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CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Encore Presentation: Interview With Lisa Marie Presley
Aired May 7, 2005 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, Lisa Marie Presley, the only child of the King of Rock, the ex-wife of the King of Pop and a perennial target of the tabloids. But she's got her own career and her own life after Elvis and Michael Jackson. And she'll tell you all about it in her own words next on LARRY KING LIVE.
It's a great pleasure to welcome a return visit with Lisa Maria Presley to LARRY KING LIVE. Always good to see her. She's the only child, of course, of the late Elvis Presley and Priscilla Presley. Formerly married to Michael Jackson. A rocker in her own right. A new album called "Now What?"
Is that one of the name of the songs, or is it a statement?
LISA MARIE PRESLEY, SINGER: It's the name of a song actually.
KING: Dealing with now what?
PRESLEY: No, it's kind of -- I think representative of me in that it is seemingly sarcastic and sort of bold and had as attitude. But yet if you hear the actual song, it's very, sort of vulnerable and soul searching to some degree.
KING: When did you decide you were a singer?
PRESLEY: You know, I think that when I sang a song in front of a vocal teacher one day -- I was doing scales. I wasn't really serious. I just wanted to do it really bad and I would do piano scales all the time.
KING How old were you?
PRESLEY: In my teens, probably 19. I said OK, I'm going to sing one day. And I said, I'm going to sing and I don't want to you watch me. I'm going to turn around with my back to you and I'm going to sing and just tell me what you think later. So I sang a verse in a chorus out of a song. And she, had she not, who I very much respected at the time had such a reaction to me doing that, I would have probably crumbled and died and gone away somewhere. But she happened to jump up and be oh, my God. And then she got her husband and then I went in with my ex-husband and we did a demo of an Aretha Franklin song. That's kind of when I realized, I gave myself a high challenge.
KING: Did your mom like the idea?
PRESLEY: I don't think at first, no. You know, scared, worried, as a mother should be, you know, understandably worried about me.
KING: You knew once you had come forward as Lisa Marie Presley with that name.
KING: You would be judged by a different standard, so you rolled some dice.
PRESLEY: I don't think that I was -- I think I was more naive on that front than one would expect. I did -- in my thinking, I've been a huge music lover, it's always had a huge impact on me. I want to write, I want to sing. I want to do the same thing for others, have my music, hopefully do that for others one day not realizing what I sort of had to climb. I had an idea a little bit, but I think that I underestimated the whole thing.
KING: Were you surprised the reaction to the first CD?
PRESLEY: I was. I was surprised. I was surprised at a lot.
KING: Favorably or unfavorably?
PRESLEY: Favorably surprised. More surprised that the reaction to the first CD was a -- they were surprised that I did a good record, you know, which was surprising to me.
KING: That they were surprised.
PRESLEY: Yeah. And I'm thinking, you know, I know music. I think they thought maybe pop. It was surprising to see what preconceived idea they had of me in order to come to this conclusion that I'm a bad record or a poppy or a sellout record.
KING: How well did it do?
PRESLEY: I don't know the current status. I went gold. It went gold. And I was very proud of that. And you know, I don't think that I'm a top 40 artist in any way. So I don't think I'm that mainstream. So it's a little bit, you know, of a challenge to find me because there's only a certain types of music right now.
KING: Hard to be a gold if you're not top a 40 artist.
PRESLEY: Yeah. I don't know how that works. It seems like it happens really fast when you're going for a top 40. It's a very quick climb. It used to be long, long ago that you could make records and sort of build your way and evolve as an artist.
KING: Now you're a golden oldie the day it comes out.
PRESLEY: If it doesn't do a certain amount, yes.
KING: You know, it is -- I'm sure you've heard this, it's extraordinary. Every time I see you, you look more like your dad.
KING: You must know that.
KING: You don't see that when you look at pictures or anything?
PRESLEY: I see it sometimes when I'm performing, to be honest with you, yes. And it's not intentional at all. I think we all have traits of our parents regardless and that's when I see it.
KING: One of the songs is called dirty laundry. a "Don Henley tune, dealing with the TV News business and sensational coverage. Is that a little bit of autobiographical?
PRESLEY: You know, I think it's more for me pointing out just the general state of affairs in terms of what our entertainment is now. It wasn't a direct attack on the media -- attack on the media per se. It was more just me trying to point out what our entertainment is.
It's watching -- there's almost is no -- there's like a fine line now where there's legitimate media and news and there just -- it just seems over the top. And whether it be reality shows, or cameras and an ambulance when someone's -- you know what I mean? It's just these shows make me physically ill watch on TV. And it just kind of points out the general state of affairs, I think, the lyrics in the song and therefore that's why I picked it.
KING: Do you think it's a sad state of affairs?
PRESLEY: I do.
KING: The main stream media, the tabloids, they have been rough on you? The tabloids have been rough on you.
