Sonny West - What Happened?

According to Bill E. Burk, the manuscript for Sonny West's new book has so far been turned down by three publishers. Each publisher has said "there is no longer a market for Elvis books". Bill notes that while unit sales for new Elvis books have slumped, there are still many new Elvis titles being published.
Source: Elvis Information Network / Updated: Mar 15, 2005 
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the colonel (profilecontact) wrote on May 8, 2005report abuse
yes well i must agree with the publisher that there is no longer a market for these kind of elvis books they are called rags but let not the true elvis publishers like tunzi or rijff hear this it's just that real elvis fans don't care about this crap. we truly treasure ELVIS legacy his music, photos etc... sorry i just couldn't resist.
jakobhaydensmom (profilecontact) wrote on Apr 14, 2005report abuse
I don't understand why no one has mentioned the possibility that Elvis was so lonely because he desperatley missed his mother? I am a daddy's girl and I do not want to imagine how I would feel loosing him...and I am 29 years old with my own family. As for the Sonny West book, I am sure that he has regretted the "other" book so he is probably trying to redeem his self to most of us fans of Elvis. Can anyone imagine going for almost 30 years with boo's and hisses around every corner? (well that is for the people that would recognize him.) I would probably try to redeem myself too. (profilecontact) wrote on Apr 1, 2005report abuse
My name is Marshall Terrill, and I'm the co-author on Sonny West's new proposed book, "Still Taking Care of Business." I'd like to clarify some information so that everyone is getting it "straight from the horse's mouth" and not second-hand. First and foremost, the idea for the book came as a result of Sonny West wanting to tell his story with Elvis for the entire 16 years with Elvis, not just the last years of Elvis' life when he was in the grips of his addiction to prescription medicene. Sonny both defends and regrets his involvement regarding, "Elvis, What Happened?" He defends his stance that he was one of a handful of people who challenged Elvis to do something about his problem, and I think time has proven him correctly. He regrets that the book was written in a sensationalistic style and that his love for the man didn't come across as well as he would have liked. That's the reason for the second book, which we have been working on since 2002.
Second, the book is a little more than halfway finished. As the author of eight books, only once have I sold a book project prior to actually writing the entire manuscript. That was even true in the case of the book I did with Rex and Elisabeth Mansfield called "Sergeant Presley" and a book I did called "Steve McQueen: Portrait of an American Rebel," which turned out to be a best-seller. That is also true of a book I recently finished on the life of basketball legend "Pistol" Pete Maravich. The book, which took me six years to write without a contract, will be published as well. I have no doubt when we're finished "Still Taking Care of Business" that a major publisher will snap it up. That has simply been a trend in the publishing business for a long time and has become even more prevalent today. I think once the book is finished everyone will find it not only refreshingly funny and poignant, but filled with great pictures, new anecdotes and a keen insight into Elvis. Best regards, Marshall Terrill
Techy_Viola (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 29, 2005report abuse
I have met all three of the 'originators' of 'Elvis, What Happened?' - obviously they didn't write it, they left that to one of the worst 'journalists' (New York Post, Star etc) of all time, Dunleavy; an alcoholic Australian bum who couldn't even write. It must be said that I was pleasantly surprised by both Sonny and Red, particularly Red. Both are wide better educated, far better read and infinitely more knowledgeable than I expected. Dave Hebler, I met through martial arts. In many ways he assumed the mantle of Ed Parker, but had little of the good nature, humour, grace or spiritulaism of the latter. But few people have, so perhaps a little unkind. But he is infinitely preferable to Marty Lacker - who once threatened me with Dave Hebler!! I am a third dan black belt in Pasaryu but Dave Heler would have killed me in 10 seconds even at his age and, of course, wih only one eye! Lacker's a disgrace to humanity.
