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Re: sheila Ryan book

Thu Nov 16, 2006 6:08 pm

e76 wrote:Anyone who would sell a bottle of Elvis pills on ebay, will say anything in her book, true or not, to sell it. Sensationalism sells. I absotlutly refuse to buy EWH. I won't buy Sheila's book if it is negative. I will not degrade Elvis memory by supporting those kind of things. He was an awesome man in every way and needs to be remembered that way.


I have a slightly different take on EWH, and for that matter, Albert Goldman's Elvis.

I have never been afraid to read any negative book about Elvis because I can handle the truth, whatever it is. And am skeptical enough that I don't believe everything that's written anyway. If someone has an agenda, it's usually pretty obvious.

I found it very easy to spot and dismiss Albert Goldman's laughable cheap shots while drinking in the neutral or even highly positive voluminous details contained in the book. The best and most detailed descriptions of Elvis' suite, of his personal jewelry box, are contained in that book.

Elisabeth Stefaniak and Rex Mansfield's story is reported so accurately that their own book repeats exactly the same information, though of course they go into more detail in their own book. Ginger's statements also appear to be faithfully recorded as far as I am aware.

When Suzanne Finstad was researching Child Bride, she really wanted to get Goldman's notes and tapes. "He's deceased," I replied. "Well, how about his wife?" "I think he was gay." But I set about trying to locate them, and, on a hunch, found a name in the acknowledgments of one of his follow-up books, and called the person, who I thought was a man. It was a woman in New York.

The woman, Jeri Scherer, said Albert had left her all his notes and tapes, and invited us to come to New York and listen to them. I chose not to go, but Suzanne went.

What she discovered in listening to the tapes were hours and hours of actual insiders talking about Elvis. They had not been taped by Albert Goldman but by Lamar Fike, the consummate insider.

That is why so many people were perplexed to find themselves thanked by Albert Goldman in the acknowlegments. "I never talked to that motherf ucker," J. D. Sumner complained. No, but he had talked to Lamar, who taped him from a pocket tape-recorder.

David Stanley, who remains good friends with Lamar Fike, once told me, in the most serious tone, "Albert Goldman's book is the most accurate book ever written about Elvis."

Since Lamar Fike was the uncredited co-author, and 50% owner, of the book, I have a suggestion for him: Why not revise the book to keep all the neutral, valuable information in and remove the gratuitous insults and smarmy, snarky comments a la 'Elvis wasn't man enough to undergo circumcision' - that isn't biography, that's attempted character assassination. The portions that should be deleted don't comprise that much of the book anyway, and will not be missed.

Just a thought. But hey, I even read Lucy DeBarbin's book and that was 100% fiction.

Thu Nov 16, 2006 6:13 pm

I respect the fact that you are not picking on me Jak and I appreciate it :D

But I am angry that this topic has turned into Elvis and drugs. Who knows what Sheila is going to write about we will just have to wait and see.

I dont live in a fantasy world where Elvis is concerned..........he had his troubles I know that....but I like to remember him for the good things that's all :D

Thu Nov 16, 2006 6:15 pm

sid wrote:I respect the fact that you are not picking on me Jak and I appreciate it :D

But I am angry that this topic has turned into Elvis and drugs. Who knows what Sheila is going to write about we will just have to wait and see.

I dont live in a fantasy world where Elvis is concerned..........he had his troubles I know that....but I like to remember him for the good things that's all :D


Fair enough.

Re: sheila Ryan book

Thu Nov 16, 2006 6:19 pm

Memphis Flash wrote:
e76 wrote:Anyone who would sell a bottle of Elvis pills on ebay, will say anything in her book, true or not, to sell it. Sensationalism sells. I absotlutly refuse to buy EWH. I won't buy Sheila's book if it is negative. I will not degrade Elvis memory by supporting those kind of things. He was an awesome man in every way and needs to be remembered that way.


I have a slightly different take on EWH, and for that matter, Albert Goldman's Elvis.

I have never been afraid to read any negative book about Elvis because I can handle the truth, whatever it is. And am skeptical enough that I don't believe everything that's written anyway. If someone has an agenda, it's usually pretty obvious.