PRESLEY: They've rough. They're really rough. I have to say that I don't know if they liked that the record was successful because they went on a campaign.
As soon as I got on my first tour -- they were quiet through all that last media and then when I got on my first tour, they started doing this whole slander campaign -- came out to try to make me look like, I guess ultimately like my father in the end. You know what I mean?
Their whole -- it seemed like there was a campaign to aim towards making me, you know, look like I'm miserable and hugely overweight and doctoring photos and doing this whole number. It was like somebody deliberately sat there and went how can we sabotage this and make her look like this. And it was kind of -- it was really -- that one blew me away.
KING: It sells papers.
PRESLEY: Yeah. I mean, it blows me away how they can actually make me the size of a car on the cover and get away with it.
KING: Did you ever used to being hounded yourself by the paparazzi and the like? Does that ever get old hat?
PRESLEY: I do get used with that?
KING: Not -- you know, it goes with the territory kind of thing?
PRESLEY: I think more it's in Los Angeles that it happens. I mean -- it's kind of more goes with the territory here. You tend to get a lot used to it I suppose.
KING: You don't get it as much other places?
PRESLEY: No, they're really here. I mean they really -- if you go to a hospital here -- I had a friend of mine dying and they're -- they have their black cars and black windows and they sit in the hospital parking lot at Cedars -- when you go to valet.
KING: How do they even know you're going to go there?
PRESLEY: They're waiting for any celebrity or tragedy to happen.
KING: They wait at the hospital...
PRESLEY: They sit in the valet.
KING: In the valet section.
PRESLEY: They sit in the valet -- I have this weird radar for them. And I can hear them and see them when I walk out. I went to go visit a friend and more than once have gone to Cedars for various reasons -- nothing serious -- and I continuously see that, yes.
KING: What do you make of the coverage of your ex-husband?
PRESLEY: That I pretty much -- it's so delicate and it's such a hot stove that, you know, it's one of those things I'd love to chat with you about but anything you say at this point is going to add.
KING: Does it annoy you to see the focus on someone you cared about, probably still care about?
PRESLEY: To be honest with you I'm kind of -- it's kind of a blessing this is happening in that I don't have to say anything right now, because there's a trial going on. You know it's...
KING: No, you don't have to -- I mean, emotionally though to see?
PRESLEY: Emotionally it's never easy to watch anybody go through, no matter what, you know, something really difficult.
KING: Because you've been a staunch defender of him, right?
PRESLEY: Well, I'm not going to talk about it. KING: I'm mean as a person and a husband -- we aren't dealing with the charges or anything, you have been...
PRESLEY: I at one point was.
KING: A supporter? And now you're neutral?
PRESLEY: I'm just benign really.
KING: We'll be right back with Lisa Marie Presley. The new CD is "Now what?" Don't go away.
KING: We're back with Lisa Marie Presley. Her new CD in stores as of April 5th. Are you going to tour again?
PRESLEY: I am. I am. I found -- I sort of did it all backwards last time. You know, I did all the press thing and threw everything, and then I kind of got used -- you're supposed to do it the other way, see that you speak to the audience and see what your music does to people, and I kind of did it the reverse. So.
KING: What have you been doing between that CD and now? Like where have you been?
PRESLEY: Where have I been? I've been writing. Writing this one, pretty much.
KING: You wrote all the songs except for the Henley song?
PRESLEY: Right. I co-wrote one of the ones on this -- but most of it's all me. The rest of it.
KING: You like writing your own?
PRESLEY: I do. That's my sort of -- my contribution is the writing, the lyrics and the melodies.
KING: It takes that long?
PRESLEY: It took about eight months, and then you go through the mixing and that, you know, you know, different -- I don't like this and you need to change that, process.
KING: You sold 85 percent of the Presley estate, and it got a lot of controversy. Explain that.
PRESLEY: OK. Well, it's kind of a misconception in the way it was -- it's a very complicated business deal. It took me weeks to understand it, but it was misleading the way the press ran it, because it is complex. But it wasn't -- there's two separate entities. There's Elvis Presley Enterprises and Elvis Presley estate. Now, 85 percent -- what we did is we merged with Sillerman. He bought 85 percent of the Enterprises, which is different from the estate. Estate's mine, his things mine, everything's still mine and in order. He has the 85 percent, but I also still have -- we have a 15.
It was a united decision, because you know, pretty much things don't stay the same. They either go up or down. So -- and we've known for a very long time that we need to merge and sort of get with someone, to sort of take it to a bigger and better place than we were able to do, or you know, wanted to do on our own, you know, standing alone.
So it was a united decision that's been, you know, being deliberated on for years. And so what happened is that the money that came back actually went -- got reversed, and the lot of it went right back into stock, to form a huge -- a bigger new company, merging with Sillerman, who has got a very good track record, you know.
KING: He sure does.
