Elvis poured his heart out after divorcing his one and only wife, Priscilla in one of his lesser known songs called “Separate Ways”, a single released in 1972.
It is 40 years to the date when the famous couple finalized their divorce proceedings at the Los Angeles Superior Courthouse located in Santa Monica on October 9, 1973. Elvis and Priscilla Presley were married for six years and had a daughter, Lisa Marie.
The relationship was plagued by accusations of infidelity and other issues related to The King’s popularity in those days.
All this trouble was captured in the song, which was released along with a more famous one by Presley, “Always On My Mind” and even though “Separate Ways” is not as well known, it didn’t do too bad, selling 500,000 copies in the US.
Many agree that “Separate Ways” is the one song in which Elvis’ divorce and the pain associated with it comes through in the lyrics.
Red West, who was the co-writer of the song and a very close friend of Elvis’, originally started composing the lyrics based on his own personal problems with his wife.
However, halfway through the song, he realized that the song also pertained to his friend’s woes and so he tailored it more to his circumstances.
“I was writing about my son, Brent, but then we changed it so it would relate to Lisa Marie,” he told fan site Elvis Australia in 2010, explaining the change in the child’s gender.
Richard Mainegra, the other co-writer says that he opposed the plan to make the song about Elvis and Priscilla’s already public problems, but to his surprise Presley cut the song at about the same time as “Always On My Mind.”
West says the song was cathartic for Elvis, the pain was real, “He said, ‘Man, you’re killing me with these songs,'” West told Elvis Australia. “Those songs definitely got to him.”