I found it very easy to spot and dismiss Albert Goldman's laughable cheap shots while drinking in the neutral or even highly positive voluminous details contained in the book. The best and most detailed descriptions of Elvis' suite, of his personal jewelry box, are contained in that book.

Elisabeth Stefaniak and Rex Mansfield's story is reported so accurately that their own book repeats exactly the same information, though of course they go into more detail in their own book. Ginger's statements also appear to be faithfully recorded as far as I am aware.

When Suzanne Finstad was researching Child Bride, she really wanted to get Goldman's notes and tapes. "He's deceased," I replied. "Well, how about his wife?" "I think he was gay." But I set about trying to locate them, and, on a hunch, found a name in the acknowledgments of one of his follow-up books, and called the person, who I thought was a man. It was a woman in New York.

The woman, Jeri Scherer, said Albert had left her all his notes and tapes, and invited us to come to New York and listen to them. I chose not to go, but Suzanne went.

What she discovered in listening to the tapes were hours and hours of actual insiders talking about Elvis. They had not been taped by Albert Goldman but by Lamar Fike, the consummate insider.

That is why so many people were perplexed to find themselves thanked by Albert Goldman in the acknowlegments. "I never talked to that motherf ucker," J. D. Sumner complained. No, but he had talked to Lamar, who taped him from a pocket tape-recorder.

David Stanley, who remains good friends with Lamar Fike, once told me, in the most serious tone, "Albert Goldman's book is the most accurate book ever written about Elvis."

Since Lamar Fike was the uncredited co-author, and 50% owner, of the book, I have a suggestion for him: Why not revise the book to keep all the neutral, valuable information in and remove the gratuitous insults and smarmy, snarky comments a la 'Elvis wasn't man enough to undergo circumcision' - that isn't biography, that's attempted character assassination. The portions that should be deleted don't comprise that much of the book anyway, and will not be missed.

Just a thought. But hey, I even read Lucy DeBarbin's book and that was 100% fiction.




Now I know why I think he was a low life SOB and I am glad to know I wasnt wrong about him.........do the peo[le involved know he did this?

Re: sheila Ryan book

Thu Nov 16, 2006 6:26 pm

sid wrote:
Now I know why I think he was a low life SOB and I am glad to know I wasnt wrong about him.........do the people involved know he did this?


Who are you referring to, Albert Goldman or Lamar Fike?

Yes, I'm sure they all know. Originally Lamar Fike was supposed to be listed as a co-author right on the front of the book, but wisely decided he had better lay low when he realized how explosive the book was going to be. He is still 50% owner of the book, however.

He probably wishes Goldman had been a little less hostile to Elvis in writing the book. The whole thing comes across as one big character assassination - except to those of us who can overlook those overheated passages and appreciate the real information in there.

Thu Nov 16, 2006 6:30 pm

I did mean Lamar Fike.........Sorry.......I remember reading about him dishing the dirt on an entertainment special I think it was.

Well after reading that........I think Lamar Fike should count himself lucky that he hasnt been got at by the Elvis fans :shock:

Re: sheila Ryan book

Thu Nov 16, 2006 6:34 pm

jak wrote:If we are honest wasnt Elvis drug use the most dominate factor in his life during these years?

No. The most dominant factor in his life was his great love for his fellow human being, his generosity, his unselfishness, and the sharing of his enormous heart and enormous talent. I am surprised that anyone would need to be reminded of that.

jak wrote:Being that close to him there is no way you could avoid writing about it.

Nowhere did I ever make any such suggestion.

Re: sheila Ryan book

Thu Nov 16, 2006 6:46 pm

Memphis Flash wrote:
jak wrote:If we are honest wasnt Elvis drug use the most dominate factor in his life during these years?

No. The most dominant factor in his life was his great love for his fellow human being, his generosity, his unselfishness, and the sharing of his enormous heart and enormous talent. I am surprised that anyone would need to be reminded of that.

jak wrote:Being that close to him there is no way you could avoid writing about it.