PRESLEY: And he knows what he's doing.
KING: And Enterprises includes what, the music?
PRESLEY: Name, likeness, image, music, you know, films, merchandise. You know, things like that.
KING: So you now have in essence 15 percent of that.
PRESLEY: I own 15 percent of that, but we -- he and I are partners, and my mother is on the board. There's a new company now, which is going public, and my mother's on the board of directors for that. And we -- everyone who works at the estate and who has worked at the estate this entire time is still in order, intact, everyone still got their jobs. We all made the decision because we wanted to grow bigger and better.
KING: No one lost anything.
PRESLEY: No one lost anything. CEO is still there, head of -- everyone is still there. My family is taken care of. It was something -- it was a move we had to make to grow. And oddly enough the money that came out of the sale thing, went right back into -- it was the stock, preferred stock in a bigger company, which means that we believe he can take it a lot, you know, to a bigger and better place.
KING: And the other, the home and that kind of thing, just remains with you.
PRESLEY: The home is absolutely mine. Everything in it is mine. All of his personal things are mine.
KING: You then technically -- not technically, actually, never had to work, right?
PRESLEY: Technically, no.
KING: So you work out of love of working. You're not working out of need for income? PRESLEY: Right. I work because I think that I wouldn't feel good about myself unless I was contributing. It's not as selfish -- I'm not a vain or self-centered person in any sense, but I feel like I need to contribute. I am involved in -- prior to singing, in a lot of different, you know, family housing, educational programs. I've gotten involved in, you know, stopping the -- anti-drugging of kids campaigns. But for me, music is just another outlet.
KING: How did that story get so screwed up then?
PRESLEY: Which story?
KING: The sale.
PRESLEY: Because it was very complex, and people only -- couldn't get past the headlines. Sold, 85 percent sold. And it looked like the estate and like I sold everything. And I'm going no, no, no, no. Business-wise, we're getting a huge thumbs-up, that was an awesome move. But personally, it just came across wrong, because estate sold sounds like estate. Estate is mine.
KING: How big is the tourism industry there at the estate?
PRESLEY: It's very -- it's quite substantial. It's good.
KING: Graceland draws a lot of people?
KING: The interest in him seems to grow.
KING: Right? Records sell in England.
KING: Right? He has rebirth in the United -- is there a new audience all the time? Who is finding him?
PRESLEY: That's what we're hoping. I would imagine that more people are just kind of sick of what's happening right now and they're kind of looking back to what was, you know -- you know, I don't know. I know that every time, you know, we just recently went number one in England again, which is, you know, it's amazing. But the bottom line is, music speaks, you know. And music tells the story. People...
KING: As his daughter -- and you were only, what, 9 when he died...
KING: How do you appreciate his talent?
PRESLEY: God, you know, there's a documentary coming out...
PRESLEY: ... in May. It's called "Presley by the Presleys," and I'm normally not involved in things like that, stayed away from it, but this is done so well that -- it's done in only his voice, my mom's mine, my grandparents, his mother. You know, it's through all of our voices. So it's not someone narrating.
KING: "Presley by the Presleys."
PRESLEY: Yes. It's quite fascinating. And I learned so much about him actually watching -- because there was footage pulled that no one's ever seen. Which is interesting.
KING: This for what kind of distribution, for television, or...?
PRESLEY: It's going to be for television. I think it's a CBS special.
KING: What do you think as you look at him, hear him? I mean, you are (ph) the daughter. What was that appeal, what did he have?
PRESLEY: You know, what he had was completely uncontrived, and you know, what he was, was what he was. There was no -- like nowadays you have machines and PR, you know, images being created and you have all these things going on and a lot of people working to create different things. And with him, there was none of that. There was nothing -- everything you saw and people appreciated about him, he was that or more off stage, and there was nothing contrived or preconceived about anything he was about or did. And I think people feel that genuineness, and that doesn't happen very often anymore.
You got like, you know, masses of people that are behind everyone, you know, making an image, making, you know, everything. So that just...
KING: He only had the Colonel, right?
KING: Managing him, and he did -- he did the act. What was special about his voice, his singing, his music?
PRESLEY: You know, I can't -- I can't answer that. I mean, I can tell you that...
KING: As a listener?
PRESLEY: His soul, spirit came through that voice. You know, and that moves people in a whole -- there's like an aesthetic plane it hits somewhere, where it's a very spiritual thing, actually, and I feel -- I really feel like he penetrated through his voice.
KING: How is your mom doing?
PRESLEY: She's doing very well.
KING: Acting? She's still doing...
PRESLEY: No, she's actually -- she's on this board now, so she's quite busy with that.
KING: You're all like business people.
PRESLEY: I guess so. She's always been, but she's, you know, she's doing -- now she's also on the board of MGM, so she's behind the scenes doing a lot.
KING: Still pretty?
