It’s fair to say that Elvis Presley wasn’t in a very good place at the beginning of 1977. And various members of the press appeared to take great delight in his downfall. Writer Tony Scherman described the star as a “grotesque caricature of his sleek, energetic former self” in a particularly scathing piece.
To be fair, Elvis did give journalists lots of ammunition. He lasted barely an hour during a show in Alexandria, Louisiana. Meanwhile, a show in Baton Rouge had to be pulled when he couldn’t summon the energy to get out of bed. And three other dates also had to be canceled due to Presley’s erratic behavior.
Presley himself either wasn’t aware or didn’t particularly care about the outside world’s opinion of him. He spent his spare time reading spiritual books in his room or discussing his favorite sketches from Monty Python with his cousin. But he was also in a constant state of paranoia, inevitably drawing comparisons with famed recluse Howard Hughes.