In this section you can submit questions to people that knew Elvis, or to other important people in the Elvis World.

Re: Interview With Sandi Miller

Tue Mar 24, 2009 9:19 pm

Sandi, IIRC, it seems to me that you once mentioned Elvis gave you, as he did others, a copy of Leaves Of Gold. Do you remember, I also sent you a copy of the same book.
Anyway, can you tell me some of the passages Elvis particularly liked,perhaps Highlighted or mentioned to you, from that book?

Re: Interview With Sandi Miller

Tue Mar 24, 2009 10:27 pm

TJ wrote:
acmeruya wrote: As my favourite Elvis period is Fall 1974, I wonder if you could give some insight into what he was like around this time.

This is the time of the now infamous drug outburst as released on the 'Desert Storm' bootleg, the "F*** You' outburst to the guy who yells "I hate you, Elvis", the College Park concert (thought by some to be his lowest point), the new batch of songs on opening night at the Hilton, and in general a time of some very unpredictable performances with some rather frenetic and unusual interpretations of his songs. Phil


What a peculiar post. Fall 1974 is your favourite Elvis period and then you list several reasons why it should absolutely not be. You enjoy that Elvis' personal problems were starting to impact negatively on his performances? And you would rather hear that than the man on top of his game? It's a little like saying your favourite Ali fight was against Holmes.


With respect, opinions are subjective. acmeruya doesn't deserve to be attacked over his. He was only putting his statement and subsequent request to Sandi into context.

This is also absurd in the extreme: "Fall 1974 is your favourite Elvis period and then you list several reasons why it should absolutely not be. " To YOU, maybe. Nobody else has to agree. I daresay you are looking at that time period with an extremely narrow lens. Beyond the music, there is a deep anthropological interest in Elvis. Why shouldn't the edgier stage persona of the Elvis Presley of this period provoke heightened interest?

I suggest neither you nor anyone else thinks of trying to bring great threads into disrepute by attacking Elvis or his fans. Remember: As a wise man said .... it's all about the music and much, much more ... :wink:

Re: Interview With Sandi Miller

Tue Mar 24, 2009 10:56 pm

DutchLA wrote:
stupot wrote:Sandi could you provide any insight into Elvis' perception of his cultural impact and place in music history?

Was he a modernist (Beatles, Zeppelin etc) or a traditionalist (Crosby, Lanza etc) at heart?

Also, would you agree that artistically Elvis operated well within his comfort zone and failed to take enough responsibility for own career?

Thanks for sharing so many memories.... they are terriffic to read!
Stuart



**You know, I'm not so sure Elvis thought about his musical impact during his life. I've heard him say, more than once, that he really didn't understand what all the fuss was about when it came to his popularity - he said there were much better artists out there, more talented, better looking, yadda yadda so I really don't think that his mind- set was that of wondering where he would fit into the picture history wise. If he did give it any thought- he never gave any indication to me that I remember.

Was he a modernist (Beatles, Zeppelin etc) or a traditionalist (Crosby, Lanza etc) at heart?

**Elvis seemed to just like ALL forms of music - from classical to rock; I don't think it mattered to him., Not so sure he'd like Rap but who knows! I was always very obvious that Gospel was his first love though- that is what he almost always chose to sing at home and it's what he seemed to get the most wrapped up in.

Also, would you agree that artistically Elvis operated well within his comfort zone and failed to take enough responsibility for own career?

**Unfortunately, that's probably a true statement - but I don't know if that was by choice or design.


Sandi, my perception of Elvis "the person" can't be far out because these (and others I've seen) have been the responses I would have hoped for. On this thread it's so good to read the many fascinating snippets of information. Goes to show that the Elvis world is still full of surprises even after 32 years. Thanks!!

Re: Interview With Sandi Miller

Wed Mar 25, 2009 4:37 am

Cryogenic wrote:
TJ wrote:
acmeruya wrote: As my favourite Elvis period is Fall 1974, I wonder if you could give some insight into what he was like around this time.