Nowhere did I ever make any such suggestion.


What you wrote sounds nice and I believe is true about Elvis.But the drugs certainly were a factor in his demise and robbed him of his enormous talent in the last few years.Elvis became a parody of himself.It doesnt mean he wasnt a great person whose heart was in the right place.Ive been talking about the most dominant factor in his personal life during this time.The qualities you mentioned didnt help save him from his addiction so how could they have been a more dominant force in his life?The stronger force prevailed.
Jak

Thu Nov 16, 2006 6:47 pm

sid wrote:I have seen that documentary that the picture is from and her chest looks a bit weird :oops:


They're called prominent nipples - older women get them.

Thu Nov 16, 2006 6:55 pm

ColinB wrote:
sid wrote:I have seen that documentary that the picture is from and her chest looks a bit weird :oops:


They're called prominent nipples - older women get them.



:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

It's not just the nipples I am on about Colin :wink:

Re: sheila Ryan book

Thu Nov 16, 2006 7:00 pm

jak wrote: What you wrote sounds nice and I believe is true about Elvis.But the drugs certainly were a factor in his demise and robbed him of his enormous talent in the last few years.Elvis became a parody of himself.It doesnt mean he wasnt a great person whose heart was in the right place.Ive been talking about the most dominant factor in his personal life during this time.The qualities you mentioned didnt help save him from his addiction so how could they have been a more dominant force in his life?The stronger force prevailed.
Jak


Let's cut to the chase here, Jak. Would you put a photo of a pill bottle on the front cover of a book about Elvis? That's all I want to know.

If you wouldn't, then we agree on something. If you would, then we will just have to agree to disagree.

Re: sheila Ryan book

Thu Nov 16, 2006 7:04 pm

Memphis Flash wrote:
jak wrote: What you wrote sounds nice and I believe is true about Elvis.But the drugs certainly were a factor in his demise and robbed him of his enormous talent in the last few years.Elvis became a parody of himself.It doesnt mean he wasnt a great person whose heart was in the right place.Ive been talking about the most dominant factor in his personal life during this time.The qualities you mentioned didnt help save him from his addiction so how could they have been a more dominant force in his life?The stronger force prevailed.
Jak


Let's cut to the chase here, Jak. Would you put a photo of a pill bottle on the front cover of a book about Elvis? That's all I want to know.

If you wouldn't, then we agree on something. If you would, then we will just have to agree to disagree.


Once again,I think that photo was from Ebay.Its not the book cover.I dont think it has anything to do with the book.

Re: sheila Ryan book

Thu Nov 16, 2006 7:08 pm

jak wrote:
Once again,I think that photo was from Ebay.Its not the book cover.I dont think it has anything to do with the book.


That wasn't the question, Jak. The question was - forget Sheila Ryan - would you EVER put a photo of a pill bottle on the cover of a book about Elvis?

A simple yes or no is all that is required.

Re: sheila Ryan book

Thu Nov 16, 2006 7:11 pm

Memphis Flash wrote:
jak wrote:
Once again,I think that photo was from Ebay.Its not the book cover.I dont think it has anything to do with the book.


That wasn't the question, Jak. The question was - forget Sheila Ryan - would you EVER put a photo of a pill bottle on a book about Elvis?

A simple yes or no is all that is required.


No

Thu Nov 16, 2006 7:16 pm

chris c wrote:Going back to the topic of Sandi Miller's stories for a moment, she has a big section all to herself on elvisinsiders.com devoted to her stories about Elvis - absolutely fascinating and some great great facts about Elvis that anyone who loves him ought to read. And no dirt of any description.


That's great to hear, Chris. Thanks for letting us know. I will definitely check that out.


P.S. I started to tell one of her more interesting memories but decided to look and see if she's got it posted over there.

Re: sheila Ryan book

Thu Nov 16, 2006 7:17 pm

jak wrote: No


Thank you, Jak. You are a true gentleman.