Red West in particular is an intelligent guy, a talented song writer who Elvis should have used more. However, that they are nice guys, who I believe genuinely loved Elvis, does not excuse their behaviour. To me, what they did was treacherous and not something anyone should do to someone you care about. Yes, they were bitter but there are ways and means of exacting revenge in a far more noble fashion. To hurt someone you care so much for, especially when you acknowledge he is desperately ill, physically and emotionally, is unforgiveable, there is, and can be, no justification. If they really did want to help Elvis, I just wish they could have done it in some other way...
As for the drugs, both Sonny and Red were heavily into drugs, during and after their time with Elvis. Red was 'busted' for possession of cocaine a few times in the 80's, so the stories of trying to cut-off Elvis suppliers has to taken with some scepticism, other than perhaps the backing singer as this has been attested many times but who knows the real reason, possibly they were concerned about their own supplies. Sonny and Red, much to their credit, moved on from drugs, God, how I wish we could be saying the same about their former employer. I wish Sonny luck with his book, however, I believe his antecedents is the reason he can't find a publisher, which is a shame. The original book was clearly exaggerated at the hands of the Australian alcoholic hack but even then, amongst the bad, there are many sections where Elvis is treated with respect and dignity. Indeed, Red has said many times that prior to the loss of control of the drugs, Elvis was the greatest guy ever to walk the face of the earth.
frostpond (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 18, 2005report abuse
Hello, As the author of three bestselling biographies (Audrey Hepburn, Jacqueline Onassis and Elvis Presley), I am going to respectfully disagree with Mr. Burk. I think if an author is an engaging writer, has something new to say (new research, new presentation), has a beautifully produced book with amazing photographs and first-rate paper, the help of the family, and so on... then the book will do quite well. Having said all that (a mild vested interest!), I am the author of "Elvis Presley: The Man, The Life, The Legend" it was featured in People, Vogue, Vanity Fair, on the Larry King Show, etc, etc. and is doing quite well. (And continues to do well.) Books by Peter Guralnick continue to sell. I have no doubt that Priscilla and Lisa Marie's book will do well. Jerry Schilling is also doing a book, and I have no doubt that will sell. The thing is -- you must respect both the subject and (most importantly) the audience, and come up with an original book that will last a LONG time... and look beyond the core "Elvis Fans" (wonderful as they are) to reach an even broader base of young people -- make Elvis relevant to today's culture/music/and so on (for example). Sincerely, Pamela Keogh. ps -- I must admit that it also helps to have an amazing NY publisher (and media contacts) behind you, that is key..
Play it James (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 18, 2005report abuse
Todd, Dr. Nick was (as weird as it may sound) the only one who tried to "prevent" Elvis from taking too much drugs. There were plenty of other doctors that kept in touch with Elvis throughout the sixties and seventies in L.A and Las Vegas that provided him with anything he wanted. And if one doctor for some reason refused to fill up the prescription, another one would agree to do it for Elvis. We have to understand that it was a different era from today's and that Elvis thought in the first place that a pill could cure the world...It's complex !
Sean Ryan (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 17, 2005report abuse
Todd is right.It is a very sad story but i think this 'new' book by Sonny will have some great stories which we have never heard before and im sure, wont really concentrate on the last years that much.I think that has time has gone on, we should forget who/what/why? about Elvis's last years and just remember how great Elvis was and for that we should not fight amongst ourselves and do all we can to keep his memory alive.
SendToTodd (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 17, 2005report abuse
Elvis was not a mindless idot. These guys didn't want to rock the boat, be out of favour, upset the money-pot, so yes, they didn't have the "balls" to confront Elvis. And to some extent you can understand their reluctance to confront the problem. But what about the doctors? Were they too busy taking the money, having sex, and popping pills too?
Teacher (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 17, 2005report abuse
Jimmy Velvet says that the last time he saw Elvis was about 3 weeks before he died. "I just couldn't believe how he looked. I actually went over the next day to Vernon's to talk to him. I said to Vernon that Elvis really needed to go to the hospital. He said, 'Jimmy, we've tried everything in the world to get him straightened out but I just don't know what to do with him. Elvis just doesn't believe that he's got a problem.'"
