On December 21, 1970, Elvis Presley sealed his fate as the first rock-and-roller who got too old and joined the Man. The White House meeting between the King and Richard Nixon was the former's idea -- he'd written a six-page letter proposing the visit and asking to be made a Federal Agent-At-Large in the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs. More incriminating photo evidence below.
This probably seemed like a good idea at the time. Four years later, Elvis had OD'd on barbiturates twice, gotten divorced from his wife and gained a cartoonish amount of weight. And Watergate had pushed Nixon from the White House. In retrospect, not the best do-gooder pairing.
The meeting was, as a symbol, about a lot more than drugs. It was about a man who used to get censored on national television for his scandalous hips joining forces with the face of hard-line conservatism. Fortunately, kids around the world were moving on to new heroes who weren't afraid to make a bad decision or two, and more people are making rock and roll today than ever before.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.