13. A Wrecked Public Image and Career
When he got back to the US, Jerry Lee Lewis discovered that things back home were not much better. The scandal was waiting for him when his plane landed in New York, and the American press was no gentler than the British had been. Jerry Lee Lewis had experienced a meteoric rise, and at the peak of his career, he was a legitimate rival to Elvis Presley. Now, seemingly overnight, that promising career was snuffed out, and his public image was destroyed.
Lewis’ personal appearance fees took a nosedive from the then princely sum of $10,000 a night, to $250. His career had a bit of a revival a decade later, when he reinvented himself as a country singer, performing for audiences less offended by child brides who also happened to be blood relatives. However, his days as a rock and roll star were over and done with, for good.