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Bob Greene: How Would Elvis Feel About Priscilla's Book

Sun Jun 13, 2010 12:26 am

I came across an old Bob Greene newspaper column, written upon the publication of Priscilla's memoir.

"It is destined to go down as one of the classic passages in modern literature:

I began kissing him passionately. I wanted him - I was ready to submit entirely to him. Then, abruptly, he stopped.

'Wait a minute, baby,' he said, speaking softly. 'This can get out of hand.'


The passion-crazed woman in that exchange was young Priscilla Beaulieu. The recalcitrant man was her future husband, Elvis Presley. That conversation - and many others like it - comes from Priscilla Presley's new memoir, 'Elvis and Me.'

Priscilla's gripe in the above exchange was that Elvis refused to physically consummate their relationship until they were married. (She was 14 years old when they met.) In her book she also describes Elvis' drug habit; his urging of her to take large red sleeping pills ('I wouldn't advise it on school nights, though,' she quotes him); his taking of racy Polaroid pictures of her; his carrying of a gun at the dinner table and his wish that she carry a gun, also; his visit to a morgue with her so that they could look at the dead bodies, and more.

'Elvis and Me," in other words, is destined to fit into a rapidly growing genre of writing: the Elvis-as Weirdo-Creep books. Elvis' former bodyguards have cashed in by writing a book like that, and his 'friends' have cashed in by providing information for books like that, and people who never met him in their lives have cashed in by writing books like that.

What is surprising, though, is that Elvis' ex-wife would cash in by writing a book like that Priscilla Presley for years has proclaimed her continuing deep feelings for her former husband - but now that she has written a book, she has made sure that information like the above is a part of it.

The question has to be: Why? Does she need the money so badly? That is hard to believe; Elvis Presley was one of the wealthiest entertainers in the world, and it seems inconceivable that his former wife is in such bad financial shape that she would have to write a tell-all book to provide herself with cash.

Did she write the book 'to set the record straight'? The main thing her book is doing is spreading the legend of Elvis-as-goofball - and we hardly needed another book like that.

For some reason, Priscilla Presley felt compelled to tell embarrassing things about her former husband - embarrassing things that, while making him seem all too human, also make him seem all too foolish.

This is not to say that what Priscilla Presley wrote isn't true. No one knows better than Priscilla Presley what life with Elvis Presley was like - and by all accounts it was often a sad, painful one.

But - speaking as one person whose life was enriched by Elvis Presley's music - I kind of wish that Priscila had never written 'Elvis and Me.' I don't know a whole lot more about him than I did before she wrote it; I was already familiar with most of the more damaging things she alleges. But I do now know this: The one woman he loved and entrusted enough to marry has for some reason decided that, now that he is dead, she is free to tell their most humiliating secrets to anyone who will listen.

We must accept by now the fact that in many ways Elvis Presley was a desperately unhappy person. I wonder how he would have felt, prior to his death, if he had been told that all of the demons that tormented him the most would be shown to the world - not by his enemies, but by the woman he loved? I wonder how he would have felt if he would have known that the details of the things that destroyed his peace of mind would be sold on the open market by that woman?

Am I saying that, even if what Priscilla writes is true, I'd prefer not to know it? Just about. I'm not sure what she has accomplished by her book, other than proving there was not one person in the world whom Elvis Presley could truly trust.

It was an amazing thing about Elvis - even though those of us who loved his music are now aware of his worst failings and weaknesses, the memory of how special he was does not grow any dimmer. Call him any names you want: They're probably true and it doesn't even matter. The guy was important in ways that almost defy understanding. It's ironic that one of our strongest reactions to him now is to feel profoundly sorry for him - but that's how it is.

I feel sorry for Priscilla, too. I feel sorry that she felt she had to write the book. Wait a minute, baby. This can get out of hand."

Re: Bob Greene: How Would Elvis Feel About Priscilla's Book

Sun Jun 13, 2010 1:34 am

I thought it told more about Priscilla than Elvis.
IMO, nothing she said hasn't happened in other peoples marriages.
Can't say I saw anything weird about this book. Can't say I liked it either.

Maybe she thought she would tell "her side" of things- since all his
"friends" told what they believed on everthing- over & over again.
They might have been around; but doubt they were in their bedroom.
Maybe she wanted Lisa to hear her side . It wasn't a good move on her part, IMO.

Re: Bob Greene: How Would Elvis Feel About Priscilla's Book

Sun Jun 13, 2010 1:38 am

Great column. Thanks for posting.

elvisjock wrote:I wonder how he would have felt, prior to his death, if he had been told that all of the demons that tormented him the most would be shown to the world - not by his enemies, but by the woman he loved? I wonder how he would have felt if he would have known that the details of the things that destroyed his peace of mind would be sold on the open market by that woman?
[quote="elvisjock"]

Re: Bob Greene: How Would Elvis Feel About Priscilla's Book

Sun Jun 13, 2010 4:32 am

This same woman is running the estate!