KING: Lisa Marie Presley is our guest. Her new CD is "Now What?" And we'll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRISCILLA PRESLEY, LISA MARIE'S MOTHER: After your dad died, it was either sell Graceland or give it up to the state.
PRESLEY: And to go there now, it's like comforting to see it in its original form and never touched, you know. And on the other hand, it's sort of, you know, heartbreaking to go there and look at -- it's just a shell now of what was.
P. PRESLEY: It's a house now. It's not the home that it was, but trying to recreate that without Elvis, it really isn't a home.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KING: A little bit about your daughter. First a record, she can sing. Did you know she could sing?
P. PRESLEY: You know, Lisa, for the longest time, did not sing. And I had no idea she even had a voice. She'd play music like most teenagers, but I remember even telling her to turn the music down it was so loud. She was probably practicing all of those years.
KING: When did it happen. When did you...
P. PRESLEY: She wanted to start singing, I guess about, maybe 10 years ago. And I tried to encourage her to take the lessons, because obviously, she has some big shoes to step in. And my concern was that she would try to do this with no training whatsoever. She eventually started taking voice lessons. But I don't even know if she needs them.
KING: Were you surprised when you heard the finished product here?
P. PRESLEY: Well, not really. I think she's very talented. I'm probably her biggest fan.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're back with Lisa Marie Presley, the new CD is "Now What?"
We ended the last segment talking about your mom. You wrote a song called "Raven" inspired by her.
PRESLEY: It's for her.
KING: Explain, "Raven" is?
PRESLEY: It's just me just -- I wrote a song for her and one Christmas, I said, will you come out and listen to this song in my car? I kind of -- I didn't write one for her on my first record, because I was -- I didn't get around to it. And then I felt -- I got really inspired and our relationship has evolved so much that I was inspired to write a song about her, for her. And I took her outside and played it for her and she started crying. And now it's her favorite song on the record, of course.
And on the record there's a tape recording of me at age 3 that I start playing in the beginning of the song, which is me, you know, she's making me sing. She said, "sing is right" or something like that, and I start pouting and singing and then -- it kind of shows -- then song happens and then at the end it comes back with her and I arguing. And at the end of that, I sort of end it with "I think I love you," which shows the entirety of the evolution of our relationship.
KING: And "Raven" means what?
PRESLEY: I'm just referring to her as that. And that's what she inspired me to refer her to, as...
KING: Interesting bird.
PRESLEY: It's nice -- it's an interesting bird. Yes.
KING: Complicated bird.
KING: Is it a blessing to be A Presley?
PRESLEY: You know, I was trying to figure out a way to -- answer this question, where it doesn't sound like -- the last thing I ever would be or sound like is a whining celebrity in any sense. I agree with that's not a good thing. The thing is, in any kind of situation that you're in, where you're a high profile -- you know, you get a lot of attention. And to the degree that you get that attention is the same degree or more you're going to get attacked. So you know, as much as people out there are routing for you and wanting you to do well, there's a half or larger number that want to you to fall. So, you know, it's finding that balance and not -- without whining or saying I'm, you know, not very grateful of who I am and where I've come from. It's still something that you end up dealing with things that other people don't necessarily deal with, and you're under attack more.
KING: Are there days you're sorry you're a Presley?
PRESLEY: No. I'm never sorry. It's just that, you know, you always have to -- but you never can get your guard down on how to handle things, you know. Constantly, things will happen, and you have to figure out how to combat.
KING: Why do you think people want to see famous people or the offspring of famous people fail?
PRESLEY: You know, I don't -- it's really interesting, because I have recently talked to a couple other ones, and I won't mention their names. But you know, historical figures' offsprings they're petrified to take this route. And I said you know, you can watch me I'll be the prototype. You know, I'll just -- I'll do it. Whatever I do, you do the opposite. I'm going to go out and do it, because I don't want fear to stop me. You know, I don't know why -- first there's the comparison thing. You run into that. And then you run into, you know, climbing the -- it's just the a -- it's something that's not easy for someone. It's not always -- it's easy in that it opens the door. After that you're on your own.
KING: You see any continuum in your own life, Lisa Marie, you're the daughter of the most famous singer in the world, who then marries the most famous singer in the world.
KING: See a connection?
PRESLEY: You know, probably, you know, I'm not into psycho- analysis, you know, but there's probably...
KING: Go ahead.
PRESLEY: There's probably something in my, you know, looking -- I had to experience that. And I think that there was some of that in the back myself mind probably.
KING: No regrets over it?
KING: No regrets?
PRESLEY: No, I don't have any regrets.
KING: The decision you made -- a couple other quick things on Michael. Do you feel sorry for him?
PRESLEY: I can't answer. Larry, don't do this to me.
KING: You don't want to talk about it.
PRESLEY: I don't want -- I just want to stay out of it.
KING: But you could be sorry.
