DateMarch 16, 2014
LISA MARIE PRESLEY
Singer-songwriter, 46, married
I was just nine when my father [Elvis Presley] died, but I had a very special relationship with him. He was the most incredible, enigmatic, powerful, dynamic human being I've ever met. As far as men go, he left big shoes to fill. He is still such a presence in popular culture, but I don't find it odd or surreal – it makes me happy, actually.
Most of my memories are of being home with him. Our rooms were on the top floor of Graceland [Elvis's home in Memphis, Tennessee]. We would sit in my room and watch TV, and spend a lot of time together upstairs alone. He'd take me on golf-cart rides, or we'd visit my grandfather or the pet store.
My father was very funny, very playful, but he also had a very bad temper. Across the board, he was extreme: either really funny, really playful, or in such a bad mood that people were running for the hills. But he had so many vampires around him, stupid people, and they'd tick him off. He was frustrated sometimes. Like everybody, he was human.
I didn't find it hard to have a normal life. Things weren't quite like they are now in the US, where you're in a fishbowl because of celebrity news sites like TMZ. Back then I felt I had a bit of space, and I could privately make my own mistakes and grow up.
I was comfortable around boys and never found them to be alien at all. But I find men and women different. One thing I will say about men: if they've had a good relationship with their mother, and are close with their mother, they are better partners for women. That is a fact. The best qualities men can have are dedication, loyalty, honesty and refraining from going elsewhere for their needs.
I got pregnant and married very early. I was pregnant [with actress daughter Riley Keough] at my 21st birthday. So I was a mom and quiet for years. It wasn't until my 30s that I put out my first record; I'm now on my third. But I coped well with being a young mom and didn't feel at all restrained by it. I liked being stable and didn't have any wild oats to sow – I'd already sown them. Motherhood is my favourite thing. I'm a lioness. A caretaker. I would have 15 children if I could.
I don't regret any of my marriages [to, in order, musician Danny Keough, pop star Michael Jackson, actor Nicolas Cage and current husband, music producer Michael Lockwood]. They were all incredible, fun experiences. Some were marriages of whim – I was wild, they were wild, and we did wild things, but I don't regret them. Each one ended for different reasons. Some I wished didn't end the way they did, but they weren't failures; we just weren't partnered right.
With MJ [Michael Jackson], unfortunately, too much happened, too much got between us. There was a very deep strong love there; intense. But people got in the way, on my end and his end. We had so many people telling us what to do and intercepting and speaking on behalf of the other. Had it been just he and I, towards the end, I don't think we would have divorced.
Michael [Lockwood] and I have been together for 11 years. We met when we were working and we're very close. We've never been apart for a night and we never fight. What I love most about him is that he's so easy-going. He's smart, thoughtful, lets me be myself, doesn't get worried or jealous, and he's the coolest guy I've met in my f...ing life. If he's taught me anything about myself, it's that I'm a complete raving lunatic!
Michael is a huge muso but he never mentioned ever listening to my father. We never talked about it that much. But he was a huge Beatles fan. I always thought of the Beatles as competition for my father, so when I was younger I didn't like them [laughs] – I always felt protective of Dad. I don't hate them any more, by the way! And I love John Lennon.
I have twin daughters [Harper and Finley Lockwood, 5], a son [Benjamin Keough] who's 21, and my daughter Riley is 24. Benjamin has me wrapped around his finger and I spoil the hell out of him. He can make me cry, but he can make me laugh like anyone's business. Riley is the same, while the little ones are the most precious things ever.
The title track on my album Storm & Grace is written for my son. It's about the kind of pressures and expectations placed on men. It's about how he's got the biggest heart but he's learnt how to put up a protective shell, which isn't necessarily a good thing. When men get hurt, they get more and more protective and closed off. I'm not sure how we can fix that. I wish there was a way.