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

Re: Sandi: What Really Happened?

Tue Sep 22, 2009 9:37 am

The charitable position is to say Red and Sonny were truly attempting to help a friend. The other possibility is that they were very pissed off and decided to both hit Elvis where it hurt and make lots of cash in the process. I'd like to think it was the former reason, but can anyone here say they truly know the Wests well enough to be 100% confident of their motives?

Re: Sandi: What Really Happened?

Tue Sep 22, 2009 6:59 pm

TJ wrote:The charitable position is to say Red and Sonny were truly attempting to help a friend. The other possibility is that they were very pissed off and decided to both hit Elvis where it hurt and make lots of cash in the process. I'd like to think it was the former reason, but can anyone here say they truly know the Wests well enough to be 100% confident of their motives?

Why does it has to be this or that? Sonny said during the press conferance after Elvis died that they wrote it because of bitterness. And, I do believe them when they say that it wasn't the only reason for releasing the book. They did it because they thought Elvis needed a wake-up call and because they were bitter and hurt.

Re: Sandi: What Really Happened?

Wed Sep 23, 2009 11:07 am

Great post, Cyro

Re: Sandi: What Really Happened?

Mon Oct 05, 2009 10:18 pm

It's a shame that Elvis didn't have more friends like Red West.
Until today, Red is not touring the world to tell "the true story"
about Elvis. That says enough .....

Re: Sandi: What Really Happened?

Wed Oct 07, 2009 5:40 am

I wish Red would tell the true story of Elvis.

Re: Sandi: What Really Happened?

Wed Oct 07, 2009 10:46 am

I wish Elvis would tell the real story of the MM

Re: Sandi: What Really Happened?

Wed Oct 07, 2009 11:10 am

KempoDick wrote:It's a shame that Elvis didn't have more friends like Red West.
Until today, Red is not touring the world to tell "the true story"
about Elvis. That says enough .....


He doesn't have to...he wrote it all down in a book. :?

Re: Sandi: What Really Happened?

Wed Oct 07, 2009 12:03 pm

Monique wrote:
KempoDick wrote:It's a shame that Elvis didn't have more friends like Red West.
Until today, Red is not touring the world to tell "the true story"
about Elvis. That says enough .....


He doesn't have to...he wrote it all down in a book. :?


That's not exactly true, but okay .... i don't want to start this discussion again.

Please read Alanna Nash's book about the Memphis Mafia.

Re: Sandi: What Really Happened?

Wed Oct 07, 2009 7:09 pm

Luuk wrote:I wish Elvis would tell the real story of the MM


Don't we all..................

Re: Sandi: What Really Happened?

Thu Oct 08, 2009 1:46 am

N880EP wrote:Red's dismissal was due to his confronting Elvis about his addictions and the lawsuits were a convenient excuse. It was a message for the boys to back off . . . . and once they did, they could have eventually come back (if the lawsuits were the real reason, their return would not have been an option).

A better summation of Elvis: What Happened? will never be posted anywhere.

Thanks, N8.

Re: Sandi: What Really Happened?

Thu Oct 08, 2009 10:43 am

When I was over at Red's I gave him a spare copy of EWH? I was surprised to find out that he didn't have the paperback in his posession. He was genuinely happy to of received one. My take on the book is that it was released too late. Sonny and Red should of gotten it published a whole lot earlier. Cheers!

Re: Sandi: What Really Happened?

Thu Oct 22, 2009 9:22 pm

N880EP wrote:
Mike Eder wrote:Sorry but I still don't think he hated Jews or Blacks. which was claimed in that so called true book. I also think again it's the "we were angels trying to help him" syndrome. That's a laugh. There were things in the book that had truth to them, but Dunleavy took out most of the humanity. I mean it's claimed that Red was a big reason Elvis was succesful as an artist. Leaving out the lawsuits they caused was a big ommission, nope it was not a fair book. Elvis fired them, maybe because he didn't like what they (allegedly) were telling him, but maybe he didn't like being sued either. He did it in a cowardly fashion but I am convinced Red and Sonny would have been back by the end of 1976 had no book been writen. I have said before that Red may have been confident to confront Elvis, but Dave and Sonny (and Lamar, and Marty etc etc.) wouldn't have had the nerve.


