ELVIS: Up Close & Personal With Sonny West

Sonny West, who co-wrote "Elvis - What Happened" and, recently, "Still Taking Care of Business", will release a DVD entitled "ELVIS: Up Close & Personal With Sonny West" according to the (his?) website www.sonnywest.com. Sonny West also agreed to promote his book with the help of "Big Elvis", a 550 pounds heavy Las Vegas impersonator according to the Elvis Matters website.
Source: Various / Updated: May 19, 2007 
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Reactions

June (profilecontact) wrote on May 31, 2007report abuse
A touch of genius, Ruthie.................Pig Wrestlers unite!
Ruthie (profilecontact) wrote on May 31, 2007report abuse
Many thanks to Jesper - I believe it was you! You gave us a great idea. We have now formed the Wrestle With Pigs For Elvis club. We are even designing calling cards. It's a great idea - I mean that sincerely. One never knows what one will find on this site.
Rev. Gerhard (profilecontact) wrote on May 30, 2007report abuse
There would be this magic moment, one to last a lifetime through, when a boy like me meets a girl like you.
byebye (profilecontact) wrote on May 29, 2007report abuse
Why should we all be on Jimmy Page? That´s really dirty.....
June (profilecontact) wrote on May 29, 2007report abuse
We should all be on the same page................but, the paper keeps getting dirtier all the time.
byebye (profilecontact) wrote on May 29, 2007report abuse
-A debate with vegetables is not necessarily healthy ;)
mature_elvis_fan75 (profilecontact) wrote on May 29, 2007report abuse
Yes indeed a healthy debate! the way it should be
Ruthie (profilecontact) wrote on May 28, 2007report abuse
You know, I really don't care what theoldscudder or anyone else thinks about me. And I find it interesting that he thinks I need a shrink because I happen to love Elvis. I happen to love a lot of people all in different ways. Unfortunately, my degree is in sociology & that might explain why the oldscudder thinks I am a head case. It doesn't matter, I have been called worse. What these people like oldscudder need to realize is that some of us have really done our homework. I have taken courses on Elvis & his impact on music & culture from various universities & I am in the middle of some fascinating research. It makes me love him more & more. I don't care about Sonny, I don't care what he does & I can't think of why I would want to meet him. The 500 lb impersonator tells me everything I need to know about Sonny & his lack of ethics. He will never make a dot in the Elvis world - or any world for that matter.
Steve V (profilecontact) wrote on May 28, 2007report abuse
theoldscudder - your sick attempt at humor is not welcome. A healthy debate always is.
Rev. Gerhard (profilecontact) wrote on May 28, 2007report abuse
Yes June. The troublemakers will be forgotten, but Elvis never. History is on our side. So we can enjoy the 30. anniversary with a very loving and grateful and pleased smile.
June (profilecontact) wrote on May 28, 2007report abuse
I cannot speak for someone.. (Ruthie).. I don't even know. What I do know is that I.. LOVE.. Elvis Presley. It is apparant, that some of you, do not. Why do you visit this site? It is not just one person who is full of venom. It shocks and surprises me. I love Elvis as a human being and accept his human faults. Why don't you? You are so quick to judge and criticise him... Why?. Have you not looked at yourselves? Think for a moment, what Elvis achieved and left us with, in only 23 years! What have you accomplished in that short time? Get real... and be grateful for.. the mere existence of... Elvis Aaron Presley. He changed all of our lives. And, continues to do the same for other generations.
byebye (profilecontact) wrote on May 27, 2007report abuse
June&Ruthie are to smart to wrestle with pigs. "They know the pig loves it and that they themselves would only get filthy". Anyone with more knowledge and member history than todays date would know that.
theoldscudder (profilecontact) wrote on May 27, 2007report abuse
After reading the comments on Sonny West (in addition to many numerous past articles) I have come to the following conclusion. It is apparant to me that both Ruthie & June from their numerous anti-Steve V comments are hopelessly in love with the man. Is it because they found out he is a dead ringer for Elvis during his Aloha period? Is it some exciting attraction they have for Steve? I don't have the answers, but I do know from my years as a psycholigst there is something going on with these two babes in regards to Steve V. I believe most fans would agree that the Sony West book is more than fair & balanced. In conclusion a little personal reflection on Sonny. While in Memphis I was eating like a pig at a local BBQ & started choking on a rib bone & Sonny came to my rescue. Had It not been for Sonny I would not be here writing this article. Burning Love Baby Get On It!
Rev. Gerhard (profilecontact) wrote on May 27, 2007report abuse
You should not be afraid meeting Sonny West. A few years ago I felt the same. Just before I went to Memphis I talked with some friends about Sonny. And I told them, that I find him so detesting, that I would let him smell my fist meeting him accidentally. And what happened ? I've met him when he accompanied the impersonator Duck Church (the man is so strange as his pseudonym). "Now should be the moment that I use my fist", I thought. But what did I see looking at Sonny ? A real old and buckled man with empty eyes and so much fear in his face. So looking at that man I saw that he had already got his punishment and that my fist wasn't needed any more.
