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What book should I read before my next visit to Graceland?

Fri May 27, 2011 10:08 pm

Considering I've read all the essentials, I want to save a good one before I go back to Memphis later on in the summer. So far I've read the following:

Both volumes by Peter Guralnick (twice!)
Elvis & Gladys
Elvis My Best Man
Elvis, What Happened
68 at 40
Elvis by the Presleys
Return of the King
Elvis the Biography (Jerry Hopkins)
Graceland (Chet Flippo)
Dewey & Elvis
A Life in Music-The Complete Recordings
Elvis & Me
Me and A Guy Named Elvis
Elvis Day by Day


After I finish reading the Phillip Norman John Lennon biography that I'm currently reading and almost finished with, I'm on to Alana Nash's 'Elvis and the Memphis Mafia'. I also have in my possession Becky Yancey's book which I haven't heard much about and don't necessarily have high hopes for.

My question is: WHAT'S LEFT??

After I read the Memphis Mafia book I need to go through most of the summer without reading any Elvis until a few weeks before my trip. What have I NOT read yet that I should???

Re: What book should I read before my next visit to Gracelan

Fri May 27, 2011 10:19 pm

Great list.

Yancey's book is a waste of time.

My first choice, by far, would be Mystery Train by Greil Marcus.

Also, Baby Let's Play House by Alanna Nash, or Dead Elvis by Marcus are worthy.

Re: What book should I read before my next visit to Gracelan

Fri May 27, 2011 10:22 pm

intheghetto wrote:What book should I read before my next visit to Graceland????


Try "Keeping Safe In Da Hood" by 3-Pak Shaker

Re: What book should I read before my next visit to Gracelan

Fri May 27, 2011 10:30 pm

Swingin-Little-Guitar-Man wrote:Try "Keeping Safe In Da Hood" by 3-Pak Shaker

Is that supposed to be funny? You must know exactly zero African-Americans, or you would never make such an asinine post.

Re: What book should I read before my next visit to Gracelan

Fri May 27, 2011 10:54 pm

drjohncarpenter wrote:Great list.

Yancey's book is a waste of time.

My first choice, by far, would be Mystery Train by Greil Marcus.

Also, Baby Let's Play House by Alanna Nash, or Dead Elvis by Marcus are worthy.


Forgot to mention the Marcus books, read them too. Although 'Dead Elvis' might require a re-read. Haven't read the other Nash book so maybe that's a good one to put on the list.

Re: What book should I read before my next visit to Gracelan

Fri May 27, 2011 10:56 pm

drjohncarpenter wrote:
Swingin-Little-Guitar-Man wrote:Try "Keeping Safe In Da Hood" by 3-Pak Shaker

Is that supposed to be funny? You must know exactly zero African-Americans, or you would never make such an asinine post.


Yeah, hardy har har. If you're trying to be funny..gotta newsflash: try again. Or on second thought, don't.

Re: What book should I read before my next visit to Gracelan

Fri May 27, 2011 11:06 pm

intheghetto wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:
Swingin-Little-Guitar-Man wrote:Try "Keeping Safe In Da Hood" by 3-Pak Shaker

Is that supposed to be funny? You must know exactly zero African-Americans, or you would never make such an asinine post.


Yeah, hardy har har. If you're trying to be funny..gotta newsflash: try again. Or on second thought, don't.

LOL Sorry. Comedy fail.

:smt003

Re: What book should I read before my next visit to Gracelan

Sun Dec 30, 2012 1:39 am

I wanted to buy Allana Nash's "Baby Let's Play House" book, but after I read some reviews (many considered the book it's made on full of gossips) I cancelled. Really, I don't know the truth. It's worth buying it?

Re: What book should I read before my next visit to Gracelan

Sun Dec 30, 2012 9:33 am

Well, I guess if someone wants to read it all, and has read a great deal, you should probably read "Baby, Let's Play" and make up your own mind about what's in it. I would read it, and then read as many reviews as possible. As for Yancey, I read it ALL the way back in the day, and there are a few passages of interest. One or two. And for me, that's often enough. But one thing: she almost never attaches a date to anything! So for the one or two things I found of interest, there is NO WAY to date them. She also spoke to Rose Clayton years later, and was just a wee bit more candid about the one story I found of value. And STILL no date. So you can't place it on a timeline. I believe her, but when there are no dates, it's hard to put it in any context. It is a VERY early book of this kind, though.