The book is definitely skewed and sensationalistic, but its core content has no lies.

EP dissected this book meticulously and saw the truth staring right back at his face . . . . shaking the very foundation of his monumental wall of denial.

This topic, understandably, also hits an emotional nerve with the fandom (which I sense a lot of from your post).

Sorry, but I don't see it as pure betrayal by Red West. Rather, I see it as a friend (Red) who was hurt by another friend (EP) first, who went too far one time too many.

I count Red West as the only true "friend" - in the truest sense of the word - who actually tried to do something to save EP's life and shake him out of his denial (that said, I don't agree with how he chose to do it, but then again, I've never walked in his shoes, either).

EP's dismissing them had very little to do with the lawsuits and everything to do with being confronted - in his face - about his drug use . . . and denial.

Elvis-What.jpg


Generally speaking, there is an element of fandom denial that is still confronted by this topic / book - even today.


N8


There are a few things in the world that only Elvis fans believe because they hate to accept that he died young. One of those things only Elvis fans can be persuaded of is that "What Happened" was written by 3 desperate "friends" of Elvis who tried to rescue him. Classic case of fan projection.

The Wests and Hebler were fired because they acted unresponsible while doing their jobs. First of all, these people were employees and they were in NO position to rescue their boss. And there are no signs that they had any problems with his drug intake up to the time when they were fired. Guess why? Because they most likely did the pill popping themselves. Sandi did hint at those circumstances on this board and some of Elvis musicians also talked freely about there own addictions. Thus, there is really no need for the authors of "What Happened" to be the ones to act that phony (drug intake is commonplace in entertainment) and try to stress for the billionth time that they did NOT write the book because of financial reasons but as a desperate attempt to rescue the man :roll: .

As long as naive fans believe this crap there will always be lucrative fan meetings for these guys around the world where they can be found telling even more compelling aspects of their desperate struggle against Elvis Presley's drug intake.

Guess what, you won't find me at those meetings. I tend to invest my money in the one thing that was really exceptionally great about Elvis Presley - his music!

Re: Sandi: What Really Happened?

Sun Oct 25, 2009 5:25 am

good post patricia66.I believe you are dead on no pun intended.

Re: Sandi: What Really Happened?

Tue Nov 03, 2009 2:03 am

patricia66 wrote:
N880EP wrote:
Mike Eder wrote:Sorry but I still don't think he hated Jews or Blacks. which was claimed in that so called true book. I also think again it's the "we were angels trying to help him" syndrome. That's a laugh. There were things in the book that had truth to them, but Dunleavy took out most of the humanity. I mean it's claimed that Red was a big reason Elvis was succesful as an artist. Leaving out the lawsuits they caused was a big ommission, nope it was not a fair book. Elvis fired them, maybe because he didn't like what they (allegedly) were telling him, but maybe he didn't like being sued either. He did it in a cowardly fashion but I am convinced Red and Sonny would have been back by the end of 1976 had no book been writen. I have said before that Red may have been confident to confront Elvis, but Dave and Sonny (and Lamar, and Marty etc etc.) wouldn't have had the nerve.


The book is definitely skewed and sensationalistic, but its core content has no lies.

EP dissected this book meticulously and saw the truth staring right back at his face . . . . shaking the very foundation of his monumental wall of denial.

This topic, understandably, also hits an emotional nerve with the fandom (which I sense a lot of from your post).

Sorry, but I don't see it as pure betrayal by Red West. Rather, I see it as a friend (Red) who was hurt by another friend (EP) first, who went too far one time too many.

I count Red West as the only true "friend" - in the truest sense of the word - who actually tried to do something to save EP's life and shake him out of his denial (that said, I don't agree with how he chose to do it, but then again, I've never walked in his shoes, either).

EP's dismissing them had very little to do with the lawsuits and everything to do with being confronted - in his face - about his drug use . . . and denial.