Re: Bob Greene: How Would Elvis Feel About Priscilla's Book

Sun Jun 13, 2010 5:08 am

Joe Car wrote:This same woman is running the estate!


not really

Re: Bob Greene: How Would Elvis Feel About Priscilla's Book

Sun Jun 13, 2010 10:50 am

Excellent article, thanks for posting.

Re: Bob Greene: How Would Elvis Feel About Priscilla's Book

Sun Jun 13, 2010 11:07 am

Great article. IMO the book reflected badly on Priscilla's attempts to be painted as `the greiving widow', more so than it did on Elvis.

Re: Bob Greene: How Would Elvis Feel About Priscilla's Book

Sun Jun 13, 2010 11:24 am

carolynlm wrote:The reason behind her writing the book, if I recall, was to set some of the records straight after the goldman heap of rubbish.....of the two, I know which one I would rather remember.


So why did she give the rights to have a film made of it as well?

It was all to do with money, nothing else.

If she wanted to set the record straight after the Goldman book she could have done several interviews in the US and other countries where the book was selling well, slating the Goldman book, and Goldman himself.

Think more people would have believed her than Goldman, a man who never even knew Elvis.

Re: Bob Greene: How Would Elvis Feel About Priscilla's Book

Sun Jun 13, 2010 11:41 am

carolynlm wrote:I was just saying that was the reason she gave to the fans and others for writing the book....right or wrong????I wouldn't have a clue.
The subject of Priscilla seems to bring out a lot of passion amongst fans....it seems as though there is no grey area where most fans are concerned. I have offered a reason for her writing the book, and I really would rather not get into any arguments about her.


Sorry it seemed a wanted to argue with you about this carolynlm, im not ,but no one would believe she wrote the book for that reason, Priscilla's not gonna come out and say 'i wrote the book for money', but we all known thats the reason.

I have no problem with her writing the book but her and Lisa should not then condemn the bodyguards book cause that makes then hypocrites.

Re: Bob Greene: How Would Elvis Feel About Priscilla's Book

Sun Jun 13, 2010 2:05 pm

I've never been a Priscilla "fan." However, I think she had just as much right as anyone to tell her side of things.
At least it's not repititious ,mostly the one time thing. Book & movie. How many times have his "friends" told their story these last 30+ years?

I agree with carolynlm on this. IMO, it was done in response to Goldman & all the other stories out here -including the "body guards." Can't recall where I read it now; but she's quoted as saying it was done for Lisa as well. From what I've read & heard; Lisa caused lots of problems for herself as well as Priscilla after hearing & seeing some of these people talk about her father the way they did. She was only 9 years old when he died, but I'd say she saw it all. That includes everyone that was involved. I have to wonder ; how would they feel if someone was talking about them so their children could see & hear ?Plus making money off of it all.Perhaps Lisa will tell "the rest of the story " someday. I hope I'm around to see how fast they try to put down her memories of how things really were.

Re: Bob Greene: How Would Elvis Feel About Priscilla's Book

Sun Jun 13, 2010 6:15 pm

shawn wrote:I've never been a Priscilla "fan." However, I think she had just as much right as anyone to tell her side of things.
At least it's not repititious ,mostly the one time thing. Book & movie. How many times have his "friends" told their story these last 30+ years?

I agree with carolynlm on this. IMO, it was done in response to Goldman & all the other stories out here -including the "body guards." Can't recall where I read it now; but she's quoted as saying it was done for Lisa as well. From what I've read & heard; Lisa caused lots of problems for herself as well as Priscilla after hearing & seeing some of these people talk about her father the way they did. She was only 9 years old when he died, but I'd say she saw it all. That includes everyone that was involved. I have to wonder ; how would they feel if someone was talking about them so their children could see & hear ?Plus making money off of it all.Perhaps Lisa will tell "the rest of the story " someday. I hope I'm around to see how fast they try to put down her memories of how things really were.


It was done for money and so was the film.

As far as Elvis friends told their story, Red had never brought out a book since Elvis died, Sonny has brought out 1 book, so has Shilling. Joe Esposito, who condemned the bodyguard book has brought out at least 3 books on Elvis since 1977.
There is nothing wrong in telling their story of their friendship with Elvis and revealing personal things but Priscilla and Lisa have no right to criticize others when they do the same.

Re: Bob Greene: How Would Elvis Feel About Priscilla's Book

Sun Jun 13, 2010 7:23 pm

Bodie wrote:
shawn wrote:I've never been a Priscilla "fan." However, I think she had just as much right as anyone to tell her side of things.
At least it's not repititious ,mostly the one time thing. Book & movie. How many times have his "friends" told their story these last 30+ years?

