Elvis My Best Friend Excerpts

By New York PostDec 24, 2009
Elvis My Best Friend Excerpts

Elvis' so-called "Best Buddy" George Klein dishes the dirt on Elvis' orgies & guns: The New York Post has dished up some controversy with an "Inside peek" at The King's wildest days from the new George Klein book. Here are some extracts as posted in the New York Post.

 

Elvis Presley wasn't always the King. 

In fact, he was a total misfit who hadn't yet grown into his looks, wore strange, out-of-style clothes and was harassed by jocks in his Memphis high-school days, according to his oldest friend, George Klein, who co-wrote a new book "Elvis: My Best Man" (Crown) about their 30-year friendship. 
Elvis and Klein met when they were in the eighth grade and stayed friends until the day Elvis died. Elvis was Klein's best man at his wedding -- and Klein was at the King's side when he wed the love of his life, Priscilla. Klein worked as Elvis' "travel companion," arranging trysts for him on the road, and he also witnessed the spiral of booze, pills and overeating that eventually killed his friend in 1977. 
 
Don't Be Cruel 
 
Although Elvis could be incredibly kind -- he gave Klein an expensive ring, a Corvette and paid for his wedding -- he could also be irrationally mean. Elvis had a "sharp temper lurking under the surface," writes Klein. 
 
While recording the soundtrack to the movie "Jailhouse Rock" in 1957, Elvis had a particularly bad day and took it out on his suite at the luxurious Beverly Wilshire Hotel. 
 
He played pool in the room, aiming the balls at furniture, breaking mirrors and tables in the process. 
"He just moved around the table firing off shots and shattering just about everything in the room that was breakable, including a wall-sized mirror," Klein writes. "When he ran out of balls to shoot, he turned the pool cue around in his hands and began to swing it like a golf club at the bumpers on the pool table." 
 
When Elvis and his entourage returned to Memphis, his paramour at the time -- screen starlet Yvonne Lime -- visited him.  To introduce her to the Memphis lifestyle, he took her snake hunting with his closest friends, including Klein.  Arthur Hooton, part of Elvis' crew, came up behind Lime and hugged her. She shrieked in surprise and then laughed. 
 
Elvis didn't find it funny. 
 
"All of a sudden, Elvis had his gun to Arthur's head, and he said, 'You do that again and I'll blow your f- - -ing head off,' " Klein recalls. That was the "first time I saw how dark Elvis' moods could become." 
A similar situation happened years later, when Elvis was dating a woman while married to Priscilla. 
Singer Jimmy Dean was "doing some pretty obvious flirting with Elvis' date," writes Klein. "Elvis walked over and put a small handgun to the side of Jimmy's head and said, 'Leave her alone.' I suppose Elvis was being half-playful -- but only half. Everybody tried to laugh it off, especially Jimmy, but the message was clear: You just didn't mess with Elvis' woman."
 
Pistol-Packing Papa 
 
Elvis, who famously gave President Richard Nixon a gun, had an obsession with firearms and a paranoid temperament, Klein reveals. 
 
The singer's love of weaponry started in 1957. A carload of teens passed by his parents' Memphis home and yelled obscenities at his mother to harass the budding star.  "[Elvis] darted back into the house and quickly returned with a rifle in his hands. He sat down, laid the rifle across his lap and sat there with a cold, steely expression on his face," writes Klein. 
 
Later that year, Elvis found himself surrounded on a Memphis street by a group of five or six angry Marines. "I'm going to see how tough this movie star is. He's been messing with my wife, and I'm going to whup his ass," one of the Marines threatened. 
But Elvis didn't take it lying down. "He reached into his sports jacket's inside pocket and calmly, smoothly, pulled out a gun, then quickly extended his arm so that the barrel was just an inch away from a spot right between the big guy's eyes," Klein writes. " 'OK, you bad-ass son of a bitch,' he growled. 'Let's see what you can do now.' " 
 
Although Elvis later revealed that the gun was just a prop from Paramount Studios, Klein was shaken by the experience. 
 