PRESLEY: Well -- like I said, I don't like to -- I don't like to see anybody go through anything horrendous like that. I'm sure he's not having a good time.
KING: People bug you about it a lot.
KING: I'm going to stop bugging but. I don't want bug you.
PRESLEY: Every time. Usually it's at last question but, yes.
KING: Because it's an emotional thing and I would try to...
PRESLEY: I understand.
KING: We'd try to put ourselves in our place, how would I deal...
KING: ... if an ex of mine who was famous was going through this.
PRESLEY: I totally understand what you're doing, but at the same time, if I say anything, it's going to be blown up and taken -- you know, anything about him right now is such a hot -- it's a hot subject.
KING: So, no matter what you say it's misconstrued.
PRESLEY: Good or bad, it will be taken out of context right because anything about him...
KING: One other thing, do you follow the story?
KING: You remove yourself?
PRESLEY: I'm completely removed from the whole thing.
KING: Lisa Marie Presley, good girl. "Now What" in stores as of April 5th. We'll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KING: How did you handle when she got all of that attention being married to Michael Jackson? How did you as the mother handle that?
P. PRESLEY: Concern. Concern. I think any mother would be concerned, you know. Obviously, if my daughter's happy, you know, then I don't have any problem. But she's very strong willed.
KING: Wonder where she got that from?
P. PRESLEY: I don't know.
KING: Was she happy for a time?
P. PRESLEY: I think so. I think so.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're back with Lisa Marie Presley. The newest CD is "Now What?" What's your favorite song?
PRESLEY: I think there's a song called "Idiot" that I like.
PRESLEY: It's not a nice song.
KING: Who were you -- were you referring to anyone in writing it?
PRESLEY: I was but I don't like to talk about who I was writing about.
KING: You mean, there is someone who will know who you're writing about.
PRESLEY: I hope so.
KING: Is it a he? I will go no further than that question.
PRESLEY: Yes, it's a he.
KING: And when he hears it, he'll know.
PRESLEY: I hope so.
KING: Dedicated to him, the idiot. PRESLEY: Everyone wants to know who that song is about, which is really funny. But it will ruin it for other people because it's a good song.
KING: Let's discuss a nonidiot. How is your daughter doing?
PRESLEY: My daughter is exceptionally incredible.
KING: You don't look like you have a 15-year-old daughter.
PRESLEY: Know, they age you, children. What happens?
KING: How old were you when she was born?
KING: And she's a model already?
PRESLEY: She has taken it on, yes.
KING: How did that happen?
PRESLEY: A very big struggle on my end in that she really wanted to start, she really was interested in modeling. And I had a very big dilemma about it because I don't want her to be shallow or fall into some thing, and I had to, you know, I had to make the decision do I stop to my child? Making a child wait until they're 18 or 20 to do what they want to do is kind of stupid. Because then it's down time and they get into trouble along the way and they lose to their way anyway.
KING: Stifling them.
PRESLEY: Right. So I didn't want to stifle her, but didn't want her to head into a destructive profession. So, anyway, thankfully she's got a good head on her shoulders. And she's handling it very well. And as much as she works and as much as she's in school and it's my to keep it balanced.
KING: Does she get a lot of work?
PRESLEY: She gets tons -- she gets a lot of work. What she's getting is -- she's with Christian Dior right now, flies to Paris and does that.
KING: Isn't that a little grownup?
KING: Does she do any specialty modeling? Is there something that they like her in certain kind of things?
PRESLEY: She's kind of doing a lot of stuff overseas, which I'm happy about as opposed to in America.
KING: Why? PRESLEY: Because I don't really want her, you know -- I don't want vultures coming out yet. I'm trying to keep them back as long as possible.
KING: Because she's going to get it, right?
PRESLEY: Yes. And I'm preparing her for that. She watches me and she has got a really good head on her shoulders.
PRESLEY: Very mature, very smart, sees right through you.
KING: Where did she grow up?
PRESLEY: Mostly in Los Angeles.
KING: What school? I mean she goes to a regular school -- she attends school in addition to -- she goes to Europe and comes back?
PRESLEY: Yeah. She'll go to Europe for a couple of days, or a week, get a lot of work done over there. And then stay in school for months.
KING: Do you have someone with her when she's over there?
PRESLEY: Absolutely. Her father goes with her.
KING: And who is her father?
PRESLEY: Her father is Danny Keogh.
KING: Are you still friends with him?
PRESLEY: Yes. In fact, he's playing bass in my band.
KING: Really. So you have a -- that's nice that you have a good relationship with an ex.
PRESLEY: It's great. We're like brother and sister.
KING: And he's a great dad?
PRESLEY: He's a great dad.
KING: Who is Michael Lockwood?
PRESLEY: He is my musical director.
KING: Is he the new man in your life?
KING: He's not idiot?
