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When did the cough syrup incident happen?

Thu May 05, 2011 6:27 am

I have heard Paige Peterson's OD came as early as fall 1971 and as late as spring 1974. Sandi (or anyone else) do you remember when it took place? I have also heard it happened in spring or fall 1973. I lean fall 1973 myself.

Re: When did the cough syrup incident happen?

Thu May 05, 2011 10:45 am

According to Marty Lacker it was 1971...

MARTY LACKER: That year, 1971, was when the overdoses started. The worst one happened after a show at Tahoe. Sonny told me about it. Elvis saw this girl in the second row, and he was really taken with her. Real innocent. A nondrinker, nonsmoker. Didn't even wear makeup. And she was crazy about Elvis Presley. She and her mother would drive to Vegas to see him. And her mother was with her at the Tahoe show.
Elvis waved to her from the stage, and after the show, he told Sonny to bring her backstage. She sent her mother home, and she stayed with Elvis that night and, actually, for quite a bit of his engagement. He'd give her pills so she could keep up his hours.
One night after the show, they went to Palm Springs. Elvis was taking Hycodan, which is a narcotic, analgesic cough syrup. In large doses, that stuff's dangerous. Elvis and this girl were drinking it out of champagne glasses. They didn't go to bed until about four A.M., and when they did, they took their Hycodan with them.
By one o'clock the next day, Elvis wasn't up. Sonny banged on the door. And when Elvis didn't answer, he went in side. It was like a meat locker in there, Elvis kept the temperature so low. Sonny said Elvis was sprawled across the bed lengthways, and his breathing was real erratic.
Well, Sonny freaked out and went and got Hamburger James. And it took a while, but they eventually got Elvis up, and slapped him back to consiousness. Then he took some Ritalin and came out of it.
The girl was another story. She was in much worse shape. They couldn't slap her awake, and she barely had a pulse. Sonny said she was dying right there in front of them.
They phoned Dr. Kaplan and he came up there and called an ambulance. He was shocked at how far gone she was, and he waarned them that she probably wouldn't make it. She was already turning blue. Elvis was telling him waht to do, you know, "Just give her a shot of Ritalin and she'll pop out of it." I think everybody was pretty disgusted by that. But he used to just hand out Ritalin tablets to all of us in the late sixties. Elvis was just Ritalin nuts. He always thought no matter how bad you got, that's all you needed. He also thought it was a good way to wake up.
charlie was there and he and Sonny followed the ambulance to the hospital. They pumped the girl's stomach and hooked her up to life support, but Dr. Kaplan was still saying he didn't think she'd live. But Elvis just waved off. He said, "I told her not to drink so much of that." And he went in the bedroom and called Colonel Parker and John O'Grady, I think, and Dick Grob, to make sure the Palm Springs police stayed out of it and that it didn't hit the papers. And then they came up with this plan that if she did die, Charlie would take the rap. He'd say she was his date, and he'd given her the stuff.
Well, something like seventeen hours later the girl came to. Charlie and Sonny went to the hospital, and Sonny said when he touched her arm, she came halfway off the bead and started hissing at him like a wild animal. It scared the sh*t out of him. The doctor said she was suffering from oxygen deprivation to the brain. Elvis paid her hospital bill, and he had Joe get in touch with the mother and offer her some money. But the mother wouldn't take anything. She said they'd never sue. They didn't want to hurt his image.

Re: When did the cough syrup incident happen?

Thu May 05, 2011 11:54 am

Delboy wrote:According to Marty Lacker it was 1971...

