I don’t know what to write. Friends, as you’ve probably heard by now, Lisa Marie Presley died unexpectedly yesterday. I still can’t believe it. Her father in 1977 died too young (42). Her only son, Benjamin Keough, died far too young in 2020 (27) – before his life even really got started. And now Lisa is gone too soon, too, less than 3 weeks shy of her 55th birthday.
I started writing about Elvis Presley back in 1992, and I was writing about his beloved daughter Lisa Marie way back then, too. I wrote in 1992 about the birth of Benjamin for The Elvis Beat, a fan newsletter with a minuscule circulation that I published in paper format. I wrote about the first time she addressed her father’s fans in 1993. I wrote that year also about how she was pursuing a music career (it would be another decade before her debut album, To Whom It May Concern). I wrote about her marriage to Michael Jackson in 1994. I wrote about her divorce from Jackson in 1996.
Years later, here on The Mystery Train, I wrote in 2010 about Lisa Marie leading the Elvis Presley Charitable Foundation, which she had helped reinvigorate in 2001.
In 2013, over on Kees Mouwen’s Elvis Day By Day site, I wrote about Lisa Marie’s third (and now final) album, Storm & Grace. I also wrote in that same piece about her favorite Elvis songs. Her favorite was 1970’s “Just Pretend,” an album track that, at least outside of the Elvis world, is a deep cut. I consider it one of his masterpieces as well.
For Lisa, here it is.
“Just Pretend,” studio version, That’s The Way It Is | Credit: Elvis Presley – Topic channel (YouTube)
“Yes, I’ll come flying to you again. All the crying is through. I will hold you and love you again, but, until then, we’ll just pretend.”
–From “Just Pretend” by Guy Fletcher & Doug Flett; Elvis Presley song, 1970
She no longer has to pretend.
I’m praying for Lisa’s daughters, her mom, and everyone else who loved her.
I still don’t know what to write.
“He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”
“Where No One Stands Alone,” Elvis Presley & Lisa Marie Presley, 2018 | Credit: Elvis Presley channel (YouTube)