Picking an ‘L’ Elvis topic for the A to Z Blogging Challenge as “Loving Arms” is my favorite Elvis song (along with Heartbreak Hotel) AND “Love Me” is probably my third or fourth favorite Elvis song. But in the end I HAD to go with Lisa Marie Presley, Elvis’ only child and one of my true obsessions … uh passions. Lisa has recorded three of Elvis’ songs as ‘duets’ with her father: “Don’t Cry Daddy,” “I Love You Because” and “In the Ghetto.” But Lisa also has three albums of her own: “To Whom It May Concern,” “Now What” and “Storm and Grace.” True, I first became interested in Lisa Marie Presley because of Elvis, but after hearing her music and listening to her interviews, I fell in love with Lisa for Lisa – for her honesty and her passion. I have been lucky enough to see Lisa 19 times in concert and met her a handful of times on her three tours. Lisa is such a humble, down to earth, friendly person who loves her fans. I am thinking she got that from her daddy. August 2002 was the first time I saw Lisa Marie Presley in person. She introduced her song “Nobody Noticed It” at the Elvis 25th Anniversary concert at the Pyramid in Memphis. She didn’t sing it live, but played the recorded version with the words on the screen.
The first time I saw Lisa Marie Presley perform live in concert was in Baltimore on July 24, 2003. This was also the first time I met her. Lisa opened for Chris Isaak at Pier 6 in support of her first album To Whom It May Concern. It wasn’t crowded, so I moved down to the front row – standing and singing the entire time! It kind of freaked me out how much she looked like Elvis, sang like Elvis (in her mannerisms not her voice) and moved like Elvis. It was unreal! At the end of Lisa’s set, I asked for a set list and one of the guys gave it to me. Then I left missing Chris Isaak because I wanted to meet Lisa. I went to the parking lot and after about five minutes, Lisa came out to greet everyone. She got to me, and I handed her my set list. Lisa smiled and said, “Oh you got a set list!” I told her it was a great show, and she said thanks. Then she said, “You were the one in front singing, right?” Lisa Marie Presley noticed me! Not sure why I didn’t ask for a photo with her. I was just SO excited to talk with her.
A week later I saw Lisa Marie Presley in concert again. This time in Memphis at the Botanic Garden on August 1, 2003. Lisa again opened for Chris Isaak. I wasn’t as close as I was in Baltimore. I wasn’t standing at the stage, but I was seated at one of the front tables, but off to the side. I was about two tables away from Priscilla! It was amazing to watch Priscilla watch her daughter on stage – and in Memphis! Lisa sounded so much better than she did in Baltimore because the sound was so much better – the band did not drown out her voice this time. Lisa was so excited, and her performance was just amazing! The next day I saw Lisa Marie Presley perform in Nashville at the historic Ryman Auditorium on August 2, 2003. I ended up staying at the same hotel as Lisa and her band. I waited near her tour bus from 4-7 before the show, but never got to speak with Lisa. I saw her walk by a few times and saw Priscilla. My seat was in the 6th row, right behind Priscilla – she beamed with pride watching her daughter perform. Everyone was forced to sit in the Ryman, but we periodically stood up and cheered and Lisa acknowledged us and Priscilla turned around and smiled at us. When I got back to my hotel room after the show, I realized that Lisa’s band was staying on my floor. We talked with them in the hallway, but we never saw Lisa.
I didn’t see Lisa Marie Presley again for another two years. She performed at the Beale Street Music Festival on May 1, 2005 in support of her second album Now What. I arrived at the festival just before the gates opened, but there was a long line waiting to get in. I had to run all the way to the other side of the park to the stage where Lisa was playing. I didn’t get a spot on the front rail, but three people back dead center. Luckily those three people were short, so I had a great view. And Lisa put on a great show – so much better than her first tour. She was so relaxed. Lisa played my favorites “Indifferent,” “SOB,” “Lights Out,” “I’ll Figure It Out,” and “Idiot.” The next day I saw Lisa Marie Presley in Nashville at the Cannery on May 2, 2005. After waiting four hours in line, I was rewarded with a spot up front on the rail. I thought this Nashville show was even better than the show in Memphis. For the first time ever, Lisa played “High Enough,” which I love! She also played “Now What,” “Road Between,” and “Here Today,” all of which she did not play the previous day in Memphis. I got a set list for this Nashville show!