MARTY LACKER: That year, 1971, was when the overdoses started. The worst one happened after a show at Tahoe. Sonny told me about it. Elvis saw this girl in the second row, and he was really taken with her. Real innocent. A nondrinker, nonsmoker. Didn't even wear makeup. And she was crazy about Elvis Presley. She and her mother would drive to Vegas to see him. And her mother was with her at the Tahoe show.
Elvis waved to her from the stage, and after the show, he told Sonny to bring her backstage. She sent her mother home, and she stayed with Elvis that night and, actually, for quite a bit of his engagement. He'd give her pills so she could keep up his hours.
One night after the show, they went to Palm Springs. Elvis was taking Hycodan, which is a narcotic, analgesic cough syrup. In large doses, that stuff's dangerous. Elvis and this girl were drinking it out of champagne glasses. They didn't go to bed until about four A.M., and when they did, they took their Hycodan with them.
By one o'clock the next day, Elvis wasn't up. Sonny banged on the door. And when Elvis didn't answer, he went in side. It was like a meat locker in there, Elvis kept the temperature so low. Sonny said Elvis was sprawled across the bed lengthways, and his breathing was real erratic.
Well, Sonny freaked out and went and got Hamburger James. And it took a while, but they eventually got Elvis up, and slapped him back to consiousness. Then he took some Ritalin and came out of it.
The girl was another story. She was in much worse shape. They couldn't slap her awake, and she barely had a pulse. Sonny said she was dying right there in front of them.
They phoned Dr. Kaplan and he came up there and called an ambulance. He was shocked at how far gone she was, and he waarned them that she probably wouldn't make it. She was already turning blue. Elvis was telling him waht to do, you know, "Just give her a shot of Ritalin and she'll pop out of it." I think everybody was pretty disgusted by that. But he used to just hand out Ritalin tablets to all of us in the late sixties. Elvis was just Ritalin nuts. He always thought no matter how bad you got, that's all you needed. He also thought it was a good way to wake up.
charlie was there and he and Sonny followed the ambulance to the hospital. They pumped the girl's stomach and hooked her up to life support, but Dr. Kaplan was still saying he didn't think she'd live. But Elvis just waved off. He said, "I told her not to drink so much of that." And he went in the bedroom and called Colonel Parker and John O'Grady, I think, and Dick Grob, to make sure the Palm Springs police stayed out of it and that it didn't hit the papers. And then they came up with this plan that if she did die, Charlie would take the rap. He'd say she was his date, and he'd given her the stuff.
Well, something like seventeen hours later the girl came to. Charlie and Sonny went to the hospital, and Sonny said when he touched her arm, she came halfway off the bead and started hissing at him like a wild animal. It scared the sh*t out of him. The doctor said she was suffering from oxygen deprivation to the brain. Elvis paid her hospital bill, and he had Joe get in touch with the mother and offer her some money. But the mother wouldn't take anything. She said they'd never sue. They didn't want to hurt his image.


Is it in any of Sonny's books? Or do we have to believe the story as told to Marty?

Re: When did the cough syrup incident happen?

Thu May 05, 2011 1:12 pm

It was in 'Elvis. What Happened?'. It was one of the headliners on the back cover ... 'Made a young fan join him on a drugs binge that nearly killed her.' or words to that effect.

Re: When did the cough syrup incident happen?

Thu May 05, 2011 1:23 pm

That's an awful story. Elvis was ****** up. Man, if this was happening in 1971, there's no excuse for somebody not trying to sort Elvis out. There's no way I could live working for Elvis with events like this happening. That's just ridiculous. The whole of the MM and his family, the Colonel, Vernon, Cilla - everybody needed to pull together and sort Elvis out. If everybody close to Elvis in his life - and I mean everybody - sat Elvis down and said the same thing in one go, maybe it would have sorted him out. If they all threatened to walk away, Elvis wouldn't have been able to function with losing all these people close to him.

Re: When did the cough syrup incident happen?

Thu May 05, 2011 2:42 pm

Apparently it was worked out amongst them that if she died then Charlie would of accepted that he was at fault! Man, Presley was living on borrowed time! There was just no stopping him! Living on the edge can only last so much!

Re: When did the cough syrup incident happen?

Thu May 05, 2011 10:04 pm

This is great anecdote Elvis could have used for getting his anti-narcotics badge!

Re: When did the cough syrup incident happen?

Thu May 05, 2011 10:17 pm

"to make sure the Palm Springs police stayed out of it and that it didn't hit the papers.!"

boy that man was connected ...........

Re: When did the cough syrup incident happen?

Thu May 05, 2011 11:08 pm

Luuk wrote:Is it in any of Sonny's books? Or do we have to believe the story as told to Marty?


Luuk, it's in Sonny's second book, "Elvis: Still Taking Care Of Business", on page 270. The girl's name was Paige,

Re: When did the cough syrup incident happen?

Thu May 05, 2011 11:51 pm

kevinstevenage wrote:"to make sure the Palm Springs police stayed out of it and that it didn't hit the papers.!"

boy that man was connected ...........


I know. Can you imagine an artist in the modern day world being able to keep this under wraps. Impossible I'd think.

Re: When did the cough syrup incident happen?

