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Ask Sonny West And Marshall Terill

August 29, 2006 | People
Always wanted to know "what happened?" This is your chance. Sonny West - Elvis Presley's longtime bodyguard and Memphis Mafia member - and co-author Marshall Terill wrote the upcoming book "Elvis: Still Taking Care of Business". Both agreed to participate in an interview with you, the readers of ElvisNews.com and For Elvis CD Collectors Only. The book will cover Sonny 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. But the interview is not limited to just this book so if you want to know what happened, this is your chance to ask them that question you always wanted to ask them. Just >> e-mail us your question << and we'll make sure they get it.
Peter@EM wrote on August 31, 2006
I cannot believe that ElvisNews.com would give this 'man' spotlight. I will NOT send in any questions - I'm not interested in the opinion of backstabbers and traitors.
Loesje wrote on August 31, 2006
Elvisnews tries to keep all the fans up to date; and wether we like it or not, maybe these guys do have something 'new' to say? When someone personally is not interested in this, okay, feel free to ignore this completely, but don't forget there may be others who think differently. (And No, I am not one of those others, but I won't call someone a backstabber when I don't know all the facts)
bevswesey wrote on August 31, 2006
I would like to state that I know Sonny West personally and I love all of his stories. If you have not had the pleasure of meeting him that is a shame. I too have been an Elvis fan all of my life and I too was not sure about Sonny. However, after working with him and spending time with him he is truly a wonderful man. You can see the love he has for Elvis and feel it every time you are with him. He has some great stories to share and I can't wait to read the book.
mature_elvis_fan75 wrote on September 01, 2006
Its quite simple as far as the elvis friends go,they loved elvis but they just couldnt pass up a wonderful chance to write a book that only embarassed there so called friend,as a friend the last thing you do when a friend is in need or in troulbe is tell the world about it,ill never understand the people who have no problem listeing to these so called friends go on and on about elvis personal stuff,i dont wear blinders to the fact elvis had his problems,but airing them out as if its fair game is a sick and twisted way to show your love for a friend,and its only more pathetic when there gone!
Peter@EM wrote on September 01, 2006
Exactly - very well said! Let us never forget that Sonny West laughed in Elvis's face when he asked him not to publish the gossip book. LOOK at the footage of the press conference of August 1st, where Sonny CAN'T WAIT to finish his so-called "best friend" off. The day of the funeral, August 18th, Sonny West signed a contract for another set of 2 million books under the new title "The Body Guard Book". His is the ultimate disgrace to the Elvisworld, the true devil in desguise. A sick man with a twisted mind. Watch out for him, he is dangerous and out of control. The mere fact that this creep gets a chance to speak out on this highly appraised very well informed website, is something I cannot understand. I'm not blind eyed either, but no fan with some Elvis knowledge will disagree when I say that the July shows of 1976 were among the worst Elvis gave - listen to those, and remember that this was the time when Sonny threatened Elvis to "tell everything". From there on, there were ups and downs only, hope and despair. In February it became clear that the book would be published - and that is exactly what killed Elvis Presley 6 months later. I hope that my friends, whom I trust for 100%, will NEVER write a book about me with all the sleezy details they can think of. If you say or do things in the presence of your friends, any man would think this is just private and confidential. In Elvis's case, his image was his life. And West took it away from him. If he meant well, he would have listened to Elvis. Elvis almost begged to stop the book (O'Grady, the West telephone tapes, ...) but instead of listening to their "friend", they slapped him in the face and spit on his grave. Sorry Loesje - we do think alike on many subjects - but not on this one, I'm afraid. Stop giving this evil man free publicity, stop promoting a book from the same man who confirmed and re-confirmed over and over that he would write "Elvis - What Happened" again if he had the chance. He is no better than Albert Goldman. In fact, "What Happened" was the foundation for the Goldman book. Would ElvisNews give Goldman, the devil has his soul, free publicity as well? I would hope not. O well - as the song goes: Who Am I?
chrisc wrote on September 01, 2006
There are lots of people who have done vile things who nevertheless come over as nice friendly people. Being nice to someone else doesn't wipe out what they did to Elvis.
Ciscoking wrote on September 02, 2006
If ever anyone of the surroundings of Elvis needs money nowadays, he writes a book...all is said hundred times.