June (profilecontact) wrote on May 26, 2007report abuse
Wow........ I don't feel so alone now. Ruthie...you rock. Rev.Gerhard...ditto. Elvis.........we are TCB for you. With love always............RIP.
Ruthie (profilecontact) wrote on May 26, 2007report abuse
I really think that enough is enough! Sonny is getting what he is looking for - controversy & money. We are all buying into it! I am personally sick & tired of giving him that satisfaction. The more he reads about himself, the happier he is -and don't think for a minute that he & other "mafia" members don't read this site. They do, along with other non-Elvis fans. That' their "right". Well, it's my "right" not to give any more attention to this rubbish. My decision to toss this book was made when he also made remarks about Schilling, Esposito, Lisa Marie, Priscilla, Grob, anyone he doesn't personally like - although he did backtrack & contradict himself when it came to Esposito. But the book is full of contradictions. I just hope none of the aforementioned people bother to respond. June is absolutely right - the only people who really know are dead & are easy targets. I hope to never meet this guy because he has truly insulted my intelligence as a fan. Unfortunately, we can't get away from a world full of people who are "full of themselves".
June (profilecontact) wrote on May 25, 2007report abuse
None of you were there to know that all they have written is true. Why are you so ready to believe it? Elvis had a few very rough years before he passed and you can just look at the photos and see the suffering in his eyes. He was desperately ill and just kept going. I think he knew he was dying and continued to do shows and leave us as much as he could. Even if some of the 'ex-employees' experiences were not spectacular, you don't WRITE A BOOK folks! That is the bottom line. Some of you do seem as if you are 'mafia' in disguise when penning on this site and it upsets the rest of us. Those guys were hired to help protect Elvis and we have had to try and protect him from them since his passing. What a shame. You have to know right from wrong. I have also been a fan since 1956 and an advocate since the age of 13, when I wrote my first letter in his defense. These nasty books will not cease until all of these guys are gone. I wish the good books written received as much attention.
Steve V (profilecontact) wrote on May 25, 2007report abuse
I still enjoyed the book if just for the stories on Muhammed Ali, Frank Sinatra, The Beatles meeting and others. These were told very sincerely and with greater detail than I've read before. I do believe Elvis was a 'dead man walking' from late 1973 onward. It was just a matter of time before it all caught up with him. No person, book, or anything else was gonna change the inevitable.
Rev. Gerhard (profilecontact) wrote on May 25, 2007report abuse
Dear Slava, feeling inadequate should not form your verbalization. I am nothing else than a human being like you. But I think that's the main reason too for all those enjoying to underline that Elvis was a drug addict. Feeling inadequate. It can not be that you do not know that Elvis hated drugs. When he had the impression that David Stanley smoked hash, or Charlie or one of the others was drunken, he became angry. And I think that you know that the Wests had been drug addicted. But instead of looking into themselves, they like to throw filth onto Elvis, who had fed and pampered them such a long time. He had always been nothing else than a wonderful milkcow to them. They are too poor and low-minded to live real friendship. And that's the same with those so-called fans, who are so discontent with their own life and hygienic situation, that they need for their life the sickness of their idol including the bad rumors and myths, because then they can feel relief in the deep sea of their own problems. It's nothing else but a psychological phenomenon. They need the religious feeling, that he had the same problems like them. Even worse. And we all should have a lot of appreciation with those fans, if the origin of those myths would not be diabolicalness and immorality.
efan4ever (profilecontact) wrote on May 25, 2007report abuse
Well said Slava.
Slava (profilecontact) wrote on May 24, 2007report abuse
My dear Rev. I am not judging - you are 'lost' in some illusiory landscape and you think by using the 'title ' - 'Rev' it makes you somehow more 'in the know than the rest of us' - face the facts - we love him - I love him - you love him - but we do him NO favour (English spelling) by being foolish and being 'in denial'. Please do not insult his many fans by trying to take the 'high ground' - he was a drug addict - God help me I wish he wasn't...
efan4ever (profilecontact) wrote on May 24, 2007report abuse
Enough of all this. Arguing over things we cannot not chanege is pointless.Whats done is done. We can all agree that he is and always will be The King of Rock and Roll.
byebye (profilecontact) wrote on May 24, 2007report abuse
efan4ever, the rhetoric is so twisted on some of you guys. I mean it´s like it´s fair game to do such a thing like EWH just because the person allready has serious problems. Kicking on sombody who´s already down, or mugging a bum on the street cause no one will care anyway, is this how you reason?! In that case, dont be suprised for getting caught in the crossfire claiming your Elvis fans and defending bad behaviour against him at the same time. And as I said, who would do that to a friend (Elvis or not) -only a lowlife! Come on guys, is this were your hearts and moral are really at? Is that the decent thing to do?