Play it James (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 17, 2005report abuse
Send to Todd, I respect you a great deal cause you've been an Elvis fan since forever and you even had the priceless chance to meet him and talk to some of the memphis mafia members after the King's death. But let me tell you that there was just NO WAY any person could have had "the balls" to confront Elvis regarding his addictions. He ruled his personal life like he wanted (except for the carrer cause sadly Colonel took it over a little too much for him). Maybe, just maybe his mom could have done something if she had been with him until his tragic end. Elvis's closest entourage (i.e. Vernon, Billy Smith, Red and Sonny, Joe) could not handle him enough to straightened things out, I'm afraid Elvis's fate was inevitable.
Eddie White (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 17, 2005report abuse
Todd. You're right, 'a sycophantic phalanx of followers' don't you think?
SendToTodd (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 17, 2005report abuse
I don't think Elvis was any more sad and lonely than the rest of us. He was surrounded by fools and court jesters, and doctors - yes doctors who were too busy enjoying the "party" than actually doing what they were being paid to do - look after Elvis and Elvis' best interests. None of them had the "balls" to tell Elvis the truth, and when you are sorrounded by "friends" who tell you that everything is wonderful all of the time, then you are going to believe it, even if you had some doubts. It's a very very sad story.
Pedro Nuno (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 17, 2005report abuse
Circle G your opinion has very strong points, but goes a litle too far when you say the fans are to blame because they made Elvis sad and lonely! Thats too much. What made Elvis sad and lonely was the unruled life he had, the execesses he comitted and the impotence of those who surround him to do something about, since the majority of them just depended on Graceland and EP to live. The fans are the last to blame, because were the only ones that always gave Elvis everything without asking nothing in return execept his voice and music.
dailyone (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 17, 2005report abuse
excuse abba . money money money i need money in a elvis past world . give me the mooooooooooony . if it has big print and lots of photos look out for the con but if it is the opposite maybe worth it .
circleG (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 17, 2005report abuse
i met Sonny and his dear wife and found them to be very very sincere and nice people. they had nothing but nice stories to tell about Elvis. I showed the man respect, who was i to judge him? all I've ever done is read about elvis , he KNEW him. Can i criticise their relationship, no not really, no more than he could criticise mine with my pals. I then bought 'Elvis:what happened?' and i was surprised to find it was generally quite sincere and honest. Many of the revelations are today common knowledge eg elvis' addiction to prescribed medication (shock!horror!).The most revealing parts are the times when red was beginning to know Elvis at Humes high. As a fan for 18 years I din't find the book offensive, 28 years later its become merely factual.
Some fans love 'the music' some fans love 'the man'. those that love the man are interested in his private life and the interactions between him and his entourage, remember Elvis chose them, they didn't necessarily chose Elvis. Did the book kill Elvis? I don't think so. its true Elvis was apprehensive because he hadn't forseen such a reaction from the sacking of the bodyguards. But he was probably scared that all the bad stories would give the tabloids a field day. As Elvis said ' the image is one thing and the human being is another'.
Why did Elvis die? a heart attack probably brought on by medication abuse. Whay did he take them? he was sad and lonely. Who made him that way? the fans. Fans who wouldn't let Elvis live a normal life outside of his fame. Who bought all his records, even the bad ones. Who flocked to his concerts when he was ill. Who refused to accept that he was a mature man of 42 and not a 21 year old rebel. Face up to it. Deal with it and then just enjoy the music and enjoy the legend. As Tom Jones said 'Elvis would never dress down to go out because he just enjoyed being bloody Elvis Presley!'.
If you don't like books like Sonnys please don't buy them, but I think there'll be some great stuf in there that'll make the king smile where ever he is.