The Hound Dog 
 
Klein, nicknamed "GK" by Elvis, had a pressing responsibility when on the road with the King: Find beautiful girls to take back to his hotel room. 
 
"I'd take them up to Elvis' room for a party -- the kind of party that quite often did get a little wild," Klein writes.  One such party occurred in 1970, while Elvis was married and his daughter, Lisa Marie, was 2. 
His father, Vernon Presley, was with Klein in Tampa on a worldwide tour with Elvis when things went a bit crazy backstage with a group of girls "falling somewhere between groupies and hookers." 
Vernon wanted to know where his son was. 
"Oh, they're all in a room down the hall, Mr. Presley. There's going to be a show down there," Klein replied. 
But Klein mistakenly brought Vernon to the hotel suite where a girl-on-girl orgy was going on. 
"I can't even describe the look Elvis shot at me when I walked into that room with his daddy," Klein writes. "But his anger at me didn't stop the scheduled entertainment. Vernon just found a place to stand with the rest of us and watched as Elvis began directing the girls like a certain kind of movie director: You touch her here; you kiss her there; hang on to that; hold still." 
 
It was hardly the only time Elvis was unfaithful to his wife. "Elvis considered himself capable of loving the woman he'd left at home while devoting himself fully to the woman he happened to be with elsewhere," says Klein. 
At the same time, Elvis also was carrying on a serious relationship with actress and two-time Playboy centerfold Barbara Leigh, best known for her role in the 1972 film "Junior Bonner" with Steve McQueen.
 
Insecurities & Face-lifts 
 
Even when the King became a musical sensation, his insecurities persisted. At the age of 40, Elvis asked Klein to join him in getting cosmetic surgery. 
 
"GK, you and I are going to get face-lifts," Elvis said when he called Klein to Graceland in 1975. 
"Elvis, you've still got the face of a Greek god," I said. "Why in the world would you have a face-lift?" 
"If we just have a little bit done now, we don't have to have a lot of work done later," the King responded.  So Elvis and Klein got mini-face-lifts in Memphis. Elvis insisted on paying for both. 
"I have to admit, Elvis was right," Klein writes. "The mini-face-lift slowed down the aging process."
 