This is the time of the now infamous drug outburst as released on the 'Desert Storm' bootleg, the "F*** You' outburst to the guy who yells "I hate you, Elvis", the College Park concert (thought by some to be his lowest point), the new batch of songs on opening night at the Hilton, and in general a time of some very unpredictable performances with some rather frenetic and unusual interpretations of his songs. Phil


What a peculiar post. Fall 1974 is your favourite Elvis period and then you list several reasons why it should absolutely not be. You enjoy that Elvis' personal problems were starting to impact negatively on his performances? And you would rather hear that than the man on top of his game? It's a little like saying your favourite Ali fight was against Holmes.


With respect, opinions are subjective. acmeruya doesn't deserve to be attacked over his. He was only putting his statement and subsequent request to Sandi into context.

This is also absurd in the extreme: "Fall 1974 is your favourite Elvis period and then you list several reasons why it should absolutely not be. " To YOU, maybe. Nobody else has to agree. I daresay you are looking at that time period with an extremely narrow lens. Beyond the music, there is a deep anthropological interest in Elvis. Why shouldn't the edgier stage persona of the Elvis Presley of this period provoke heightened interest?

I suggest neither you nor anyone else thinks of trying to bring great threads into disrepute by attacking Elvis or his fans. Remember: As a wise man said .... it's all about the music and much, much more ... :wink:


I didn't attack either Elvis or his fans. I expressed an opinion on what seemed an incredulous statement. But fair enough, this thread is great and I certainly didn't mean to prompt a derail :-)

Re: Interview With Sandi Miller

Wed Mar 25, 2009 2:36 pm

Hey Sandi...
Hello...my it's been A-While! I was so excited when I saw you had an interview posted on here and then I read ALL the posts. As you know, I cannot get ENOUGH of your ELVIS experiences!
I just want to say how GREAT it is to read hear/read more of your stories. I'll never forget the day we met in Palm Springs, June of 2000! Only to find out later that you were the same "Sandi Miller" a mutual friend of ours from Kansas City told me about and we talked about your exciting episodes with Elvis way back in 1976 and 1977.
I really "LOVE" the story about you and a friend going up to Elvis' house real late only to find him out by himself, smoking a cigar, walking down a ways with you, sitting on the curb, and talking about, if I recall...things he didn't usually discuss. And I remember you saying, Elvis commenting, "Everything happens for a reason." And repeating it...again. I hope I recall this. If not, please correct me. And perhaps, you could share the entire story with those who don't know it.
Thanks SO MUCH, Sandi...as I've told you before...for being a friend to Elvis and can't wait to hear more from you! Hugs... :smt006

Re: Interview With Sandi Miller

Wed Mar 25, 2009 6:12 pm

Are you Fernette? (only say that because of your mention of Kansas City!)

As for the story you mentioned, I'll just copy it right out of my journal because if I rely on my brain remembering it all, I'd probably forget some details. This was written the following morning after it happened.

Last night we went to my friend Shelly's birthday party in Brentwood, Before heading home we decided to swing by the house just for the heck of it. As we drive by, we see a small light in the driveway so we stopped, got out of the car to get a closer look and realized it was the light from a cigarette... the next thing we know here comes Elvis out of the darkness. It's well past midnight by now and no one is around. Simultaneously we both say "what are you doing out here so late?" Made all of us laugh.

Elvis said he was just outside clearing his head. There has been so much going on for the past 6 months so it's anyone's guess what he needed to be thinking about....the paternity suit? problems with some of the boys? So much is going on. He motioned to the side gate as he started walking towards it - he came out onto the curb - the gate was not locked (he just pushed it open) so maybe he'd been out earlier? He said "let's walk" so down to the end of the cul de sac we all went. A few times he'd say "this is nice, this is nice." He asked again what we were doing up there so late so we mentioned the party and the fact that we decided to just drive by for no reason - He said "nothing happens for no reason" then added, " I'm glad you girls came by"

He sat on the curb at that point so we joined him - that must've been an interesting sight! Gradually his mood lightened up - he said his neighbors werent too crazy about him but it's not him - it's the traffic it brings (us fans) and he laughed and said "Well, it's a public street - they don't own it" He was asking a lot of questions about various fans he knew, made some observations, talked a bit about the shows - he talked about some of the stuff going on with the boys almost as though he was waiting an opinion - which he got! That in itself was unusual because Elvis normally keeps that sort of stuff to himself or when he does say something, it's in the heat of the moment but this was a deliberate conversation.