Rev. Gerhard (profilecontact) wrote on May 24, 2007report abuse
efan, you like to love especially people without moral ? After their relationship had ended, Linda had not given back Elvis' bank card and shook down his account for nearly 25000 dollars. Owing to the fall of the dollar it had been pretty much more than today. No moral no truthfulness.
efan4ever (profilecontact) wrote on May 24, 2007report abuse
There is no judging going on here. These are facts from the people who were there. Who witnessed it first hand. Even before the first book came out he almost died. Linda Thompson said that Elvis was so high that when he was the table he passed out and his head went to his soup bowl or whatever they were about to eat. The only reason he did not suffocate in the bowl was because Linda was there save him. All you haters going to blame that on Sonny and Red and the book. You cannot hide from the truth people.
byebye (profilecontact) wrote on May 23, 2007report abuse
Your a fan allright Steve, but the rhetorical shouldn´t be about that. It should be about what is the decent thing to do. EWH did not do our man no good, and like Rev.Gerhard stated earlier it impressed the publics view on Elvis. It was also the seed for Goldmans book. They made it fair game to badmouth EP,- his own friends. They had a lot of time to think about it, but still went through with it, and up to this day they dont show remorse. I truly feel sorry for the guys, only a looser would do such a thing to his friend (former or not, been given notice etc). Elvis was a reserved sensitive person, and they deliberately hurt him at a very difficult time in his life. All the verdicts point at that the book gave him major stress and made him feel worse, with accelerating intake of more pills. And what happened next we all know...
Steve V (profilecontact) wrote on May 23, 2007report abuse
mature - thanks I know you didnt. I got angry when someone else said this site was for Elvis fans and I shouldnt be on it. I can have an opinion that is not 100% in favor of ELvis and still be a fan. Gee, this is a democarcy! I suppose that folks also feel Elvis' version of Hey Jude was far superior to the original (because he's Elvis). Yes, I agree with you about the 'Big Elvis' idea. Sonny is out of his mind for doing this and shows very poor taste.
mature_elvis_fan75 (profilecontact) wrote on May 23, 2007report abuse
Steve i for one havnt put you down,just for the record,i just have sized up sonny and dont care for him,if my buddy is in trouble im not going to tell the world his problems to try and shock him into getting help,and if sonny really wanted to respect Elvis who he has calimed he loves to this day then why show up with this guy(impersonator)were suppose to look back on a persons life and remember the good,and there is a reason they say rip,i think its very wrong and disrespectful to talk about others after there gone in such a way,and it still goes on to this day,he has been in videos were he sat and told the same stuff ,long after Elvis was gone,so its more than just a book that came right before Elvis passed!
mature_elvis_fan75 (profilecontact) wrote on May 23, 2007report abuse
Should have read drugs!
mature_elvis_fan75 (profilecontact) wrote on May 23, 2007report abuse
God also doesnt want us judging others,but people have no problem doing that,and i believe Elvis payed dearly for his lifestyle didnt he?, id love to know what people think that he owes them,since we didnt even know him personally,and i will never get into the pill or dug issue,cause i wasnt there and i have no right to open my mouth on such subjects,folks if this is fans can you imagine what non fans thinks? Do some reseach into bi polar folks!
Rev. Gerhard (profilecontact) wrote on May 23, 2007report abuse
What does you expect from Elvis? Healthiness and briskness forever? He surely loved his job, but it has not been one of the easiest. It has been an ongoing abandonment of power, sweat and stage-fright. Often enough he performed semi-daily. Even when he did not feel like a hero, because he was sick. But being with his band and the fans on stage had been his most beloved moments. You should have spoken with Charlie or Kathy for example. They could have told you all the sicknesses Elvis had. He'd got a medical treatment to become healthy and respectively to continue working. Of course we today can say, 'he should have stopped working'. But look into your own thoughts when you are sick, have a responsibility and a reputation, and you will find enough of the typical reasons, who tell you that you can accomplish your tasks. And if you have a giant bunch of work behind you, it's not so very easy to escape a heart attack. There is no doubt. Elvis was sick. But even with his sicknesses he gave the world light, joy and love. And without his sicknesses Sonny West and accomplices would not have sold a fistful of their book. So these knaves make their business with the sickness and finally with the death of one of the most wonderful persons whoever lived on earth. And with the sickness of a550 pounds heavy Las Vegas impersonator. So don't help them making money with this dirt business, but give them that, what they really deserve: your contempt.
