British Elvis fans have been suffering for decades with the rueful knowledge that their beloved hip-swingin', side-burned, fried peanut-butter-banana-sandwich-lovin', Graceland crooner had never set foot in England. The only time he had ever been to the UK, in fact, had been a quick stopover at Glaswegian Prestwick Airport. Now, however, there is more fuel to add to the Scot vs. English fire. In a Radio 2 interview, showbiz top dog Bill Kenwright revealed that Tommy Steele, English teen hearthrob and once seen as Elvis's cross-the-pond equivalent, had taken him on a top-secret tour around not-yet-swingin' London, showing off the sights to the King.
Apparently, one night Elvis phoned Tommy Steele and he cooed in that "step off my blue suede shoe" way of his: "They tell me you're good. Are you as good as me?" This mock rivalry set off a friendship that brought Elvis all the way from Mephis to London on a personal tour. Kenwright got the impression it was a quick car-bound tour of the basic sights in London including the Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace. It's something that Steele swore he would never publicly reveal, but after big-mouthed Kenwright let out the secret, Steele has since confirmed the statement in a letter to the Daily Mail: "What actually happened many years ago is something secret and memorable. It was an event shared by two young men sharing the same love of their music and the same thrill of achieving something unimaginable. I swore never to divulge publicly what took place and I regret that it has found some way of 'getting into the light.' I can only hope he can forgive me."
So many questions remain! What did Elvis see? What did he think of English food? How soon until a tell-all interview with Steele? Can Priscilla confirm the validity of this top-secret trip? Can the Queen?
Image courtesy of iamkeir's flickrstream.