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Bruce Springsteen attends the "Love For The Holidays" concert at Town Hall on November 30, 2023 in New York City© Getty Images

Bruce Springsteen's break-in to music legend's renowned estate retold — and why it left Austin Butler 'so bummed'

The Boss tried to meet The King, but it didn't exactly go as planned

Ahad Sanwari
Ahad Sanwari - New York
Senior WriterNew York
June 19, 2024
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In his latest appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Austin Butler spoke about meeting the late night host at a party that truly sounds like one for the ages.

After listing off attendees like Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Tom Hanks, and Taylor Swift, the two shared a starstruck moment over none other than Bruce Springsteen.

Jimmy asked his guest: "I got to watch Bruce Springsteen tell you a story about Elvis, do you remember the story?" and Austin gushed: "I had heard of this mythical story, and to hear it from him…"

The pair recalled a tale that Bruce, now 74, has recounted a few times before, in concert and during a conversation on The Graham Norton Show back in 2019.

As it goes, back in 1976, Bruce, who was a huge fan of Elvis Presley, found himself outside the walls of the famed (and now disputed) estate of Graceland, and made the bold move of breaking in.

When he noticed a light up in the house, he decided to climb the wall and run down to the front door. Just as he was about to knock, he was stopped by a security guard.

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Bruce asked if Elvis was home, and the guard replied that he wasn't (he was in Lake Tahoe at the time). The "Dancing in the Dark" singer recalled telling him all about having recently appeared on the covers of Time and Newsweek, and handed the guard a song to share with Elvis.

The guard promised to pass it along, but he seemingly never did. And, as legend goes, Bruce never got to actually collaborate with the King of Rock and Roll before his death in 1977.

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Austin and Jimmy had quite a laugh as they sat there in awe recounting Bruce's tale, with the latter joking how The Boss simply asked the guard back then: "Is Elvis home?"

Bruce Springsteen performs onstage during the 15th Annual Stand Up For Heroes benefit at Alice Tully Hall presented by Bob Woodruff Foundation and NY Comedy Festival on November 08, 2021 in New York City.© Getty Images
Bruce recalled jumping the fence at Graceland to hand Elvis a song he was working on

"He was not some unknown kid from New Jersey, he was famous," Jimmy continued. "And he gave the guy a song that he'd written for Elvis, and then Elvis…I don't know, nothing happened, he didn't record the song."

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Austin, who eventually got to play the "Hound Dog" singer in the Baz Luhrmann film Elvis, and earned an Oscar nomination for his trouble, bemoaned: "I'm so bummed I never got to hear that song." Jimmy said: "What a great moment that was to see that transpire!"

Elvis Presley strolls the grounds of his Graceland estate in circa 1957© Getty Images
Elvis, as it turns out, was in Lake Tahoe at the time, and Bruce never got to hear the song

Back in 1985, before performing the track "Follow That Dream" at a concert, Bruce recounted the story, and mused on what would've happened if he actually did come face to face with Elvis that night.

MORE: Priscilla Presley makes candid revelation about what living with Elvis Presley at Graceland was really like

"Later on, I used to wonder what I would have said if I'd knocked on the door and if Elvis had come to the door because it wasn't really Elvis I was goin' to see," he shared with the crowd. 

Austin Butler attends the World Premiere of "Dune: Part Two" in Leicester Square on February 15, 2024 in London, England.© Getty Images
"I'm so bummed I never got to hear that song."

"But, it was like he came along and whispered some dream in everybody's ear, and somehow we all dreamed it. And maybe that's why we're here tonight, I don't know."

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