CD King (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 17, 2005report abuse
And that book I bought recently "The Elvis Archives" by SendToTodd & Ann Nixon is also very excellent.
CD King (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 17, 2005report abuse
I'm no longer interested in all these useless story telling books anymore. The only Books that I'll ever buy from now on will be those brilliant pictures/facts books by Ger Ryff, Joe Tunzi, Ernst Jorgensen etc .
elvislady (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 16, 2005report abuse
people are arguing with people they don,t even know about this book elvis what happend. i say read it if you want to don,t read if you don,t want to because at the end of the day elvis isn,t here to judge anyones books. i don,t think some people who wrote books were in it just for the money they are some genuine people out there who truely loved EP and want to express to his fans what he was really like. and we all know we are not perfect. and elvis wasen,t either. but i am like all of you a big elvis fan and know he had his faults like the rest of us.
pasa-ryu (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 16, 2005report abuse
i think its a scam and a shame..i always said that the 1977 book by red and sonny was a real nasty and vengful thing to do against elvis-money just money(andrew hearn thinks differently,saying that sonny was correct in writing the now famous wot happened book}.anyway,even lisa and priscilla presley are doing the same thing in may this year with the new book "elvis:by the presley's".just another excuse to cash in on elvis again. wot can priscilla tell us she aint told us in her old book?-she claimed a few years back that elvis supposedly raped her one-time??..does that sound like pro elvis people. i think not.
JonB (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 16, 2005report abuse
Hi everyone,...just wondering....should Red West be lumped into the same category as everyone else? He has stayed out of the Elvis "Lime :ight" talk shows, no this, no that. I believe Elvis' death affected him. Anyway, everyone else is still (or trying too) cash in on talks, books, personal should Red Westr still be lumped into the same category? Just wondering. I am from Edmonton Alberta Canada....Sonny West was here at our "worlds Largest Mall" for a personal appearance promoting a new family board game that is out end of this month...apparently he is a "character" in the game (captain Sonny West, I guess). There are other Memphis Mafia people as characters as well.
Play it James (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 16, 2005report abuse
Sean Ryan, I'm a little late but thanks for your "spot on" comment regarding mine yesterday. Paul from France, please just like "Only Elvis" said previously to this e-mail, let's not stoop to childish games like that. We're all adults and we happen to share the admiration for the greatest entertainer God ever made so let's weigh the good and the bad and enjoy ourselves without harsh feelings... thank you, thank you very much !!!
Sean Ryan (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 16, 2005report abuse
PaulfromFrance: corrr.That was funny.Telling Sonny West to go to Hell.Im sure comments like that will make you so very popular.You surely are a very brave man indeed.
PaulFromFrance (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 16, 2005report abuse
Only Elvis: you're right, of course, and everyone interested in Elvis life may know this. This Alzheimer disease is killing me. I apologize. So, I corrected my message:
Dear Sonny West: Could you do me a favor ? You, your cousin, and your illiterate "friends", please, GO TO HELL ! (Unfortunately, I don't believe in Hell). Thanks for your attention.
SendToTodd (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 16, 2005report abuse
I would guess that both Red and Sonny will be tormented until the day they die wondering if their book "Elvis: What Happened" attributed to Elvis' early death. I guess in their hearts they know that it did, and saying today that Sonny wrote the book to shock Elvis into doing something about his lifestyle is just a load of poop. Red however said to me that he did it for the money! All the guys who worked at Graceland say that Elvis was their best friend, but I asked Charlie who Elvis' best friend was, and he replied without hesitation "Billy Smith".
Elvisss (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 16, 2005report abuse
We already know 'what happened'.
mtm1a (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 16, 2005report abuse
Sounds very informative Old Shep,i can`t wait to read it!
old shep (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 16, 2005report abuse
If anyone is interested i'm writing a book too on Elvis, "The Man Who Knew" More info on "Inside Graceland" page.