A few days later I saw Lisa Marie Presley at The Birchmere in Alexandria, VA on May 9, 2005. It was a seated show, and I was at a table right up front. The set list was the same as the Nashville show, except “Turned to Black” was played instead of “High Enough.” It was a great show, and Lisa talked a lot. She was really funny. Unfortunately, the meet and greet was cancelled after the show. A few days later I saw Lisa Marie Presley at the historic Stone Pony in Asbury Park, NJ on May 15, 2005. It was Lisa’s last official show of this leg of her tour. After waiting in line for several hours, I got a spot on the front rail all the way at the end. Lisa was sick, so she didn’t do the acoustic set of “Now What” and “Road Between.” She also didn’t play “Turbulence” or “Indifference,” but she did play “High Enough” and “Turned to Black.” It was still a great show. Priscilla was in the crowd (and this was a stand up club show), so Lisa sang “Raven.” It was amazing! Lisa kept looking at her and she and Priscilla were tearing up – as was I. During “Thanks,” Lisa invited some fans up on stage to sing with her. At the end of the show, Lisa Marie Presley shook my hand, looked into my eyes, and said, “Thank you!”
Two days later I saw Lisa Marie Presley perform “Idiot” on Good Morning America on May 17, 2005. I got up at 4am and got a cab from my hotel in New Jersey and waited on the streets in New York City until they let us in the studio at 7am. Lisa didn’t come on until 8:45am. It was only one song, but I was SO close and apparently I was on tv because my mom called to tell me she saw me singing along. After her appearance, Lisa stopped to sign autographs with her fans. Still in New York City, two days later I saw Lisa Marie Presley at City Hall Park for a free concert. This was just a great, fun show! I was right up front and center on the rail. The set list was changed a bit. Lisa played “I’ll Figure It Out,” “Sinking In,” “Turbulence,” “Lights Out,” “Dirty Laundry,” “Idiot,” “Here Today Gone Tomorrow” – and the Ramones drummer played along on their cover.
I did not see Lisa Marie Presley again for over a year, but it was well worth the wait. It was my 34th Birthday, October 4, 2006. Lisa performed at the Birchmere in Alexandria, VA for the second leg of her Now What tour. I had been selected for a Meet and Greet after the show. I had a seat up front for the show, but way to the left of the stage. Lisa announced my birthday during the show. Lisa never sounded better playing “SOB,” “Lights Outs,” “Sinking In,” “Indifferent,” “Excuse Me,” “High Enough,” “Yellow to Blue,” “Idiot,” “I’ll Figure It Out,” “Turbulence,” “Thanks,” “Dirty Laundry,” “Here Today Gone Tomorrow” and a duet with Ryan Cabrera (who her daughter Riley was dating at the time). After the show, I met Lisa Marie Presley and got my picture taken with her for the first time. She autographed my cd and wished me a ‘Happy Birthday.’ I told her she gets better every tour, and we discussed how it sucks to have seated venues and how excited we were for the upcoming Stone Pony show (where we stand).