efan4ever (profilecontact) wrote on May 23, 2007report abuse
The man was either sleeping or higher than a kite the last few years of his life. When they pumped his stomach they disposed of it because it would have been a huge embarrassment for him and his family. I love Elvis but seriously intellectual, spiritual and mental level. Who are you kidding. I dont care who you are if you swallow that many pills you are not very smart. God does not want us to abuse the bodies that he gave us. So that takes care of the spiritual part. Everyone who was around him knew something was not right. He was mental allright. I am just being truthful.
byebye (profilecontact) wrote on May 22, 2007report abuse
Do you know why he´s been in a "Elvis prison" for 30 years Steve? It´s because that after all this time he doesn´t understand, have the remorse or the common sense to say -I´m sorry, wich is the fundemental reason to forgive someone, or letting a "jailbird" out into freedom. Not even hindsight enough to admit that it was not a smart move to write EWH. It was a first class betrayal and a knife in the back on Elvis regardless of it´s intentions. (wich the road to hell is payed with) And now he sit´s with a 550 pound heavy impersonator to promote his new book so he can cash in more. Is that a sincere person?! The jewish author Albert Goldman´s motives are easier to grasp ($), but to say that Sonnys motives were anything else but just vengeance is just a very bad excuse.
Rev. Gerhard (profilecontact) wrote on May 22, 2007report abuse
Dear Sean, they weren't sacked because they tried to help him, but because they had a very bad behaviour and mistreated fans. And yes, they couldn't help him, because they had not his intellectual, spiritual and mental level.
Steve V (profilecontact) wrote on May 22, 2007report abuse
Jesper - I was responding because I was being doubted as an Elvis fan and that made me angry. I took a lot of crap over the years sticking up for Elvis. I dont know how old you are but being an ELvis fan in high school 1964-68 was very tough. How can you defend Easy Come Easy Go, Harum Scarum, etc. I tried even though I knew then that stuff was awful for a guy with Elvis' talent. Now because I liked Sonny's book, my loyalty to Elvis is being questioned? He's been in Elvis prison for 30 years. You are all good decent people on this site. I think 30 years is a hell of a sentence as someone wrote earlier. Its longer than Elvis's career when he was alive! Sonny didnt commit murder. He may even have prevented Elvis' demise a few times before 1977. Give him a break. You dont like him? Fine, dont buy his book. but dont put those of us down who did.
Sean Ryan (profilecontact) wrote on May 22, 2007report abuse
June, what are you talking about? 'Elvis needed help and he didnt get it'. They did try and help him and Elvis sacked them for it.
byebye (profilecontact) wrote on May 22, 2007report abuse
Being an Elvis fan since 1956 obviously dont go hand in hand with the gift of wise reflection or ethics. It just makes it even more sad Steve V. It´s a twisted way of looking at things, and I believe a mojority would show you this in a quick poll. Not because their Elvis fans, but simply because the can tell right from wrong.
Rev. Gerhard (profilecontact) wrote on May 22, 2007report abuse
Dear Slava, you should not judge about a man's life, in whose shoes you could never walk.
Slava (profilecontact) wrote on May 22, 2007report abuse
Dear Rev. yes everything is curable but alas Elvis didn't want to be cured - I'm afraid history will judge him as the greatest entertainer of his age but also cronicle his downfall -which was self-induced. I wish it were different.
Rev. Gerhard (profilecontact) wrote on May 22, 2007report abuse
Yes Steve. You're right. There is no life on earth which has only good days. But may God guard us against so-called friends, taking our bad days and exaggerate them in a way, that we can't live on with that image.
Steve V (profilecontact) wrote on May 22, 2007report abuse
Ruthie - I am an Elvis fan ,have been since 1956. That does not mean I cant be critical of a song he sang, a movie he made, or like a book written about him. Being a fan is not blind loyalty and loving everything the man did. I dont know Sonny West, only met him once. I liked his book. Not talking about Elvis What Happned, thats a different time & circumstance. This book was enjoyable to me. It had the most in depth details about the night Elvis and The Beatles met, more Sinatra tidbits, great costar stories, etc. I didnt know George Harrison wanted to get a song to Elvis in 1976. Things like that I like to read. Yes, Sonny retold some of the stories from What Happened, but so what? These things did happen. You cant ignore the bad stuff, you take the good with the bad. Its all part of the story.
Lobisome (profilecontact) wrote on May 22, 2007report abuse
No need for a second book, there is only one word I´d like to read from Sonny: SORRY.
