Elvis Presley was immensely popular around the world. Surely he could have drawn huge audiences and made a ton of money if he toured overseas. But he never performed anywhere overseas. What was the reason for that?

  • Did you read Elvis Presley under "Parker and the Aberbachs"?
    – user3169
    Commented Mar 10, 2015 at 21:34
  • @user3169 It says Parker claimed "that foreign security was poor and the venues unsuitable for a star of his magnitude." That doesn't seem like a credible claim, since other huge stars like the Beatles successfully toured various countries. Commented Mar 10, 2015 at 21:41
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    Hm, i thought Elvis did perform in german television during his army time there. Am i wrong about this? I remember a video where he is performing a german song ("muss i denn zum städele hinaus") , i always thougth this was in german television
    – kl78
    Commented Nov 25, 2015 at 11:32

3 Answers 3


Elvis' manager, Colonel Tom Parker (whose real name was Andreas Cornelis van Kuijk) was an illegal alien. Sending Elvis overseas, where Parker would have needed a passport to travel, would have jeopardized his being "found out". And Parker wasn't about to send Elvis over there by himself, where someone else might have exerted control over him and convinced Elvis to dump Parker.

It is reported that a promoter in Saudi Arabia offered $10M US to tour there, which Parker turned down.

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    Do you have a link for the Saudi Arabia offer? It is amazing Elvis never changed managers. Commented Mar 11, 2015 at 19:08
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    I think I got that nugget out of Col Tom's wiki. Elvis was incredibly loyal to Parker, even though Parker was screwing him to the tune of 50%. FIFTY PERCENT, when most managers were getting 15-20%. AND, all that lost revenue from not touring Europe/Japan/everywhere else. It was a shame, really. A carny huckster ruined one of the greatest entertainers ever. Commented Mar 11, 2015 at 19:21
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    References would be nice, thanks :-) Commented Mar 12, 2015 at 5:14
  • Reference will be better. Commented Mar 12, 2015 at 12:58
  • Nash, The Colonel, pp. 384–390 en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colonel_Tom_Parker#cite_ref-nash384_47-0 Commented Sep 10, 2015 at 15:23

Throughout his entire career, Presley performed in only three venues outside the United States—all of them in Canada, during brief tours there in 1957. Rumors that he would play overseas for the first time were fueled in 1974 by a million-dollar bid for an Australian tour. Parker was uncharacteristically reluctant, prompting those close to Presley to speculate about the manager's past and the reasons for his apparent unwillingness to apply for a passport. Parker ultimately squelched any notions Presley had of working abroad, claiming that foreign security was poor and the venues unsuitable for a star of his magnitude. - Stanley, David; Coffey, Frank. The Elvis Encyclopedia. Virgin Books; 1998. ISBN 0-7535-0293-3.


He was on a steady diet of quite a few illegal substances. Traveling overseas would have been too much of a hassle to make sure he had what he needed ( either smuggling them or having to score more in each country).

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