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Long-time Elvis aide Joe Esposito dies

Published 30/11/2016

Joe Esposito, left, pictured in 1998 with Bremerhaven mayor Manfred Richter at the point Elvis Presley stepped on German soil during his army service (AP)
Joe Esposito, left, pictured in 1998 with Bremerhaven mayor Manfred Richter at the point Elvis Presley stepped on German soil during his army service (AP)

Joe Esposito, a former road manager for Elvis Presley and a long-time member of the Presley inner circle known as The Memphis Mafia, has died at 78.

His daughter Cindy Bahr said Esposito, who had dementia, died on November 23 of natural causes in Calabasas, California.

Esposito met Presley in 1959 while both were serving in the US Army in Germany and remained close until Presley's death in 1977.

He became Presley's assistant in professional matters, from keeping his calendar to functioning as road manager when the King was on tour. He was also part of The Memphis Mafia, a Southern entourage of Presley pals and hangers-on, which included Red West, Marty Lacker and numerous others.

Esposito appeared in some of Presley's movies, including It Happened At The World's Fair, and was one of two best men at Presley's 1967 wedding to Priscilla Ann Beaulieu.

A decade later, he was among the first to find Presley's body after Elvis collapsed and died at his Graceland mansion in Memphis. Esposito broke the news to Priscilla and Presley's manager Tom Parker, and was a pallbearer at his funeral.

After Presley's death, Esposito worked as a road manager for the Bee Gees, Michael Jackson and other artists. His books included Good Rockin' Tonight: Twenty Years On The Road And On The Town With Elvis, and was a frequent guest at Presley conventions.

Along with Ms Bahr, Esposito is survived by another daughter Debbie, son Anthony, a brother, sister and three grandchildren.

AP

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