Ruthie (profilecontact) wrote on May 22, 2007report abuse
So far, June has made the most reasonable & sane points regarding repulsion of Sonny & his book. I don't know Steve but wonder what he's doing on this site - it's for Elvis fans. And the person who suggested that we read these books before commenting? I have read just about every book written about Elvis or that mentions Elvis. I have only thrown out a couple. I will continue to read anything I can concerning this great artist. You would have to live under a rock not to know that he had many faults but, that being recognized, I still don't see the point in rehashing them over & over. Sonny & the boys had a decision to make - stay friends with Elvis or stay employees. This all goes back to the fact that they didn't have to work for him & they didn't have to be friends if they found him to be that bad. If these same guys had worked for "regular" employers who they liked
to hang with but got sick & tired of the way they were treated, would beat feet to be gone. I have been in the legal field for 40 yrs & I have seen my share of basically nice lawyers & judges who had horrible habits & treated their "underlings" terrible. I have been one of them & I know things about these people that could shed a lot of bad publicity on them as well as possibly ruin their careers. I will never say a word - it's called ethics. Just because the reputation is not on the same scale as Elvis doesn't make it any less wrong or important. The mafia guys loved the lifestyle & would put up with anything to keep it going. It didn't turn out the way he thought it would & he's never let it go. It's not about Elvis - it's about Sonny. Never trust an unethical person.
June (profilecontact) wrote on May 21, 2007report abuse
I don't think anyone believes that the 'guys' helped kill Elvis. He was stubborn and had really... lost...his way in those last few years. "We were there" doesn't hold up. Writing a tell-all book and saying you are doing it out of loyalty and because you love someone is bull.... Elvis needed love and help and he didn't get it. If I had written a book like that, I wouldn't sleep nights. Not one person can say they know what Elvis went through. He was alone. Just the thought of that kills me. Loyalty is not blind, it is loving and much needed for someone in Elvis' position. And these guys are still doing this? Please...................
mature_elvis_fan75 (profilecontact) wrote on May 21, 2007report abuse
Steve i for one dont think anyone killed Elvis,i dont care for sonny or lamar,if you or others do then thats your oppion to which you have every right to,to me its simple being someones employe and friend are 2 differt things,i have seen the videos from sonny and the gang and it was done in a spiteful hatred attitude with a little bit of we loved him so much at the end to tug at your emotions,its sad that so many people go down this Elvis was this or that kind of road,,i think he payed for his lifestyle dont you? I know he could be stubborn and at times mean,i have said this and ill say it again,if your bi polar no one will understand that but someone else with the same condition,Elvis had all the signs of that condition,i knowing people with the same disorder it can turn your world upside down,i am not here because im a fan of sonny lamer red etc etc,some of the comments made are done in a mature way,but as you can see, you always have the remakrs that are nasty and mean spirited,Elvis owed no one nothing then and he sure doesnt now!
Rev. Gerhard (profilecontact) wrote on May 21, 2007report abuse
Dear Slava, I do not know what kind of drugs you have taken. But believe me. Everything is curable.
Slava (profilecontact) wrote on May 21, 2007
Invisible because there was bad language used
Rev. Gerhard (profilecontact) wrote on May 21, 2007report abuse
Don't sell us that rubbish as the truth. It's one of their impertinent lies announcing over and over again, that Elvis did not take medicine against sicknesses but to satisfy an assumed addiction. That man who forbad his wife the birth control pill, because it had side-effects.
Steve V (profilecontact) wrote on May 21, 2007report abuse
A book cant kill a person, that's insane logic. Elvis did that to himself and it was happening for years. How many times did Sonny & Red & others rescue Elvis when he wasnt breathing correctly? How many pills did they throw out? No one talks about that. Also, I dont hear anyone dissing Linda for leaving Elvis in his worst state of health. Wouldnt you call that unloyal? Dont you think she loved him? Of course she did. She left because she couldnt take it anymore, much like Priscilla and any woman in her right mind would. Ginger was too young & a too much golddigger to leave so she stayed for the gravy train. This blind loyalty to ELvis because he's Elvis is nuts. Read the book. Its not written in bitterness at all. If you cant take the truth, too bad.
Slava (profilecontact) wrote on May 21, 2007report abuse
Sonny actually seems quite a nice guy and no doubt if he and Red could turn the clock back and not publish I'm sure they would. Having said that before I read the first book I thought it would be far worse than it actaully was! and, yes, Elvis was a coward when it came to standing up for friends - and love him I do - a bit of love the sinner hate the sin is required here coz when all's said and done he didn't stand up for those that loved him - Larry was another one who got fired and humiliated and Elvis just sat there. Great talent but, regretfully, a skewed personality - a lesson for us all - in his case no doubt drug intake (or as a friend of mine would put it 'pharmacutically challenged') played it's full part in our guys early demise both of his care for people like Sonny and Red and for his early death - tis a shame but true...
byebye (profilecontact) wrote on May 21, 2007report abuse
"Up close and personal with Sonny West"?! -No thank you! The right title should be "Up close and personal with Sonny South". Especially since he have a habbit of blowing smoke up the readers **s.
efan4ever (profilecontact) wrote on May 21, 2007report abuse
The book is great. Sonny and Red would have taken a bullet for Elvis. For them to get fired like that is not cool. Elvis should have been a man about it and did it himself I am and always will be a huge Elvis fan but facts are facts. You cannot avoid the truth. By the way the first book did not contribute to his demise. If you abuse anything drugs or alcohol it will catch up with you. Everybody that was around him at the time knew it was bound to happen.