Dark Depression 
 
Elvis'
Elvis Presley on: eBay, iTunes, Amazon, Sheetmusic

Reactions

1fanofmany (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 22, 2010report abuse
I just finished GK's book. For those that commented with out reading it, I feel you missed the mark. His book showed an early Elvis and where he came from which influenced alot of his actions. I grew up in Memphis in the 40's, 50's and 60's, it was nice to read about places and events that I could relate to. I never got a chance to see him perform in Memphis, but I saw Elvis in KC at the Kemper on his last tour. He was a proud person that wanted to give the best show he could, the sound system was not quite right and he stopped the performance, because his fans "deserved the best", after getting the sound system up to Elvis's standand, he continued. As a kid, I had one of the plastic crank guitars that played one of his songs, and shook my leg like the rest of america. I loved his music and loved to hear stories about how he would give gifts to strangers. GK's book showed a loving side of Elvis, and did not smear his name. For those that said that they would not buy it, I think you missed a chance to see another side.
tcb 76 (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 24, 2010report abuse
i read this in 3 days; the book is absolutly one of the vary best i have read about Elvis the man! Elvis was a wonderful human and this book really shows how much he truly cared for his friends and the fans!
tigerpawl (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 4, 2010report abuse
Has anyone read the book?
mature_elvis_fan75 (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 3, 2010report abuse
It doesnt matter to me if the rest of the book prasies elvis as a saint,i dont care about stories that may or may not have happened,im not one for reading about others problems,just about the music please!
Swen (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 1, 2010report abuse
Elvis Presley did not need ENEMIES...........
1 BILLION SOLD (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 31, 2009report abuse
You know, it may be a bit early to judge this book by George, remember, this is a New York Post review of the book and journalists live for drama!! So it is possible that the entire remaining areas of the book could be completely in admiration of our guy, but journalists LOVE to stretch and exaggerate all things negative, ESPECIALLY when it comes to Elvis! Just a thought.
Ruthie (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 30, 2009report abuse
No one is blaming the review, the blame is on GK. He should be ashamed but we know he isn't. He should really be ashamed for telling lies. Every Elvis fan knows all the stories about his pill popping, overeating (although that was not the cause of the bloating) but we also know that booze was not involved. Every mafia member (including GK on the 2nd Elvis cruise) & band members that I have talked to has stated the booze was never in the picture because Elvis rarely drank. If he wasn't so anxious to make some money, he'd get his stories straight.
djm (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 30, 2009report abuse
george will not give you dirt unless you want it ! lol or if the price is right. i dont blame the review, i blame the book.
mature_elvis_fan75 (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 30, 2009report abuse
So if someone ask you then you must give the dirt on your friend?
tigerpawl (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 29, 2009report abuse
I am sure there is more to Kleins book than just dirt. Remember this is the NY Posts review of the book they are only going to writer the dirt on Elvis from the book in the review. I am sure there are plenty of stories George tells that are positive to Elvis. Dont blame the review on George Klein. I have talked to people in the past that have talked to George and George will not give u dirt unless u want it.
mature_elvis_fan75 (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 29, 2009report abuse
I cant speak for klein but i met charlie hodge,and he talked about Elvis not himself,im like steve,i wont to know about the music,the rest i dont care to know,and if you do like such things,how do you know what is half truth, lies & the actual truth?
gbalaban (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 28, 2009report abuse
I could be wrong on these two points, but I heard George on Siriius talking to Charlie Hodge and saying how much he meant to George and then he didn't even attend his funeral. The second thing is I believe sometime in the 70's Elvis called the President to try to help out George in some kind of trouble he was in at the time. I always felt when listening to him talk that he always seemed to be there whenever something of importance took place, and always was part of the story. If I am wrong in the first 2 things I said about George and Charlie and George and his problems with the law then I am sorry about that, but it still doesn't stop me from being angry that the book is another way to put George into the story more than I believe he really was.
dgirl (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 28, 2009report abuse
I attended an Elvis fan convention in Queens, New York in 1978. George was the guest. Before he spoke, he made sure there were no reporters taking notes, no tape recorders and no questions about drug use, panties, or the Elvis What Happened book. He came across as very righteous and sort of pompous. So after 30 years we get this kind of book? To say I am shocked is an understatement. Maybe I am too quick to judge, but he sure fooled me.
Ruthie (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 28, 2009report abuse
Thank you, Steve V. Nothing is more important than this man's musical contributions.
Steve V (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 27, 2009report abuse
mature - thats why I subscribe to The Man & His Music. When I want to read about Elvis, I want to read about new cd releases, dvd releases, book reviews, and interviews with songwriters, people who were at sessions, co-stars, etc. Only about the man's career. Nothing else. (I have a feeling they will trash this book in their next book review).
