Denver police Captain Jerry Kennedy on the time Elvis bought him a Lincoln Mark IV

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Elvis Presley’s generosity is almost as legendary as his sideburns and white jumpsuits. Case in point: Denver Police Captain Jerry Kennedy, who received a brand new Lincoln Mark IV courtesy of The King. Kennedy first met Presley through the DPD, when the former was in charge of running the department’s off-duty operations and The King needed security when he came to town. Presley himself had wanted to be a policeman from the time he was a kid.

Presley, who recorded his first single (“That’s Alright Mama”) when he was nineteen, was clearly on a career path that would make it impossible to follow through with his law enforcement aspirations. More hit singles followed, and then the films, the groupies and everything else that made Elvis, well, Elvis. By the time the singer befriended Kennedy and other local officers in the early 1970s, he had vast reserves of money and an unquestionable flair for eccentricity. So what does a mega-pop star do once he’s bought everything there is to buy? Elvis might answer: attempt to turn a childhood dream into reality.

That’s why he liked to surround himself with officers — Kennedy, Bob Pietrafeso and Bob Cantwell, chief among them. At one point, Elvis even had a double-breasted police coat made for himself by a tailor on 14th Street. He loved carrying a pistol and had cop-themed jewelry (including a gold police badge). No doubt, Presley loved the law enforcement look.

The Lincoln came about, in typical Elvis fashion, as the result of a series of spontaneous decisions. To hear Kennedy tell it, Elvis was sitting at home in Memphis one night, watching television with his road manager, Joe Esposito. He saw snow skiing on some channel and said he wanted to go to Aspen. And, just like that, Presley was on a plane headed to Denver.

Kennedy and other officers joined Elvis and Esposito for their winter vacation in the mountains, winding up in a posh rental house in Vail. Kennedy and his fellow officers wound up spending ten days with The King, and, by all indications, they had a blast. Near the end of Presley’s stay, he asked Kennedy what kind of car he drove. “I said I got an Audi Fox,” Kennedy recalls. “He said, ‘I wanna buy you a car like mine. I’ll get you a Lincoln.'”

It was that easy. Presley asked Kennedy if he knew of any Lincoln dealerships in Denver, and he mentioned the Kumph Motor Car Company, formerly at 8th and Broadway. Kennedy called the dealership and asked if they had any brand new models in stock. They had a royal blue Mark IV that was part of the Bill Blass designer series. Kennedy said he’d take it. True to his word, Elvis wrote a personal check for the car, paying $13,386.69 for the new ride. “He said his dad would shit his pants when he saw the canceled check for this,” Kennedy recalls. (Presley’s father Vernon had been handling his son’s finances by 1976.)

Presley bought other cars for other friends and girlfriends, including a number of Cadillacs. Kennedy kept his for twenty years, selling it, finally, in 1996 to the Tupelo Automobile Museum. Kennedy sold it for the same price as what Elvis paid — $13,300 — and hasn’t regretted it at all. “It’s in a better place now,” he says.

Denver cops were all shook up because of King of Rock ‘n Roll’s lavish generosity

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Elvis Presley and Denver Police Chief George L. Seaton. Presley donated money for the construction of gym at 35th and Colorado. Here, he is receiving his honorary police badge from Chief Seaton on Nov. 17, 1970. Photo by Bill Smith, Courtesy of the Denver Police Department.

When you think of Elvis, you think Sun Records to Graceland in Memphis, the Tupelo hill country of his boyhood, the neon lights of the Vegas Strip. But the snowy slopes of Colorado? Think again. In the 1970s, John Denver might have had Colorado Rocky Mountain high, but the King of Rock ‘n Roll held court over Denver’s law enforcement community. He did pretty well as he pleased from the mountains to the city streets.

His generosity was legendary and, after his drug-related death, controversial for the Denver Police Department. Elvis was a fan of law enforcement. Besides at least two badges he wielded in Denver, he was an honorary chief deputy for the sheriff’s department for Memphis and a “federal agent at large” for Richard Nixon. In Denver, he showered gifts — Cadillacs, expensive jewelry, lavish ski vacations — on Denver police administrators and detectives, including narcotics investigators, a Denver Post investigation in 1982 found.

