Elvis: My Best Man

Elvis: My Best Man (cover)
Released: 2010/01/05 by Crown
Rating: -

The 320 pages hard-cover book "Elvis: My Best Man: Radio Days, Rock 'n' Roll Nights, and My Lifelong Friendship with Elvis Presley" is the first biography book by Elvis' former friend George Klein. The title pretty much summarizes the content.

The ElvisNews Review

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'