PRESLEY: No. KING: How did that come about?
PRESLEY: That was just an evolution of being together, working for a long time. I just kind of happened that you know -- had a crush on him from the minute I met him, personally, but yes.
PRESLEY: It's serious, yes. I mean, you know, I don't want to have anything else, you know.
KING: There's no other person in your life?
KING: Are you going to get engaged?
PRESLEY: I don't know.
KING: Can you envision it, though?
PRESLEY: Yes, I could envision spending the rest of my life with him, easily.
KING: What's special about guitarist Michael Lockwood? Other than, I assume, he's a pretty good guitarist. You would not with a bad guitarist.
PRESLEY: I just had this idea we would be perfect together. And I don't think I realized how right I was when I thought that. You know, just everything. We're together 24-7. We do everything together. And just -- I've never had a relationship like this before. So it took me 36 years, mind you but.
KING: To find this?
KING: Would you say this is the great love?
KING: Would your dad like him had?
PRESLEY: Because my mother loves him. And I can go off of the fact that I know that -- I haven't met anybody that doesn't like him. He not somebody that people don't like. He doesn't have that kind of vibe about him.
KING: Wouldn't you bet that your dad would have been rough on guys you dated?
PRESLEY: Whew, yes, yes.
KING: He would have been controlling?
PRESLEY: Um-hum, um-hum.
KING: Do you often think, Lisa Marie, to that terrible day, because you were there when he passed away.
KING: Do you think back to it a lot?
PRESLEY: I don't usually go into this either. You know, that's something I haven't talked about.
Yes, I was. And you know, it's something I tend to stay away from getting into, because once I open that door, every time, you know, it just, that's all that's going to be brought up to me.
KING: Do you fear yourself being addicted to substances, because that is genetic.
PRESLEY: Right. No. I don't. I've never been -- I mean...
KING: Never felt susceptible to it?
PRESLEY: No, never.
KING: Because you know it's genetic. You're smart, you know that -- like the trait to alcoholism is passed on.
PRESLEY: Right. That's, yes, that's a theory, um-hum. I've never had an addiction, an addiction to anything.
KING: We'll be right back with Lisa Marie Presley. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
P. PRESLEY: My daughter? Surprisingly enough, I don't think she really knew the impact nor did she really know what had happened.
KING: 9's a tough age.
P. PRESLEY: 9 is very tough. And it was very difficult for her to believe. I remember that she was, she took a golf cart that she would ride around Graceland. And she was out with her friend. And I thought that was a little odd. But then again, remembering the age. And I actually preferred her to be out than in the house, because it was very depressing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're back with Lisa Marie Presley. Her new CD is "Now What."
How big a tour?
PRESLEY: You know, I'm kind of comfortable in 2, 1, 3,000 a night type of places. I like house of blues a lot, so that's kind what have we stick around.
KING: They keep you working a lot? Do you like going out for extended periods?
PRESLEY: Two -- yes, two to three weeks I'm out. Two nights on, one night off, typically.
KING: And does that take you away from your daughter?
PRESLEY: No, they come out with me. Or if when, I plan a tour around when they're going to be out of town or something. So we all -- I'm sure that, you know, they're never -- we're never apart more than a week.
KING: Is there anything about your singing that's like your dad?
PRESLEY: Gosh, I...
KING: Thinking the heart out. He didn't write songs.
PRESLEY: He was technically emotionally brilliant. I am kind of skidding around.
KING: He didn't write, though.
PRESLEY: No, no, he didn't. I'm sure he could have. I don't think it was at that time, people weren't really writing their own music. I don't think anybody was. But there are some tones that I can get going that could be similar, here and there.
KING: Because you realize he changed music, didn't he.
PRESLEY: Oh, yes he did.
KING: I mean, he set a trend in American music.
PRESLEY: And what a cross to bare at the time, in the '50s.
KING: And meaning?
PRESLEY: Mean, that type of -- breaking through the pressure and that, you know -- I mean, I don't even know what kind of music was happening. He had a, you know, tidal wave come at him for changing -- you know doing all the things he did. And it's kind of hard for people -- that's where this documentary is good, because it's kind of hard for people to -- nowadays you can pretty much do anything, and it's not -- no one's shocking anybody anymore. At that time, you know, it was very, very conservative and what he did was completely -- you know, it blew everybody, you know.
KING: They wouldn't show the bottom half of him on Ed Sullivan. It was a riot.
KING: Do you like being involved in the business end?
PRESLEY: In terms of the estate?
KING: You're involved in decisions...
KING: ... or 15 percent, you like that?
PRESLEY: Yes, I do. I've been sort of bred to do that since I was 16. My mom made know go to meetings since I was 16 to get me used to the whole idea, so yes. It's a big responsibility for me and I take it very seriously.
KING: You are the inheritor are you not?
KING: Because they were divorced.
KING: Your mom was involved...