Only Elvis (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 16, 2005report abuse
Just to let you know PaulfromFrance, Sonny West and Red West are COUSINS not brothers. Just wanted to clear that up. And I think all this name calling and back biting is so silly. Why can't we all just get along!? I look forward to eventually reading Sonny's book, should be interesting.
mtm1a (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 16, 2005report abuse
By the way Elvis...that`s would NOT have stabbed you in the back!!! Hail Hail.
mtm1a (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 16, 2005report abuse
Elvis-What Happened...was that you got `publicly` ridiculed by `Memphis Meatheads`.I don`t believe for one miniscule second that anyone could possibly think this book was going to `bring you back` to being a lean mean fighting machine.Anyone with even half a brain cell would realise that the humiliation for someone of your honour,grace,respect,and stature would drive you to despair.You had troubles,i know.You had mood swings,i know.You had many problems,i know.But whatever these hangers-on had to put up with,i know you `re-paid` them a millon times over.Maybe it`s easy for us to say that we wouldn`t have stabbed you in the back,like so many people did,and are doing.But,King,some of us WOULD have! As for not telling someone what they think to their face...those of us with a spine WOULD do(sorry King,that was for someone else...) Hail Hail
scarlet o hara (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 16, 2005report abuse
What about the carpet? I bet that could tell some tales!
analj (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 16, 2005report abuse
We'll have one more book out very soon, "Inside Graceland Elvis maid Remembers", I can't wait to buy it cuse I think this lady truly did love Elvis;she was someone whose daily tasks were please the king, his cook and maid Nancy Rooks; she did work for Elvis since 1967 until his death in 1977.
stevelvis (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 16, 2005report abuse
By the way, mtm1a, I thought your idea of what Sonny can do with his book was funny. I don't know it Sonny would agree. ha.
stevelvis (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 16, 2005report abuse
I would love to read Sonnys book. I think he is trying to redeem himself with this new book, so it will have all positive stories in it. There are tons of things he has first hand information on, that I would love to hear about. Yes, like everyone else in 1977, I hated "Elvis-What Happened". I destroyed the book, and hated the bodyguards, for what they did. But, I recently bought another copy of it, and read it again. It's not anywhere near as bad as most of the tell all books that came after it, (the Goldman book, etc.). But, they were jerks for being the first ones to tell Elvis' personal life, which was no ones business. The only reason the book sold 4 million copies, was because Elvis died the week after it was published, and they had the good fortune of picking the title "Elvis-What Happened". When Elvis died, everybody in the world wanted to know "What Happened?" So, they bought it, thinking it was telling about his death, not about his personal life. If he had lived, the book would have sold very little, and no one would have believed the bad crap they wrote about him. I think this new book by Sonny will be much more positive, so the publishers don't want it. It's not juicy enough for them. But I hope someone will publish it. I think it will be interesting. I can never get enough stories about The King!
Sean Ryan (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 15, 2005report abuse
I think the story was that one of the Stanley bros was getting Elvis pills and Red tried to stop him from doing it by threatening him if he did it again.Dee Stanley got to hear about it and told Vernon then Vernon said to Elvis he has to do something so he sacked a few(which he always used to do and they always came back) but this time they had enough and decided to never go back.
Danny_b (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 15, 2005report abuse
I think most of you guys needs a reality check! Sonny and Red was one of the few in the inner circle who actually DID try to do something to make Elvis stop using the shit he took. They threatened some of those that came to deliver the pills and made sure they never came back. Elvis did naturally not like that when he found out. Red West started hanging out with Elvis before he got famous, and he cared about the MAN Elvis. Red West has my respect, and I can understand his reaction when he got kicked out.