He gets up, helps us up from the curb and we walk back up the hill to the front gate and Elvis grabbed the bars and peers through them laughing and saying "so THIS is what it looks like from this side" then he takes both our hands, we walk back down to the side gate and say goodnight/goodbye. He repeats .... "nothing happens for no reason - thank you" With that he went thru the gate - we watched him go into the house and left. We had been there almost an hour even though it felt like minutes.




2Elvis wrote:Hey Sandi...
Hello...my it's been A-While! I was so excited when I saw you had an interview posted on here and then I read ALL the posts. As you know, I cannot get ENOUGH of your ELVIS experiences!
I just want to say how GREAT it is to read hear/read more of your stories. I'll never forget the day we met in Palm Springs, June of 2000! Only to find out later that you were the same "Sandi Miller" a mutual friend of ours from Kansas City told me about and we talked about your exciting episodes with Elvis way back in 1976 and 1977.
I really "LOVE" the story about you and a friend going up to Elvis' house real late only to find him out by himself, smoking a cigar, walking down a ways with you, sitting on the curb, and talking about, if I recall...things he didn't usually discuss. And I remember you saying, Elvis commenting, "Everything happens for a reason." And repeating it...again. I hope I recall this. If not, please correct me. And perhaps, you could share the entire story with those who don't know it.
Thanks SO MUCH, Sandi...as I've told you before...for being a friend to Elvis and can't wait to hear more from you! Hugs... :smt006

Re: Interview With Sandi Miller

Wed Mar 25, 2009 6:18 pm

Monique wrote:Sandi, thanks again for your contribution to this messageboard. And Stupot thanks for your interesting questions.

Sandi, you wrote: "but I don't know if that was by choice or design". Can you explain to me what you mean by that? (It could be the language...)


**My son is in the process of moving here to Vegas from Calif so it's been hectic here and I'm getting behind so if I take a day or two to get back here, that's the reason.

Anyway, by design I meant, I think he was given songs to choose from - I know he got acetates and tapes all the time that he'd listen to and then decide if he wanted to record them or not and maybe the selection offered him just wasn't always that great. I really don't know but I'm glad he put his foot down when it came to singing If I Can Dream at the 68; wish he'd been that insistant more often or better yet, I wish he would have written some songs himself - he was capable enough so I don't understand it.

Re: Interview With Sandi Miller

Wed Mar 25, 2009 6:22 pm

minni1 wrote:Sandi, IIRC, it seems to me that you once mentioned Elvis gave you, as he did others, a copy of Leaves Of Gold. Do you remember, I also sent you a copy of the same book.
Anyway, can you tell me some of the passages Elvis particularly liked,perhaps Highlighted or mentioned to you, from that book?


**Your copy is on the bookshelf in plain view (and again, thank you so much) because it's a copy in very good condition, whereas the one I got from Elvis is pretty beat up. I'll have to dig it out and scan or copy some of the passages he had marked up. It was always so awesome when he would read out of that book because he didn't just read it once - he'd read it two or three times and seem to be concentrating so deeply on what he was reading - then he'd tell what he got out of it - what the passage meant to him. On a few occasions, he would then close the book, close his eyes, and again recite what he'd just read!
I can see him doing it in my head right now! :)

Re: Interview With Sandi Miller

Wed Mar 25, 2009 9:14 pm

Such amazing memories you have Sandi. To most of us, Elvis is a somewhat distant figure. Even though we know a lot about his career and the events in his life, we don't have the experience of actually knowing him and talking to him one to one. It can be difficult to separate the real Elvis from the mass of contradictions written about the man over the last 30 years, which are often fuelled by dubious motives and greed. Your 'agenda-free' anecdotes are a real pleasure.

Just curious to know the first and last time you saw Elvis and in what period you saw most of him? Also, over the years that you knew him, when did he seem most content/happy on both a personal level and with his career?

