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As the 1970s wore on, Elvis Presley’s concerts grew increasingly confusing for audiences. While attendees were typically dedicated fans of the musician, his behavior — and the lengthy tangents he went on — were difficult to understand. During one show, Elvis paused the music to go on an extended rant about the venue’s decor.

Elvis Presley took time out of his concert to talk about decor

During a show in Las Vegas in 1974, Elvis looked around the room before commenting that he had “never liked the way this showroom looked.” He then launched into a discussion of the stage layout, the way the walls were painted, and the statues that lined the sides of the room.

“Put a spotlight on the statues on that wall,” he said, per the book Careless Love: The Unmaking of Elvis Presley by Peter Guralnick. “Okay. That’s nice. I don’t know what it is, but it’s nice.”

A black and white picture of Elvis Presley singing into a microphone while in side profile.
Elvis Presley | Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

He then asked for the spotlight to highlight the painted angels on the ceiling.

“Just look at those dudes, boy,” he said. “Big fat angels! Put a spotlight onto this wall over here. You will notice a slight difference. Those of the Caucasian race. That’s what it is, isn’t it? Caucasian? It was on my army draft card. I thought it meant ‘circumcised’!”

He admitted to painting the room in the middle of the night

After asking the lighting technician to bring attention to the paintings, Elvis admitted he’d previously snuck into the room in the middle of the night with friends. One person took paint from a maintenance closet and gave it to Elvis, who decided to update the room.

“I got up with the paint and the brush, and I was Michelangelo, or the guy that painted the ceiling in the Vatican, the Sistine Chapel,” he told the audience. “I painted that statue. It took 30 minutes to do. The hotel haven’t said a word. I just thought I’d share it with you.”

Elvis Presley sometimes rambled about more personal topics during concerts

This was a pretty mild tangent for Elvis. During other shows, he rambled on about his divorce, his new girlfriends, and his rumored drug problems. He once even threatened the hypothetical person spreading rumors about him.

“I told them earlier, and don’t you get offended, ladies and gentlemen, I’m talking to someone else, if I find or hear an individual that has said that about me, I’m going to break their goddamn neck, you SONOFAB****. That is DANGEROUS,” he said. “I will pull your goddamn tongue out BY THE ROOTS.”

Elvis Presley wears a black jacket with a red scarf and stands with his arms crossed.
Elvis Presley | Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

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Priscilla Presley found this behavior incredibly concerning.

“I was in shock,” she said. “Because [in the past] he would never, ever let on to the audience what his emotions were. You know, singing was always his way of venting his emotions, how he felt about something — and he’d get onstage and sing his heart out … This was [so] out of character, for someone who had so much pride, you know — everything he was against, he was displaying. It was like watching a different person.”