Sonny and Red are not to blame for the "fat Elvis" image - Elvis did that to himself (with good help from Colonel Parker).
pacer1965 (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 15, 2005report abuse
Walk a Mile in My Shoes that is such a good song.Maybe Elvis' friends should start listening to that song as well.If Elvis was such a monster why did they all stick around with him for all those years ? Anyway I am not having a go at Sonny West as I dont know him.I dont buy many books of Elvis anymore.The last one I bought was in 1998.I have lost interest in books like this.They just dont appeal to me anymore
scarlet o hara (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 15, 2005report abuse
What we must remember is that Elvis is not around to defend himself, so all the people who would like to associate themselves with the man can really say what they like, and probably get away with it. Some of the books that are out at the moment are brilliant. I love the ones with all the concert photos close up. But when it comes to Elvis's so called friends writing books, I just think that they are jumping on the band wagon. It must have suited them to have worked for Elvis at the time, because if it didn't then they would have got out long ago. We all know what Elvis did to himself, most of the population of the western world are doing the same, wether it's with drink, drugs or over eating. But Sonny's book I will definately not be buying! Nor will I be buying Priscilla's. I'm just not interested.
Sean Ryan (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 15, 2005report abuse
Play it james: Your comments were spot on.
Play it James (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 15, 2005report abuse
Before you abuse, critizize and accuse, walk a mile in my shoes....These well-known words for most of you fellows would fit perfectly to Sonny West. I don't want to defend him but we don't know what it must have been like to work for Elvis. As much as I love the perfomer, I can hardly imagine how difficult it must have been for all the people around Elvis to live with his mood swings and raging moments. We all know that Sonny has been genuine during his years with Elvis and that the King himself digged his own grave. No offense to those who spit on Sonny but you don't know what you're talking about...
Dazcav (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 15, 2005report abuse
and its taken 28 years for another follow on to what happened , this time as i know you would change the past if you could sonny but you cannot, make it real and ultimately keep it real. as far as mr hebler he dont matter too much did he, the phrase pound signs comes to mind or jumping on the boat stick to frank skinner interviews mr hebler , personally red should do a book from the heart maybe we would all {elvis fanatics} learn something new
Ged (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 15, 2005report abuse
With Sean Ryan licking his wounds from the verbal battering he has just taken, from the unknown mtm1a; one can only wait for the grudge rematch.
Sean Ryan (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 15, 2005report abuse
Im not sticking up for anyone.Im just giving my opinion what i think the reason why Sonny is finding it hard to find a publisher for this book.As i have stated,this book with be very mild compared to Elvis-What Happened.I will defend him when he gets insulted by certain fans who wouldnt dare say anything like that to Sonnys face.
mtm1a (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 15, 2005report abuse
it is as much an opinion as if i were to comment in more high brow literary wordage! Anyway,i do not wish to be drawn into a schoolground `pushing` match,as i am above that.Ill leave you to stick up for Elvis` `friend` and i`ll stick up for Elvis.Hail Hail.
Sean Ryan (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 15, 2005report abuse
Reply to mtm1a: I dont think its me with the problem. You havent offended me or my family, No, you havent called me a loser, or insulted my dress sense and i never said you did so i dont know where you got that from.I dont think saying' Mr West can get his book, go and polish it up nice and shiny, turn it sideways, and stick it up his candy ass' is merely an opinion. As i said it was a childish and unfunny remark. I certainly dont think i know more than anyone else in this matter. I just know that this book wont be as 'deep' as the first one which is why it is being hard to get published. Publishers, as far as Elvis books go, need alot of Private dirt put in it to sell.Which is why the book 'Elvis by the Presleys' will proberly sell many copies.
mtm1a (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 15, 2005report abuse
What`s your problem Mr Ryan?! Have i offended you, or your family? Have i called you a loser, or insulted your dress sense?! I think not. I merely responded to the article, which is that i have no interest in the opinions of people who`s names would not be known to anyone outside their family had it not been for their EMPLOYER, The King. Why do you think you know more about this subject than anyone else, and why do you think yours is the only opinion that counts? As for `whatever my name is`...Grow up. Go to your room. Read about Mr West. Hail Hail
Sean Ryan (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 15, 2005report abuse
As for mtm1a or whatever your name is.Your comments were very childish and not very funny.Havent even got the guts to put your real name.All the people who have put Sonny West down would be more than happy to shake his hand.Most of them wouldnt even know what he looks like(Pedro) or not even bothered to read Elvis- What Happened?