KING: ... but it's your baby. That's a big responsibility.
PRESLEY: It is.
KING: It's going to pass on to Riley.
PRESLEY: It is. Yes.
KING: Do you feel it?
PRESLEY: Yes. When I make a decision like I made, yes.
KING: That was your decision?
PRESLEY: It was -- no, it was actually all of us. I mean, we all -- believe me. You know, it was a lot of phone calls, a lot of meetings, a lot of back and forth. But you know, when my mother opened the house originally, it was actually the graves first. You know, everybody screamed at her for doing that. And then when she opened the house she got screamed at. If you make a move, you're going to upset people. So, you have to, you know -- it's kind of -- it is a big responsibility.
KING: Do you keep in touch with his many, many old friends?
PRESLEY: I don't -- you know, I heard you had a show. KING: Oh, we did, great show.
PRESLEY: Was it good?
KING: Great show.
KING: Boy, they loved your dad.
PRESLEY: Right. I'm in touch with Jerry Shilling and Joe Esposito. Those are the two I still talk to.
KING: Joe (INAUDIBLE).
KING: They're army buddies?
KING: And the go back -- and continue this thing of a legacy with your dad.
KING: He's part of their life every day.
KING: How close a father was he to you?
KING: Because you traveled a lot.
PRESLEY: You know, when he wasn't traveling, he was with me. I was with him as much as he could be.
KING: Did He want you sing?
PRESLEY: I don't...
KING: You were nine.
PRESLEY: He wanted know play piano. And I know that when my mother -- when he was away my momma had me sing in a tape recorder and send it to him. So, maybe. I'd have to ask her.
KING: What's Graceland like? Do you spend much time there?
PRESLEY: I go there two -- two to three times a year, and as much as I can. I still have family there. So, I sort of like it to inject life into the house every now and then. You know, have us all go up there and eat.
KING: What is there tour thought it. What does a tourist get at Graceland?
PRESLEY: Usually they pay for a ticket and they can -- there's property across the street, there's a plane. There's museums across the street the house itself. There's the grave site. So, there's several different things.
KING: There's the plane?
PRESLEY: There's the -- the Lisa Marie is across the street.
KING: It's the Lisa Marie. He's buried there, too?
KING: So, you can visit the burial site.
KING: And you can go through the house?
PRESLEY: Yes. Everything but upstairs is open.
KING: The living quarters.
KING: We'll be back with our remaining moments with Lisa Marie Presley. The new CD is "Now What." We'll ask about that song after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESLEY: Everyone had horses and golf carts. One person would get on and then everyone would get on. And then it would be like -- you know, like a convoy of golf carts. It was always crazy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, we're trying to keep up with him. And it's kind of hard to do, because he was, he could be pretty wild.
PRESLEY: I also led the convoy when I got old enough to hit the pedal.
P. PRESLEY: So, when Lisa started doing the same thing with her little friends. She had a golf cart and would drive all over Graceland at a very young age, like, 5 or 6-years-old.
PRESLEY: I had about five friends up there and some cousins.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She had her own little entourage of people.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We can ride and do, a we were really luckily that nobody probably got hurt.
PRESLEY: So, we'd all sort of congregate when I'd came to town, and everyone would get a golf cart.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're back with Lisa Marie Presley. Does your -- the father of your daughter like Michael?
PRESLEY: They're very good friends. I never thought it would happen. It's the most amazing thing.
PRESLEY: Yeah, I've just -- we've been through so much, you know. When I was 19, I knew to have my children with Danny, and no matter what would happen, in our lives we could always be connected and be OK, you know, regardless. And it's been very difficult at times, being with other people and having him be OK with the fact that we're so close and that we still have, you know, I understand that we have a very amazing responsibility together, that we brought this in here together, and because of whatever happened with us, it has nothing to do with them. So we still raise our kids together. And that's kind of a tall order for someone...
KING: Michael has to understand that you might talk to him a lot, be friends with him a lot.
PRESLEY: Right. So they actually -- you know, Michael is the musical director and Danny's playing bass, so I mean, it's kind of one of those things...
KING: Michael is his boss?
PRESLEY: Basically, yeah. You know, they all work together, we all work together, but yeah, it's -- there's a great thing going on, and I'm really thankful, because it took a long time for that to happen.
KING: You wrote "Raven" for your mom. You ever write a song for your dad?
PRESLEY: There was a song on my first record called "Nobody Noticed It" that I wrote for him.
KING: "Nobody Noticed It."
KING: "Now What?" is about what?
PRESLEY: "Now What?" is kind of a me struggling with -- it's just a vulnerable me struggling with something that was at one time really important to me that I tried to be a part of, that I wasn't -- didn't feel like I caught it. So I'm kind of, you know, talking about that, if that makes any sense.
KING: Does writing come easily to you?
KING: It does, flows?