Elvis-What.jpg


Generally speaking, there is an element of fandom denial that is still confronted by this topic / book - even today.


N8


There are a few things in the world that only Elvis fans believe because they hate to accept that he died young. One of those things only Elvis fans can be persuaded of is that "What Happened" was written by 3 desperate "friends" of Elvis who tried to rescue him. Classic case of fan projection.

The Wests and Hebler were fired because they acted unresponsible while doing their jobs. First of all, these people were employees and they were in NO position to rescue their boss. And there are no signs that they had any problems with his drug intake up to the time when they were fired. Guess why? Because they most likely did the pill popping themselves. Sandi did hint at those circumstances on this board and some of Elvis musicians also talked freely about there own addictions. Thus, there is really no need for the authors of "What Happened" to be the ones to act that phony (drug intake is commonplace in entertainment) and try to stress for the billionth time that they did NOT write the book because of financial reasons but as a desperate attempt to rescue the man :roll: .

As long as naive fans believe this crap there will always be lucrative fan meetings for these guys around the world where they can be found telling even more compelling aspects of their desperate struggle against Elvis Presley's drug intake.

Guess what, you won't find me at those meetings. I tend to invest my money in the one thing that was really exceptionally great about Elvis Presley - his music!

Great post - my thoughts exactly.

Re: Sandi: What Really Happened?

Mon Nov 30, 2009 11:04 pm

Great post Patricia.

Re: Sandi: What Really Happened?

Wed Jan 13, 2010 11:53 pm

Luuk wrote:In 1958 or 1959 the US Military officials requested that Elvis sent one of his friends back to the USA because he continuously started fights. In 1976 the same problem with this friend starting fights occurred. And who got sued? Not this friend, but Elvis because he was hired by Elvis!


Ignoring the fact that Elvis was gun crazy and its a miracle that he never killed someone in his lifetime, what Red did was nothing.

Im sure Elvis got plenty of stick in Germany when more than once some guy wanted to try his luck and push Elvis around and Red was over-protective.

Anyway, how can you put Red down for that? Elvis got into fights, he loved fighting.Your just waiting for any moment to put Red and Sonny down but never have a bad word to say about Parker when most fans have.
You seem to have double standards im afraid Luuk.

Im sure Elvis must have been furious when he found out about the book, totally understandable but unless we know 100% what the friendship was and how close Red was to Elvis we cant judge him.

The facts are and some seem to find it hard to face but we cant blame the end on a book or a doctor or any friends.

Elvis' death and how it happened is not important, whats important is Elvis' life and what he achieved in it and im sure he wouldnt want his fans to keep dwelling on the final months of his life like some do.

Re: Sandi: What Really Happened?

Fri Jan 15, 2010 7:32 am

Bravo, well said. I whole heartedly agree. Let us remember him for the good he did do and not so much negative.

Bodie wrote:
Luuk wrote:In 1958 or 1959 the US Military officials requested that Elvis sent one of his friends back to the USA because he continuously started fights. In 1976 the same problem with this friend starting fights occurred. And who got sued? Not this friend, but Elvis because he was hired by Elvis!


Ignoring the fact that Elvis was gun crazy and its a miracle that he never killed someone in his lifetime, what Red did was nothing.

Im sure Elvis got plenty of stick in Germany when more than once some guy wanted to try his luck and push Elvis around and Red was over-protective.

Anyway, how can you put Red down for that? Elvis got into fights, he loved fighting.Your just waiting for any moment to put Red and Sonny down but never have a bad word to say about Parker when most fans have.
You seem to have double standards im afraid Luuk.

Im sure Elvis must have been furious when he found out about the book, totally understandable but unless we know 100% what the friendship was and how close Red was to Elvis we cant judge him.

The facts are and some seem to find it hard to face but we cant blame the end on a book or a doctor or any friends.

Elvis' death and how it happened is not important, whats important is Elvis' life and what he achieved in it and im sure he wouldnt want his fans to keep dwelling on the final months of his life like some do.