Sean Ryan (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 15, 2005report abuse
Oh yeah Pedro.Shows how much you know. It was actually Dave Hebler who made the' How can you protect a man from himself' statement.
mtm1a (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 15, 2005report abuse
Well said Pedro.Mr West can get his book,polish it up nice and shiny,turn it sideways,and stick it up his candy ass! Hail Hail.
Pedro Nuno (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 15, 2005report abuse
Let me just explain my point: I don't doubt that what was written by West was true. Unfortunately, IT WAS. What I don't agree and don't buy is the loyalty of West and the version used on his press conference when the book was released. In that moment West was saying that he "Loved Elvis so much" and "was protecting him". At a certain moment, on that press conference, West even says "How can you protect a Man from Himself". Honestly do we all think that Elvis was protected with that book? No.
He was exposed, like never before, and to everyone there was that feeling in the air that his closest friends betrayed him. And is that attitude that I don’t buy. You are no suposed to expect that from a true friend. As far as i'm concerned West did it just for the money and as a litle revenge.
doctor (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 15, 2005report abuse
Well said Killburn Tony. I couldn't agree more. Elvis' decline into drug addiction (wether or not it was "prescribed" by greedy doctors) was a sad reality. It is an important lesson for us all and should not be covered up. It does not diminish who Elvis was, but can serve as a reminder to one and all what can happen if people turn to drugs to solve life's problems. Elvis was not a saint and anyone who feels that way is living in an alternate universe. Elvis was a flawed human being with an imense talent that still touches young and old 28 years after his death. His music is alternately joyful and sad, reflecting stages of his life. His last recordings are heart wrenching: here was a man struggling to keep his dignity and grip on life, all alone with no one with the guts to tell him what was happening and to help him turn it around.I have loved Elvis' music for 36 years and always will. But not telling the truth serves no purpose. How I wish someone had helped him--maybe we would have had another 28 years os sweet soul music from the King.
Sean Ryan (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 15, 2005report abuse
I bet that all these people who have 'slagged' Sonny West down have never even met the man.There ignorance is so obvious by there statements. I have met Sonny a few times and is always polite and has showed alot of love towards Elvis and his fans. I have known about this book for quite awhile and have spoken to him about it. No one is to blame for what happened to Elvis but only Elvis himself. The first book was written 'before' Elvis died and if i was Sonny I would have done the same.
The first book had alot of bitterness which i can understand.Sonny,Red were kicked out on the streets after serving Elvis for so many years and they were just fed up and wanted to let Elvis know what he was doing to himself plus making some money on the side.Im sure they wouldnt have brought the book out after he passed on. The reason this book has been turned down by 3 publishers is because its nothing like the first one.Its all about the good times with Elvis.
Tony C (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 15, 2005report abuse
With regard to Sonny West, we must remember that he co-wrote "Elvis - What Happened?" as a reaction to being fired by Elvis. Regarding the comment about this book ruining several years of Elvis' career, the book was only published a matter of days before his death. The "fat Elvis" comments were being used long before these gentlemen put pen to paper. I was an Elvis fan all through the seventies, and as the years went on, the ridicule of him got worse and worse.