I agree with carolynlm on this. IMO, it was done in response to Goldman & all the other stories out here -including the "body guards." Can't recall where I read it now; but she's quoted as saying it was done for Lisa as well. From what I've read & heard; Lisa caused lots of problems for herself as well as Priscilla after hearing & seeing some of these people talk about her father the way they did. She was only 9 years old when he died, but I'd say she saw it all. That includes everyone that was involved. I have to wonder ; how would they feel if someone was talking about them so their children could see & hear ?Plus making money off of it all.Perhaps Lisa will tell "the rest of the story " someday. I hope I'm around to see how fast they try to put down her memories of how things really were.


It was done for money and so was the film.

As far as Elvis friends told their story, Red had never brought out a book since Elvis died, Sonny has brought out 1 book, so has Shilling. Joe Esposito, who condemned the bodyguard book has brought out at least 3 books on Elvis since 1977.
There is nothing wrong in telling their story of their friendship with Elvis and revealing personal things but Priscilla and Lisa have no right to criticize others when they do the same.


She's done more than one project. Remember EBTP?

Re: Bob Greene: How Would Elvis Feel About Priscilla's Book

Sun Jun 13, 2010 8:53 pm

However, Lisa bears no guilt for her mother's book, surely. If you keep a close eye on all things Lisa, you realise there is no love lost between them, despite some of their publicity statements. Lisa has said a number of critical things about Priscilla over the years, and can be seen in film from various public appearances with her mother smirking and turning her gaze away as Priscilla speaks, as if in wordless irony.....

Priscilla's book gives a very bad impression of her in various ways. I'm surprised she doesn't realise this and withdraw it.

Re: Bob Greene: How Would Elvis Feel About Priscilla's Book

Sun Jun 13, 2010 9:20 pm

Bodie wrote:
It was done for money and so was the film.

As far as Elvis friends told their story, Red had never brought out a book since Elvis died, Sonny has brought out 1 book, so has Shilling. Joe Esposito, who condemned the bodyguard book has brought out at least 3 books on Elvis since 1977.
There is nothing wrong in telling their story of their friendship with Elvis and revealing personal things but Priscilla and Lisa have no right to criticize others when they do the same.

I tend to doubt it was done for money. However, everyone has their own opinion. I respect Red West much more than the others too. Some are always somewhere with interviews, etc. telling the same stories--like they never had anything to do with it. I don't read Esposito's books either. The first one was enough. Tell your story once-- if you must; that's plenty.
The most important service rendered by the press and the magazines is that of educating people to approach printed matter with distrust.

Re: Bob Greene: How Would Elvis Feel About Priscilla's Book

Sun Jun 13, 2010 9:34 pm

shawn wrote:
Bodie wrote:
It was done for money and so was the film.

As far as Elvis friends told their story, Red had never brought out a book since Elvis died, Sonny has brought out 1 book, so has Shilling. Joe Esposito, who condemned the bodyguard book has brought out at least 3 books on Elvis since 1977.
There is nothing wrong in telling their story of their friendship with Elvis and revealing personal things but Priscilla and Lisa have no right to criticize others when they do the same.

I tend to doubt it was done for money. However, everyone has their own opinion. I respect Red West much more than the others too. Some are always somewhere with interviews, etc. telling the same stories--like they never had anything to do with it. I don't read Esposito's books either. The first one was enough. Tell your story once-- if you must; that's plenty.
The most important service rendered by the press and the magazines is that of educating people to approach printed matter with distrust.


it was done for money

Story goes Priscilla asked for a huge 10 million dollar advance but only got $750,000.

Priscilla was looking to make money out of the whole thing.

Then she sells the rights to her book to make more money.

Re: Bob Greene: How Would Elvis Feel About Priscilla's Book

Sun Jun 13, 2010 10:24 pm

Priscilla used a "ghostwriter" Sandra Harmon. If you've never written a book, suggest looking into the expenses versus the income. I have a friend that used to be an author. He decided he was in the wrong. business. :wink:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghostwriter

Having an article ghostwritten can cost “$4 per word and more depending on the complexity" of the article.[1] Literary agent Madeleine Morel states that the average ghostwriter's advance for work for major publishers is "between $30,000 and $100,000"[2] In 2001, the New York Times stated that the fee that the ghostwriter for Hillary Clinton's memoirs will receive is probably about $500,000" of her book's $8 million advance, which "is near the top of flat fees paid to collaborators."[3]

Re: Bob Greene: How Would Elvis Feel About Priscilla's Book

Mon Jun 14, 2010 1:00 am

I really liked that book. I think there are various reasons why she wrote it, but I think for sure that one of them was to show the rest of world her story about the man she fall in love with.I dont think she would have wrote it if he was still alive or maybe if she did it would be a very different book.i think that most of people sometimes forget that those kind of books in order for them to be more interesting tent to excaturate. persoanlly I was avoiding this book for years beacuse I thought that it was filled with, lets say "negative" details about Elvis private life.It turned out a completely different book than I expected!!

