Anything about Elvis
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Wed Jun 18, 2003 8:19 pm

I was very impressed when meeting Sonny West. I met him at the Ramada Hotel in Memphis Jan 2001. He took time out from eating his dinner to chat with us. He didn't seem full of himself - just a normal bloke. I asked him what was Elvis really like? He said pretty much like you see him in rehearsals in TTWII SE. He said the new version really captured what he was like (in the good days before things got bad)

Lester :D

Wed Jun 18, 2003 9:11 pm

I met Joe Esposito in 1984 at an Elvis convention. I was just 18 at the time and pretty intimidated by meeting someone this "close" to Elvis. Hell, the idea that I was shaking hands with someone who'd shaken hands with Elvis was pretty amazing at the time. Anyway, I recall him as being polite and obviously amused when I went up to him when he was alone and I said something like, "uh, hello, Mr. Esposito...hi, uh, I just wanted you to know I'm a big Elvis fan." "It's nice to meet you." He must have thought I was an idiot but he was very cordial and shook my hand and asked how I was enjoying the convention. We spoke for a few minutes and I asked what he had been doing since Elvis passed away. He mentioned he'd been coordinating tours for various artists, including Michael Jackson and had been keeping very busy. He wished me a nice day and prepared to participate in the charitable auction. I remember he brought along a belt buckle and a COA. It wasn't a stage buckle, just an ordinary buckle that he said belonged to Elvis. I remember it went for $600. At the same convention I had the opportunity to speak briefly with Ed Parker. He was also very cordial, especially since I bought a copy of his book, "Inside Elvis." He wrote a very nice personal message inside after our talk and signed it, "Best In Life, Ed Parker" We talked for a minute about Elvis and karate. He seemed like a decent guy. Charlie Hodge was supposed to be there, but came down with a cold or something and didn't attend. All in all, good memories.

Of course, I've never met Lamar or Marty. If I had, I'd probably have said something to piss them off. I seriously dislike those two clowns.

Eagle

His Truth Is Marching On...

Re: members of the 'MM' you enjoyed meeting....

Wed Jun 18, 2003 9:51 pm

hounddawgs6499 wrote:I started this thread awhile ago.

I'm going to ask the question AGAIN:
Which members of the "Memphis Mafia" did you enjoy meeting (or seeing in person)?

PLEASE stay on the subject matter this time.
Please disregard the responses that were posted before this one - since a majority of them do not concern this specific thread.
Tom (from Ohio)


Did you get out of the wrong side of the bed Tom? As you stated yourself:
There are no wrong answers here.


Does it really matter if threads develop? I didn't realize there is a strict adherence to the specific question.

Anway, I would say Charlie Hodge was the most likeable member of Elvis's group. He seems quite a decent chap and hasn't resorted to writing a 'tell-all' book. I much prefer his whitewash account of his time with Elvis. It makes a nice change - unbelievable - but nice.

Sorry, I mentioned a book - straying from the subject again!

Re: members of the 'MM' you enjoyed meeting....

Thu Jun 19, 2003 8:10 pm

For example, if you were to say that you met Marty Lacker and enjoyed meeting him, I would have no problem with your answer. (After all, we have opinions regarding the 'Memphis Mafia' pro and con). I just wanted to focus on the positive.
Also, anyone who worked for Elvis or was friends with him would qualify as "Memphis Mafia". That is what I meant when I said "There are no wrong answers here"

Getlo, as for your comment:
"Does it really matter if threads develop? I didn't realize there is a strict adherence to the specific question"
I would like to say something about it. I had specifically asked a simple straightforward question. Unfortunately some people turned this thread around into something else.

NOW for my answers to the question:

Some of the 'Memphis Mafia" members I enjoyed meeting:

GEORGE KLEIN
Enjoyed meeting him. Has had good things to say about Elvis. Managed to get him, Red West, and Larry Geller to pose together for a picture. George said he would like a copy so he gave me his business card. I sent him a copy. I received a 'Thank you' note from him.

JERRY SCHILLING
First met Jerry in 2000 (during EW2000). After George Klein's Elvis Mafia Reunion, I managed to meet Jerry and asked him if I could have my picture taken with him. Spontaneously, we shook hands when we posed. I commented, "Yeah, just like Elvis and Nixon". Some of the people at a nearby table (D.J. and Scotty among them) saw the humor in my comment. Jerry was as nice as can be.

RED WEST
Saw him last August (at the Elvis Memorial Service).
Loved the story he told about the prank Elvis played on JD and the Stamps at the Hilton Hotel - and how Donnie Sumner tried to be the "hero". Also enjoyed hearing him tell the story of Elvis and the guys painting the statues in the Hilton Hotel showroom.

CHARLIE HODGE
Great storyteller, and a very funny man. Too bad he never became a regular standup comedian.

PATTI PARRY
The only female member of the 'Memphis Mafia'.
A very nice, down-to-earth lady. Loved the story she told at the
"Conversations On Elvis" event last year. The one about where she punched out Scatter (her first, and last, encounter with the chimp). Someone asked her if she would ever write a book on Elvis. Patti said she wouldn't - because the publishers want negative stories. Patti immediately won my respect that day.
Met Patti afterwards in the lobby. Later that week, I purchased a photo of her and Elvis, and had it signed by her.
Patti was also one of the guests at the Elvis FANtasy Fest in Portage, Indiana (last October). She was easy to talk to. Took time to chat with her. She asked where I was from, what type of work I do; noticing that I came by myself, asked me if I was married or had a girlfriend. I had a photo taken with her. At the sock hop/dance, I managed to dance with her.

JOE ESPOSITO
Met him. Was nice. Also enjoyed hearing his stories about Elvis.

DICK GROB
Enjoyed hearing his stories (was at GK's Elvis Mafia Reunion and at "Conversations On Elvis" last August). Met him after GK's event. Very nice guy.

D.J. FONTANA
Met him. Was very nice. Had my picture taken with him in 2001. His wife was there too. I asked D.J. and his wife if they could pose together for a picture. They did. Months later, I sent them a copy of the photo. Almost two weeks later, I received a 'Thank You' card from them.

SAM PHILLIPS
Enjoyed hearing him speak. Great storyteller. Part evangelist/part "dirty old man".

Anyone else????

Tom (from Ohio)

Thu Jun 19, 2003 11:12 pm

I think if someone takes the time to thank you for something, it says a lot about that person. Just giving you some of their time, without expecting anything for it is great. Your story about DJ and his wife confirms that.

I feel however, all Memphis Mafia members should give their autographs freely.

Some of them charge a rediculous amount for signed photographs. It's only by their association with Elvis that fans want their autographs. Most of them haven't made it on their own merits and should be grateful for the little bit of attention they get now.