Thu Nov 16, 2006 7:22 pm

I know I am pretty hard on Elvis sometimes.Im not trying to be malicious though.I just try to take an honest look at things.
Jak

Re: sheila Ryan book

Thu Nov 16, 2006 7:26 pm

Memphis Flash wrote:
sid wrote:
Now I know why I think he was a low life SOB and I am glad to know I wasnt wrong about him.........do the people involved know he did this?


Who are you referring to, Albert Goldman or Lamar Fike?

Yes, I'm sure they all know. Originally Lamar Fike was supposed to be listed as a co-author right on the front of the book, but wisely decided he had better lay low when he realized how explosive the book was going to be. He is still 50% owner of the book, however.

He probably wishes Goldman had been a little less hostile to Elvis in writing the book. The whole thing comes across as one big character assassination - except to those of us who can overlook those overheated passages and appreciate the real information in there.


Well, Goldman *did* blow the hinges off the door of The Colonel, and he deserves major credit for that. But he only then incorporated that information -- just like everything else -- in an attempt to show how Elvis and his entire legacy was built on lies and fakery.

The distortions and smears are so great in Goldman's tome that anyone with a serious understanding of music, culture, people and life itself cannot possibly take it seriously,............ UNLESS blinded by extreme hatred and ignorance. It's almost like Goldman was writing a book about himself : e.g. "look how f*cked up I am to peddle this ****!"

Goldman's book reads as a satire. Though I think it was very much intended to enact "cultural genocide", as Greil Marcus termed it. That is not the function of a satire and never could be. Another intellectual deemed Goldman's style: "elaborate constructions of tinsel and mud." Both of these summations hold at all times; one describes the macroscopic, and the other, the microscopic. It is one of the most fascinating, but trashy, books ever written. Getting truth out of that thing is like eating flecks of fresh steak buried in a giant turd.

Re: sheila Ryan book

Thu Nov 16, 2006 7:51 pm

Cryogenic wrote:Goldman's book reads as a satire. Though I think it was very much intended to enact "cultural genocide", as Greil Marcus termed it. That is not the function of a satire and never could be. Another intellectual deemed Goldman's style: "elaborate constructions of tinsel and mud." Both of these summations hold at all times; one describes the macroscopic, and the other, the microscopic. It is one of the most fascinating, but trashy, books ever written. Getting truth out of that thing is like eating flecks of fresh steak buried in a giant turd.


Of course it was intended to articulate the disdain the elites had - and still have - for the south. Witness Charlie Rangel's recent statement, "Who the hell would want to live in Mississippi?" It grated on Goldman that a hick southerner could be a national, even international, sensation.

The truth I'm looking for in reading books like that aren't his 'insights' into music or culture - thanks but no thanks - but in his exhaustive FACTUAL descriptions of Elvis' bedroom, his suite at the Hilton, his jewelry box and what was in each of its drawers - and more. So many little physical details that were free from opinion or interpretation.

If it weren't for that book, I would never have known about Rex Mansfield or Elisabeth Stefaniak and so might never have purchased their book, translated from the German, when I came across it in a San Diego used bookstore. Wouldn't have known how and why Anita Wood moved out of Graceland. Wouldn't have known that Elvis envisioned Ginger's wedding gown covered with little rosebuds with sparkles on them, and so wouldn't have made a connection between that and Ginger's actual wedding gown when she finally did get married years later.

See, I can do my own analysis. But I enjoy facts. Goldman's book, awful though it was, was replete with facts. Heck, even though it wasn't in the book, Goldman's tapes contained the name of the girl Elvis watched Priscilla wrestle with. Her name was Carolyn.

At the time I didn't think I'd regret not listening to those tapes, and on balance I still think that was the right decision. But every once in a while, I think it might have been interesting.

Thu Nov 16, 2006 7:53 pm

Goldman was a pile of trash and words cannot describe the low-life piece of scrap that is Lamar Fike.

Thu Nov 16, 2006 7:54 pm

Elvis did great but 68 special was CREATED tv magic not real magic on the stage like in the 69 comeback or 50s explosion. On a regular ,live setting it would have bombed. The editing played major role. It is myth like Goldman wrote...all you have to do is watch Elvis standing there waiting for directions from Binder..This was not seen in 68 but a great editing job where Elvis is live standing up and sometimes sitting down.