Peter@EM wrote on September 02, 2006
Hi Kirsty, Sorry - I can't help but replying to this: * Sonny is a genuine nice guy -> Are we talking about the same guy here? The same guy that shouts in mikes, in front of children, when he's asked why he turned his back to Elvis when he needed him most? I have met S. West and the stone cold look in his eyes told me all I needed to know. Sure, he'll try to keep up apprearences at first. He needs to make a buck too, right? I'm glad for you that you didn't meet the 'real' Sonny West, as I did. * We all do things that upset others -> when was the last time that you destroyed somebody's life? If you call the publication of that dirty gossip book something "that upsets others", I don't think you fully realize what that book did to Elvis & consequently to his carreer in the late seventies. * "small part in that so called book"... Jezus! Sonny was the driving force. Red wanted to back out, but Sonny had sworen an oath to destroy Elvis. He had told Elvis that he was through, and a man can't go back on his word, can he? Besides, the contract was signed & he had to deliver... * Elvis would've forgiven his 'friends' -> Have I got news for you! Listen to the tape that Red West made. Elvis didn't know the telephone conversation was taped as Red wanted "PROOF" to support the stories - however Red couldn't use the tape against him. Elvis was so hurt and yet so understanding, that this tape made Red look bad. Anyway, what I'm trying to say: Elvis did forgive the guys - that was indeed his nature, I couldn 't agree with you more. Did THEY forgive him? Don't think so. The book came out, right? The day of the funeral, the Wests signed another contract for the quick re-release of the book. WHY? Their point was taken, I'd say. They sure did their job. Red has apologized for the book, he's always been the smartest of the West boys. And Sonny? He would write the book again if he had the chance to - which he did, apparently.
efan4ever wrote on September 03, 2006
I too have meet Sonny at the Texas State Fair. He was really nice. I told him I don't blame you for what happend to Elvis. He did it to himself. Red and Sonny did not force Elvis to take all those pills. He made bad choices and poor descions.. Everybody knows in the end he did not care anymore. Everybook that I have read says the same.Read Peter Guralnick book The Unmaking of Elvis Presley. I am not denying the book did not cause Elvis pain or hurt him. But the truth is by that time it was too late Everybody that was close to him saw the writing on the wall. They witness all the dramatic changes first hand. I am a huge fan of Elvis Presley but I wont' blame anybody for someone elses poor choices and bad descions. We are responsible for our actions. We are also need to be held accountable for our actions. The truth hurts!
serpico wrote on September 03, 2006
Sonny and Red and all those other hanger ons were there to protect the most valuable human of the 20th century. They did nothing to stop Elvis destroying himself. They could have but did nothing and now along with Mr Diamond Esposito they are still trying to make a buck out of him. To all the Memphis Mafia guys you are ll a bunch of losers. I would love to meet some of theses,morons and tell them to their face.
efan4ever wrote on September 03, 2006
You cannot help somebody if they don't want the help themselves! People ought to do research before they make ignorant comments. The material is out there. Oh by the way if you tried to help elvis he would tell you to go to hell. Sonny and Red were roughing up the Stanley brothers for bringing Elvis his medication. Once again if people would study up. But that is why I am here!
efan4ever wrote on September 03, 2006
The title of their book should have been a wake up call to our Hero. Elvis should have asked himself what have I become.
efan4ever wrote on September 03, 2006
Fair And Balanced!
CD King wrote on September 04, 2006
In 1977- everyone loves to read scandal stories so we got that crappy tell all book "Elvis What Happened?" Oh we wanted to help him, but how can we help someone who don't want to be helped? What a load of bull, these so-called "friends" help killed Elvis instead. Elvis went into severe depression knowing the book's coming out. How much $money did the two traitors received for "trying to help" his friend? You figure it out. You don't help your friend by exposing and dishing dirts to the public. What kind of friends are these? And now after all these years, knowing that people are not interested in Scandal stories anymore, after 29 years Elvis is still so BIG and more LOVED worldwide. Let's not upset the fans,..So let's come out with a sequel Book..a POSITIVE book, now in 2006 a "good" book about Elvis will surely sell. Let's follow Jerry Schilling's book. Let's be friends, make peace with the fans also, they'll invite us to their Conventions as Special Guest Speakers as true Friends of Elvis, and lots more $ to be collected. Well they can bull their sheet in Europe, stay away from Asia.. Over here we only welcome ELVIS IN CONCERT and the TCB Band.
