Features

The king is dead – long live the king


On 16 August 1977 Elvis Presley, vastly overweight and his mind a fuddled mess from all the prescription drugs he ingested daily, rose up from the toilet, fell over, and died. He was just 42. Anthony Stuchbury provided these photos of his tomb.

40 years ago Elvis Presley died.
40 years ago there were no 24hr TV, mobile phones, internet or social media.
40 years ago it was basically timed and scheduled TV news broadcasts, radio, newspapers and word of mouth.
40 years ago the world mourned his death via basic media.Originally, Elvis was laid to rest in a mausoleum crypt at Forest Hill Cemetery in Memphis, Tennessee – not too far from the final resting place of his mother, Gladys Love Smith Presley, who died 14 August 1958.After a failed attempt to steal his body, both Elvis and his mother were moved to Graceland, where the Meditation Garden had been re-designated a cemetery. Elvis’ father Vernon selected the grave markers and stones; Elvis was brought home to Graceland on October 2 1977.

 

 

Elvis Casket Facts – courtesy of Dick Grob, who headed security for Elvis at home and on tour; his new book can be found here. Elvis’ copper coffin casket weighed approximately 800 lbs. The lid was sealed with epoxy, making it air tight. It was seamless and steel lined. A special vault was obtained to contain the coffin, made of extra heavy concrete, reinforced with steel. The coffin had a copper sheet lining, and a Strentex lining, a petroleum byproduct that has the endurance of steel. Once his casket was placed inside the vault, the Strentex lining was sealed with a lid of more Strentex. Finally a heavy concrete, reinforced with steel lid was sealed and fused to the top of the vault making the entire concrete vault one unit. The entire unit weighs more than 2,700 lbs. Once the vault was sealed several hundred pounds of earth were placed on top of the lid. On top of the earth was placed a ‘sunrise pink’ granite slab measuring 40 inches x 80 inches x 6 inches and weighing more than 2,000 lbs. Finally the bronze ledger, measuring 32 inches x 72 inches, and weighing more than 400 lbs, was placed on top of the granite base to finally take care of business. This entire procedure was repeated for Elvis’ mother Gladys.

 

 

 

 

 

The initials TCB stand for Taking Care of Business, Elvis Presley’s band. The lightning bolt signifies taking care of business in a flash. The members of the TCB Band included Glen D. Hardin on piano, James Burton on guitar, Ronnie Tutt on drums and Jerry Scheff on bass.