MR61 (profilecontact) wrote on May 21, 2007report abuse
All this talk over sony whats happened to red any body know. I must admit i bought the first book read all the news papers and now buying the second book if you dont want to read it dont buy it its your choice Elvis IS STILL the memphis mafias pay cheque and thats all to it .
Rev. Gerhard (profilecontact) wrote on May 21, 2007report abuse
Well said, June. Thank you! Sonny's name is the synonym of one real fault Elvis had: he had not the best hand in selecting good friends. In this case he was too naive and too tender-hearted. One more reason to love him.
June (profilecontact) wrote on May 21, 2007report abuse
According to a friend of mine who was given the book and did read it.........she threw it out.....it is just 'What happened, part two'......who needs that. Can't these guys give it up after 30 bloody years! Two problems here. Some men don't get the betrayal thing and who knows why. Also, why is it that Elvis has never been allowed to be human. I love him so much and I do things for him every day. I love him in spite of his temper, his stubborness and his reckless behaviour. I have worked for some awful people and never said a word about them. I have personal dignity and I believe in confidentiality on the job. Loyalty should be in ample supply when a boss has been so generous. They say they 'love' Elvis and then stab him yet again. Disgusting.
Sean Ryan (profilecontact) wrote on May 21, 2007report abuse
I doubt all the knockers havent even bothered reading Elvis-What happened? if people have an attitude like 'Lobisome' and wont even bother to read or listen to anything then how can they have an opinion?
Rev. Gerhard (profilecontact) wrote on May 21, 2007report abuse
Promoting with a 550 pounds heavy Las Vegas impersonator shows once more his seriousness. No Sonny, no second chance for you, and no second business on Elvis' back.
Lobisome (profilecontact) wrote on May 21, 2007report abuse
Greatings from Spain, I´m a new member. I totally agree "mature Elvis fan" and Jerome: what kind of friend writes a book like "What Happened"? How much did it influence on Elvis´ death? C´mon Sonny, leave Elvis (and us all) alone and try to work for a living instead of trying to look like a saviour. I won´t read or listen to your rubbish.
Rev. Gerhard (profilecontact) wrote on May 21, 2007report abuse
It had not been the first time that Elvis had "sacked" somebody. And everybody knew, that the forgiveness would not wait a long time. Red and Sonny taped a long telephone call with Elvis in autumn of 1976. And there Elvis expressed his love. Without begging not to publish that filth.
Sean Ryan (profilecontact) wrote on May 21, 2007report abuse
Sorry for the bad spelling in the previous post, i have just woke up ; )
Sean Ryan (profilecontact) wrote on May 21, 2007report abuse
Lets look at the big picture and not forget that Elvis sacked Sonny and the worse thing, not even to his face.That must have angered Sonny so much for his friend to treat him like that after so many years loyal service, and it just thorw him away like Sonny meant nothing to Elvis.I dont blame Sonny for writing the book at all.The book isnt that bad but it got bad press due the fact the guy who worded it(Steve Dunleavy).In fact, the book has some brilliant stories in it.Its not as bad as people make it out to be.
Rev. Gerhard (profilecontact) wrote on May 21, 2007report abuse
Everybody deserves a second chance? Everybody with a healthy brain in his head had known, that "What happened" was a book filled with thirst of revenge. As long as Sonny pretends even today, that it had been a rescue-book, he does not deserve a second chance at all.
Ruthie (profilecontact) wrote on May 21, 2007report abuse
I have written twice to express my feelings about this book - I just finished reading it. Apparently, my opinion is not going to be allowed. I did not use any language that I have not already seen in other opinions on this site. I did trash the author, Sonny West, because (in my opinion) he deserves it. This is an Elvis site. I feel that if you review a book concerning the subject of Elvis then we should be allowed to express our opinion of the book & author. I certainly would never say anything bad about anyone replying to this site - we are all entitled to an opinion - but I've seen that done. I am merely expressing my opinion about Sonny West & his book. Like all authors, he opened himself up for various comments once he wrote the book. Disappointing.
mature_elvis_fan75 (profilecontact) wrote on May 21, 2007report abuse
But june charlie didnt tell all the dirty little secrets everyone seems so interested in(sarcasim)you see im one of those strange people who thinks telling such secrets makes you less of a friend and more of a fill in the blank,someone said elvis and sonny payed a big price for the first book,umm what was the price? dying? im not saying the book killed him but im just trying to understand that statement,i met charlie ,talked to him a few times,a nice,loyal(anyone catch the loyal part?)friend who chose not to tell all the things that would be hurtful or embarssing to elvis,yea thats right he actually could think of enough good things to fill a book,anyone remember all the kings men series? enough said, that was pay back in there minds,being loyal doesnt mean you agree with what your fried does or stand by and say nothing if there in toruble,but im pretty sure writing such tell all books doesnt fall spell loyality either!
