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Just finished reading 'Elvis-What Happened?'

Mon Apr 04, 2005 5:17 pm

I have just finished reading 'Elvis -  What happened?'.

I have wanted to read it for sometime. I managed to get a copy of it
recently.

It was better written than i imagined it to be. Although there were a few incorrect things in there eg, saying that priscilla didn't have an affair with that dancer (she admited that she had in the late sixties), that elvis and this young fan took too many drugs and were unconsious) memphis flash told me that the girl was on prescription medicine and took too much of it.
Also why did they call 'Circle G', 'Rising Sun'?

I am wondering why did people make so much of that tape recording at the end of the book of the conversation between red and EP? Was it because Elvis didn't know he was being recorded for the book?

Obviously so much has been written about Elvis in the past 28 years
that it doesn't seem 'too bad' about him. I can imagine at time
circumstances were very different though.

There isn't too much in there that most die hard fans don't already
know.

But the thing that stood out most was how much he had lost all sense of
reality in the seventies. Particulary when it came to him and his guns.
There is a picture in the book where Elvis is holding a big gun and
little lisa marie is looking over her mother's shoulder. That picture
makes me feel uneasy - maybe because she is a very small child.

One situation mentioned is when he is recording 'Elvis at home' and he
wants to slip out of the house and shoot the drug pushers whom he
hates. Then slip back into the house and carry on doing the recording
without any of the musicians knowing.
(Obviously he didn't do this).

He was living in his own world and the lines between fantasy/reality
must have become blurred.

It is very sad for him and those around him at the time. Boo. :(

Re: Just finished reading 'Elvis-What Happened?'

Mon Apr 04, 2005 5:49 pm

julieannbabe wrote:There isn't too much in there that most die hard fans don't already know.


That is the case now but most fans did not have this information 28 years ago. Also, don't believe everything you read. This book was an exaggeration by three guys who were pretty pissed off at him at the time.

Mon Apr 04, 2005 8:17 pm

If life with Elvis was so bad, why didn't they leave in 1961 or 1962?
They leeched off Elvis until Elvis got sick and tired of these guys and kicked them out.
To "help" their "friend" they wrote a tell-all book. With friends like that, who needs enemies?

Tue Apr 05, 2005 2:05 pm

Julieann:

Much of what is in that book is common knowledge now, but in 1977 it was a shocking revelation. Remember that when the book was first published, Elvis was still alive. If he ever read the book, and I am not certain that he did, he would have been appalled at the sheer betrayal of his former employees. Imagine reading a word for word transcript of a supposed 'private' conversation between you and a friend of some 23 years in a book that was now available to the world.

Tue Apr 05, 2005 2:25 pm

Stephen -

You wrote:
If he ever read the book, and I am not certain that he did...


I think he did read it.

Marty Lacker reckons it prompted him to 'rehearse' his reply if the question of drug taking came up in later interviews or on stage.

Tue Apr 05, 2005 2:46 pm

Would it be possible for any of you to post this transcript, I haven´t read it myself.


Sincerely MB280E

Tue Apr 05, 2005 2:51 pm

I understand Elvis' well thumbed and marked copy of the book is in the hands of a private collector. If it is it's priceless!

Official publication date was 1st August but I would have thought Elvis would have got his hands on an advance copy. I think it's fairly obvious the huge disappointment he must have felt but his actual comments would have been interesting. Steve Dunleavy certainly put a 'National Enquiresque' slant on it. I did read that the Wests were disappointed that Dunleavy had sensationalised the story so much but what did they expect??
Last edited by Delboy on Tue Apr 05, 2005 3:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Tue Apr 05, 2005 2:58 pm

MB280E wrote:Would it be possible for any of you to post this transcript, I haven´t read it myself.


Here you go......

http://www.elvis-collectors.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=661&highlight=red+west+conversation

Tue Apr 05, 2005 6:43 pm

The phone conversation transcript as published in the book was selectively edited to make Elvis look bad. The complete version was put out a few years ago. If memory serves it was posted on the old mb.

