Lisa Marie Presley inherited her father's eyes, lips and fame. As the only child born to the King of Rock and Roll and his wife, Priscilla, Lisa Marie was internationally known from the moment of her birth on February 1, 1968, exactly nine months after her parents' wedding night. Priscilla said Elvis "looked petrified" the first time he held his daughter, but soon he was spoiling her with expensive jewelry, a miniature fur coat and an impromptu jet ride to Utah so she could see snow for the first time. He gave her everything, Priscilla lamented, a child "shouldn't have and couldn't appreciate."
Elvis had an aversion to making love to a woman who had given birth, so Lisa Marie's arrival caused a sexual estrangement between the singer and his young bride. Soon, both were having affairs and they divorced five years later. Though Priscilla took primary responsibility for raising their daughter, Lisa Marie spent lots of time at Graceland, Elvis' Memphis fortress. She was there when he died on August 16, 1977, after a decline marked by ballooning weight and addiction to prescription medication. When Elvis was found prone on the bathroom floor, she watched as people tried to revive him and asked, "What's wrong with my daddy? Something's wrong with my daddy, and I'm going to find out."
Elvis' death only deepened they mystery surrounding his daughter--People magazine dubbed Lisa Marie "the most carefully secluded of all celebrity children." During that perioud of seclusion, she went through a drug phase--sedatives, marijuana, cocaine--which she says ended after she embraced Scientology. When she was 20, she married Danny Keough, an unknown musician. She was pregnant; they have two children, Danielle Riley, now 14, and Benjamin Storm, 10.
The relationship lasted six years, until she left Keough for Michael Jackson in 1994, marrying him in the Dominican Republic in a ceremony even Priscilla didn't know about. There was widespread skepticism about any physical union, especially since Jackson had recently faced civil charges of sexually abusing a 13-year-old boy. JACKSON-PRESLEY UNION SPARKS SHOCK, DOUBT, LAUGHS read one headline. During an interview around the time of their one-year anniversary, Diane Sawyer asked the couple if they had sex. Lisa Marie responded indignantly, "Yes, yes, yes." Seven months later she filed for a divorce. The marriage was "a mistake, everyone knows," her lawyer declared.
After that mistake, she met actor (and longtime Elvis aficionado) Nicolas Cage at a party in 2001. They started a relationship, broke up, got back together, broke up, got back together and got married in Hawaii. He filed for divorce 107 days later.
The current question for Presley, 35, is whether she inherited her Daddy's talent. On her debut album, To Whom It May Concern, she sounds like a pissed off Sheryl Crow, as her southern-fried rock rumbles with accusations, apologies, sarcasm and cursing. Writer Rob Tannenbaum spent two afternoons with Presley in the Capitol Records office in Hollywood, exploring her past, her new album and her future.
Complete Lisa Marie Presley Playboy Interview
PLAYBOY:Most people make records for money or attention. You obviously don't need the money.
PRESLEY: I didn't do it to get attention. I hate attention. When I have to speak in public, I get so neurotic that I lose control of my tongue, my legs, and whatever else. If I'm standing in front of a lot of people, I feel that they are thinking about me, their speculation. But I want to be heard. I have been writing and recording songs since I was 20, for cathartic reasons, as an outlet. I just haven't been doing it publicly.
PLAYBOY: In fact, you signed your record contract more than four years ago. Why did it take so long to make the record?
PRESLEY: Honestly, I just needed to find my way, stylistically. I was **** about the final production. I didn't want to learn the ropes publicly; I couldn't afford that. I knew there was going to be more attention on me that anyone else putting out a debut record. If I wanted to be a novelty, I could have easily called a top writer and turned into a pop star. I could have done that years ago. But I wanted to be looked at as an artist, so I couldn't do anything stupid or shallow or silly.
PLAYBOY: Were you writing silly songs?
PRESLEY: I never had a fluff problem. It was always the opposite: "Let's get you to lighten up and put some more radio-friendly stuff out there." My songs were pretty dark and haunting.
PLAYBOY: There are 12 songs, including a bonus track. How many of them are happy?
PRESLEY: I was talking with Nic [Cage] last night, and he lectured me: "I told you, you should put on happy song on the record." I said, "@#%$ that. I'm not doing it." music that's happy doesn't move me. So the answer to the question is none.
PLAYBOY: Before this year, you rarely talked to the press. If you didn't have an album to promote, would you be talking to us now?
PRESLEY: No. What else would I talk about? My upbringing? I don't like talking about myself. At this point I'm thinking, what have I done? The hard part is opening up for the first time. I have to combat 30 years of speculation and tabloid stuff. I have to go out there and say, "Hi, I'm not that person." However, I understand the curiosity, and I don't want to be an @#%$ or look like I'm hiding something. I realize why I feel vulnerable and afraid--a lot of people do interviews based on what their publicists tell them. I put my *** out there, cellulite and all. I can be very unfiltered and unedited, and that might kick me in the *** one day. I'm being really honest, and if I get @#%$ on, I might never speak again.
PLAYBOY: There are plenty of ways to market you as a reminder of your father.
PRESLEY: People get all kinds of crazy ideas to turn me into a goofball. A whole record of Elvis covers and duets. We can put you in a white suit! Sorry, Britney already took the cake on that one.
PLAYBOY: Did you ever think of putting the record out under a band name, like Jakob Dylan did with the Wallflowers?
PRESLEY: I though about that, or taking Presley off and just using "Lisa Maire." But the record company wasn't very happy with the idea. [Laughs] They had other plans. I'm not trying to run away, and I'm not trying to capitalize. I'm just trying to make a @#%$ record.
PLAYBOY: Your mother said, "The name Presley can be a hindrance and a help." In what ways has it been both to you?
PRESLEY: It's only a hindrance in that I didn't ask for all the attention, so I have a phobia against it. I don't ask tabloids to chase me around every week. But at the same time, I would never take back any part of who I am or where I came from. I would never want to be part of anything else. I'm honored and proud of my family and my dad.
PLAYBOY: Did your name help you get a record deal?
PRESLEY: Yeah, it helped me get a foot in the door. But you have to hold your own. And again, it's a hindrance, because a lot of attention and pressure if on me. It's a little scary, because people are either going to love it or they're going to @#%$ hate my guts. Like, "You are the most despicable, sorry-*** excuse for a Presley that I've ever seen." I'm too extreme, I think, for people to have a mediocre reaction.
PLAYBOY: Here's a particulary unkind line from one review: "Her voice belongs in karaoke."
PRESLEY: You want me to react to that or something? I know it's going to happen. Of course, I obsess on the bad reviews. Nobody wants to hear that sort of ****. Who is this @#%$ critic? He can bite me. I want to hear him sing. You can print that.
PLAYBOY: What are people most eager to know about you?
PRESLEY: It's the same thing: "Three marriages! Three marriages!"
PLAYBOY: Your ex-husband was involved with the record right?
PRESLEY: When you say "ex-husband" you have to be specific. [Laughs] I almost said, "Which ex-husband?" Yeah, Danny and I wrote two songs together. He's the first person I ever sang in front of, and he was the only person I wrote with for about eight years. So I wanted him to be on the record.
PLAYBOY: Lights Out is about your dad. Where you reluctant to write about him?
PRESLEY: Very. The last thing I want is to look as if I'm capitalizing on that. I don't want to be famous or superficially rich or some weird novelty. I addressed everything that affected me, and this is obviously important. Everthing I have written about is pretty autobiographical.
to be continued below..
Last edited by Yada on 29.01.09 0:40; edited 5 times in total