Thu May 05, 2011 11:52 pm

Good Time Charlie wrote:
kevinstevenage wrote:"to make sure the Palm Springs police stayed out of it and that it didn't hit the papers.!"

boy that man was connected ...........


I know. Can you imagine an artist in the modern day world being able to keep this under wraps. Impossible I'd think.



In the modern day world something like this would be considered "publicity".

Sandi When did the cough syrup incident happen?

Fri May 06, 2011 3:32 am

Sandi who was there tells it quite different then Sonny. That's why I was hoping she could help.

Re: When did the cough syrup incident happen?

Fri May 06, 2011 4:52 am

i thought the the quote was "give her a big ol shot of Ritalin straight to her heart" which sick as it sounds is the funniest damn thing i've ever read. Elvis was really out of it.

Re: When did the cough syrup incident happen?

Fri May 06, 2011 5:15 am

Sandi Miller have a different view on the incident. Here is what she had to say on alt.Elvis back in 1996:

One example from the Revelations of the Memphis Mafia book that comes to
mind, is the story about a girl who overdosed in Palm Springs. I'll try
to keep it brief:

In their book Marty states:



>...they went to Palm Springs. Elvis was taking Hycodan, which is a
>narcotic. Elvis and the girl were drinking it out of champagne glasses


(and to make a long story short)

>the girl almost died because Elvis and her were drinking these Hycodan
>cocktails all night long.


(according to the book Elvis was knocked out also)

Well, Elvis MAY have had Hycodan at the house somewhere but he was not
taking any that evening. The girl however, (who was nursing a bad cold)
had her own prescription cough syrup and tablets which she took (which
came out of her own purse). The second time she went to drink out of the
bottle Elvis told her to take it easy and give it time to work. She
didn't listen. Not long after that she announced she was going to take a
shower and shortly after that said she was going to go lay down for a
while. Elvis stayed in the living room with the rest of us. Later, he
went to check on her and that's when all hell broke loose.


SO.........


#1 THEY were not taking an overdose of medicine, SHE was (and it was
her own!.)....and Elvis tried to reason with her


#2 Champagne glasses? Really! I doubt they even had champagne glasses
in that house! I guess that was suppose to be an extra little
"touch"
for the book.


#3 NONE of the authors of the Revelations Book were there when this
took place. Sonny was there , however he wasn't in the best of
shape
himself...so, if the version they wrote about came from
Sonny...........


So, there we have a very small portion of what happened vs. the dramatic,
book selling version. You see how an incident can take on gigantic
proportions and altho there's a grain of truth in it, it's almost
unrecognizable in the final version. Makes one wonder how much of the
rest of the book is blown out of proportion. (?)

Re: When did the cough syrup incident happen?

Fri May 06, 2011 6:11 am

Sergio Luiz wrote:Sandi Miller have a different view on the incident. Here is what she had to say on alt.Elvis back in 1996:

One example from the Revelations of the Memphis Mafia book that comes to
mind, is the story about a girl who overdosed in Palm Springs. I'll try
to keep it brief:

In their book Marty states:



>...they went to Palm Springs. Elvis was taking Hycodan, which is a
>narcotic. Elvis and the girl were drinking it out of champagne glasses


(and to make a long story short)

>the girl almost died because Elvis and her were drinking these Hycodan
>cocktails all night long.


(according to the book Elvis was knocked out also)

Well, Elvis MAY have had Hycodan at the house somewhere but he was not
taking any that evening. The girl however, (who was nursing a bad cold)
had her own prescription cough syrup and tablets which she took (which
came out of her own purse). The second time she went to drink out of the
bottle Elvis told her to take it easy and give it time to work. She
didn't listen. Not long after that she announced she was going to take a
shower and shortly after that said she was going to go lay down for a
while. Elvis stayed in the living room with the rest of us. Later, he
went to check on her and that's when all hell broke loose.


SO.........


#1 THEY were not taking an overdose of medicine, SHE was (and it was
her own!.)....and Elvis tried to reason with her


#2 Champagne glasses? Really! I doubt they even had champagne glasses
in that house! I guess that was suppose to be an extra little
"touch"
for the book.


#3 NONE of the authors of the Revelations Book were there when this
took place. Sonny was there , however he wasn't in the best of
shape
himself...so, if the version they wrote about came from
Sonny...........


So, there we have a very small portion of what happened vs. the dramatic,
book selling version. You see how an incident can take on gigantic
proportions and altho there's a grain of truth in it, it's almost
unrecognizable in the final version. Makes one wonder how much of the
rest of the book is blown out of proportion. (?)