Two days later I saw Lisa Marie Presley in concert at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, NJ on October 6, 2006. After four long, cold, windy hours waiting in line, the doors opened and I got a great spot front and center on the rail. The crowd was great, but the sound wasn’t that good. It was the same set list as the Birchmere show, except Lisa closed with a cover of Joan Jett’s “I Hate Myself for Loving You.” Two days later I saw Lisa Marie Presley in my hometown of Baltimore at Rams Head Live on October 8, 2006. I was again front and center on the rail. Rosanne Barr opened and was hysterical. Lisa sounded amazing! The crowd wasn’t great because they weren’t really Lisa Marie Presley fans, but by the end of the show, they got into it. The set list was the same as the previous two shows except for the encore Lisa played “Turned to Black” and did a duet with Rosanne – “Baby I Love You.” There was a lot of interaction between Lisa and the audience. After the show, Lisa stopped to sign autographs and meet with her fans. That Baltimore show was my favorite of the tour. The next day I saw Lisa Marie Presley in New York City at BB Kings on October 10, 2006. I was once again up front on the rail, but a little to the left of center. This New York crowd was amazing – everyone knew the words! The set list was the same, except instead of “Yellow to Blue” it was “Turned to Black” and Lisa closed the show with a Joan Jett cover.
A year later I saw Lisa Marie Presley as she performed “In the Ghetto” in Memphis at the Elvis 30th Anniversary concert on August 16, 2007. It was amazing! The crowd went wild, and Lisa sounded great! It was so exciting because first just the video for her “In the Ghetto” duet with Elvis was playing then all of a sudden Lisa walks out onto the stage and is singing with a gospel choir then she talked after. It was very emotional for me.
I had to wait five long years to see Lisa Marie Presley again, but it was SO worth it! In support of her third album Storm and Grace on June 15, 2012, I was lucky enough to see Lisa Marie Presley perform twice in the same day and meet her. I started off my LMP Day in Annapolis at 11am. I arrived at Rams Head on Stage to find the band’s tour bus parked out front. I went inside and only one person waiting for Lisa Marie Presley’s Private Artist Showcase put on by the great radio station WRNR. I couldn’t believe there wasn’t a line of people waiting for this free, intimate performance. I won free passes to this event just by filling out a form on their website. By noon, a line had formed and we were still waiting outside. We were told that Lisa was late, and we would be let in soon. I got a table right up front, and I mean literally on the stage. My knees touched the stage, which was very low. Lisa’s microphone was directly in front of me. She took the stage around 12:45, almost an hour after the show was supposed to start. When she walked out, she looked a little startled and as she sat down in front of me she said, “Wow, you’re so close!” After the opening song of “Weary,” she asked for the lyrics to the next song. A guy from WRNR gave me her cd to hand to her. Lisa said she doesn’t really look at them, but likes to know they’re there in case she needs them. Then she went on to say she was late because her bus was parked in Baltimore, so they had to drive her to Annapolis. She said she had no idea the two venues were so far apart – it’s at least a 30 minute drive, but more with the Sailabration traffic in Baltimore. Lisa then played “Storm and Nails” and closed with “Over Me.” I was singing right along with her, and Lisa spotted me singing (since I was inches from her face) and smiled at me. There was a huge applause from the 150-plus seated audience, and Lisa seemed really touched – she bowed as she left the stage. Here is a video from that show, along with an interview with Lisa (and you can see me sitting right in front of Lisa).