Peter@EM wrote on September 04, 2006
HI CD KIng - you are SO right. Congratulations on a well balanced, terrific reply. You said it all! O, by the way - none of these traitors will EVER be welcomed to Belgium or Holland, I can guarantee you that!
Mystery Rider wrote on September 05, 2006
Done is Done, and nothing will change that, as far as what happened Elvis was being used by everyone because of his kind nature. These Jerks could'nt make a real living so they were just hangers on through the years. Now of course the cord is broken but they still use the same old lines in different forms..The biggest Pig of all was Colonel Parker and for that I blame Vernon for letting him get away with it. Elvis could have been managed by "mickey Mouse" because he needed no introduction. The Army stint made him more popular than ever and had they made some good dramatic movies after Blue Hawaii things would surley have been different. As for Pricilla (the Child) she kept the legend alive i'm sure she truly loved Elvis but how could you live in that home alone and try to have a life. Yes after the tours elvis came home and so the the Memphis RATS how would you like all these people hanging around your house kissing your ass and your wife watching it. I do think that if non of this had happened Elvis would have been a great actor Vegas never would have happened and singing would have become a private thing for him. But if he was alive today i Think he would be SICK at the way Lisa Marie is going through life. Elvis loved family and religion Lisa is a Weed in a beautiful Garden, and the Michael Jackson thing totally out of control.
Sanditcb wrote on September 05, 2006
How unfortunate that you, Peter, CDKing, serpico Mystrywriter have all the answers and weren't around in the 70's.You are so quick to judge when you don't have a clue about the facts. You can't speak for Elvis; you didn't know him. Peter, you have certainly not told the truth about Sonny. Ther views of Col Parker are laughable. Had you known Elvis you would have known that he was his own man, did what he pleased, when he pleased. Ah, how nice to paint the past as you wish it had been. Keep living in your dream world and blaming everyone else. It's all you have.
djm wrote on September 06, 2006
If peter was Elvis best friend then no doubt he would still be alive today.....as for Lisa being a weed in a beautiful garden, that gave me a right laugh, cheers. .....
Peter@EM wrote on September 06, 2006
Hi Sandi, Is that the best you can do? Try to beat me with arguments, please. You know I'll win. I'll let you in on a little secret: for a while I thought you were Sonny - until friends of mine (from the Elvis entourage) told me about your relationship with that creep. Well... we have a saying in Belgium: if you sleep with the dog, don't be surprised to wake up scratching. Friends of Elvis's entourage (& I do mean REAL friends who stayed with him when his world was falling apart) have told me how much Elvis was hurt. They saw him cry because of the book. THAT's what the book did to him. I betcha Sonny's even proud of that too. BTW - this is my last statement on this thread. 'Nuf said, 'nuf time spent on the Wests.
efan4ever wrote on September 07, 2006
Ignorance is running wild over in Belguim or Holland. I should not condem an enitre country because of one person over there is a less than intelligent human being. Or prefers to walk around with his head up his bum. Have a nice day.
djm wrote on September 07, 2006
reading your posts on here peter, i`m not surprised that sonny west have you a cold hard look....you seem like a person to keep at a distance.
Loesje wrote on September 07, 2006
DJM, don't get personal please! I know Peter personally and he is a very nice, gentle and honest man. So please folks, let this be the last posting about this subject overhere.
cathyreno wrote on September 08, 2006
hi everyone I have been reading these posts here and my feelings are mixed now I truly believed that over the years the West's would be truly sorry for that book... And maybe Sonny is trying to make up for it ever since I saw 'all the kings men' and read 'revelations of the memphis mafia' both were mind blowing.. As a elvis fan of 30 years standing I had come to a conclusion that EP was their boss first friend later and after being sacked they had reacted in the only way they could 'MEDIA' It doesnt make a difference to me ... people have their opinions but with the sign of the times all these 'hangers on' won't be around for much longer and then there will be no more genuine stories just hearsay gossip from people who probably just met ep in passing. Its funny well its not funny but I never read or heard The Wests say sorry for that book.. If they had said sorry would the ep fans be more forgiving?? T C B everyone
Steve V wrote on September 08, 2006
None of us were there in 1977 when all this transpired. I will only say that I met Red, Sonny, Marty and Lamar when their video tapes were released in 1997. They did an instore signing in NYC. Sonny seemd to be the most personable and easiest to talk to , but they were all very nice and spent time with each & every fan that was there. Of course they were pushing a product at the time. That's all I can say from personal experience.
