Anything about Elvis
More than 30 Million visitors can't be wrong

Memphis Mafia - Friends or Parasites?

Thu Nov 03, 2005 6:54 pm

Following the thread 'He Was My Friend', what is everyones opinion of the Memphis Mafia:

My response to the 'He Was My Friend' thread was:

I know Elvis was in charge of his own destiny and that he alone, at the end of the day, was responsible for his outcome BUT I can't help thinking and believing that if some of his 'so called friends' confronted him about what was happening they might have made him see the light... perhaps?

But like all associated with Elvis, Charlie is making a living, which is nice (for him)...?


Please dont let this degrade into personal insults but it would be interesting to read your thoughts...?

Thu Nov 03, 2005 7:16 pm

I think the majority fancy themselves as friends. But it must have been a difficult sort of friendship - your friend is also the boss - and you're all riding a gravy train the like of which has never been seen before.

The ones who seem to have survived best (IMHO) are those who realised there was work to be done, e.g. Schilling, Esposito. They also seem to be the ones who may have had problematic relationships with Elvis at some point.

The others Fike, etc it's difficult to know, they tell a good tale and perhaps even if they were just a bunch of free-loaders, unreliable witnesses in the eye of the storm, there's a role in that.

Then there's Charlie...but we've been there in the other thread.

Geoff

Thu Nov 03, 2005 7:28 pm

In an interview Elvis was asked why he did not take a long rest. His reply was that he had all those families to support.
I doubt he was speaking about the musicians, as they easily could find other jobs. In fact they did accompany and tour with other artists during the long times Elvis did not perform live in-between his tours and/or Vegas stints.

Thu Nov 03, 2005 7:38 pm

tupelo_boy wrote:The others Fike, etc it's difficult to know, they tell a good tale and perhaps even if they were just a bunch of free-loaders, unreliable witnesses in the eye of the storm, there's a role in that.


Actually Lamar ran Elvis's music publishing company and searched songs for him to record (like Kentucky Rain). After Elvis died he worked in the music business as a road manager, consultant and music publisher. As far as I know his done very well.

Thu Nov 03, 2005 7:43 pm

Marko wrote:
tupelo_boy wrote:The others Fike, etc it's difficult to know, they tell a good tale and perhaps even if they were just a bunch of free-loaders, unreliable witnesses in the eye of the storm, there's a role in that.


Actually Lamar ran Elvis's music publishing company and searched songs for him to record (like Kentucky Rain). After Elvis died he worked in the music business as a road manager, consultant and music publisher. As far as I know his done very well.


I stand corrected. Laziness on my part, couldn't be bothered to re-read anything to support my assertions. My apologies to Lamar. I stand by the original point of the statement however.

Best wishes

Geoff

Thu Nov 03, 2005 9:27 pm

Lamar Fike is sitting at the table directly opposite Elvis before the opening 10th August show TTWII,another camera was filming just Elvis too(as seen in original ttwii-opening night nerves bit).

I just find the bit with Lamar in the frame much more interesting.


Sonny West now imo he was hassle to Elvis.

Thu Nov 03, 2005 9:30 pm

Some were parasite....

Thu Nov 03, 2005 10:48 pm

Parasites!!!

bpd

Sat Nov 05, 2005 5:57 am

I think they might be a little of both parasite and friend depending on what was going on at the time. I agree with you pacer that it's ashame that they didn't confront him about the drugs and maybe that might have gotten him straight. In Careless Love, the author states that Elvis was worried about what the public would think about his drug use and said he thought about admitting to his fans that he did drugs and was going into rehab. Wasn't that why Sonny West and Red wrote the book?

The problem was that the Memphis Mafia were "Yes Men" and afraid to talk back or disagree with Elvis. But then again, that's what Elvis wanted around him. He told them numerous times, if they didn't like it, they knew where the door was. If you are depending on someone for your paycheck, you're not going to argue with them if it means losing your pay.

Sat Nov 05, 2005 10:20 am

I think they were parasites spelt with a capital P. I don't recall a one of them not trying to make $ off of Elvis in some way even up to this day. I think some were just worse than others.

Sat Nov 05, 2005 10:48 am

MYWAY wrote:I think they were parasites spelt with a capital P. I don't recall a one of them not trying to make $ off of Elvis in some way even up to this day. I think some were just worse than others.


I have no problem with Elvis' friends making money from their connection with Elvis. Why wouldn't they? How many people can say to have been close to Elvis? If none of the people close to him had ever chosen to write or talk about him, we'd know a hell of a lot less about the man. What I do have a problem with is those that do it with underhand and spiteful motives. I think Charlie is a class act, as he never takes the low road. If Elvis could see and read all that has been said about him since his death, I'm pretty sure he'd consider Charlie to be the most loyal of his friends.
Last edited by TJ on Sat Nov 05, 2005 12:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Sat Nov 05, 2005 10:58 am

I am very fond of Charlie myself especially as he was one of Elvis' friends who shared Elvis' love of music. Charlie was his main listening partner and especially in the early days of their friendship. He even taught Elvis some new vocal techniques. It's a shame that his personality let the relationship decline to the status of sycophant. "I Will Be Home Again" is enough to justify any role he played in Elvis' life.