mature_elvis_fan75 (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 26, 2009report abuse
How come 9 out of 10 books are on everything but the music?
Natha (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 26, 2009report abuse
scavenger
circleG (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 26, 2009report abuse
you are all absolutely right - this nonsense is tiresome and as Ruthie says lets concentrate on improving the legacy! Lets get those Cd and DVD sorted - surely Elvis On Tour etc. is more important than this book!
djm (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 26, 2009report abuse
looks like george is looking for a retirement fund. elvis gave klein rings , cars, paid for his wedding and this is how he repays him. i also read somewhere that elvis paid for his nose job ! im rather tired of these sort of books now. they have been done to death. the best was elvis and the memphis mafia. save your money for the new jailhouse rock book or vegas 69 or for the real elvis pick up `dewey and elvis` theres some great elvis stories in that. or elvis and the blue moon boys or elvis 57 etc etc. on the plus side there cant be that many so called best friends left to write anymore of this sort of drivel.
Ruthie (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 26, 2009report abuse
Thank you, Steve, you condensed it better than I was able to do. Certainly, enough is enough. Nothing new here. Let's get on with what's important - the musical legacy that changed the world.
Steve V (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 25, 2009report abuse
I guess I'm not too surprised. Most books are written to sell and most of these stories we have heard before anyway. Let's face it, as a singer Elvis was in a class by himself. As a man, he was far from what many would consider normal. He would have been very hard to live with despite what many (especially females) say. Still George disappoints. Why wait all these years to tell these stories? Perhaps the book will be a good read for other stories, like pre-Army ones only George knows.
samcra (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 25, 2009report abuse
Every interview I've seen involving George Klein, it's mostly about himself (GK). In my opinion he is just another leech trying to squeeze the last penny he can get out of the Elvis legacy. I never paticularly liked Klein in the first place, now I know why. Elvis will live on forever, but you "GK" will be an almost undetectable blip on the whole screen of the Elvis phenomena.
Mystery Rider (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 25, 2009report abuse
Might be interesting, I see it shows Elvis as a Human, not a false god, also the bit with the guns, a good way to keep the nuts away is to show how the "physco" can play, and i learned that from 20 years in the NYPD. Smashing a hotel room so what no one was hurt, and that a good thing.
Rob V (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 25, 2009report abuse
Elvis gave those guys around him everything. Let them eat, sleep, in Elvis' two homes. And this is what he get's in return.... There are some things you just don't go out and tell (for all to know). We all expierence this ourselves with family and "close" friends. You can't go off and shoot your mouth off, especially when someone has looked after you, been loyal etc... A big thumbs down to George Klein!
dannyboy1 (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 25, 2009report abuse
Two statements show me how accurate this stuff is: Elvis' passion for guns began in 1957, Worldwide tour in 1970. So when Dear Georgie wants to put out some sensationalist garbage how reliable can it be? I'll bet the girl-on-girl action was just a photo shoot. We've seen this over and over - some loser just putting a negative spin on things. I though GK was supposed to be a friend.
Lefty (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 25, 2009report abuse
The idea here is to get us to focus on what Elvis did, or failed to do. Yet, I can't help but wonder about George in all of this. The guy pimped for Elvis. He stood around with his thumb up his nose while Elvis directed his own porno deal. He cowered when Elvis busted up rooms, and he was an accessory to Elvis pulling guns on people. George sounds like a lecherous old weasel, sniffing around the money until Elvis tossed him a morsel. He should take a look at his own life instead pointing the finger at his "best man." Either George had no backbone, or he was just as in to the junk as Elvis was. Either way, he's not a guy I'd want around, nor would I waste a dime on his backstabbing book.
EForever (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 25, 2009report abuse
Ruthie - you are so right! I'm so disappointed in George Klein. Don't we usually protect the people we truly care about and defend them if other people say derogatory things about them, particularly if that person has passed on? We fans have always known there weren't a lot of people of integrity around Elvis and it has now been proven once again. Sad.
Ruthie (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 24, 2009report abuse
Well, surprise, surprise - not! Another book of the same old crap (a favorite word on this site) & I can't believe I was looking forward to this book by GK of all people. Another so called friend who ends with "a friend who gave me more than anyone" is giving the same, insidious commentary back to the tune of mucho greenbacks. I promised a friend I would pick up a copy for him next month at Graceland & I keep my promises but this will never be on my bookshelf. Which brings me to this point? Why wasn't the great coverage of Elvis' early career & Werthheimer's (for the critics, I know it's misspelled) photography covered in the latest issue of Vanity Fair magazine mentioned? Or did I miss it on this site? It's a nice article, not sleazy at all. Wow, what a concept!

Book review: 10 most recent articles

12/23/2013
3
07/10/2013
3
09/30/2012
22

Recently Added Shop Items