Nonfiction | January 24, 2019

On the day we lost Elvis Presley, I had to consider—even just for a moment—the fact that the king of rock and roll had collapsed off the toilet while attempting to take a shit.

The official cause of death was cardiac arrhythmia. In truth, he’d had a cocktail of prescribed drugs that included morphine, Demerol, Valium, Codeine, and Quaaludes.

I was working at Rolling Stone magazine when the news broke on August 16, 1977, just weeks after magazine founder Jann Wenner ditched the Bay Area music scene for the gold in Manhattan’s skyline.

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