I think most of the members had a deep affection and love for Elvis but as Tupelo Boy points out there is a contradiction in the fact that they worked for Elvis instead of just being a friend. If the bodyguards had established identities outside Elvis it might have been more possible to create an equal friendship. What made a drug confrontation next to impossible was the fact that by the time Elvis' drug habit flew out of control, they had been Presley employees for so long they didn't know anything else. Also, many of them had substance issues themselves. That's a bad mix. Waylon Jennings once noted in an interview how it wouldn't have been a good situation for him to work with Elvis in the '70s (as many suggested in a dream collaboration) because they just would have done drugs together.

Sat Nov 05, 2005 11:58 am

Red West was Elvis's main partner (along with Charlie) in music. They picked up together the songs Elvis would record from the acetates. Elvis loved to sing with close harmony with them. Red also wrote several great songs for Elvis.

As far as talking about the drugs with Elvis. Red certainly tried to talk him about it and I think that was one of the reasons he was fired. Lamar tried to talk with Elvis about and Elvis pretty much told him to f*ck off.

During the las few years Elvis got rid of the old gang and at the time of his death he was planning to fire Joe and Lamar. I think that had a lot to do with the fact that Elvis didn't want the older guys around because they could confront him. After that there would've been only Charlie and Billy and the Stantley brothers. The Stanley brothers were just kids at the time and were doing drugs too.

The MM has been blamed for a lot of things. I think they did the best they could at the time. No one could have saved Elvis but himself. After Elvis died some of them have done stupid things but I don't think it's loyalty to lie about Elvis even if it's to protect him.

Sat Nov 05, 2005 12:07 pm

TJ wrote:If Elvis could see and read all that has been said about him since his death, I'm pretty sure he'd consider Charlie to be the most loyal of his friends.


Without a doubt.

Charlie gets a bum rap on here sometimes, but deserves much better. I think Elvis would be proud of the way Charlie has remained loyal to him and couldn't care less if he has made money off of his name. I don't think Elvis would want it any other way.

Elvis once said, as long as I'm around, Charlie will never want for anything.

Sun Nov 06, 2005 5:11 am

Parasites!!! Except Charlie (I've thought this for years).

But let me make myself clear about the others:

F***ing Parasites!!!

Thing that his friends apparently didn't say:

Hey Elvis. I don't need a house, car, or job from you. I just need you as a friend.

Hey Elvis. You probably won't like hearing this but you have a problem. You need to get help. You are killing yourself. I've known you for years so I'm assuming that you won't want me around anymore. Sorry, but I can't stand here and watch you kill yourself. Thanks for the offer of a car, but I have to turn it down. I'm here anytime you want to get some help.

Hey Elvis. I heard you mention that you can't take time off because so many people depend on you. Well, I like my job, but I have no problem getting another job to support my family. You need to take care of yourself. I'll be here as a friend no matter what.

Hey Elvis. I can't stand here and watch you kill yourself. I could write a book and out you, but I wouldn't do that. Let's get you the help you need.

Hey Elvis. I don't need anything but your friendship. I have been and always will be your friend. You need to get help and take care of yourself.

Hey Elvis...We love you but we can’t stand by and watch you do this.

Hey Elvis...We love you but we can’t stand by and watch you do this.

Hey Elvis...We love you but we can’t stand by and watch you do this.

Hey Elvis…What is wrong. What can I do to help? We are here for you!

But obviously they couldn't see beyond their own needs. I'm thinking that Elvis may have been right. What would these people do without him…NOTHING. Almost 30 years later and they are still feeding off of him. Good God. Give me a break!!!!!!

And they will tell you that they loved him….BULL S**T!!!

Which brings me back to my original point:

F***ing Parasites!!!

And FOOLS on top of it. THEY LET THE GOOSE THAT LAID THE GOLDEN EGGS TEAR HIMSELF APART FROM THE INSIDE OUT. If nothing but selfishness motivated them they were still F***ING FOOLS!!!!

:twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

bpd


PS: Sorry for the rant, but I've felt this way for years...and I can't hold it in anymore. I could go on...but can barely contain myself at the moment!!!

Did I mention that I think that they were:

F***ing Parasites!!!


:twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

Sun Nov 06, 2005 7:42 am

I totally agree with the above bpd but I have no resepect for Charlie Hodge either after I met him with my wife in Memphis several years ago. He was drunk, obnoxious and full of himself. In a way, I felt sorry for him as I thought and still think he is/was nothing more than a pathetic little joke/parasite.

Sun Nov 06, 2005 8:40 am

MYWAY wrote:I totally agree with the above bpd but I have no resepect for Charlie Hodge either after I met him with my wife in Memphis several years ago. He was drunk, obnoxious and full of himself. In a way, I felt sorry for him as I thought and still think he is/was nothing more than a pathetic little joke/parasite.


Is it really fair to judge a man's character based on what he says or how he acts when drunk? Most of us will be able to look back at an incident in our lives where we didn't exactly present ourselves in our best light after a few drinks. In judging his character, I think it's fairer to look at how he has spoken about Elvis for the past 28 years.

Sun Nov 06, 2005 1:40 pm

bpd wrote:F***ing Parasites!!!


Please don't hold back. Tell us how you really feel.

Sun Nov 06, 2005 6:48 pm

Ok...I will do that:

FUC*ING PARASITES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Except Charlie and Joe IMO.

Mon Nov 07, 2005 4:32 am

Rob wrote:
bpd wrote:F***ing Parasites!!!


Please don't hold back. Tell us how you really feel.


I did.

And I could go on...for at least a year or so.

But I think I made my point. 8)

bpd