Elvis Presley died on August 16, 1977 of a heart attack on the toilet aged just 42. The King was found on the floor of his Graceland upstairs bathroom by his final girlfriend Ginger Alden. As the tragic news spread, friends and family found out and flew to Memphis for the imminent funeral.
Among them, was Elvis’ ex-girlfriend Mindi Miller, who he dated for a time between 1975-6.
The King’s private jet the Lisa Marie was set to transport family and friends based in Los Angeles, but it was full, so Memphis Mafia member Joe Esposito arranged a seat for her on an American Airlines flight.
Speaking with Elvis expert Billy Stallings Spa Guy, Mindi shared how upon landing she was picked up by one of The King’s inner circle before being driven to Graceland on the eve of his death.
The 71-year-old shared: “I will never forget the way the streets looked. It was just hordes of people deep, you couldn’t even see the street. And everywhere I looked it was just masses of humanity.”
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Inside Graceland’s gates, there were a ton of cars belonging to friends and family parked outside.
Mindi remembered: “We went into the front of the house and it was just a mass of people… and yet it was very quiet. That night Elvis’ body was brought back into the house.”
Having spent a night a hotel, on the morning of August 17, Mindi headed back to Graceland where everyone had the chance to have their own time viewing Elvis’ body privately.
The King’s casket was kept in the Music Room, which had curtains drawn to give everyone their quiet moment to say goodbye.
Mindi continued: “I told him that I loved him and that I missed him and had a private conversation with him. I said I will be back as many times as I can over the next couple of days to see you.”
Elvis’ hands were covered in the casket so she wasn’t able to hold one, but found another way to say goodbye.
She said: “I put my hand on his right arm and then I knelt over and kissed his forehead and then I said goodbye and that I would see him later in the day.”
After going back and forth many times to view him that day, Mindi went out for dinner the night before the funeral with everyone where they shared Elvis stories and their love for The King.