Re: Sandi: What Really Happened?

Fri Jan 15, 2010 10:03 pm

Bodie wrote: we cant judge him.


West did judge Elvis in public. So I feel free to judge West anytime, anywhere.

Re: Sandi: What Really Happened?

Fri Jan 15, 2010 11:11 pm

Monique wrote:
Bodie wrote: we cant judge him.


West did judge Elvis in public. So I feel free to judge West anytime, anywhere.

Amen to that!

Re: Sandi: What Really Happened?

Sat Jan 16, 2010 1:20 am

Monique wrote:
Bodie wrote: we cant judge him.


West did judge Elvis in public. So I feel free to judge West anytime, anywhere.


So that makes you just as bad as him in your eyes.

Red had no knowledge that Elvis would die a few weeks after the books release.

The most important thing about this whole subject is Elvis' death.
It made the book a totally different read as oppose to if Elvis had lived.

I say we cant judge Red cause we wasnt that close to Elvis, not even Sandy, we dont really know anything about their friendship but what we do know is that Red and Elvis were like brothers and there is no doubt Red was hurt by what Elvis did, not just the sacking but the way it was done, even Sonny when he tried to contact Elvis to find out why he was being sacked and Elvis didnt even want to talk to Sonny on the phone, it was rejection on the highest scale from a person who wasnt just Elvis Presley the entertainer but Elvis our friend who just slammed the door in their faces and told them to go like they were nothing.

Elvis made a mistake in treating his friends like that, they made a mistake by writing a tell-all book about him, but getting back to what i was saying, the most important part of all this is Elvis' death.It totally changed everything.
Red and Sonny's lives would never be the same, it proberly ruined their lives more than it dented Elvis' legacy.

I find it quite sad that fans after 32 years still want to put the boot in to Red and Sonny.

Whats gonna happen if they pass away? I know whats gonna happen on this forum, your gonna get fans still putting them down.

Stop blaming anyone for Elvis' sad demise and if we are gonna talk about Red and Sonny lets have a discussion about the many happier years when they were all fine with each other, thats whats important and not that book.

Re: Sandi: What Really Happened?

Sat Jan 16, 2010 12:35 pm

That book, written by so-called "friends" or "brothers", hurt Elvis more than anything.
Let's talk about the reason for these guys being fired! You would not want to have your employees behave like the West brothers did so I am sure you would have fired them too.
If they really wanted to help Elvis, as they now claim, they should have written a book in 1963, not after they were fired.
That's the point.
It does not matter what is written, it matters that it is written. You do not spill the private life of someone unless you want to get even with this person.

Re: Sandi: What Really Happened?

Sat Jan 16, 2010 8:49 pm

Luuk wrote:That book, written by so-called "friends" or "brothers", hurt Elvis more than anything.
Let's talk about the reason for these guys being fired! You would not want to have your employees behave like the West brothers did so I am sure you would have fired them too.
If they really wanted to help Elvis, as they now claim, they should have written a book in 1963, not after they were fired.
That's the point.
It does not matter what is written, it matters that it is written. You do not spill the private life of someone unless you want to get even with this person.


Calm down Luuk, its only a discussion.

Red and Sonny didnt write the book, that was Steve Dunleavy.

I cant believe that you actually think that the reason why they were fired was of their behaviour.That was not the reason.

Whats your opinion on Priscilla's tell-all book and the film that went with it?

Re: Sandi: What Really Happened?

Sat Jan 16, 2010 9:14 pm

Bodie wrote:
Luuk wrote:That book, written by so-called "friends" or "brothers", hurt Elvis more than anything.
Let's talk about the reason for these guys being fired! You would not want to have your employees behave like the West brothers did so I am sure you would have fired them too.
If they really wanted to help Elvis, as they now claim, they should have written a book in 1963, not after they were fired.
That's the point.
It does not matter what is written, it matters that it is written. You do not spill the private life of someone unless you want to get even with this person.


Calm down Luuk, its only a discussion.

Red and Sonny didnt write the book, that was Steve Dunleavy.