Well basically I discount anything in that (and in any "Elvis buddy" book) that they weren't witness to personally. Besides in 1971 Elvis was more or less healthy aside from his eye trouble. That's why I was so curious on the date.

Re: When did the cough syrup incident happen?

Fri May 06, 2011 6:21 am

Sandi is a kind person, but Marty loved Elvis no less, and spoke honestly in print about Elvis as far back as 1979.

Alanna Nash also claim this incident occurred during the time of the July 1971 Tahoe engagement. She names her as Page Peterson, and says it was a Dr. George Kaplan who was summoned to the Palm Springs home, and insisted the girl be taken to the hospital.

Given the timeline of events, and the fact that Lake Tahoe and Palm Springs are about 550 miles apart, this all has to have occurred between the end of the Tahoe stand (August 2) and the beginning of the Vegas month (August 9).

Re: When did the cough syrup incident happen?

Fri May 06, 2011 7:27 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:Sandi is a kind person, but Marty loved Elvis no less, and spoke honestly in print about Elvis as far back as 1979.

Alanna Nash also claim this incident occurred during the time of the July 1971 Tahoe engagement. She names her as Page Peterson, and says it was a Dr. George Kaplan who was summoned to the Palm Springs home, and insisted the girl be taken to the hospital.

Given the timeline of events, and the fact that Lake Tahoe and Palm Springs are about 550 miles apart, this all has to have occurred between the end of the Tahoe stand (August 2) and the beginning of the Vegas month (August 9).


Marty's first book was good as was some of the info he gives in the second. Still it's at this point Sonny's word vrs. Sandi's as Marty was relating what he was told by Sonny. Actually I just tracked down an old interview with the Page girl from 1977. I should have it in a few days and can scan it here.

The dates you mention are very plausable but Day By Day says Elvis went right into rehearsal. It shows him as going to Palm Springs only after the Vegas gig. Sonny mentions in his second book that this happened in spring. Elvis was there right after Tahoe in 1974 which was why I mentioned that date. Several books (Broske and Brown) and a couple on Parker mention it happening while Elvis was there in fall of 1973 right before the divorce. The only other time would seem to be May 1973 but I don't think Elvis was in Palm Springs then and I think Linda was still around 24/7 during that period.

Re: When did the cough syrup incident happen?

Fri May 06, 2011 9:41 am

Frankly the timeline could be connected to the Jul 1971, May 1973 or May 1974 Tahoe stands.

Given how badly Elvis was doing for most of 1973, my feeling is the incident happened then.

Re: When did the cough syrup incident happen?

Fri May 06, 2011 11:26 am

Thanks for you help. I will try to scan the article when I get it. I'm also leaning on 1973 but still think it might of been during the long period he spent out there in the fall even if Sonny says spring.

Re: When did the cough syrup incident happen?

Fri May 06, 2011 7:07 pm

When it it gets to the the point that two people who where actually there give conflicting versions you must doubt everything that has surfaced that has not been witnessed. :evil:

Re: When did the cough syrup incident happen?

Fri May 06, 2011 7:08 pm

How much brain damage did the girl suffer?

Re: When did the cough syrup incident happen?

Sun May 15, 2011 11:28 pm

From, Star 1977. Note this wss Dunleavy's paper at the time. Her quotes tell the story pretty differently.
Image

Re: When did the cough syrup incident happen?

Mon May 16, 2011 3:36 am

fg76 wrote:How much brain damage did the girl suffer?

I don't know. She doesn't look unhealthy in the 1977 photo.

Re: When did the cough syrup incident happen?

Mon May 16, 2011 3:49 am

Mike Eder wrote:
fg76 wrote:How much brain damage did the girl suffer?

I don't know. She doesn't look unhealthy in the 1977 photo.

Which, of course, proves nothing. Two weeks in intensive care is a serious matter, that much is clear.

The 1979 article is more proof placing the incident to the same period as the May 1973 Tahoe engagement, which was canceled several days early. Insiders claim the cancellation was due to boredom and misuse of Demerol. Elvis would make up the missed dates in October 1974.

1973 seems to have been a very tenuous year, as far as Elvis and his health. There were so many "red flag" incidents, it is stunning nothing major was done to change course by those closest to him.

Re: When did the cough syrup incident happen?

Mon May 16, 2011 4:05 am

By 1973 there was no stopping him! How sad!