“My relationship with Elvis began in February, 1956. I was a disk jockey at KRLD in Dallas and Elvis was making the rounds. Texas was one of his stomping grounds in those days. He had a lot of success in Texas, and I met him at the radio station where he was promoting some records. I was just in the right place at the right time. ” – Eddie Fadal
Edward Fadal’s relationship of close personal friend and confidante to Elvis lasted 22 years. Elvis performed concerts in Waco’s Heart of Texas Coliseum twice during those years and each time visited in the Fadal home before and after his concerts. At Elvis’ invitation, Eddie accompanied him on several tours during those days but only as a trusted friend and traveling companion, never on the payroll of the rock and roll king.
When Elvis was drafted into the United States Army in 1958, at Fort Hood, Texas, he returned to the Fadal home on weekends for the six months he was stationed there. Many times he would unexpectedly show up at the Fadal home in the middle of the week when he would get a day off from the base.
He was royally welcomed each and every time, along with his relatives and friends who frequently accompanied him. The Fadals honored his request that he would have complete privacy from their own friends and family. A room was built onto the Fadal home, decorated in similar fashion to Elvis’ own room at Graceland. A custom-built stereo was especially engineered for his comfort and each week’s new record releases were awaiting him when he arrived from week to week.
Mrs. Fadal would take Elvis’ mother, Gladys, with her to the grocery store to make sure the foods Elvis liked the most would be purchased and prepared to his liking. Mrs. Presley also helped in the preparation of the food. Everything that would be provided to make a home away from home for Elvis was done by the Fadals.
When Elvis’ beloved mother passed away, Eddie accompanied Elvis to Memphis and remained at Graceland Mansion for the entire 30 day leave Elvis was given from Fort Hood. They returned to Waco together and Elvis went on to Fort Hood where he would eventually ship out with the Second Armored Division to overseas duty in Germany .
A beautiful Live Oak tree was planted on the front terrace of the Fadal home on Lasker Avenue in perpetual memory to the late Gladys Love Presley. Elvis telephoned his deep appreciation but was unable to attend. Elvis told a close circle of friends on many occasions, “I can count on one hand the true friends I have and who don’t need me or use me for anything and I’m proud to say that Eddie is one of them”. Those words were ingrained in Eddie’s memory, and in his words, “They shall remain there as long as I shall live.” (Courtesy ~ Elvis International Forum)
If you are interested in more information on Elvis’ early touring days in Texas, check out the fabulous book by Stanley Oberst, “Elvis Rockin’ Across Texas.”