Elvis handed out gold necklaces as freely as if they were Mardi Gras throws. “Everyone was wearing them there for a time,” an unnamed police source told Denver Post reporter Jack Taylor 30 years ago. All the necklaces included a lightning bolt and the letters TCB, or Takin’ Care of Business, fat Elvis’ motto and the name of his band. The friendships took off after Denver cops provided security for show in 1970, according to accounts.

The necklaces alone — hardly the extent of The King’s gifts — were estimated to be worth $700 to $800 each in 1976, back when the average monthly rent was $220 and a home cost less than $13,000. He was also rumored to have taken officers on “blank check” shopping sprees.

In 1970, Presley stroked a check for $5,500 to outfit a police officers gymnasium at East 35th Avenue and Colorado Boulevard. Police Chief George L. Seaton gave him a badge in front of a police photographer.

Art Dill, who succeeded Seaton in 1972, formed an even closer relationship with Presley, later giving The King a badge and a captain’s uniform. Dill refused a Cadillac — “No way, I’m the chief of police,” he reportedly told The King. He later accepted a a World War I-vintage Colt .45 pistol.

In 1982, the state Senate Judiciary Committee called Dill to testify about the gifts. Dill had made a name for himself in the department in 1961, leading an internal affairs investigation into a cop-run burglary ring. He brought 50 officers to justice.

Dill told senators the gifts officers accepted were “morally wrong,” but not illegal. He said he paid for a badge and uniform he gave Presley with his own money. Dill said he did not know why Presley gave him the valuable pistol, or why the showman gave the gifts he gave to other officers. The next year, Dill retired.

It was alleged but never proven that Presley was allowed to go on a drug raid with Denver cops, and Elvis famously wore his Denver police uniform to go out in public incognito, even once attending a funeral in Colorado in DPD dress blues.

At other times, Presley kept an even lower Colorado profile. Sources told the Post 30 years ago that he woe a ski mask on the slopes at Vail. Stories abound about rowdy nights on borrowed ski mobiles. He was allegedly once reported by Susan Ford, President Ford’s 18-year-old daughter.

In his 1991 book, “The Life and Cuisine of Elvis Presley,” author David Adler tells of Elvis making up his mind in the Jungle Room at Graceland, while entertaining two Denver cops, to take an immediate flight back to Denver to have the best sandwich he’d ever enjoyed, the Fool’s Gold Loaf at the Colorado Mine Company restaurant in Glendale.

“Before the lawmen knew what was happening they were seated inside Elvis’ stretch Mercedes along with another couple of Elvis’ buddies, and whisked to the Memphis airport,” Adler writes.”Elvis’ personal jet, the Lisa Marie, was waiting for them on the tarmac. As the four jet engines roared for takeoff, the excitement inside the plane revved even higher as Elvis and his guests were about to be flown the two hours to Denver for Elvis’ favorite sandwich, the most mouthwatering sandwich known to the King.”

He concluded the tale, “Elvis’ plane touched down at 1:40 a.m. at Stapleton Airport and taxied to a private hangar. The owner of the restaurant personally brought Elvis and his party the order on silver trays. For two hours in the Denver night, the feasting went on. It was typical of Elvis’ generosity that he insisted that the plane’s pilots, Milo High and Elwood Davis, join the fun.”

1977-1980 Denver Comets

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The Denver Comets joined the IVA in 1977 and held the IVA’s final match on July 15th 1980.

The comets time in the league was met with some success and a lot of controversy.

Following a match in 1979, an arrest warrant was served on many of the Comets top management including their President and their GM. Over 200 lbs of Marijuana was seized, which is kind of ironic these days considering it was Denver.

An excerpt from the book, STP John

An excerpt from Chapter on Pendejos & Locos from my book “Pioneers of Leisure”

They murdered STP John. Shot him to death. The pillow case, he always carried, was saturated with blood.

In the 1960’s, the University of Colorado at Boulder, was voted the best party school in the nation, no contest. The partiers were straight fraternity boys who could not back down STPers. The trigger man was Robert Coleman. The confrontation was as sure as night.

In the late 60’s, STP John showed up in Boulder, leading an extreme tribe of the filthiest people on earth. The tribe was Hell Angels without choppers. They sold bad drugs, panhandled, stole anything, and took life without moderation. They operated under no moral or legal code. They were constantly in jail for vagrancy and other crimes. I observed the invasion, from my 2nd floor perch in a Cotangent store window. I was the “Fool on the Hill.”

STP John