byebye wrote on September 08, 2006
I do not doubt that Sonny can be a nice person from time to time. He was one of Elvis´ friends, And Elvis of course must have liked him. But that doesnt make it right, or takes away his responsability for a book like EWH. On the contrary friends must be able to argue or change their payroll without having to be a target to a book like that. It´s such a wrong way to go, and looking back I dont understand how anyone can refuse seeing that. Sonny´s desire of getting back was so much more in command than his selfrespect. Should he silently have turned his back and walked away, he would have kept his dignity. If he realizes the mistake of a lifetime he did, he should apologize to Elvis´family. -It´s not too late Sonny, it´s human to make mistakes...
mature_elvis_fan75 wrote on September 08, 2006
I for one dont think elvis was perfect,but please somebody tell me what that has to do with people telling every detail they can about there so called friend, some elvis fans seemd to this day to be mad at elvis for what happened,if you love his msuic cool ,if you love the personality that was elvis then thats cool,but who in the hect has the right to say i would have done this or thatm you havnt a clue to what you would have done, elvis presley gave you great muisc ,he to this day entertaines you, does the man have no right for some peace and respect, as i have stated before,you dont right tell all boks about your friend and then wonder oh gee i thought it would help him,in case some of you didnt know elvis has severe dression, i dont think alot of you really grasp what that means,i dont blame sonn or anyone else,im not nieve and think elvis was perfect and that if only this or that person wuold have helped that he would have turned things around, but when you say im your friend dont turn around and give every detail about my personal life ,in some cases things that no one needs to know, only low humans do that,dont confuse the people who think elvis was perfect from the people who know he wasnt but know that respect for a friend is not showed by tell all books, mabybe some like gritty details, i dont,theres no way id speak to soony let aolne buy his book or carry on a conversation! some of you should take a look at some info on depression and bi polar!
mature_elvis_fan75 wrote on September 08, 2006
I know a few typos, enjoy spotting them lol
mature_elvis_fan75 wrote on September 11, 2006
So you write a book telling the aftermath of your first book? now thats class lol
John4126 wrote on September 12, 2006
Sonny West was not responsible for Elvis' death. The West's bailed Elvis out countless times and would have put their lives on the line for him. Maybe the book was a knee jerk reaction to how they had been treated. Elvis loved them like 'brothers' and yet his father to fire them. Elvis couln't be bothered for what ever reason to sort out their differences. Sonny has some great stories to tell. Many will bring a smile to our faces. He will probably admit that he would have liked to have done things differently and we all know about hindsight. But to point an accusing finger at him and others and blame them for my hero's death? No.
mature_elvis_fan75 wrote on September 12, 2006
I for one dont think anyone was responsible for what happened,but i also believe when you are friends,there are things you dont do,and writing tell all book is one of them,do you think elvis would have done this to sonny? i still dont think many of you get what depression and bi polar can do to someone,among there stories of having fun and great memopries with elvis, it seems too many in the grould like to take cheap shots and say things that are way out of line and have nothing to do with telling stories and everything to do with getting back at elvis,as for there firing,you dont know the REAL story behind that perhaps,maybe theres some details that are being left out,and maybe elvis could have handled it better, that doesnt change the cheaps shots amd make them any better,again all o elvis fans dont wear those blinders,so many like to talk about but at same time i like to look at the postative side of elvis that afterall is why im a elvis fans not a sonny fan!
mature_elvis_fan75 wrote on September 12, 2006
Sorry for typos ,my keyboard cant keep up with my thoughts!
Sanditcb wrote on September 12, 2006
How funny! It's not up to any of you to "forgive" anyone for anything. Oh Peter, you of the great imagination. I hope someday to get the opportunity to meet you and talk to you face to face, if I can stop laughing long enough.
byebye wrote on September 13, 2006
The West´s was not solely responsible for Elvis´ death. But since Elvis´s health rapidly declined from bad to worse, no one can ignore the toll it must have taken on him during "76-"77. I´d say the book had a major part on his death. I also dont understand why Elvis shouldn´t be able to cancel bodyguard services like any other employee without having to face such consequenses as EWH, regardless if Vernon gave the message or not.(!) Elvis did not send Vernon to give notice on friendship, it was cutting down on expenses, and it obviously must have been hard for Elvis to come to this conclusion and at the same time realize that everyone on his payroll was also his "friend" in some way. It´s evident that in the end they had nothing to justify EWH on rather than issues of money. And I cant help to think that it´s such a shamefull move on a generous human being like Elvis. Maybe Sonny has come to some hindsight as John4126 said, but instead of writing new books about how good Elvis was, it would be a major breakthrough if he honestly said he was sorry and regretfull, especially to Lisa. Theres no substitute to that.
