|BAD BOY ELVIS '56 IN COURT
October 21, 2015 - Elvis Express Radio
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This week in 1956, a service station in Memphis, Tennessee, erupted into a brawl on Oct. 18, 1956, Elvis was involved in a fist fight.
The rising Rock 'N' Roll King had stopped at a petrol station in Memphis to get some petrol and was mobbed by teenagers. The petrol station manager wanted him to go away so
that he could start selling petrol again. Tempers became frayed and the owner, Ed Hopper, hit Elvis on the head (You should not mess with a rock star’s hair!). Elvis, in turn, hit him
in the eye. Then, Hopper’s assistant, Aubrey Brown, went to help his boss and got much the same from Elvis.
So, what took place? Elvis, 21, was in his hometown of Memphis briefly between tours and had stopped by the station of Ed Hopper for petrol and to have Hoppper check the gas
tank of his Lincoln Continental Mark II for leaks. While Presley waited, a crowd gathered at the station and he began signing autographs for his fans. The trouble started when the
crowd began blocking traffic to the station, and Hopper asked Presley to move on so the station could get back to regular business. “I asked him three times to move, in a nice way,”
said Hopper, 42.
Presley agreed to move his car, but was being slowed in his attempt as the crowd surrounded him, demanding he sign just a few more autographs. Hopper, became irate at the
delay (and apparently not impressed by Presley’s celebrity status), leaned into the car and hit Elvis hard on the back of the head, snapping, “I said to move on.”
According to witness Harvey Huff, the 6-foot 1-inch, 185-pound Elvis Presley jumped out of the car and landed a right cross on Hopper, leaving a bloody gash near his left eye.
Hopper then allegedly tried to pull a pocket knife on Elvis.. Luckily, a policeman and another bystander broke up the fight, but station attendant Aubrey Brown, Hoppers giant of a
work mate, waded into the fray and took a swing at Presley, who blocked his punch and then grazed Brown's face with another right cross.
Ed Hopper brought charges against Elvis. As a result, all three men appeared in court with Hopper sporting a beauty of a black eye. Judge Sam Friedman fined Hopper $25 and
Brown $15 for assault and battery, and Elvis was cleared of all charges after all the fans who witnessed the incident confirmed that Elvis did not start the fight acting only in self-
defence. Hopper and his rather large 6’4″ assistant were fined, and promptly sacked by the petrol station owner.
Three days after the petrol station episode Elvis went to the movies and surprise, surprise, he was mobbed, again by hoards of fans. But this time the only damage was to Elvis’ car.
Upon hearing of this incident, Judge Friedman said to Elvis that, perhaps he should have realised that he could not just go out in public without attracting a crowd….
Only one month later Elvis was attacked yet again. This time by Louis Balint. And his reason for attacking Elvis was that his wife carried a photo of Elvis in her purse.
Balint was found guilty of the assault and as a result he was given a prison sentence.
All in all, it was a seriously eventful week for the young Elvis, but that was not that came along at this time to test his nerves. Before the end of his week, Elvis would take delivery of
his first letter from the U.S. draft board…