Colonel Parker & Elvis – can’t have one without the other

A charismatic entrepreneur and brilliant showman as well as a a psychopathic gambler, an unscrupulous conman, and possibly a murderer, Colonel Tom Parker left an indelible mark on the 20th Century.  He masterminded Elvis’s meteoric rise to fame as the ‘King of Rock and Roll’, turning a boy from poor white stock in Tupelo, Mississippi into the most popular entertainer on Earth. Having discovered Presley as a 20 year old in 1955, he ruthlessly controlled his life and pocketed up to half of his income until the “Heartbreak Hotel” singer’s death in 1977.

 A new movie starring Tom Hanks has garnered bad early reviews – ‘deliriously awful’, ‘a nightmare’ – but it does spotlight an intriguing personality. Hanks said: “There would have been no Elvis without Colonel Tom Parker; there would have been no Colonel Tom Parker without Elvis. A symbiotic relationship.” “He saw Elvis’ effect on an audience … realized that guy was forbidden fruit, and you can make an awful lot of money on forbidden fruit.”

Parker was born 26 June 1909 in the Netherlands as Andreas van Kuijk, became a showground and carnival huckster and a docker with criminal tendencies, who fled to the USA after the brutal murder of a woman, possibly in a burglary gone wrong. He adopted a new name and a fictitious military title and made history, all the while lying seamlessly and treating people like dirt, sticking to the old maxim, ‘You don’t have to be nice to people on the way up if you’re not coming back down’.

  Parker was a Sun Cancer with a creative Venus Neptune also in Cancer opposition Uranus square Saturn in Aries. He would be a good organiser with a focal point Saturn and not a sentimentalist with it being in Aries – autocratic with Uranus square Saturn, and a good illusionist from Neptune. Cancer is a sign with a nose for public taste. Tom Hanks is also a Sun Cancer trine Mars in Pisces giving him a resonance with Parker despite his ‘good guy’ image as an actor.

  But Parker also had his Mars in a ruthless, can-be-criminal square to Pluto. His controlling Pluto fell in Elvis’s 7th house of partnership so there would be a possessive, one-sided connection between them.

  Elvis, 8 January 1935 4.35 am Tupelo, MS, was a Sun, Mercury and Venus in Capricorn opposition an 8th house Pluto. Such a Pluto can occur with individuals who have a powerful, unseen influence, an aura they project onto the public. Though at a personal level it also goes along with a sense of being trapped by circumstances or people outwith their control. His Venus in Capricorn opposition Pluto squared onto a maverick Uranus in his performing 5th house making him a mould-breaker in the entertainment business. Rock singers often have Uranus in the 5th.

He had an ambitious Mars in the 10th and a money-magnet Jupiter in Scorpio trine his Pluto – so he would have become a success without Parker though not on the same scale. Elvis’s leaving-a-legacy-for-history 17th harmonic and his global superstar 22nd harmonic are notably striking.

  Parker’s hard-driving and potentially duplicitous T Square of Saturn square Uranus opposition Neptune Venus keyed into Elvis’s financial Capricorn planets, his ambitious Mars in the 10th and his influential/trapped Pluto in the 8th – with Parker’s Neptune in Elvis’s 8th house of business finances, not a good augury for straight dealing. Parker’s Uranus was conjunct Elvis’s Sun for a life-changing connection; and Parker’s executive/organising Saturn was in Elvis’s performing 5th which is classic for a behind-the-scenes, entertainment businessman. It was a complicated, gritty, deceptive, power and money hungry bond largely tilted in Parker’s direction.

 Their relationship chart had a super-charged, power-couple T square of Sun opposition Jupiter square Pluto  – which together would see them change the face of a global culture but would demand obedience to a joint strategy. Once individuals with such a connection start to seek independence it causes major aggravation with a constant battle for the upper hand. In this case it never came to that.   

5 thoughts on “Colonel Parker & Elvis – can’t have one without the other

  1. I read some years ago, that in the early days of their relationship he forced Elvis into having gay sex with other men. He took photographs and blackmailed Elvis into doing whatever he wanted.

    So hence him continually performing, in Las Vegas and doing films that he never wanted to do in the first place. Elvis was terrified that his daughter would eventually find out if he didn’t toe the line. There is also the rumour that Parker was gay himself and his marriage to his wife was a front and a means off staying in the country.

    From that, we can infer that one of the reasons, that Elvis never toured abroad was because Parker wouldn’t have been able to get back into the country. He also wouldn’t have been able to control his money maker nearly so well. What a truly horrible man!

  2. Fascinating. I had no idea about Colonel Parker, and what a huge fraud of a person he was. And kicked out of the army because they diagnosed him as a psychopath. Terrifying drive, coming from nothing as an illegal immigrant, to master-minding Elvis’ life (and death, in a way). There’s an article in the Smithsonian magazine, February 24th, 2012, with mind boggling details of the ‘Colonel’s’ life story, and the suspected murder. He had a hair-trigger temper apparently.

    In a curious coincidence, Tom Hanks’ birthday is just a week after Jerry Hall.

  3. Peter Guralnick’s flawless two-part biography on Elvis: “Last Train To Memphis” and “Careless Love” captures Elvis
    and Tom Parker in this Faust-like pact. It ultimately ended in Elvis’ self-destruction aged only 42, due to Parker’s
    greed and amoral disdain for him. Priscilla eventually won back control of her late ex-husband’s estate and turned it
    into a global brand. Parker was frozen out and drifted into ill health and obscurity.

    Parker should have remembered Jimmy Durante’s famous quote: “Be nice to those you meet on the way up
    because you will meet them on the way down.”

Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: