A 22-year-old Elvis Presley bought his monolithic home, Graceland, and its adjacent grounds for $102,500 back in 1957. The young King of Rock and Roll remained in the massive Memphis, Tennessee home for the rest of his life, often filling it with friends and family every weekend or holiday. He even died there on August 16, 1977. The building, its look and its contents changed a few times over the years, but Elvis’ girlfriend, Linda Thompson, made some major alterations in the 1970s.
Elvis first met Linda in July 1972, just months after he had separated from his wife, Priscilla Presley. The model recalled being entranced by how “sexy” the King of Rock and Roll was. They began a passionate relationship that blossomed into a loving companionship.
Once she arrived and got settled in the Memphis, Tennessee building, she got to work branding her character into the historic landmark.
The official Graceland website revealed: “The stained-glass peacock panels between the Living Room and Music Room, as well as the stained glass around the front door and the stained-glass fixtures over the pool table in the basement were added to Graceland in October 1974. The work was done for Elvis by Laukhuff Stained Glass Company of Memphis for the cost of $9,345.”
The stained glass peacocks were brought to life throughout Graceland as Elvis also had the birds roaming through his grounds.
However, during a virtual live tour of Graceland in 2021, Elvis expert and archivist Angie Marchese revealed: “There were actually some pet peacocks that ran around the property here at Graceland at one point. That was until they started seeing their reflection in the gold Cadillac and started pecking the paint off the car.”
Angie added: “Needless to say, the car got a paint job and the peacocks found a new home at the Memphis Zoo.”
Linda eventually broke things off with Elvis. Their relationship came to an end in December 1976.
“Elvis had a Madonna complex,” she revealed recently. “Once a woman had a child, she was not a sexual being to him. I wanted a life — most of all I wanted to be a mom, but knew I could not bring a child into this crazy lifestyle.” As a result, she started “weaning herself off him”.
After an emotional final meeting, Linda told him: “I love you,” as they held one another. “Then I walked away,” she remembered.