Did you know that Elvis Presley never toured outside of North America? Perhaps you did. Did you know the reason The King never toured outside of North America, despite a burning desire to do so – he wanted to perform in England in particular – was on account of his lifelong huckster of a manager, Colonel Tom Parker, being an illegal immigrant who feared he’d never get back into the States should he ever get on a plane? No one knew that. Not even Elvis Presley.
Some other facts about Colonel Tom Parker: Colonel Tom Parker wasn’t really a colonel. In fact, Tom Parker was briefly imprisoned after going AWOL from the US army. Despite claiming to be from West Virginia, Tom Parker was born Andreas Cornelis Dries van Kuijk in the Netherlands. He entered America as a stowaway, having, one theory suggests, murdered a greengrocer’s wife in his homeland.
All of which – and there’s more, much more – we hope you agree, makes the secret life of Colonel Tom Parker a fascinating subject to explore ahead of the much-hyped release of Baz Luhrmann’s sure-to-be-sumptuous Elvis biopic (p.52). The film hasn’t been released, at the time of writing. But, after its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in May, Elvis received a 12-minute standing ovation – suggesting that we should all probably go and see it once it has (Christ, cinemas could do with the custom).
Some other titillating, and altogether unrelated, facts that were stumbled across during the making of this issue: Salvador Dalí once ordered staff at Paris’ Le Meurice hotel to bring to his room a jar of crickets because he liked the noise they made; between 0-184 mph, Pininfarina’s all-new, all-electric Battista is faster than an F16 fighter jet; the Namib desert is home to sand dunes that are as tall as The Shard; and Raphael, the Renaissance painter, did not die, aged 37, as a result his wild and rampant sex life – proving that some facts are better off ignored.
Enjoy the issue. Enjoy the summer.