KING: You throw away a lot of stuff?
PRESLEY: No. Not that often, actually.
KING: You don't? Because a lot of writers just write and tear things up and go to other things.
KING: You stay with it?
PRESLEY: Pretty much.
KING: Still a Scientologist?
PRESLEY: Yes, sir.
KING: What attracted you to Scientology? Tom Cruise is a good friend and I hear a lot about it.
PRESLEY: Yeah. I think that -- what attracted me was I just knew that it was for me, because it wasn't something that was going to -- you know, make me believe in something or -- they just had the answers. They explained life, people, me, that made sense to me, that worked, that, you know, answered a lot of my questions.
KING: Do you use it a lot? I mean, do you go to meetings?
PRESLEY: There's no meetings, but I definitely use and refer to, you know, the man was a genius, I don't know what to say other than that.
KING: I knew him.
PRESLEY: You did? Wow.
KING: Interviewed him.
KING: In the '60s, off a science fiction book he wrote.
PRESLEY: Right. Right.
KING: A great interview, by the way.
KING: On science fiction, he was a great interview.
PRESLEY: Was it print or TV? KING: No, on TV in Miami.
PRESLEY: Wow! That's very interesting.
KING: Yeah. It's historic. They should have saved the tape.
PRESLEY: You should have saved it.
KING: Like (ph) kinescope, because I mean, the Scientologists, I mean, look up to him as he's the founder of the faith. Is it called a faith?
PRESLEY: It was a religion. It was bona fide, it was acknowledged as a religion by the IRS, actually.
KING: Why do you think it's controversial?
PRESLEY: I think that anything that's young and growing quickly is scary and controversial, and anything with religion is also a bit sketchy. You know what I mean? When you have that -- that on it, organized, and usually there's different, you know, things. But the bottom line is, is that what's in there and what he says is not something that you have to believe. You read it, you go out and you check it out, and you see if it's not the truth. And it works exactly as he said. He figured out a lot. And that, you know, it makes sense, and therefore, it answers a lot of questions. It brings a lot of sanity in my life.
KING: What do you want to do now? You want to tour. There will be another CD hopefully. You want to keep on singing?
PRESLEY: I do.
KING: Other goals? You want to act?
PRESLEY: No, I don't want to act.
KING: Don't want to do like your father did?
PRESLEY: I'm not -- you know, for me, like I said, my contribution is through my writing and my music, and I'm not someone who just wants attention -- or not that he was, but you know, nowadays people are doing everything. And they just -- I'm not...
KING: If you marry Michael Lockwood, you want children?
PRESLEY: Yes. Very much. That's definitely something I want.
KING: And so does Michael?
KING: And you're 36.
PRESLEY: Yes, 37.
KING: So get married soon. You don't want to go 42, 43, right?
PRESLEY: I don't want to distract -- yeah, we just don't want like to get the wrong attention right now, so we just do our thing.
KING: Would it get the wrong attention?
PRESLEY: If my record's coming out and people are interested in your other stuff more than they are that, so we're just kind of, you know, doing our thing, we're working right now.
KING: You do want to keep on singing, though.
PRESLEY: Yes, I do.
KING: And keep on writing?
PRESLEY: As long as I know that what I'm doing is helping others, or, you know, contributing to something good, I'll continue.
KING: Would you say that you are happy?
PRESLEY: Yes. Very happy.
KING: Happiest ever?
PRESLEY: Yes, without a doubt.
KING: Because of career, Michael, the whole ball of wax, Riley, mom.
PRESLEY: All of it, everything is in order right this minute, you know, everything. All the ducks are in a row, quacking in the same direction right now, and it seems, you know, that's great. I hate saying that kind of stuff, because then you think about it, you're like, ah, what's going to happen.
KING: Don't want jinx it. People get mad...
KING: ... because they don't like to see you happy.
PRESLEY: Of course they don't. You know, a majority -- at least 20 percent of the population doesn't.
KING: That's a big amount.
PRESLEY: It is, actually, when you think about it.
KING: Do you worry about what people think about you?
PRESLEY: It would affect me. I am greatly affected when I feel negativity, particularly. It does definitely have its effect.
KING: Who doesn't want to be liked? PRESLEY: Right. To some degree, you do. I mean, you can put up as much of a front as you want, but the bottom line is, is that, you know, everyone's affected by somebody wanting to take them down.
KING: Continued good luck, doll.
PRESLEY: Thank you very much, sir.
PRESLEY: No, sorry.
KING: Just humble...
KING: I know I'm old, but sir? Lisa, raised right. Raised right.
Lisa Marie Presley, the only child of Elvis and Priscilla, and (INAUDIBLE) in her own right, a new album "Now What?" We thank her very much. I'll be back in a couple of minutes.
KING: Thanks for joining us on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE with Lisa Marie Presley. Her new CD is "Now What?"
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