By the time he was reduced to mimicking a chicken he knew he was becoming an irrelevance in the music world.
The 33-year-old was lonely and depressed.
Even by the standards of the super famous his life in the months leading up to the salvation of his ‘Comeback Special’ was dysfunctional and eccentric.
Presley – who cheated on his young wife Priscilla with a multitude of women – was mobbed in public and had been so badly scratched by female fans trying to get rings off his hands that he had taken to wearing plasters on his fingers.
He sought solace with advisers such as Larry Geller – who is still alive and appearing on ‘Elvis Cruises’ with other tribute acts (who prefer not to be called Elvis impersonators).
Geller – who doubled as his hairstylist and spiritual guru – taught Presley about numerology.
At Graceland he was surrounded by an entourage of enablers who were happy sponging money off the star and indulging his love of water fights.
But no one seemed to be encouraging him to make a serious return to music.
Worse was the cocktail of pills – enough uppers – downers and sedatives to leave an elephant stupefied – that he consumed constantly.
He was obsessive – regularly checking a copy of Physicians’ Desk Reference to Pharmaceutical Specialities and Biologicals he kept by his bedside.
Presley was piling on weight as he gorged on a diet of burnt bacon – deep-fried chicken – hamburgers – meatloaf – peanut butter and mountains of mashed potatoes and gravy.
He would eat plate after plate while watching Star Trek – his favourite TV show.