Re: Bob Greene: How Would Elvis Feel About Priscilla's Book

Mon Jun 14, 2010 9:26 am

CHR1S wrote:I really liked that book. I think there are various reasons why she wrote it, but I think for sure that one of them was to show the rest of world her story about the man she fall in love with.I dont think she would have wrote it if he was still alive or maybe if she did it would be a very different book.i think that most of people sometimes forget that those kind of books in order for them to be more interesting tent to excaturate. persoanlly I was avoiding this book for years beacuse I thought that it was filled with, lets say "negative" details about Elvis private life.It turned out a completely different book than I expected!!

It IS filled with negative stories about Elvis. He comes across as a spoiled, temperamental baby in the book, which is in contrast to the image of him she portrays in EBTP as a kind, generous man.

Re: Bob Greene: How Would Elvis Feel About Priscilla's Book

Mon Jun 14, 2010 10:13 am

Lonely Summer wrote:It IS filled with negative stories about Elvis. He comes across as a spoiled, temperamental baby in the book, which is in contrast to the image of him she portrays in EBTP as a kind, generous man.


It didnt looked that way to me.Sure it has bad moments but It looked to me that she gave him a more human side with flaws e.t.c. maybe it was the time she wrote, maybe it looked that way because of the so-caled co-writer, maybe she wrote it from the perspective of the time the events were happening, maybe some other thing. maybe I didnt get llike you do. its all P.O.V. ;)

Re: Bob Greene: How Would Elvis Feel About Priscilla's Book

Fri Nov 25, 2011 6:44 am

I read the book b4 i saw the film. I still have the film and TBH the only bit i don't really like is the bedroom scene where Dale Midkiff ( Elvis) forces himself onto Susan Walters ( cilla) especially when she show that she wanted Elvis as much b4 that scene. Now i understand Elvis was under the inf of the meds he was on, but did he really force himself on her like she show in the film, and also b4 i read the book i never knew wat happened in Germany when one of Elvis's friend took her home , did one of his entourage try it on with priscilla. My wife watched the film and didnt say Elvis was a piece of nasty work and she enjoyed the film, but she took as it was a one-sided version of the relationship.

Re: Bob Greene: How Would Elvis Feel About Priscilla's Book

Fri Nov 25, 2011 9:34 am

You know, during the "Aloha" concert, Elvis said that Hank Williams' "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" is "probably about the saddest song he'd ever heard." Probably about the saddest book passage I've ever read is the final passages of "Elvis: What Happened" when Elvis and Red are winding down their final phone conversation and you realize that this was the last time these two friends would ever speak to each other.

Daryl

Re: Bob Greene: How Would Elvis Feel About Priscilla's Book

Fri Nov 25, 2011 10:43 am

Daryl wrote:You know, during the "Aloha" concert, Elvis said that Hank Williams' "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" is "probably about the saddest song he'd ever heard." Probably about the saddest book passage I've ever read is the final passages of "Elvis: What Happened" when Elvis and Red are winding down their final phone conversation and you realize that this was the last time these two friends would ever speak to each other.

Daryl


What does this have to do with the subject of this thread?

Re: Bob Greene: How Would Elvis Feel About Priscilla's Book

Sun Nov 27, 2011 12:16 am

Lonely Summer wrote:
CHR1S wrote:I really liked that book. I think there are various reasons why she wrote it, but I think for sure that one of them was to show the rest of world her story about the man she fall in love with.I dont think she would have wrote it if he was still alive or maybe if she did it would be a very different book.i think that most of people sometimes forget that those kind of books in order for them to be more interesting tent to excaturate. persoanlly I was avoiding this book for years beacuse I thought that it was filled with, lets say "negative" details about Elvis private life.It turned out a completely different book than I expected!!

It IS filled with negative stories about Elvis. He comes across as a spoiled, temperamental baby in the book, which is in contrast to the image of him she portrays in EBTP as a kind, generous man.

Agreed. So do you think she did EBTP partly to atone for "Elvis and Me"?

Re: Bob Greene: How Would Elvis Feel About Priscilla's Book

Sun Nov 27, 2011 1:15 am

http://priscilla.elvispresley.com.au/

Priscilla, sees that part of her mission in life is to protect Elvis' legacy. That led her to write her 1987 book Elvis and Me, which she viewed as a response to Albert Goldman's vicious tome 'Elvis'. She didn't want Lisa to read Goldman's crap 'and think that's what her father was'. Priscilla doesn't read all the Elvis books released, but she has a favorite: Peter Guralnick's Last Train to Memphis'. He really captured the whole mood, the whole time and the whole event of Elvis', she said'. I think he said it beautifully'.