Sorry to rail on about this Ronnie Tutt fellow, but first off, he’s just a massive drummer who gives my wiener worries; second, he played with Garcia AND Elvis. That is an odd cross-section of the Twentieth Century there. Supposedly they never met, but this of course begs the question: why not? Garcia must have been interested in the King, and Elvis was up for any stupid bullshit after enough pills and sandwiches.
Ronnie mentions it off-hand one night, and Elvis jumps on it like a steel trap.
YUR WURKIN FER THAT HAIRY GARCIA?
“Yeah, Elvis. He wanted to meet you, so I thought he could come on down to Vegas and catch–”
VEGAS? HAIRY GARCIA AIN’T COMIN TA NO VEGAS. I WILL RECEIVE HIM IN THE THRONE ROOM. I WILL RECEIVE HIM UPON THE SEAT OF MY POWER.
“That’s Graceland, King?”
YEAH, I WILL SEND THE LISA MARIE.
So, Garcia and the boys show up at Graceland. A red-headed porter in a modified Elvis suit/apron answers the door and shows them in, stopping at the entrance to the Jungle Room.”
“King, I present–”
HEY, GRATEFUL DEAD: AH JUST SHOT THAT WHITE BOY. THE FUCK YOU THINK ‘BOUT THAT?
This time, even Billy had nothing: he was just as impressed and terrified as anyone else. There was a silence; no, not a silence: there were birds birding and branches creaking and creeks branching and cars starting 300 yards away. It was actually a sound that, like the smell of a dominatrix decaying in a bathtub in a row house just north of the 7-11 on Santa Monica Blvd in West Hollywood, hit your primal nerves–it was a sound that your reptile brain recognized long before your dumb ass put a name it: the sound of everyone shutting the fuck up and listening to the guy with the gun.
AH’M JUST SHITTIN YOU NOW, BOYS: GET THE FUCK IN’ERE. STEP OVER THAT DEAD CRACKER FUCK.
So they did and a good time was had by all. They talked a bit, ate bacon. Dr. Nick stopped by and declared them all very, very sick so they needed medicines of all colors and shapes; the proper dosage of these pills should be “a handful”. The Dead, of course, had dosed everything and everyone in the room, as well. The combination of LSD and the three champagne glasses full of pills Elvis dry-swallowed (which would have been a great party trick except for the whole “saddest thing you’ll ever watch another human being casually do right in front of you” thing) hit the King a bit funny.
TIME FOR KARATE: AH’M GUNNA KARATE THE GRATEFUL DEAD!
With that, the King jumped off the couch (there are many shades of jumping, from vaulting or leaping to whatever it was that Elvis did that day). He ripped off his robe, expecting–I believe–that in an attack situation, he would just grow a karate suit like he was Super Man or something. But he didn’t: he just ripped off his robe and stood there, naked and confused for a good long moment and then someone came and brought him up to his bedroom to change.
The Memphis Mafia was thrilled by this; they took the time away from the King to smoke doobies with the Dead, since Elvis did not allow doobies to be smoked in Graceland.
“Is he really gonna karate out when he gets back? said Bobby.
“If he–PHWOOOOO (doobie)–remembers, yeah. And if he goes for it, we gotta join in. Sorry, Grateful Dead,” said Joe Esposito.
“Does anyone need towels or water?” said Charlie Hodge.
“Y’know, Charlie,” said Garcia. “My brow is sopping, but my throat is bone-dry.”
“I got the solution, chief: towels and water.”
Another two hours or so went by, and everyone was having a great time. They were high as kites, and girls showed up, and Red broke out the guitars, and everybody had just the right amount of towels and water, and they had a hootananny right there in the Jungle Room. The thick shag was sown with pills, like a qualude farm and–
Elvis was back. As promised, the Mafia had to pretend to fight, but the Dead were just giggly at that point, perhaps due to all the velour. Even Billy didn’t have any violence in him.
FACE ME, GARCIA. FACE YOUR KING.
“Well, y’know man, it’s just that you’re kinda being a rude sort of host here and–
YOU LEAD THESE MEN. YOU ARE THEIR KING. NOW FACE ME, FOR IN THE THRONE OF KINGS, HE DIES WHO…SHIT. IN THE KING OF GAMES, YOUR BEER IS…NO, FUCK, NO.
“We’re gonna split, man.”
NO! KARATE WITH ME, HAIRY GARCIA!
The door shuts on the loud group of men, leaving relative quiet in the Jungle Room.
“I’ll karate with ya, King.”
SHUT THE FUCK UP, CHARLIE.
I WANTED TO KARATE WITH HAIRY GARCIA.