After the show, I made my way to Baltimore for Lisa’s second show of the day. I ate lunch and walked around a bit. At 5:00, I made my way to the Baltimore Soundstage for Lisa Marie Presley’s show. I had a seat front and center, just like for the Annapolis show. Shortly after we were seated, I received a text from Lisa’s people saying I was chosen for a Meet and Greet after her show! Lisa sounded wonderful, and the show was fantastic! Highlights for me were “Over Me,” “Un-break” and “Lights Out.” As the guys were breaking down the stage, I asked for a set list and got it. The set list for Lisa Marie Presley in Baltimore was as follows: “So Long,” “Over Me,” “Weary,” “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet,” “Soften the Blows,” “Forgiving,” “Storm of Nails,” “Un-Break,” “Storm and Grace,” “Lights Out.” After the show, I made my way behind the black velvet curtain to wait for our Meet and Greet – with about 30 or 40 others. We waited for everyone else to leave and then we were taken to meet Lisa Marie Presley in small groups. I was the last one to meet her, which was kind of cool. As always, Lisa was SO nice and SO gracious and SO beautiful! I walked up to her, shook her hand and told her it was nice to meet her – she said, “Thank you.” I asked her to autograph my set list. As she was signing it, I thanked her for playing the show in Annapolis earlier that day. She said, “It was a crazy morning!” I told her there was another Rams Head right next door to where we were. She laughed and said, “Yeah poor planning.” Then I asked if I could take my picture with her, and she of course agreed. It was extra special to me that I met Lisa and she signed my set list because the first time I ever met Lisa Marie Presley was also in Baltimore back in 2003, and she signed my set list then too. I waited outside the Baltimore Soundstage and in front of Lisa’s tour bus. A few minutes later, Lisa walked out surrounded by a few security guards. People on the street ran up and surrounded her. She was nice enough to stop and pose for pictures with them and sign autographs. Then some crazy woman came up behind her and grabbed her throat. Lisa said, “UGH!” and shoved her arm off of her. Then they got her safely on her tour bus. A few minutes later, a car pulled up and Lisa’s husband and musical director Michael Lockwood jumped off the bus, ran to the car and pulled out their twin girls and quickly carried them back to the tour bus.
I really did not think I could have a better day with Lisa Marie Presley than I did June 15th in Baltimore. But as perfect as that day was, Lisa Marie Presley’s show at the Chameleon Club in Lancaster, PA November 11, 2012 was better, the night was phenomenal. Lisa said, “it was the best show of the tour – even better than Nashville.” I arrived at the Chameleon Club around 5pm to line up for Lisa’s show. There were about seven people in front of me. We were let inside around 6:45, then into the club about a half hour later. I secured my spot on the front rail. This Lisa Marie Presley show was better and longer than the one in Baltimore a few months before. A welcome addition to the set list for me was a re-worked “Idiot,” which is probably my favorite Lisa Marie Presley song – if I was forced to pick one. Lisa said “Idiot” was the “meanest song she had ever written.” The crowd cheered, and Lisa laughed and asked why that made us happy. I think I was the most excited during the show when Lisa played drums on “Un-Break” and “Sticks and Stones” because it truly is all about drums. I have a newfound love for “Sticks and Stones.” I loved the lyrics before, but after Lisa’s amazing performance … Wow! Lisa was interactive and expressive as always and that Lancaster audience was amazing – very enthusiastic and singing along to every song. Lisa said one of her favorites off Storm and Grace is “Soften the Blows.” The set list last night was as follows: “So Long,” “Over Me,” “Weary,” “Storm of Nails,” “Just A Dream,” “Idiot,” “You Ain’t Seen Nothin Yet,” “Forgiving,” “Soften the Blows,” “Un-Break,” “Sticks and Stones,” “Lights Out” and “I Need to Know” (Tom Petty cover). Even after the lights were up and Lisa was long gone from the stage, we stayed there soaking in the wonderful show we had just experienced.