Hearing the tape of Red West's 1976 telephone conversation with Elvis nearly broke my heart. To hear an incoherent Elvis say that he is not "f..... up" and in better condition than he has ever been shows the classic signs of denial that is usually associated with addicts. Please don't get me wrong, I have been an Elvis fan for 35 years and have the utmost love and respect for him, but I would rather know the truth about his life. For years, we were only told an account of his life that suited him and his family that was sanctioned by Colonel Parker. I think Elvis is one of the most important historical figures that ever lived, and history should be as truthful as possible.
caseyiodine (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 15, 2005report abuse
There are so many books about and on Elvis, that it may seem the book market has slowed down, but if it's a good book it will do well, and I'm sure after the new book by Lisa and Priscilla comes out, the market will shift back. It certainly will some time over the next 3 years.
old shep (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 15, 2005report abuse
Like us all Elvis was human. Mistakes were made with both his career and private life. And no doubt Elvis was aware of this ,just as we all would be with our own lives. Fortunately in our case, there will be nobody ready to make a public issue of the fact. It's a pity that the people that Elvis trusted the most were the first to make capital out of some of Elvis' failings. And even more pathetic to believe that those same people have found it hard to make a living now that Elvis is not there to give them handouts. As a result we are bombarded with books about "The Private Elvis" from various sources. That are completely unverfiable in some instances.
PaulFromFrance (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 15, 2005report abuse
Dear Sonny West: Could you do me a favor ? You, your brother, and your illiterate "friends", please, GO TO HELL ! (Unfortunately, I don't believe in Hell). Thanks for your attention.
Only Elvis (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 15, 2005report abuse
I must say, I don't see any truth in what the publishers say, there are new Elvis books coming out all the time, so there must be a market for them! I think there will always be a market for Elvis, and for others to make money off him. I love Elvis and I enjoy reading about him and collecting things related to him. I also don't have a problem with Sonny West. I have of course read Elvis What Happened, and it was sad. I know they said alot of nasty things, but I believe there was truth in it. There is no smoke without fire. We all know that Elvis had some problems and they contributed to his untimely death. I have seen Sonny interviewed many times, and I see sincerity in him. I believe he loved Elvis and wanted to help him. I don't have any ill feelings for him. I say he may as well have his chance to publish a book, everyone else has!
tonycaddy (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 15, 2005report abuse
I must agree folks. Please don't mind me checking in on you, from time to time. I think all we want now, in E's address and phone number! Just so I, at least,can say hello to him. Like the previous writer expressed, my coffee table is overflowed with, "What Happened" books! We all know what happened. The party got out of hand.And that's it. Thanks for reading. I wish you the best Elvis.
Pedro Nuno (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 15, 2005report abuse
Brilliant title: Sonny West - What Happened? Honestly i couldn't care less for that book and that person. Sony West made the million dollar step when he did what he did 28 year ago. And with that he destroyed all Elvis's credibillity, in the most unfair way. Since "Elvis What Happened?" the general public looks to Presleys last days and carrear as "the Fat Guy, and "the Stoned One". West's book also made that. As a consequence that fact, automaticaly deleted several Years of Elvis carreer, and 30 years later, Elvis, His music and His Fans are still paying the bill.
Son Of Mark 64 (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 15, 2005report abuse
I agree, There is still a market out there for good quality books. How many times do you pick up a new book and readthe same old crap about Elvis even his own family are on the band wagon now I think people will still bemaking money thru Elvis 100 years from today. What else has Mr West got to write about he must have said by now 28 years after his last book which only sold so good because Elvis died hes been on tv video dvd telling the same stories as the other ones over and over again you cant blame him he needs the money like we all do, if he can get a book deal good luck to him but if its like the last one tell all about the bad times I think he will struggle
Susan M (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 15, 2005report abuse
I think that there is no longer a market for tell-all muck-raking Elvis books, thank goodness. There still might be a market for:
(a) coffee table books with good photos of E at his best (fairly wide market for this - who doesn't want to look at pictures of E at his most beautiful?)
(b) serious books about E's significance and legacy (maybe a more limited market, but who knows?)
Personally, I can't afford to collect all CDs, DVDs and books published about E, but will buy selectively based on usefulness, uniqueness and quality. Just some preliminary thoughts - What do yous all think?

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