I HAVE BEEN DISTRACTED OF LATE, working on my publication on Medium, Tell It Like It Was. I have also been spending a lot of time working on the internal workings of my websites. I replaced a few plugins and jettisoned a few others. When you call up this one you may notice that it loads a hell of a lot faster than it ever has.
Then there’s the protracted winter we are having here in the Pacific Northwest. It’s almost August and we have only had a few days that anyone would mistake for summer, few of them consecutively. This means that we have been seeing lots of clouds and rain, which caused my SAD to creep up on me without my paying it any heed.
SAD is an acronym—and yes, I’m using the word correctly—for seasonal affective disorder:
“Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons—SAD begins and ends at about the same times every year. If you’re like most people with SAD, your symptoms start in the fall and continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody. Less often, SAD causes depression in the spring or early summer.” (Mayo Clinic)
I have the “less often” variety but, fortunately, I seem to be at the tail-end of it and am starting to feel a bit spunky. Well, as spunky as someone whose 68th birthday is a few weeks away.
So, to jumpstart my getting back to writing regularly for A Touch Of Gold, I sought inspiration in some of the questions being asked on Quora. And I found one that I had fun answering—even if it wasn’t quite the answer the questioner was probably looking for. The question was “Is There Any Proof that Elvis Presley was a CIA Agent or Spy?“
This photo of Elvis with some of the girls he met at the Moulin Rouge, a strip-club in Munich, Germany. Elvis got a two-week leave and took three guys with him to Munich and then on to Paris. Elvis claimed to have spent $10,000 on the trip to Paris, and that “it was worth every cent of it.” (Elvis History Blog)
Elvis meets Eli
Yes. When Elvis visited the Moulin Rouge nightclub in Munich in June 1959, he was unwittingly part of a top-secret “event” planned by the folks at the CIA’s super-duper top-secret MK-ULTRA program. This program was set up to experiment with mind-altering substances, hopefully, to be used in gathering “intelligence” from captured commiepinko agents from the USSR, China, and Viet Nam.
Unbeknownst to the people in attendance at the Moulin Rouge, LSD in mist form was circulated throughout the club. CIA agents watched the effects through the club’s 2-way mirrors.
If you have seen photos of Elvis from that night and you thought that he and the people he was with all look kinda weird. that’s because they’re all tripping their heinies off and don’t know it (see photo below)!
Elvis had such a blast that he made himself available for further MK-ULTRA events. Basically, Elvis voluntarily dosed the entire cast and crew of every one of the musicals he made from 1960 through 1969. That’s right—the reason those movies range from silly to inept is that everyone involved in making them was tripping on pure LSD supplied to them by Elvis courtesy of Eli Lilly.
The most successful experiment associated with an Elvis movie was during the filming of the otherwise dreadful Harum Scarum in 1965. A few years earlier, the MK-ULTRA people had killed an elephant () by giving it a monstrously huge dose of acid. During Harum Scarum, they gave a donkey a much more reasonable—but still large—dose of LSD.
And you know what? The donkey talked!
The problem was the donkey started asking Elvis why he was squandering his talents in all these gawdawful movies and both the CIA the Colonel had the animal removed from the set.
So the next time you hear someone badmouth those silly Elvis movies, you just tell that person that Elvis was doing his patriotic duty by making them!
PS: During the , Elvis introduced Priscilla and a few of his buddies to LSD. That apparently was the only time he did acid outside the control of his CIA/MK-ULTRA handlers.
The only record that Elvis recorded that nodded in the direction of the Psychedelic Sixties was Edge of Reality. Recorded for the soundtrack to the Live a Little, Love a Little movie, it was released as the flip-side to If I Can Dream in late 1968. In Australia (picture sleeve is shown above), Edge of Reality was the preferred side and topped the charts on several charts down under.
Edge of reality
That’s it—that’s my answer. And while it was fun to write, it is true that Elvis, Pris, and some of the guys tried LSD in 1966. Reportedly, a fine time was had by all but there are no other anecdotes of Elvis trying any consciousness-expanding substances. Unfortunately, he was more attracted to consciousness-contacting substances.
FEATURED IMAGE: The artwork at the top of this page is a mixed-media collage that appears to have been created by The Benlyon. Type “psychedelic elvis” into your browser and the pickings are slim. I lucked out with this one because it was one of the few that looks like it could have been assembled in the ’60s and it uses Elvis from Harum Scarum as its motif.
Unfortunately, the link that I originally used is broken and I can’t find a link to The Benlyon (or even punk art Ben Lyon) and this piece of art anywhere! I typed “psychedelic elvis” into my browser and couldn’t find the original source.