After a while, I went back to the merch table to see what new and exciting things I could spend my money on. I couldn’t decide what I wanted, so I stepped back and just waited around for a while. I got back in the merch line and noticed Lisa was standing right next to me waiting to start the Meet and Greets. She heard me say “I’m back” to the merchandise lady. Lisa leaned over to me and asked, “Are you buying everything?” I told her no, just a hat because I had bought everything on her website. Lisa asked if she could sign something for me (SHE asked me! are you kidding? what a nice person!), so I had Lisa autograph my ticket. I told her that I love “Idiot,” and it was my ‘getting ready to go out’ song – I used to listen to it before I went out to bars to get me excited and hyped up. I told her I would also love to get my picture with her, so I was going to go to the end of the Meet and Greet line – since I wasn’t technically in line for the Meet and Greet yet. It was just pretty cool that Lisa initiated a conversation with me. When I got back to Lisa for my ‘official’ Meet and Greet, I asked her to autograph my M&G pass and asked for a photo with her. I also thanked her for doing the Meet and Greets because a lot of bands charge for them or don’t even do them. She had no idea that bands actually charged for Meet and Greets – she was appalled. Lisa Marie Presley is the sweetest person. She is so gracious and down to earth. It is always a pleasure and a privilege to meet and speak with her. But the night with Lisa did not end there, and I have never written about this before because at the time we all thought it should be kept private. But it has been six years now, so I think it ok to make it public now. After the Meet and Greet was over, I noticed a few fans who I knew from previous shows (maybe about 5 or so) were just hanging around. Then they all went downstairs, so I followed. It was like somebody’s basement with a bar. It was the 6 or 7 of us, Lisa’s band and Lisa. We put two long tables together and just sat around and talked and listened to music. Lisa told us about taking her kids Trick or Treating in Memphis a few weeks before. She was showing us their photos from her phone. It was just like we were at Lisa’s house hanging out and had been friends for year. “Xanadu” came on and I LOVE Olivia Newton-John so I was singing along and noticed Lisa was too – and we were the only ones. We looked at each other and smiled and sang even louder, so yeah I sang with Lisa Marie Presley. Her husband Micheal Lockwood bought us all shots. I was drinking mine when all of a sudden I felt a hand on my knee and I turned around to find Lisa sitting next to me! She was asking how far I had to drive to make sure I was ok drinking that shot. Now I am a lightweight but was TOO excited about the night to be too drunk or too tired to drive home. I can’t recall what else was said, but we did speak for a few more minutes. That was a great night!
A year later on November 15, 2003, I saw Lisa Marie Presley at the Barns at Wolftrap in Vienna, VA on the last leg of her Storm and Grace tour. Different than the first leg promo tour for the album, this leg incorporated more songs from Lisa’s first two albums as well. I arrived at the bar just as the doors opened. I sat at a table right next to the door to the venue where Lisa was doing her sound check. Although I did not have the VIP package that night (as they did not offer one), I was able to listen to the entire sound check. As I looked around at the people filing in, it was obvious they were not the typical Lisa Marie Presley fans. These were most likely ‘subscription’ people – those who get tickets to all the shows at that venue. It was an older crowd who were dressed as if they were going to the theater rather than a concert. The doors opened at 7:30, and we took our seats. Although I was disappointed it wasn’t a general admission show, I had a great seat for this one! I was on the aisle in the second row just left of Lisa. Lisa Marie Presley took the stage at 8:15. She opened the show in typical fashion with “So Long” followed by “Over Me” and “Storm of Nails.” Lisa talked about writing “Weary,” the fourth song, with Richard Holly from the British band Pulp. This was the first song they wrote together, then went on to write more for Storm and Grace. Introducing the next song “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet,” Lisa talked about how she was surprised this one got so much attention when songs off her first two albums were of very similar subject matter.
Lisa then took a seat and did an acoustic set of “Just a Dream,” “Soften the Blows” and “Idiot.” Lisa said “Soften the Blows” was one of her favorites off Storm and Grace. She introduced “Idiot” as the meanest song she’s ever written and ironically is the one everyone loves (myself included!). Lisa said she enjoys hearing everyone’s stories about how they love “Idiot” and what it means to them. (That’s cool since when I met her in Lancaster the previous year, I told her I used to play it as my ‘get excited’ song while I was getting ready to go out.) Lisa said the person she wrote it about is still very much alive (indicating it was not about Michael Jackson) and is still the most self-centered, egotistical person on the planet. Throughout the show Lisa kept asking if everyone was having a good time. These subscription folks weren’t really showing her the love she deserves. The set continued with Lisa’s first single “Light’s Out.” One of my favorite lines is from this song, and I always get really excited when I hear it – as Lisa noticed. When she sang, “And I’ll be damned if I ever get this, little son of a bitch from Memphis” I waved my arm and pointed to her and she did the same back to me. The next song was “S.O.B,” another one of my favorites off her first album. (are we sensing an SOB theme here?) Closing out the set were “Un-Break” and “Sticks and Stones.” These are my two favorite songs off Storm and Grace. Not only because Lisa plays drums during both songs, but also because the lyrics are fantastic! Lisa starts off “Sticks and Stones” belting out the chorus a capella – WOW! The second half of the concert was definitely my favorite.