Re: Interview With Sandi Miller

Wed Mar 25, 2009 10:54 pm

Yep...I am! Fernette

And thanks for sharing that GREAT story...you have SO MANY stories and I just THANK YOU for sharing them with me and everyone! I will NEVER FORGET the day we met in Palm Springs. What a wonderful weekend I had! I also LOVE the "coloring" together story at the Palm Springs home!

When you can, anxious to hear/read more!!!

Re: Interview With Sandi Miller

Wed Mar 25, 2009 11:25 pm

DutchLA wrote:
Monique wrote:Sandi, thanks again for your contribution to this messageboard. And Stupot thanks for your interesting questions.

Sandi, you wrote: "but I don't know if that was by choice or design". Can you explain to me what you mean by that? (It could be the language...)


**My son is in the process of moving here to Vegas from Calif so it's been hectic here and I'm getting behind so if I take a day or two to get back here, that's the reason.

Anyway, by design I meant, I think he was given songs to choose from - I know he got acetates and tapes all the time that he'd listen to and then decide if he wanted to record them or not and maybe the selection offered him just wasn't always that great. I really don't know but I'm glad he put his foot down when it came to singing If I Can Dream at the 68; wish he'd been that insistant more often or better yet, I wish he would have written some songs himself - he was capable enough so I don't understand it.


Thanks for answering my question. I think the "design"-part was a choice also.
Thank you also for the wonderful story about you meeting Elvis at night. Where and when did this take place?

Re: Interview With Sandi Miller

Thu Mar 26, 2009 12:40 am

DutchLA wrote:
minni1 wrote:Sandi, IIRC, it seems to me that you once mentioned Elvis gave you, as he did others, a copy of Leaves Of Gold. Do you remember, I also sent you a copy of the same book.
Anyway, can you tell me some of the passages Elvis particularly liked,perhaps Highlighted or mentioned to you, from that book?


**Your copy is on the bookshelf in plain view (and again, thank you so much) because it's a copy in very good condition, whereas the one I got from Elvis is pretty beat up. I'll have to dig it out and scan or copy some of the passages he had marked up. It was always so awesome when he would read out of that book because he didn't just read it once - he'd read it two or three times and seem to be concentrating so deeply on what he was reading - then he'd tell what he got out of it - what the passage meant to him. On a few occasions, he would then close the book, close his eyes, and again recite what he'd just read!
I can see him doing it in my head right now! :)


Thanks Sandi, I can almost see him doing it!
Looking forward to those pages, if and when you scan them. As gorgeous as he was, I liked to know what was in his head too.

Thanks for answering all our questions, and sharing your memories with us.

Re: Interview With Sandi Miller

Thu Mar 26, 2009 12:42 am

2Elvis wrote:Yep...I am! Fernette

And thanks for sharing that GREAT story...you have SO MANY stories and I just THANK YOU for sharing them with me and everyone! I will NEVER FORGET the day we met in Palm Springs. What a wonderful weekend I had! I also LOVE the "coloring" together story at the Palm Springs home!

When you can, anxious to hear/read more!!!


That was a GREAT story!! I loved the picture Sandi posted, of Elvis' coloring page.

Re: Interview With Sandi Miller

Thu Mar 26, 2009 3:43 am

That was a GREAT story!! I loved the picture Sandi posted, of Elvis' coloring page.[/quote]


I'd love to see Elvis' colouring page and hear the story. TJ beautifully said. Thanks for answering everyone's questions Sandi, you're the greatest!
I have one of my own. Were you at the Hilton on Closing Night 1973? What did you think of the show? And did you hear that the Colonel had quit/been fired?

Helen

Re: Interview With Sandi Miller

Thu Mar 26, 2009 5:59 am

Thanks Sandi for contributing !

There should be coming soon a Sandi's - corner

..and LD's history section...

Re: Interview With Sandi Miller

Thu Mar 26, 2009 4:12 pm

Wonderful stories to read, Sandi. Thanks a lot for sharing them.

You said you received several records from Elvis himself. Anyone from the comeback era (1968-1971) and did he make any comments about them, specially about FROM ELVIS IN MEMPHIS, THAT´S THE WAY IT IS or ELVIS COUNTRY?

All the best.

