Other than having his mother’s eyes, people don’t immediately recognize Navaron Garibaldi Garcia as the 77-year-old son of Elvis Presley’s ex-wife Priscilla Presley.
“Many people know about I,” the musician told PEOPLE in This Week on newsstands Friday. “But they don’t Know I. ”
Navarone, 35, said that while he largely grew up out of the spotlight, his lineage loomed large.
“I got into more trouble than anyone else because the parents of the kids would find out who my mom was and they wanted a reason to talk to her,” he said. “I’m not too happy with that.”
Most recently, he returned to the public eye when he attended a memorial service for his half-sister, Lisa Marie Presley, in Graceland on Jan. 22. The only child of Elvis Presley and Priscilla, Lisa Marie died suddenly on January 12 at the age of 54 from an apparent cardiac arrest.
“It’s still so surreal,” Navarone said of the loss, another dark blip amid life’s ups and downs.
Navarone, who released his new song “Acid Plane” with his band Them Guns on Friday, is finally ready to tell the world his story, including life with his famous mother, his recovery from fentanyl addiction recovery and discovering the truth about his father’s background, producer Marco Garibaldi.
Navarone’s story begins in the early ’80s, when Priscilla met Garibaldi through a friend. In 1987, a few months after the birth of their only child, Navarone, Priscilla received a call from one of Garibaldi’s exes, warning her that “he’s not what you think, ’ said Navarone. “My mom was pretty much like, ‘Stop calling me,’ because she didn’t know what to do with the information.”
Priscilla is sticking to her routine, which also means not playing Elvis music at home.
“I think my dad was a little bit complicated about it,” Navarone said. “It wasn’t until after he was gone that my mom started playing his music freely again.”
In 2006, Priscilla and Garibaldi parted ways after 20 years of dating; they never married. It was only after the breakup that Navarone became closer to his father.
“The role of discipline didn’t work between us, but the role of friend did,” he recalls. “He’s looking for someone to go out and drink with.”
At 18, Navarone moved to Santa Cruz, nearly a six-hour drive away, to distance himself from his family in Los Angeles, where he later formed Them Guns.
“It was an escape,” he said. “It’s a fresh start. Santa Cruz is a little gateway that pulls you in.”
His bubble burst in 2008 when a reporter national enquirer Found out he was growing marijuana at home.
“It ended up on the front page,” he said. “Everyone knows who my family is now.”
By 2012, Navarone — who had been in another band as a teenager — returned to Los Angeles to pursue music with Them Guns.
“I thought, ‘Okay, I’m going to go into the family business. I’m going to write a song and we’re going to go on tour,'” he said. “I didn’t realize it needed to be way more than that.”
While he admits he’s been lucky to have his mom’s help and connections, he says it’s “a misconception that I was growing up lavishly on Elvis fortune and money…that’s not the case.”
Navarone’s half-sister, Lisa Marie, also ventured into the music industry after releasing her debut album in 2003, but the two were not close in the years leading up to her death.
In 2017, Navarone confirmed some truths about his father — he once thought he was from a wealthy Italian family — that he said hadn’t been told to him before, and that changed his life.
After contacting a Brazilian teenager who claimed to be his “cousin” who had contacted him years before, Navarron learned that his father had come to the U.S. from Brazil — not Italy — and, after being told Changing his surname from Garcia to Garibaldi he would never have made it in Hollywood with a Hispanic surname.
When he confronted his father, Navarone said, Garibaldi told him, “Drop my number.” That was the last time they spoke.
After two weeks getting to know his extended family, Navarone flew to Brazil to meet them.
“I lost one family member, but I gained 20 more,” he said. “I have zero regrets.”
He ended up having to cut his trip short because of another secret.
“My family didn’t know I had a drug problem, and I was too embarrassed to tell them,” he said. “I promised I would not come back until my problems were resolved.”
RELATED VIDEO: Lisa Marie Presley’s Addiction Struggle: ‘It’s a Hard Way to Get Over It’
Navarone’s addiction problems began in his teens, when he started using heroin. Then he became addicted to fentanyl, a synthetic opioid 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine.
“I was under the impression I was doing heroin, but it turned out to be fentanyl,” he said. “That’s a whole different beast. I’m so addicted that I need it every 45 minutes.”
In 2020, he quit hard drugs and opioids, in part so he could visit his now-wife Elisa (whom he married in 2022) in her native Switzerland.
“When COVID hit, I wanted to go out there and see her for more than three or four days. I didn’t want to carry a pound of fentanyl with me,” he said. “I gave in and said, ‘Let’s see how bad this gets.'”
Since then, he’s spent a month detoxing at his mom’s house.
“I was in bed almost all day,” said Navarone, who still smokes marijuana and drinks alcohol. “It felt like a different lifetime, almost. The whole world just got better [afterward]”
Says his bandmate Kyle Hamood: “It’s a night and day difference. It’s like we’re back in old Navarone.”
Now, Navarone says it’s his turn to support Priscilla following the death of Lisa Marie, two years after Priscilla’s grandson, Benjamin, committed suicide at age 27. Despite his mother’s petition against amending Lisa Marie’s will, which names her two oldest children, Riley, 33, and Benjamin, as sole trustees of her estate, Navarone said he and his eldest niece close relationship.
“Riley is very good with the twins,” he said, referring to Lisa Marie’s daughters Finley and Harper, 14, with ex-husband Michael Lockwood.
Later this year, Navarone plans to take his mom to Brazil.
“She was there in the ’80s, but I think she needs to be reminded how good it is,” he said. “I would love to move there one day.”
He also hopes to tour internationally with Them Guns, eventually establishing himself as a successful musician.
“There are places where I don’t think I’m going to succeed here,” he said. “I’m very proud of what I’ve achieved.”
For more on Navarone Garibaldi Garcia’s biography, read the latest issue of People magazine, which is everywhere on Friday.