Of those early books, Marty Lacker's book is of interest. I don't think ANY book of memories can be entirely accurate, as that is not possible. People filter certain things through their own lives and perceptions. But it has a lot in that is significant. And it goes way back. He and Vernon were not friends - I'll put it that way: one thing you'll see is that Vernon did not like "the guys." And, in different ways, for different people, they returned the lack of love. It is of significance.

If you don't have The Death of Elvis, it's necessary reading. Maybe not before a trip; I don't know. The autopsy chapter will give you nightmares. Well, it could.

One is timely, due to the passing of Bernard Lansky. You'll love it! Clothier To The King. I hope you can still get it! (This link is to a "pre-order" page; I'm sure there's a regular link. I can't find it on Amazon, except for one autographed copy. http://www.lanskybros.com/king_en/lansky-bros-clothier-to-the-king-book-pre-order-may-2010.html If you can't get it there, go to their Facebook page and ask them https://www.facebook.com/Lansky126 (Oh, I forgot. Well, if you KNOW someone who Facebooks, ask them to ask them for you. ;) )

Oh, yeah, the Rose Clayton oral history. It is eclipsed by Guralnick, and perhaps other work as well, but you still get some very important information. http://www.amazon.com/Elvis-Up-Close-Words-Those/dp/1570360588/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1356849487&sr=8-2&keywords=Rose+Clayton+Elvis+Presley

Guralnick didn't buy the analysis at the end by doctors who never had any contact with Elvis Presley whatsoever. Otherwise, I think he found the book useful, and he knew her, and she showed him around Memphis.

Gee, I have some weird ones, too, and there's often ONE THING in 'em, that you need to see. This one, I had read it in the store, years ago, but never did buy 'till last year. I thought I remembered everything accurately, but there were a couple of similar books, that I did that with. I'm still looking for the other one. But this one, I got. "Up and Down With Elvis Presley" Gabe Tucker, with a woman named Marge Crumbacker. http://www.amazon.com/Up-Down-With-Elvis-Presley/dp/039912571X In any event, it has that ONE THING going for it, and it's something John O'Grady says happened around '76 or so. It's mostly an apologist memoir regarding the Colonel, but it does have interview material with O'Grady, and there's one thing that caught me. And it has a lot of inside stuff, but Tucker was the Colonel's man. That's why his conclusion at the very end may surprise you.

There are quite a few others, oddball type things; I would need to dig through my shelves. Get the Vegas '69 book! That's fun.

Recently, two NEW books have appeared, and I just read the first one. The first is Jonitta Brewer Barrett's memoir of her mother, Anita Wood (Brewer). It's a kind of "as told to my daughter" but not that. It's Jonitta's book; she wrote it, about her mother's memories. She EXTENSIVELY interviewed her mother, and she wrote the book, in the first person, with the subject of the book being "Momma." Which is Anita Wood. Some people on this board helped out with photographs! Yup. You'll want this one; it's the only memoir of Anita Wood's relationship with Elvis Presley.

What did I think? I found it sad. I don't know why, but the years: '57 through '62, were difficult. Just after the first rush of megastardom, they came together, and in '58 he was drafted, and spent two years physically separate from her in the service. But she was in Texas. She gives the inside view of the early Army period like no one has thus far, and it's pretty difficult, especially when she talks about the return to Texas after his mother's death. And what she saw at the house in Texas. That really punched me in the stomach, because you know it's true, and also you "see" Dodger in the middle of it. Very unsettling. And then he met Priscilla, and there are several letters they wrote each other, and well, it was difficult. He wasn't always truthful.

You should definitely get this new book, if you haven't already. And there is the story of "The Rebel and The King" about his relationship with Nick Adams. Haven't read that one yet. I am looking forward to it. I'll tell you: the Anita Wood book wasn't easy reading. I can see why she waited so long; it's not an easy story to tell.

rjm

Re: What book should I read before my next visit to Gracelan

Sun Dec 30, 2012 11:31 am

intheghetto wrote: What have I NOT read yet that I should???



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