June (profilecontact) wrote on May 20, 2007report abuse
Lord, have mercy.........here we go again. Wouldn't pay good hard-earned money for this. The best books written by 'Mafia' members are to date....Charlie Hodge's and Jerry Schilling's....both written by men who remained loyal and were grateful to have known this amazing person. At least, we haven't heard from Red again so, I am hoping it is true.....that he deeply regrets the first book and learnt his lesson.
Paul Sweeney (profilecontact) wrote on May 20, 2007report abuse
I am looking forward to reading this book, I remember the first time Sonny told me he was working on it 5 years ago and I'm sure it will be worth the wait - This "Big Elvis" thing better not be true though...
Sean Ryan (profilecontact) wrote on May 20, 2007report abuse
I agree Boris. Also, thinking about it, its not that big a deal if he used this 'Big Elvis' guy to promote the book.I,ll get the book and give it a good read.I just wished Parker had written a book, that would have been a great read.
boris (profilecontact) wrote on May 20, 2007report abuse
Sonny and Red have paid a heavy price for their first book. So did Elvis. Time has gone by they're now looking back at their lifes and, let's be honest, Elvis is still the major part of it. Why not give them a break or a chance and let them try to say what they've been trying to for so many years? Everybody deserves a second chance and hey who knows what it would have been like to be there at the time? We can only guess and that's not fair. Everybody did what he could with what he had and everyone made mystakes. It's been 30 years... that's a hell of sentence already I think.
PaulFromFrance (profilecontact) wrote on May 20, 2007report abuse
Strange to see some people here seem surprised by this S.O.B. behavior.
Jerome (profilecontact) wrote on May 20, 2007report abuse
Still taking care of business can be explained in two ways. Still doing business, cashing in, is more appropriate..
Rev. Gerhard (profilecontact) wrote on May 20, 2007report abuse
Does Sonny deserve our attention? Of course not. With "Elvis:What happened" he had hurt Elvis deeply and had accelerated his death. And now he wants to make his last and biggest deal with his new book written with more love ? His first book has been copied thousands of times. Even by Guralnick. And has impressed the world's view onto Elvis. But now Sonny wants to make us thinking that it has lost its sense so that he can earn more money with Elvis' name? No way. He isn't worth a dime.
Sean Ryan (profilecontact) wrote on May 20, 2007report abuse
Well if this did happen then Sonny has shot himself in the foot.I know the Sweet Inspirations did a UK tour with a impersonator called Louis Rockafella who is now known to have done a commerical in a supermarket being filmed eating a hamburger whilst wearing a jumpsuit.This footage has been shown and has been condemned by a large portion of ETAs.Maybe Sonny's agent went along with this 'big Elvis' promotion and Sonny might not have known too much of this 'Big Elvis' but it will turn alot of Sonny defenders off him if this is true.I would have thought common sense on Sonny's part would have distanced himself from a insulting act like 'Big Elvis'.
JustPretend1975 (profilecontact) wrote on May 20, 2007report abuse
Hi Sean Ryan,

The story is not 'twisted' by ElvisMatters or not made up by EM either. This is the article (and if you want to know more about the source, search on google for the original writer Charmaine Voisine:

Sonny West appears with Big Elvis to autograph copies of new book: Sonny West, Elvis Presley’s longtime bodyguard and one of the last remaining members of the “Memphis Mafia,” will appear with Pete “Big Elvis” Vallee Friday, May 18, at Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall & Saloon and will sign his new book “Elvis: Still Taking Care of Business.”
Because of Vallee’s admiration and respect for his namesake, devotion to the King’s persona, loyalty to Elvis fans and lifelong career as an Elvis tribute artist, West will be a special guest with Big E during his show in Bill’s Lounge between 3 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. Released to coincide with the 30th anniversary of Presley’s death, the book is the long-awaited follow-up to “Elvis: What Happened?,” which West co-wrote with his cousin Red West and Dave Hebler in 1977.

West said the reason for writing two books are 180 degrees apart – the first book was as a challenge to Elvis to change his prescription drug habits because West felt the King was in total denial and could not see where he was headed. The latest book is based on the love, memories and total commitment West has of Elvis, which West does not believe the first book adequately conveyed. Co-author Marshall Terrill describes the book as a very balanced, sensitive and moving memoir about the greatest entertainer who ever lived.

