Once upon a time there was an evil king who had a good, handsome son he envied and hated, but whom the people loved. However, because his son, the prince, was so loved by the people and brought much gold into the kingdom, the evil king could not kill him. Instead, he manipulated the son’s talents to increase his treasuries until the prince died from exhaustion and a broken heart. For the good prince naively loved his father and did all the king asked of him in hopes to earn his father’s love.
In a list of the most hated men in the world, undoubtedly, Colonel Tom Parker would be in the top 10. I’ve never read anything positive about the man except for his prowess for promoting and his grasp at understanding the gold mine in Elvis. Whenever Parker’s legacy is mentioned, greed and exploitation follow.
A Wikipedia© posting about Parker’s life alledges Priscilla Presley stated the following excerpt from her eulogy at Parker’s funeral:
Elvis and the Colonel made history together, and the world is richer, better and far more interesting because of their collaboration. And now I need to locate my wallet, because I noticed there was no ticket booth on the way in here, but I’m sure that the Colonel must have arranged for some toll on the way out.
Saying Colonel Tom Parker’s name has always evoked a diabolical image in my mind. Thanks to ABC’s brilliant hit series, Once Upon a Time, my image now has an applicable face to match my imaginations. It is the face of the devilish, deal-making imp, Rumpelstiltskin, characterized by the talented Robert Carlyle (The Full Monty). Only in my mind the imp is chubbier with a large cowboy hat atop its head shadowing an obese girth fattened by Elvis. Others share similar images.
Unfortunately, for Elvis there was a sinister Dutch courter in attendance. This man had no knowledge of paradigms and appeared to be incapable of ever imagining alternative dimensions. He was, though, more than willing to exploit the defeatist alienation of a genuine rebel. ~Peter Harrison
Another thing comes to mind about Parker is mystery. It is a mystery why Elvis allowed Parker to have such a powerful, devilsih grip on his life? Once Elvis made his comback it was clear he no longer needed Parker. Maybe it was fear coupled with a lack of confidence that caused Elvis to keep Parker around. I suspect it was the naivety of the deal.
When Rumpelstiltskin proposed his deals it always appeared beneficial to both parties, but when the conditions of the agreement were demanded it only benefited Rumpelstiltskin. The deals are always a means to an end for the imp’s purposes no matter the consequence to the other party for keeping their end of the bargain. It would seem Elvis was naive about the motivations behind Parker’s deals. The spirit of the deal seemed to benefit Elvis, but the legality of it was always a means to an end for Parker to enrich himself.
The extent of his exploitation were exposed during a lawsuit against Parker in 1981-1983. His devlish grip was finally loosened from Elvis’ legacy, but it was far too late. Elvis was dead six years past. We would never see what more Elvis could have shared with us once Parker was out of the picture.
The mystery of Parker’s control over Elvis can only be speculated with our best guest from the available evidence. It will forever remain an unsolved mystery archived in an American fairytale. Unlike the beloved fairytales of lore none of us got our happily ever after.
What a raw deal.