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Sonny West Inks Book Deal With Triumph/Random House

July 18, 2006 | Book
Sonny West, Elvis Presley’s longtime bodyguard and charter member of the Memphis Mafia, has signed a publishing deal with Triumph/Random House for his upcoming book, “Elvis: Still Taking Care of Business.”

The deal was inked on June 1, 2006, and is set for a 2007 release to coincide with the 30th anniversary of Presley’s death.

West, who was Presley’s bodyguard from 1960 to 1976, said he’s extremely happy his long-awaited book has the backing of one of the world’s largest and best-known publishers.

“I’m extremely appreciative that Triumph/Random House sees the value of this work and I look forward to working with them,” West said. “I hope the fans will respond in kind, because my book is a tribute to Elvis.”

West’s co-author, Marshall Terrill, said Triumph/Random House’s involvement will give “Elvis: Still Taking Care of Business” a much bigger promotional push than most other Presley books.

“The publisher has very high hopes and they’re going to make every possible effort to promote our book,” Terrill said. “Even though I’m biased, I feel it’s the best and most objective look at Elvis Presley in many years. I believe most Elvis fans will come away with a deeper understanding of the man and his life because of Sonny’s insights.”

The collaboration, which started in 2002, is follow-up to the 1977 book, “Elvis: What Happened?” in which Sonny West co-authored with Red West and Dave Hebler.

The book will cover West's 16 years with Elvis Presley from 1960 to 1976, the aftermath of “Elvis: What Happened?” to his thoughts today on Elvis, Priscilla and Lisa Marie Presley.

The book will include photos from West’s personal collection as well as photos donated from the Russ Howe Collection. The book also includes two appendices – “All The King’s Men” and “Myths, Facts and Frequently Asked Questions”. The former is a section on former Memphis Mafia members while the latter is a list of questions West answers directly from Presley followers.

In addition to combing through hundreds of documents, the two had several Presley experts read the manuscript to ensure its accuracy.

“It was my privilege and pleasure to help edit the book because I was able to relive a lot of the memories,” said author and longtime Presley fan Sandi Pichon. “I also learned quite a bit about Elvis through many untold stories. Sonny’s book will make a welcome addition to any Elvis Presley library.”

Chicago-based Triumph Books was acquired by Random House in May and will now exist as an independently-run imprint of the Random House Publishing Group.

The Sonny West group has also signed a production 'option' deal with a movie company regarding his memoir due out next year.
PTCJones wrote on July 18, 2006
Who cares!
Shakingruud wrote on July 19, 2006
I do!!
efan4ever wrote on July 19, 2006
I will buy it!
Pedro Nuno wrote on July 19, 2006
Ho Yes! Sonny definitely is Tacking Care of HIS Business. Nothing like a good Fat Elvis story when you're running out of money
gilesm wrote on July 19, 2006
Many folks are critcal of those in the 'Elvis world' who make money from the memory of Elvis. However, Mr West did have a close relationship with Elvis and as such has an interesting story to tell. Many other people make money off Elvis who never even knew him. We have to face the that the entire 'Elvis Industry' makes money, and that money can't do anything for Elvis himself, now he is departed. So, let Mr West sell his story if that's what he wants to do, it's up to him, not me, or the Elvis fans or anyone else. I for one will read this book
tangerinebull wrote on July 19, 2006
West has more stories than Hans christian Anderson just dont buy it,buy a cd insteed
2kisses&3scarfs wrote on July 19, 2006
I'm looking forward to reading this book. I will definitely buy it!
sunrecords56 wrote on July 20, 2006
sounds like it could be an interesting book.............But most of us know what happened....the man had NO LIFE all the hangers on the Colonel ripping him off and life became a impossible now he is in a happier place.....like he originally started to create in 1954...for him and his family.....no crooks ...no hangers on
Devon wrote on July 20, 2006
Dont think i care to have it, sonny has said all he needs to say.
nroyce wrote on July 24, 2006
I can't wait for the book to come out. Who would know Elvis better then the people who lived with him.
Peter@EM wrote on July 28, 2006
LOVED HIM? You must be kidding. Sonny was there for the money. He betrayed Elvis in a way that's unforgivable, unexcusable. He's the ultimate traitor. Judas could learn something from him.
Sanditcb wrote on July 29, 2006
This book is written lovingly and with honesty. There are a lot of stories the fans haven't heard before. Anyone who buys it will get a more in-depth insight into Sonny as well as Elvis and their relationship. There will be no doubt in the reader's mind how much Sonny loved Elvis once they read this book.
Peter@EM wrote on July 30, 2006
Lady, what planet are you from? Have you actually read "Elvis - What Happened?" It killed Elvis. It took him away from us. Sonny West is a cold blooded murderer, as all the fans agree. Read the book, and then comment. It still upsets me, after all those years. I can only refer to what Elvis's lawyer told our group last year in Memphis. "Sonny West? He's a cockroach." See the video of the press conference of August 1st 1977 again, and THEN tell me how much Sonny West loved (sic) his "friend". He was the biggest back stabber of all, and proud of it too. NOW he tells the world that Steve Dunleavy (who ghost wrote 'What Happened') twisted his words - WHY did he defend the book then? WHY did he agree to a reprint of 2 MILLION copies on August 18th, the day of the funeral? NOW he tells the world that he loves Elvis - then WHY did he answer "out of revenge" when reporters asked him why he wrote the book? (yes - that was his very first answer. He only thought of the pathetic 'we wanted to wake him up' excuse LATER.) NOW he remembers the fun times - so why did he send Elvis in 1976 the message that "he was finished"? (O'Grady) Good golly - this guy is the real Devil in Desguise. Beware of him, he's crazy & dangerous. I don't trust him half as far as I can throw him. He's the ultimate disgrace to the Elvis world.
Sanditcb wrote on August 01, 2006
No Peter, Sonny did not kill Elvis, and not all fans agree with you. I have known Sonny, Red, and most of the others for over 30 years, and I knew Elvis. After EWH came out, Sonny called a press conference and disavowed any connection with Dunleavy, which you may have conveniently forgotten. I will not get into a debate with you about my friends but I stand for what I have said. Sonny is not a backstabber, crazy or dangerous.