Elvis Presley’s army buddy Johnny Lang shared his fondest memories of his friendship with the King of Rock and Roll in the book My Arm Days with Elvis: Friendship, Football, & Follies, released in July. But in a new interview with Fox News, the late singer’s friend shared some additional stories from their military days.
Lang said that though Presley lived off-base while stationed in Germany, he could visit his famous friend often. “I spent all my weekends at his house,” said Lang. “I’d get up about noon, and then at about one o’clock, I’d be at the house, and there would be about three or four hundred people there because they all want an autograph.”
He added, “I just knock on the door… I spent almost a year and a half with him every weekend. We’d play football with three or four hundred people watching us play ball.”
Lang then recalled a vulnerable moment he shared with Presley. When the iconic musician was resting while feeling ill, he confided in his new friend.
“I find the barracks. Elvis is all by himself. So, I walk in and say, ‘Hey, babe, what’s going on?’ He says, ‘I don’t feel good. All the guys are at training. They left me here behind.’ So, he’s laying on an army bed, and I’m sitting there, just him and me. Biggest guy in the world. But we’re talking,” Lang shared.
He continued, “I sat on the edge of the bed, and I said, ‘Hey El, will you tell me something?’ I said, ‘Why are you, with all the fame you have and all the money you have, why are you and I friends?’ He said, ‘I’m going to tell you something Johnny Lang. You’d still like me if I was a janitor, and thank God I’m not.’ And I say, ‘You’ve got that right.’ I got up, and in my mind, I’m thinking, ‘Unbelievable, just him and I, the whole world would love to see it.'”
However, Lang’s most shocking anecdote is of Presley asking the two to become “blood brothers”—wanting to make a pact by blood.
“He says to me, ‘Hey, Johnny, why don’t you and I become blood brothers?'” recalled Lang. He remembered that Presley requested for him to get a knife, but Lang made sure that they didn’t actually have to cut themselves while making a big gesture of friendship.
“So, I go in the kitchen. I get a butter knife. Come in the living room. And I say, ‘OK, babe, I got you. And he says, ‘You do it first, and I’ll follow you,’ I said, ‘OK.’ So, I take the knife, and I’m going, ‘Man this ain’t cutting! It’s a butter knife!’ And Elvis, he’s looking at me and says, ‘I’ll tell you what Johnny, forget it!'” said Lang.
When it was time to share their emotional goodbyes after the army, Lang recalled that the singer invited him to “come on down and see me in Vegas.”
Presley was drafted into the army in 1958 and served in the military for two years.
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