Elvis, a German K.P. and Jeff Goodson (far right) of Henderson take a break in field manuevers for a picture. Goodson was stationed in Freiberg, Germany with Elvis for 18 months in 1958-59.
Presley never really did sing or play the guitar that much, said
Goodson, except for one time and it was just like one of Presley’s
“There was a guy sitting up in the motor pool one day playing the Guitar,” Goodson recalled. “Elvis walked in, just walks over and grabs the guitar. Then he sang and played two or three songs. That’s the only time I remember him doing anything like that. One of the songs was “Love Me Tender. I can’t remember the other two.”
Did the soldier mind when Presley grabbed his guitar?
“Oh no, he understood just fine. I mean, how many times does Elvis Presley walk up and grab your guitar?” Goodson asked.
A crowd gathered to watch and listen, he said, but there was always a crowd when Presley was around. “They would gather around whether he sang or not,” Goodson said.
Presley was well-liked, Goodson said and added that everybody (there were 5000 troops stationed at Freiberg) was always coming up to get their picture taken with him. And Presley used to walk around with a box of cigars which he would hand out to everybody, “I still have the one he gave me,” Goodson said.
He was also the team mascot for the Freiberg football team, said Goodson. “”We’d be playing another team who’d have somebody dressed up as a bear or something for a mascot - and we’d have Elvis Presley.”
Goodson said Germany was where Elvis first met his future wife, Priscilla, who was then 13 and an officer’s daughter. “Which is a little strange when you think about it,” he said.
Goodson comes from Mississippi originally, like Elvis. “I asked him if he knew Carthage, Miss.,” Goodson said. “He said he’d been there but it had been a little while since he’d been there and didn’t remember it that well.”
After the service Goodson saw Presley again later in a concert in Jackson, Miss., where he sat next to Elvis’ cook. “We just happen to get a seat next to his cook at Graceland.”
"The King" and Goodson. Elvis and Goodson were at the same boot camp, too, in Fort Hood.