2011

But two years ago she turned her back on the glitz of showbiz capital Los Angeles for a quiet life in rural East Sussex. And now the 44-year-old singer and mum-of-four has exclusively opened up to The Sun about her new life on her sheep farm in the sleepy village of Rotherfield.

She said: 'I had to leave LA. It was like living in a goldfish bowl. I had tour buses driving past our house, looking in like we were on show, and celebrities hanging out wherever we went'. Last month we told how Lisa Marie now loves serving in her pals' fish and chip van near her £8million 15th Century home where she lives with music-producer husband Michael Lockwood and their four-year-old twin girls Harper and Finley.

She added: 'I have taken to country life here and love all aspects of living here. And the people who live here are so sweet and normal. I needed that more than anything.

'They are really sweet and leave us alone and I'm just the same as them in their eyes'.

'I love to watch the sheep and I took care of one baby lamb after its mother passed away last spring. He was so poorly so I bottle-fed him. They are beautiful out on the field'.

English village life is definitely a big change for a woman who lived in Elvis' Graceland mansion in Memphis, Tennessee, and was previously married to Michael Jackson and then Nicolas Cage.

The Sun spent a day in Rotherfield and found that Lisa Marie was far from being an aloof celebrity recluse.

Justin and Kim Scales, who run the village's Kings Arms pub - and own the Mr Chippy van where Lisa Marie has helped out - have got quite used to her popping in for the odd pint of Guinness.

Kings Arms pub : Lisa Marie's 'local'.
Kings Arms pub : Lisa Marie's 'local'.

Kim said: 'We don't see her any differently to anyone else who drinks at our bar. Lisa Marie is a really nice, down-to-earth person and she has become our friend'.We chat with her when she comes to the pub and we have also visited her at her estate. She fits in really well round here. She's got a great sense of humour and although she obviously comes from a different background, we get on really well'.I think she came here because she wants to have a more normal life and be around normal people. She said she got sick of the superficiality and fakeness of Los Angeles people'.

And Lisa Marie has rallied round to support local good causes. Avril Mills, who runs the Dream Factory charity for sick children, said: 'She has been amazing'.She has even turned up at small community halls to help out. She turned up at one in Buckhurst Hill in December and the first thing she said was, 'Right, what can I do?'

Lisa Marie was Elvis' only child with wife Priscilla, who he met when she was just 14 and married when she turned 22 in 1967. The couple divorced five years later. Elvis died in 1977, and on her 25th birthday in 1993, Lisa Marie inherited his entire fortune, then estimated at £60million.

At that point she already had two children - Danielle Riley and Benjamin Storm - with then husband Danny Keough. They divorced in 1994 and the same year Lisa Marie wed Michael Jackson in a strange, ill-fated marriage that coincided with his first trial for child molestation and ended in divorce in 1996.

In 2002 she married actor and Elvis fan Nicolas Cage and let him become the only non-blood relation to see the rock legend's bedroom. But that marriage lasted only 108 days and critics joked that the divorce proceedings lasted longer than the relationship. Lisa Marie married Michael Lockwood in 2006 and became something of a recluse in her sprawling three-acre ranch in Hidden Hills, LA, before moving to Britain.

Today she reckons Michael and their daughters saved her from utter despair. She said: 'They came as a blessing in the middle of all this destruction'.Everyone was leaving my life, although that was people exposing themselves for what they were. So there was good light in the tunnel'.

Despite being Elvis' daughter, Lisa Marie says her early years were relatively normal, although as an adult she misses her dad more than ever. She said: 'I was like anybody else - fearless as a child and experimental as a teenager - but I had an angel looking over me, and music. I wasn't really paraded around as a child. Mum protected me really well when I was young'.It hit home when I turned 42 that that was the age when my father died, and his mum too. I have moments when I wish he had lived to see my children, of course I do'.And I speak to my little ones about him. I tell them who he was and we love his music'.

She is still close to mum Priscilla - who played Jenna Wade in Dallas in the Eighties and will make her panto debut in Snow White at the New Wimbledon Theatre in south London this Christmas. Lisa Marie said: 'She was just here, getting her costume ready for pantomime'.

As for Lisa Marie's own career, her new album Storm & Grace was released and critics have been positive, she admits it can be a problem being related to Elvis when trying to be appreciated as an artist in her own right.

She said: 'I just had to find my own way with it. I don't feel I have to prove anything any more. I was comfortable and it felt natural'.I am a singer-songwriter and that's what I do. And my dad was a singer. I guess it would be a lot easier on me if my father had been a builder or a painter or a plumber'.

Rural Sussex might be a long way from Memphis, but Lisa Marie still returns regularly and said: 'I get back about five times a year. I love going back and I will go back for Thanksgiving and Halloween this year. My older children are here and there, back and forth to the States but we all live together'.

The snaps of her serving up fish and chips prompted US media to speculate that she had lost the plot and gone to work full-time on the van. But chippy boss Kim said: 'To set the record straight, yes, Lisa Marie did serve fish and chips from our van. But no, she has not taken it up as a career.

Lisa Marie Presley serving chips : Sussex, England.
Lisa Marie Presley serving chips : Sussex, England.

'She was there for maybe ten or 20 minutes at the most. She did it for a laugh, basically - and because she wanted to see what it was like to do that job. 'One of the first things she said to us when she arrived was, 'I want to see how you live and I want to experience it for myself'.

Lisa Marie's arrival in Rotherfield continues to cause quite a stir. Just the other day a man phoned the Kings Arms claiming to be Elvis' long-lost son - begging to be reunited with his sister.

The Sun spoke to one punter at the bar who added: 'We don't have many Americans here and I thought it would be strange having someone like her in the village.

'But I was walking down the road the other day and when she passed in her car she stuck her hand out the window and said, 'Hello', just like anyone else would.

'When you talk to her it's just like talking to any other human being. Her stories are a bit more interesting and more worldly. But apart from that she's like anyone else'.

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Quick Links

Lisa Marie Presley

Interviews with or about Elvis Presley Lisa Presley : The Rolling Stone Interview
Interviews with or about Elvis Presley Complete Lisa Marie Presley Playboy Interview
Elvis Presley Video Lisa Marie and Elvis Presley duet of In The Ghetto
Elvis Presley Photos Lisa Marie's Twin Girls | Finley & Harper
Interviews with or about Elvis Presley The Presley Women | Priscilla & Lisa Marie Presley

Interviews with or about Elvis Presley Rolling Stone Interview with Lisa Marie Presley
Elvis Presley Video I Love You Because | Lisa Marie and Elvis Duet at the 35th Anniversary Concert
Elvis Presley Video Lisa Marie and Elvis Presley Duet | I Love You Because
Interviews with or about Elvis Presley Interview | Lisa Marie Presley Sees Her Father's Spirit in Her Kids
Elvis Articles Lisa Marie sells Elvis rights for $100m
Elvis Presley Photos Lisa Marie Presley In Concert Australia (2004)
Elvis Presley Video Nicolas Cage talks about Lisa Marie Presley

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Elvis Presley Photos Benjamin Keough | Lisa's Son | Elvis Presleys Grandson

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Articles about Elvis Presley Elvis lives on ... in the form of his grandaughter, Riley Keough
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