As Lisa left the stage, I moved up to the stage – because apparently second row isn’t close enough. So I was front center in front of Lisa when she came back out for her encore. She started with “I’ll Figure it Out” from her second album Now What and closed with Tom Petty’s “Need to Know.” Sadly, it was all over by 9:30 – just an hour and fifteen minutes after it began. I did manage to get the set list though. I have gotten one from every leg of all of Lisa’s tours. I was surprised “Storm and Grace” was left off the set list. “People” was on the set list, but it wasn’t played. After the show, a bunch of us waited by Lisa’s bus in the rain with hopes of meeting her – again. Unfortunately, she did not stop but we waved to her as she boarded her bus. We did have a nice conversation with her drummer John, who told us way more than we should probably know. But he is a really sweet guy and a great drummer. He told us that Lisa’s drum sticks aren’t really real. After about an hour, we tore ourselves away and headed home.
The next morning, November 16, 2013, I didn’t wake up with my usual sad-that-it’s-over concert hangover because I was going to see Lisa Marie Presley again that night in Sellersville, PA! I had the VIP package for this show, which included watching the sound check and a meet and greet with photo. We were let into the sound check and walked right up to the stage, which was great! We heard “Un-break” and “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet.” After the sound check was over, we lined up to get our picture taken with Lisa. We were told ahead of time that there would be no autographs. I thought this was strange because Lisa always signs and is very gracious about it, but I think it was the venue’s policy not Lisa’s. I walked up to Lisa and told her the show the previous night was great, although the crowd was a little quiet and then told her about how nice her drummer was to talk to us in the rain. She agreed that he is sweet. Our picture was taken and that was that. No Q & A session, but we did get a Storm and Grace goodie bag, which was actually pretty cool. It contained an autograph 8×10 photo, a small poster, LMP guitar picks and LMP keychain.
When I went back into the venue for the show, I initially sat in my seventh row seat, but then moved to stand in the aisle next to the first row, but behind the tables that were situated in front of the stage. In between “Un-Break” and “Sticks and Stones,” Lisa said that she was a “wannabe drummer” – that she had always played drums. Just another reason I love her! The set list was the same as the night before, but this time the audience was more enthusiastic. Although there were a few weirdos in the crowd. Lisa dedicated “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” to those who were there for whatever sick reasons (most likely referring to the man with the long hair and sideburns) rather than there to actually hear her music. About halfway through her performance, some man shouted out “ELVIS!” to which I shouted back “NO!” It takes a lot of guts for Lisa Marie Presley to get out on that stage night after night to an audience of mostly curiosity seekers who still after 10 years and 3 albums ask the question, “Will she sing any Elvis songs?” NO!!! She is not an Elvis tribute artist, she is Lisa Marie Fucking Presley and you ain’t seen nothin yet!
To hear more of Lisa Marie in concert, please click here. And to see more of photos of Lisa Marie Presley over the years, please click here. I did not write about the couple of times I have seen Lisa at Graceland for the Birthday Celebration or Elvis Week because I did not actually meet her or have any interaction with her. Plus as weird as it sounds, I don’t really associate Lisa with Elvis now. All of my encounters with her have been at her concerts – nothing to do with Elvis. This coming August at Elvis Week will be the first time I will meet her in an Elvis setting, not during one of her tours. It will be different, and I will definitely make sure to ask her when her next album is coming out!
What is your favorite movie, song, book, topic about Elvis that begins with ‘L’? Please comment below. If you missed any of my Elvis ‘A’ to ‘K’ topics, please click here. Remember to check back tomorrow to see what ‘M’ topic I’ve chosen for Elvis.