Re: Interview With Sandi Miller

Thu Mar 26, 2009 8:40 pm

Sandi....thank you so much for sharing some of your great stories 8) I just made my way through the whole thread and it really was exiting to read it all ::rocks

I just read that you are coming to Denmark in June for the Elvis Unlimited convention and I will certainly try to be there........it would really be an honour to meet you :)

Re: Interview With Sandi Miller

Thu Mar 26, 2009 11:33 pm

Sandi, I am currently rereading Child Bride, by Suzanne Finstad. In her book, she quotes you numerous times. Did she interview you for the book? Have you read it? Do you think it is a reasonably truthful book? thanks!

Re: Interview With Sandi Miller

Fri Mar 27, 2009 8:43 am

Hi Sandi:

I am not trying to veer into negative stuff but I have to ask this. It sounds like you met Elvis numerous times in the 70's, but there had to be many months or more at times between meetings.

Were there times, like others have said, when you hadn't seen him for awhile, and then you see him and you were concerned by what you saw? Maybe a weight gain or unhealthy palor or ....an incoherent or slurry conversation?

Like I say, I'm not trying to go negative and I'm not looking for the little details, but there must have been a time or two (meeting in the fall of 1976?) when you were fearful for Elvis' health. Am I right?

Also, of the nice memories you have shared with us, I am most jealous of the times you got to hear Elvis informally singing. "A Man Without Love," gospel songs, who knows what else? There must have been times when that was just mesmerizing.

Thanks for all the tremendous stories.

Steve Lecher

Re: Interview With Sandi Miller

Fri Mar 27, 2009 6:32 pm

stevelecher wrote:Hi Sandi:

I am not trying to veer into negative stuff but I have to ask this. It sounds like you met Elvis numerous times in the 70's, but there had to be many months or more at times between meetings.

Were there times, like others have said, when you hadn't seen him for awhile, and then you see him and you were concerned by what you saw? Maybe a weight gain or unhealthy palor or ....an incoherent or slurry conversation?

Like I say, I'm not trying to go negative and I'm not looking for the little details, but there must have been a time or two (meeting in the fall of 1976?) when you were fearful for Elvis' health. Am I right?

Also, of the nice memories you have shared with us, I am most jealous of the times you got to hear Elvis informally singing. "A Man Without Love," gospel songs, who knows what else? There must have been times when that was just mesmerizing.

Thanks for all the tremendous stories.

Steve Lecher



I am not trying to veer into negative stuff but I have to ask this. It sounds like you met Elvis numerous times in the 70's, but there had to be many months or more at times between meetings.

**I think the only time there were "months between visits" is when Elvis would return to Memphis. Believe it or not, we sometimes looked forward to those times because we could resume normal life. By that I mean, we actually hung around our own town instead of driving up to Beverly Hills or down to Palm Springs during our non-working hours.

Were there times, like others have said, when you hadn't seen him for awhile, and then you see him and you were concerned by what you saw? Maybe a weight gain or unhealthy palor or ....an incoherent or slurry conversation?

**Elvis always looked fantastic until the last few years , and even then he looked good to me because it was never solely about his physical appearance...but there were times when at first sight, after not seeing him for a month or so, his appearance would sometimes take me back.

One time I actually asked him if he was feeling ok but as usual, he said he was fine - just a little out of shape and the strange thing is - he could look bloated one day (in his face and upper body) and then the next weekend the bloat would be gone; never could understand that except that it obviously wasn't fat but maybe water retention??? As for slurred speech - I think I actually got used to that if that makes any sense because I don't t think he ever was what I would call a clear speaker (or maybe it was just that southern accent which was more pronounced every time he returned from Memphis and also I noticed his drawl got heavier when he was tired or not feeling good) He always talked slow , even in the 60's (except when he was mad) and all my friends would talk a mile a minute so that took some getting used to.

It's strange how when you see things on a fairly regular basis they really don't seem out of place or strange until you look back; at least that's the way it is for me. I look back now and remember a lot of things that, if they were to happen today, would be ringing warning bells all over the place but back then, it was"normal" and what we were used to seeing and I never gave it a second thought and when it came to his medications, Elvis always had an explanation for what he was taking and why...I just never thought anything about it. I'm rambling because I'm not quite sure how to explain it.


