18 Weirdest Celebrity Trainwrecks

17. Don€™t Call The King A Junkie

The mantle of €˜King Of Rock N€™ Roll€™ is a heavy one to bear. Elvis Presley€™s entire life was micro-managed by an overbearing father and a manipulative manager from his early twenties, while a growing army of relatives, friends and hangers-on catered for his every need. For two decades, they acted as human shields isolating Presley from the real world. Introduced to amphetamines €“ speed, known as €˜diet pills€™ at the time €“ in the army in the late fifties, Elvis and his entourage would regularly stay up all night on them, taking prescribed tranquilisers and barbiturates to go to sleep. That cycle became the King€™s lifestyle throughout his entire career, until his untimely death. Despite this frankly superhuman level of drug abuse, like many people in the sixties and seventies Elvis had an unaffected loathing for the counterculture€™s infamous misuse of narcotics. Bizarrely, he genuinely didn€™t see a correlation between his own massive daily intake and someone else€™s drug problem. Somehow, he didn€™t believe that his total dependence on prescription medication qualified him as a junkie. He even met up with the President in 1970 to discuss the growing issue of illegal drugs in the US €“ at that point, as a habitual drug abuser of a dozen years standing. When returning to live performance in 1968 saved his career from the doldrums, the King took to touring again exactly as an addict would. Elvis refused to compromise his hectic schedule even in the face of his increasing obesity and drug addiction. In the final year of his life he was regularly incoherent and lost, onstage and off. Incredibly, by the time of his death in August 1977 at the tender age of forty-two, his physician had given him 199 prescriptions that year alone €“ for over 10,000 doses of amphetamines, sedatives and other narcotics. He had fourteen different drugs in his system when examined: ten in significant quantities. Not bad for someone that despised drug addicts.
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Professional writer, punk werewolf and nesting place for starfish. Obsessed with squid, spirals and story. I publish short weird fiction online at desincarne.com, and tweet nonsense under the name Jack The Bodiless. You can follow me all you like, just don't touch my stuff.