Colin: The book came out in August of '77. My understanding is that Marty Lacker hadn't been on the scene since sometime in '76. So how would he know about this 'rehearsed answer' business?

Tue Apr 05, 2005 7:14 pm

Pete -

Marty claims he kept in pretty close contact with the other MM boys after he left.

If Elvis had read the book, it seems logical that he would have prepared some sort of planned reply for when he was questioned about it.

What with going on the road again shortly.

Tue Apr 05, 2005 7:15 pm

Pete Dube wrote:Colin: The book came out in August of '77. My understanding is that Marty Lacker hadn't been on the scene since sometime in '76. So how would he know about this 'rehearsed answer' business?


That's true. He can't have known first hand. Somebody must have told him. Most likely Billy Smith. He seemed to be closest to Elvis in the final months.

Tue Apr 05, 2005 8:57 pm

Pete Dube wrote:The phone conversation transcript as published in the book was selectively edited to make Elvis look bad. The complete version was put out a few years ago. If memory serves it was posted on the old mb.

Colin: The book came out in August of '77. My understanding is that Marty Lacker hadn't been on the scene since sometime in '76. So how would he know about this 'rehearsed answer' business?


that is just it - i didn't think that conversation made EP look bad...

Am i missing something?

And that whole thing being that Priscilla was the ONLY woman he ever loved. Maybe that was believable then but not 28 years later when we all know what EP got up to.

xjx

Tue Apr 05, 2005 9:25 pm

Delboy wrote:
Pete Dube wrote:Colin: The book came out in August of '77. My understanding is that Marty Lacker hadn't been on the scene since sometime in '76. So how would he know about this 'rehearsed answer' business?


That's true. He can't have known first hand. Somebody must have told him. Most likely Billy Smith. He seemed to be closest to Elvis in the final months.


In the book Revalations from Mempis Mafia and on All The Kings Men video Billy Smith tells how Elvis went in to rage over the book. Billy says that he had to listen Elvis ranting and raving like a wild man saying that if they would hurt his career he would kill them. The next minute he was crying and saying that didn't they know that he loved them and would've hired them back. Billy finally told Elvis that they didn't know that and they were hurt way they were treated. Some MM members say that Elvis read the parts of the manuscript before it was published. Didn't some excerpts of the book was published in foreing magazines before it came out in the States?

Tue Apr 05, 2005 11:35 pm

Marko -
Yes excerpts were published in the weekly rag the National Star. This was a week or so prior to Elvis' death. I remember those days well (I was 17). It was a tough time to be a fan.

Tue Apr 05, 2005 11:37 pm

Luuk wrote:...If life with Elvis was so bad, why didn't they leave in 1961 or 1962?...


Probably because things were not "so bad" in 1961 or 1962.

Tue Apr 05, 2005 11:41 pm

Thanks Delboy! :)


Sincerely MB280E

Wed Apr 06, 2005 12:38 am

I read most of that book on a four hour flight from Memphis to LA the first week it was out. Finished it in the hotel that night. I couldn't get it off my mind for several days. I shouldn't have been surprised, I mean the 70's were pretty much a drug culture all in its own.

Lot of buzz about that book around Memphis back then. Lot of talk on the radio and word of mouth.

My understanding was that Elvis had an unpublished draft of the book. It would be interesting to know what that collector has. I also heard that he had plenty of advanced warning about the book, and as someone above said, he wasn't too happy about it.

While it might have seen like the end of the world for Elvis fans at the time, in the long run it didn't do anything at all to tarnish his image with the real fans. One of the books I read, can't remember which, said that Elvis did have a prepared statement to recite to his audience regarding the book if he felt like he needed to address it.

I have an audio file of that conversation between Red and Elvis somewhere. What I like about that conversation is that you hear the real Elvis talking voice rather than what you heard in the movies or from the impersonators.