It's Now or Never

Lisa Marie Presley's belated rock-and-roll career couldn't have come at a better time.

"I'm really a homebody," Presley says. "I kind of stay home a lot. Hang out with friends, you know.

"Act normal," she adds with a chuckle.

Presley has developed a sixth sense for camera-wielding freaks and lookie-loos. "There's certain places that you have to avoid," she admits. "But I live in a pretty barricaded area with security. So they don't really get near me."

Lisa Marie Presley: Daddy's little girl ain't a girl no 
more.
Lisa Marie Presley: Daddy's little girl ain't a girl no more.

With anonymity ruled out, at least wealth is a certainty: When Presley turned thirty, in 1998, she inherited her father's fortune, an estimated sum of $300 million. Elvis Presley Enterprises, of which she is the sole owner, earned $37 million last year, according to Forbes magazine. But don't paint the princess as a rich, black-hearted recluse. Among her favorite charities is Presley Place, a housing program she financed for homeless families in Memphis; she also co-founded LEAP, a free literacy program for children and adults in that city, with friend and fellow Scientologist Isaac Hayes. And as the international spokesperson for children's rights under the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, Presley has testified before a congressional hearing against psychiatric abuse and Ritalin pedaling.

Such philanthropy hardly makes headlines. Away from a scandal-hungry culture, Presley still finds sanity where she can -- including her father's old movies. Declaring the '50s-era Love Me Tenderand Jailhouse Rock as her favorites, she defends her father's crossover talents as a matinee idol.

"You could see his actual ability to act in those, you know?" she says. "And they precede the Colonel coming in and making him what he didn't want to be later on. The later movies that he made -- I don't think he was very thrilled about any of those -- he got contracted into. They were so much about singing all the time and jumping around, which he hated."

Presley's publicist suddenly cuts in, turning a quarter of an hour into a blink of an eye. With Jacko and Nic thankfully off limits, the final burning question, local and legendary in nature, requires context. One night in 1975, so the story goes, Elvis flew some twenty law-enforcement friends to Denver on his personal jet, the Lisa Marie,for a round of sandwiches called the "Fool's Gold Loaf." Created by the now-defunct, Glendale-based Colorado Mine Company, each ridiculously priced monstrosity ($49.95 apiece) consisted of an entire buttered loaf of Italian bread that was baked, then hollowed out and slathered helm to stern with mounds of peanut butter and grape jelly. Each was then packed with a pound of crisp bacon.

"Oh, good lord," Presley says, hearing about this Front Range delicacy for the first time. "No, I've never tried it. But I might just do that. It sounds really good. It sounds like a Southern thing."

Given all that Presley has had to stomach over the course of her life, a little Fool's Gold may just be what the doctor ordered. But then again, there's that whole gastritis thing.

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