Thu Nov 16, 2006 7:58 pm

JLGB wrote:Elvis did great but 68 special was CREATED tv magic not real magic on the stage like in the 69 comeback or 50s explosion. On a regular ,live setting it would have bombed. The editing played major role.


So what? It worked, didn't it? I don't see any reason to even bring it up, unless to imply Elvis was a bit out of practice.

Can anyone name any other single performer who accomplished so much in such a short period of time? I cannot think of any.

Thu Nov 16, 2006 8:05 pm

Memphis Flash wrote:
JLGB wrote:Elvis did great but 68 special was CREATED tv magic not real magic on the stage like in the 69 comeback or 50s explosion. On a regular ,live setting it would have bombed. The editing played major role.


So what? It worked, didn't it? I don't see any reason to even bring it up, unless to imply Elvis was a bit out of practice.

Can anyone name any other single performer who accomplished so much in such a short period of time? I cannot think of any.


There was a lot more that went into that show then any of his other shows. First of all, there were dance sequences, musical skits with different scenarios, also the fact that he hadn't performed on stage in over 7 years didn't help the rust or confidence factor. Still, once he got comfortable and in form, it was the greatest rock&roll ever performed, bar none, I don't care what anybody says.

Re: sheila Ryan book

Thu Nov 16, 2006 8:07 pm

Memphis Flash wrote:
Cryogenic wrote:Goldman's book reads as a satire. Though I think it was very much intended to enact "cultural genocide", as Greil Marcus termed it. That is not the function of a satire and never could be. Another intellectual deemed Goldman's style: "elaborate constructions of tinsel and mud." Both of these summations hold at all times; one describes the macroscopic, and the other, the microscopic. It is one of the most fascinating, but trashy, books ever written. Getting truth out of that thing is like eating flecks of fresh steak buried in a giant turd.


Of course it was intended to articulate the disdain the elites had - and still have - for the south. Witness Charlie Rangel's recent statement, "Who the hell would want to live in Mississippi?" It grated on Goldman that a hick southerner could be a national, even international, sensation.

The truth I'm looking for in reading books like that aren't his 'insights' into music or culture - thanks but no thanks - but in his exhaustive FACTUAL descriptions of Elvis' bedroom, his suite at the Hilton, his jewelry box and what was in each of its drawers - and more. So many little physical details that were free from opinion or interpretation.

If it weren't for that book, I would never have known about Rex Mansfield or Elisabeth Stefaniak and so might never have purchased their book, translated from the German, when I came across it in a San Diego used bookstore. Wouldn't have known how and why Anita Wood moved out of Graceland. Wouldn't have known that Elvis envisioned Ginger's wedding gown covered with little rosebuds with sparkles on them, and so wouldn't have made a connection between that and Ginger's actual wedding gown when she finally did get married years later.

See, I can do my own analysis. But I enjoy facts. Goldman's book, awful though it was, was replete with facts. Heck, even though it wasn't in the book, Goldman's tapes contained the name of the girl Elvis watched Priscilla wrestle with. Her name was Carolyn.

At the time I didn't think I'd regret not listening to those tapes, and on balance I still think that was the right decision. But every once in a while, I think it might have been interesting.





So you think he would have married Ginger then?

And did Anita leave Graceland because Priscilla came on the scene?

Thu Nov 16, 2006 8:15 pm

Memphis Flash wrote:
JLGB wrote:Elvis did great but 68 special was CREATED tv magic not real magic on the stage like in the 69 comeback or 50s explosion. On a regular ,live setting it would have bombed. The editing played major role.


So what? It worked, didn't it? I don't see any reason to even bring it up, unless to imply Elvis was a bit out of practice.

Can anyone name any other single performer who accomplished so much in such a short period of time? I cannot think of any.
It worked great and that is not the point. But the idea of Elvis just magically coming back is a myth. Of course I love it and think it is great and brought it up as example of deconstructing myth and not really hurting the artist...unless you think he was superman...