Like I say, I'm not trying to go negative and I'm not looking for the little details, but there must have been a time or two (meeting in the fall of 1976?) when you were fearful for Elvis' health. Am I right?

**I think I thought he was invincible - he would always be around and as long as his eyes had a sparkle and he had a spring in his step, I really wasn't worried even if he didn't look the healthiest. The times I would get worried is when his eyes would look dull and his body language said he wasn't happy - again - hard to explain, but if he was unhappy - that bothered me more than anything - when people would hurt him - that caused me to worry more than his actual physical health (and in some ways I guess they were inter-connected.


Also, of the nice memories you have shared with us, I am most jealous of the times you got to hear Elvis informally singing. "A Man Without Love," gospel songs, who knows what else? There must have been times when that was just mesmerizing.
**It was always mezmermizing to us - even when he'd sing commercial jingles that stuck in his head...Pepsodent commercial for instance (You'll wonder where the yellow went, when you brush your teeth with pepsodent) - drove us nuts but was fun to listen to! Little things would thrill us - like him humming, or whistling - maybe because to us, it was unusual (yes, we were strange!!) Jann wasn't even an Elvis fan and she reacted the same way (and oh yes, she became a fan very quickly!!) Remember, I was a huge fan and even though I didn't show it around him, his every movement made an impact on me - he could scratch his behind and we'd talk about it for days.

Re: Interview With Sandi Miller

Fri Mar 27, 2009 6:41 pm

jeanno wrote:Wonderful stories to read, Sandi. Thanks a lot for sharing them.

You said you received several records from Elvis himself. Anyone from the comeback era (1968-1971) and did he make any comments about them, specially about FROM ELVIS IN MEMPHIS, THAT´S THE WAY IT IS or ELVIS COUNTRY?

All the best.


I would literally have to haul out the box of LP's to remember which ones came from him - I don't remember comments - just the weird things he wrote on the LP's (he could be such a bugger sometimes) I normally o nly had him sign things for pen pals and friends so I decided one time that *I* needed an autograph so asked him to please sign it to me and added "that's Sandi with an i" So what does he write? " To Sandi with a i from Elvys with a y" HUH?
On another one he simply wrote - "To Sandi from me" I didn't even notice it until I got home. Smart alec! I give up!

Re: Interview With Sandi Miller

Fri Mar 27, 2009 6:43 pm

minni1 wrote:Sandi, I am currently rereading Child Bride, by Suzanne Finstad. In her book, she quotes you numerous times. Did she interview you for the book? Have you read it? Do you think it is a reasonably truthful book? thanks!


**Yes she did interview me but I never read the book afterwards so can't comment. I know what I told her was factual though/

Re: Interview With Sandi Miller

Fri Mar 27, 2009 7:03 pm

elvisa wrote:Sandi....thank you so much for sharing some of your great stories 8) I just made my way through the whole thread and it really was exiting to read it all ::rocks

I just read that you are coming to Denmark in June for the Elvis Unlimited convention and I will certainly try to be there........it would really be an honour to meet you :)


**Yes I will be there and I'm rally looking forward to it! :)

Re: Interview With Sandi Miller

Fri Mar 27, 2009 11:40 pm

DutchLA wrote:
minni1 wrote:Sandi, I am currently rereading Child Bride, by Suzanne Finstad. In her book, she quotes you numerous times. Did she interview you for the book? Have you read it? Do you think it is a reasonably truthful book? thanks!


**Yes she did interview me but I never read the book afterwards so can't comment. I know what I told her was factual though/


I have no doubt that what you told her is the truth, I just wondered if you thought her account was truthful or not. IMO, it seems like a more truthful account than the Fairytale called Elvis and Me.

Re: Interview With Sandi Miller

Sat Mar 28, 2009 1:38 am

Sandi, I'm curious as to how you knew about Elvis' medications, and how the topic would come up in conversation?

I have many close friends, and I have no idea what's in their medicine cabinets. Did it just become obvious at some point?

Thanks for any further light you can shed on this difficult topic.