By Amy Silverman
By Olivia LaVecchia
By Monica Alonzo and Stephen Lemons
By Chris Parker
By Michael Lacey
By Weston Phippen
Smith swears he has conclusive DNA evidence that his dad is the man who sang "Blue Suede Shoes." "One last thing that you cannot explain away," he writes in his memoir, "is that Elvis and I, we share the same DNA." But asked to share that DNA documentation with New Times, Smith hems and haws and passes the buck. "We're still talking with my family about whether we can put the DNA stuff in the book," he says. "When we said we wanted to put it in the book, they said, 'We didn't mean for you to do that. We got that for you, for your own knowledge, and not for publication.'"
And so Smith continues to point instead to other things that, he says, prove conclusively that Elvis is his dad. There's an old black-and-white photograph of Elvis holding a little boy who could, frankly, be any towheaded kid. There's a snapshot of a woman Smith says is his mother, standing with Elvis and Priscilla and Glen Campbell at somebody's wedding in the '60s. There's a handwritten note from Tyner, postmarked 1991 and refusing to confirm Smith's paternity because "it is not the time to expose your father."
Smith has, he claims, the flag that was draped on the King's coffin at his funeral. He says he has Gladys Presley's change purse, and Elvis' father's pocketknife, and a set of crystal goblets from the Graceland collection. But mention to Smith that some of these items are things that anyone could buy on eBay, or that he might own them because, after all, Elvis is the nephew of Smith's adoptive parents, and he gets huffy. "These are things that are too intimate to be left with a cousin or a nephew," he drawls. "They're the kind of things that a man would only leave to his son."
Cooper just rolls his eyes. "I know a dozen different Elvis collectors who have stuff like that," he says. "Seriously, if you were the son of Elvis, and you had a piece of paper that proved this conclusively, you would start by showing that to everyone you met. And no one ever does. They'll say they have pocketknives or autographed scarves or special key-chains from Graceland that nobody else has. And this is why nobody in the Elvis world ever takes these claims seriously or even bothers to respond to them anymore. Because they're fakes, and they have no proof."
Smith insists he has no need to prove his lineage to anyone. "I have known in my heart that Elvis is my daddy for years," he writes. "It has been a part of my life for years. I know it. I feel it."
One wonders what Elvis himself might say — or which of his famous songs he might sing in response to all these would-be love children he supposedly sired. Maybe "Fools Rush In"? Or "He's Your Uncle, Not Your Dad"? Or perhaps "It's Your Baby, You Rock It." But presumably not "I've Got to Find My Baby." And definitely not "I Love Only One Girl."
Cooper finds the whole cult-of-Elvis thing kind of sad. "These people want to be part of something. So it's, 'I saw Elvis at Burger King in Kalamazoo! He's alive!' or 'My mom slept with Elvis, and he's my dad!' Some of them get a little media attention, or they self-publish a book that sells 800 copies, and they get to feel special for a little while."
In a twisted way, Cooper says, this sort of attention keeps Elvis' name in the spotlight. "But if you were really Elvis' son, is this the kind of attention you'd want to bring to him?" he asks. "Because if my dad were an internationally loved icon, the last thing I'd want to do is join a chorus of people who are saying he screwed around a lot, knocked up a bunch of teenagers, and then took off."
In the case of this writer he should get all the facts before he writes another word. In the case of John Smith let him go to court like Alice Tiffin (who submitted DNA) and like Deborah Presley-Brando (who WON in the Tennessee Supreme Court). I believe that anyone who writes a book, or article is entitled to Freedom of Speech as long as they are not libel in their writings. Court documentation especially from Family Court are private. Maybe Alice and Deborah and John don't want to spend their lives proving what is sealed in the courts because of irresponsible writers like this one.
I am very disappointed in Mr. Pela for this worthless piece. For an expose' to be worth the reader's time it needs to make a successful emotional connection between the reader and the subject. I need to either gain sympathy for the subject so his wrong doings will trigger an emotional reaction from myself...or I need to gain sympathy for the subject's victims. There are no victims. And by giving us a history of those before Mr. Smith that had claimed to be the blood of Elvis, there appears to be nothing special about him. There is no reason for me to care. The only thing that could had saved this article was some unbiased hope from the writer that maybe Mr. Smith was indeed the son of Elvis. Every bit of evidence detailed was revoked by Mr. Pela before the reader could absorb it and make a decision for themselves. So basically Robert Pela took a subject that 99.9% doubted in the first place before even reading the first paragraph and by the end of the article 99.9% still doubt Mr. Smith. Congrats! Mr. Pela's expose' impacted no one.
This stupid fake story is still in here?
Don't you have people that can write stories? I say NOT , there is no good stories in the New Times for a long time maybe you should call this paper LONG TIME!
I do hope "In the Shadow of ELVIS, Perils of a Ghostwriter" is as great a read as "My Bad Tequila" by author & writer - Rico Austin!
Seems like a lot of Elvis connections are here in Scottsdale! I dated one just recently. Believe me, Elvis has left the planet 'in pieces' and these guys are probably 'meteorite pieces' of Elvis for sure. Sad, that none of these guys could ever get a real life, and live their entire lives sadly believing People believe them, in hope to hide who they really are....which I find to be, totally uneducated no-bodies seeking public (mainly women's) attention thru their multiple personality disorder and, or, sick fascination to become their idol and most likely the man they wish they could (ahem) .... yuck! YOu should do an article on my story! 'Dating the ghosts of Elvis' . Pretty funny story, which would make a lot of these guys go back into the closet!
With he penchant for lying about his past, it seems Mr Smith is more likely to be Joe Arpaio's love child.
@Rico Austin I want to read your book. Dennis is a pathological liar and has completely lost touch with reality. I know this because I was married to him when he says he met his birth mother. I would have known that if it happened. In the new book, he claims his second marriage was annulled. That is a lie. It took years to find him to get a divorce. He attempted suicide on more than one occasion and was hospitalized in a psych ward. I really feel sorry for him. He needs professional help.
On the facebook page ELVIS ' "In The Shadow Of" they provided a link to this article as if it would give legitimacy to his claim... and it will if no one actually reads it. Well, okay. He has 114 "likes" on the page and there probably is a good chance that no one will actually read the article.
Really? reLLY? REALLY? He doesn't look a thing like Elvis!
Lets see the proof not talk the lie.
Hi, folks: I'M Elvis Presley, and I've been hiding in my trailer home here in Salome for years, and I can tell you all right now, that guy is NOT my kid! Thank you, thank you.
lol the King of Rock 'n' Roll married one time and had one child.
If what this fool is saying IS true thenhe should be required to prove it or shut the fuck up.