West was with Elvis Presley from 1960 to July 1976, when he was fired, despite being a charter member of the infamous “Memphis Mafia.” A Las Vegas newspaper reporter coined the nickname in the early ‘60s when she saw the man from Tupelo and his group of confidants wearing mohair suits and sunglasses emerge from two black limousines at a Strip hotel. Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall & Saloon, 3595 Las Vegas Blvd, South, Las Vegas, Nevada, located on the corner where Flamingo meets the Strip, combines personalized service, outstanding quality and exceptional value with the charm of a warm and friendly smaller hotel. Each guest room has a 42-inch plasma screen television. The resort features the Steakhouse at Bill’s, the 24-hour Victorian Room restaurant, Seattle’s Best coffee house, Drai’s after-hours bar, daily lounge entertainment with Big Elvis Monday through Friday, popular slots and table games and a race and sports book. (News, Source: Charmaine Voisine)
stanton (profilecontact) wrote on May 20, 2007report abuse
Here we go again. Who in heaven Sonny thinks he is? Someone important? He`s just another one of the bunch making bucks with the man who made their life worthwhile and who had been deceived after all he did for them. Disgusting.
Sean Ryan (profilecontact) wrote on May 20, 2007report abuse
Hey c,mon. wait a minute.This news about this 'big Elvis' hasnt been confirmed.I have checked out this 'Big Elvis's' website and there is no mention of him promoting the book.I have also gone onto sonny wests site and there is no mention of this 'Big Elvis'.It might be a case of this story getting abit twisted by Elvis Matters.
Juliepresleyfan (profilecontact) wrote on May 20, 2007report abuse
the definition of a friend is someone on whom has your best interests at heart , not one who feels ok to assasinate your character for money . doubt i would by it even if i could afford sorry sonny dont buy the good guy act for a second
mature_elvis_fan75 (profilecontact) wrote on May 20, 2007report abuse
Ok lets say im your friend and you have major depression, health problems and a problem with over medicating yourself,now how else can i help you than writing a tell all book? surely that will make you all better! right? he worked for elvis but youll never sell me on the he was his friend part! for those who have interst in this type of thing, enjoy,ill just enjoy the music,which is why im here in the first place,and no i do not think anyone could have saved him,i never have blamed sonny red etc,i dont blame anyone,i dont wear blinders, i just know what friends means, thats all!
Devon (profilecontact) wrote on May 19, 2007report abuse
So sad that sonny would even try this.
Jerome (profilecontact) wrote on May 19, 2007report abuse
conclusion: therefore 'Still taking care of business' to me seems rather supperficial and well timed marketingwise (to cash in) (should been taking care of business earlier Sonny- when it was really needed)
Jerome (profilecontact) wrote on May 19, 2007report abuse
Personally, I think 'what Happened' indicates that Sonny could never communicate with Elvis. If he and the rest so much wanted to change him (by the book), they would have tried another way. After all these years of friendship and service not being able to communicate with a person is really sad, being that person Elvis or not. A book from Sonny probably has some nice anecdotes but I don't believe he'got the level to give an analysis of Presley that's worthwile to anyone that's is willing to know more about him
Steve B. (profilecontact) wrote on May 19, 2007report abuse
Elvis has been dead nearly 30 years. There must be hundred's of book written about his life. What else is there to tell?
tigerpawl (profilecontact) wrote on May 19, 2007report abuse
What the hell is wrong with Sonny West using a 550 pound impersonator to promote his book and dvd. What a friend. I guess he is attempting to make Elvis rise from the grave the same way he was going to pull Elvis out of his drug addiction and depression by releasing What Happened. Sonny West is an idiot. I salute you magnificent moron. Has anyone seen him on the Entertainment channel where he is being interviewed about Elvis? He seems jealous of Elvis. Just read Elvis World #84 by Bill Burk and the title of the article is This Guy Could Do Anything He Wanted To Do.
Sean Ryan (profilecontact) wrote on May 19, 2007report abuse
I havent got the book yet but im looking forward to getting it.As a big defender of Sonny West im very dissappointed if this is true about this guy called 'Big Elvis'.Please someone tell me its not.
2kisses&3scarfs (profilecontact) wrote on May 19, 2007report abuse
I agree, Steve V,- - Sonny's new book is excellent! It's written with a great deal of love and honesty. Every true Elvis fan should read it. You won't be sorry.
Shakingruud (profilecontact) wrote on May 19, 2007report abuse
Totally agree Steve! Very good book indeed. But.... ´Big Elvis´ ????? I hope this news is not true.
Steve V (profilecontact) wrote on May 19, 2007report abuse
Got the book. Would highly recommend it. Well written & honest and told with love (yes love) for Elvis. Probably the best one one written so far by a former Mafia member.
bray1977 (profilecontact) wrote on May 19, 2007report abuse
Hmm....I am not a Sonny basher by any means, and even intend to buy his new book but "Big Elvis"??? An impersonator? He really needs to be careful who he is associating with. His reputation among some fans is bad enough as it is without resorting to blatant commercialism. I am less sure of his claims of love for his old friend after this news.

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