I cant believe that you actually think that the reason why they were fired was of their behaviour.That was not the reason.

Whats your opinion on Priscilla's tell-all book and the film that went with it?


We are discussing the West brother's book, who told their story to Steve Dunleavy. Without their stories no book.
The reason they were fired was their behaviour. Red was beating up people in 1958/1959 and the US military officials asked Elvis to send his friend back home as they did not want to lose their good reputation with the German people.
In 1976 Elvis got lawsuits because the West's were beating up people. So he finally decided to fire them.
They got back at Elvis by telling stories to Steve Dunleavy.
I am glad I do not have friends like the West brothers.

Re: Sandi: What Really Happened?

Sat Jan 16, 2010 9:57 pm

Luuk wrote:
Bodie wrote:
Luuk wrote:That book, written by so-called "friends" or "brothers", hurt Elvis more than anything.
Let's talk about the reason for these guys being fired! You would not want to have your employees behave like the West brothers did so I am sure you would have fired them too.
If they really wanted to help Elvis, as they now claim, they should have written a book in 1963, not after they were fired.
That's the point.
It does not matter what is written, it matters that it is written. You do not spill the private life of someone unless you want to get even with this person.


Calm down Luuk, its only a discussion.

Red and Sonny didnt write the book, that was Steve Dunleavy.

I cant believe that you actually think that the reason why they were fired was of their behaviour.That was not the reason.

Whats your opinion on Priscilla's tell-all book and the film that went with it?


We are discussing the West brother's book, who told their story to Steve Dunleavy. Without their stories no book.
The reason they were fired was their behaviour. Red was beating up people in 1958/1959 and the US military officials asked Elvis to send his friend back home as they did not want to lose their good reputation with the German people.
In 1976 Elvis got lawsuits because the West's were beating up people. So he finally decided to fire them.
They got back at Elvis by telling stories to Steve Dunleavy.
I am glad I do not have friends like the West brothers.


Luuk,
Well thats two things you have got wrong.

The author of the book and the relationship of the Wests.

They werent brothers, they were cousins.

You dont actually believe that the only reason that Elvis fired them was their behaviour?

Whats your opinion on Priscilla as she also wrote a tell-all book?

I dont think you know as much as you think you do about this subject.

Re: Sandi: What Really Happened?

Sat Feb 13, 2010 4:53 am

[quote="N880EPThe book is definitely skewed and sensationalistic, but its core content has no lies.
[/quote]


The COVER of the book claims 'three of his closest companions' tell the story. Red & Sonny, ok, but Hebler? A newbie hanger-on? Nowhere near as close as Joe, Charlie, Larry, Jerry etc. Theres a lie right there and you dont even have to open the book.

It was told to Steve Dunleavy, a TABLOID reporter, who even in the 80's would appear on tabloid TV shows like 'A Current Affair', leading viewers to believe he knew Elvis, when he in fact never even met the man. So the 'writer' of the book is, more or less, a professional liar.

That said, I do believe while there were some truths in the book, they were exaggerated greatly (didn't the Wests admit that themselves later on?). If you exaggerate the truth, you are lying. Plain and simple. I respect that Red & Sonny were trying to help Elvis (I believe Hebler only saw dollarsigns). But if you have to sink that low to do it, whats the point?
They could easily have offered to pull the book if Elvis agreed to get himself cleaned up. They would have been able to possibly accomplish their goal without betraying their friend.

The funny thing is, IIRC, that Sonny West got busted selling cocaine in 1978 or 79. In light of some of the things written about Elvis in that book, I'd say thats not only the pot calling the kettle black, its the pot calling the kettle a friggin' pot!

As the years since then have unfolded, we have learned more about Elvis' behavior and tendencies ( though not so much the reasons behind them). It's no secret he was no angel and I do not employ any colored glasses when I look at his life. The book is just not the sensation that it was in 1977, because it was the first one back then. Sonny told me proudly that he was the first to tell the story in Memphis a couple years ago.

If it had been done honestly, then maybe it would be something to be proud of. But going the sleazy way is not.

Axe