Lisa Marie Presley: Just one of Those Popular ’70s Youngsters Who Felt Like a Good friend

I never ever fulfilled Lisa Marie Presley. But we ended up kids with each other. It feels that way, at the very least.

I’ve hardly ever heard a solitary music of hers, and I didn’t keep up on her celeb comings and goings. Nonetheless, I am unfortunate about the death of a 54-yr-previous woman I under no circumstances understood.

Perhaps it can be a Gen X or 1970s kid matter. When I was minor, she was a person of the handful of youngsters in the public eye who was not a little one actor. Grownup celebs came and went, but right here was Lisa Marie, another lady about my age, with a community confront and identify. Like me, she didn’t have a starring portion in motion pictures or Tv set demonstrates. Alternatively, there’d be the occasional photo of her dolled up in a Christmas dress or anything, posing with her popular sideburned father, who beloved her so significantly he named his plane right after her.

Elvis’ airplane was named Lisa Marie for his daughter.

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Dads and daughters

Solidarity, sister — I also had a sideburned dad. It was the 1970s most every child experienced a sideburned dad. Our sideburned dads weren’t entire world famed singers identifiable only by their 1st name, and did not have planes they named just after us. But they unquestionably posed for awkward loved ones pictures looking uncomfortably sweaty and with giant lapels on their jackets, just like Elvis. 

Even her name marked her as a single of us. The 12 months I was born, “Lisa” was the most well-known infant-lady name in The us, and “Marie” absolutely seemed like one particular of the most popular middle names. I have close to a dozen friends named “Lisa” to this day. Gen X nursing properties can have an overall Lisa wing if they want sometime, catering only to aged Lisas. Possibly a several Kims and Amys.

The 1970s had been this country’s awkward age, and it was type of an ugly time to be a kid. Functions — the Vietnam War, Watergate — were grim. The sights we surrounded ourselves with were not considerably improved: orange shag carpet, avocado appliances, bell-bottoms. 

Do you know in which your young children are? Nope!

Seventies children weren’t catered to the way they are now. The memes are right: Your mothers and fathers kicked you out of the home on a summer time morning and failed to count on to see you once more until supper. 

If Mother desired you in involving that time, fantastic luck. You could be enjoying kickball, or smoking in somebody’s clubhouse, or rambling alongside the railroad tracks picking burrs out of your Toughskins, or knee-deep in a pond poking at a useless fish, or risking tetanus actively playing seize the flag in a junkyard. You could possibly be getting a blast, you may well be being bullied, you could possibly be bored out of your cranium. Your moms and dads never ever understood, and they weren’t heading to talk to.

There was no social media of training course, no “influencers.” Incredibly several young ones my age had been well-known. Lisa Marie was just one of them. 


Graceland’s 1970s-type kitchen is forever frozen in time, and appears a large amount like the just one I grew up with, a thousand miles and numerous millions of pounds away.

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Losing her father

Lisa Marie had form of dropped from the spotlight by the time her father, Elvis, died in 1977. Of program, it was large, entire world-shaking information. Giant headlines and information stories ended up just about everywhere. Elvis was deservedly mourned as a legendary singer.

But anything in me remembered that very little woman in the photographs, and understood that though the world might have missing an entertainer, there was a child my age who shed her father. 

She was 9. I was 9. My dad was no Elvis, and he failed to have a airplane to title after me. We did not have Elvis dollars, or initially-course air journey or extravagant houses.   

But Lisa Marie and I had been both equally 9, and I acquired to change 10, and 11, and 16, and 25, and 40, and my dad was nevertheless all-around, supplying tips and cracking poor father jokes and demonstrating up at my college features. Clapping for me at performs, teaching me to travel, going for walks me down the aisle, cooing at my little one daughter. Lisa Marie did not get that. Hundreds of tens of millions of dollars could not invest in that.

That Graceland swing set

Lisa Marie wove in and out of headlines when I received older. Her daily life appeared more unreal and challenging than individuals simple dad-and-daughter pics of the 1970s. She grew to become a mom when I was however finishing up faculty and striving to determine out a path. She married Michael Jackson, and later on, Nicolas Cage. She’d appear a extended way from her girlhood times. We obviously experienced very minimal in popular aside from our delivery several years.

But when I frequented Graceland in 2017, I felt a kinship with Lisa Marie all over again. Graceland is a significant home, but it’s not a Kardashian-type mansion. It felt instantly familiar — a goofy, rather awkwardly embellished residence of the 1970s, with shag carpet and bulky tube TVs and a sport place with a fabric ceiling and a rip in the pool-desk canvas where by some family members pal attempted a trick and messed up. 

The metal red, white and blue 1970s-design swing established out back seemed a lot like a million swing sets I might performed on. We lived through the bicentennial jointly, Lisa Marie and me, and all the things was painted pink, white and blue.


Did this Graceland swing set belong to Lisa Marie? The fashion and bicentennial shade scheme is simply recognizable to any 1970s kid.

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Lisa Marie led a complex existence. The luxuries she knew and the worries she professional, great and terrible, are kinds I am going to hardly ever have an understanding of. But her early, innocent fame burned so huge and so dazzling that I under no circumstances forgot her. In the conclusion, she was a mother and daughter, a singer and songwriter, a businesswoman — she was many points. 

But my Gen X heart will mourn her as the minor kid with the sideburned father, who shed him way also quickly.