Steve V wrote on September 13, 2006
Jesper - correct , the Wests were not solely responsible for ELvis' death and yes, the book hurt him tremendously, but play a major part in his death? I dont think so. How about years of pill abuse, years of TERRIBLE eating habits, years of touring at a tremendous pace and being depressed about how his career was going the last few years. Then theres they the grind and boredom of Vegas and not getting that movie part. Dont you think these things were more responsible than a book? Remember we almost lost Elvis several times way before 1977 if you believe various accounts in other books. The Wests played a small part, not a major one.
byebye wrote on September 13, 2006
Yeah I know Steve, Elvis was "bleeding"... But I still think the book was the lethal bullet.
cathyreno wrote on September 14, 2006
June, I so agree with you! Trying to help him by cashing in on his celebrity no way! As for the opinion made by 'Sanditcb' I think the majority of 'ep fans' would like to see The Wests say sorry to the Presley family not to us fans... I don't hate the Wests I even understand why they wrote the book.Don't agree with it.. Nothing they or anyone else would make me love Elvis any less he was only human like us all... T C B everyone
Bill E. Burk wrote on September 14, 2006
Wow! 39 responses to date! One of the hottest topics on ElvisNews.com in a long, long while. Political Correctness dictates I should not open my mouth or say one word on this topic . . . but I have never let PC stop me when I feel I have something to say. Most of you don't know Sonny or Red West at all; or, at best, have maybe met them at a whistle stop here or there and probably had pre-formed opinions before meeting them, so nothing was/is going to change your mind. On the other hand, I have probably known these 2 (and many of the others) quite longer (since 1957) and quite deeper (even away from Elvis). The manner in which they were fired was a disgrace and could have been handled much, much better. But I truly have never believed that their firing had all that much to do with the EWH book. Red West called me in February 1977 to tip me that they were coming out with the book and Red knew that I had known the drug situation for at least 4 years by then, but was ordered by my editors never to write about this -- and I haven't, not even thru today. But Red told me in 2-77, "You know the situation, Bill. He's not going to get off those things (pills) until the fans realize he has this problem. And once we tell the fans, I think it's going to embarrass him enough that he will seek help. He certainly would never listen to us." (As an aside here, Dr. Nick had, without E's knowing it, gone behind the scenes and worked out a deal to slip Elvis into Lakeside Hospital here and get him cleaned up. Charlie Rich had been a Lakeside patient without anyone knowing it when Charlie's bottle problems were bad. After arranging this (and keep in mind, there were no Betty Ford Clinics available then, but Lakeside did similar work), Nick reported this to Elvis and E blew up in front of Nick and the guys and fired Nick on the spot! Of course, as was Elvis' MO, Nick was brought back on the payroll 2 weeks later.) I know Red West. I can today remember the tone of his voice when he called to tell me about the book. And I firmly believe today, as I have believed every day since, that Red was totally sincere in what he was telling me. Should the Wests apologize to the Presleys? That's up to them. Elvis seldom apologized to his friends after blowing up. True, he might buy them a car, expensive jewelry, a house, as his way of apologizing, but very seldom -- if ever -- did he apologize. And the Presley clan has not been all that kind in their public remarks about the Wests and others in the MEM Mafia. And please don't equate EWH to Albert Goldman's book. Goldman went in mean-spirited to bring Elvis down. I would have given anything to have been allowed to appear on any of the TV and/or radio talk shows featuring Goldman, but he had it in his appearance contract that if the hosts brought me on, even as a surprise, he would walk off the stage. I have read a lot of Sonny's upcoming book in manuscript form. Marshall Terrill, his writer, is an excellent writer and trying to play it straight as an arrow as best he can. Sonny's book is not going to be as "white" as Jerry Schilling's current book, but overall, I'd rate it a positive book in its treatment of Elvis. If the publisher changes anything (as Priscilla's publisher did in 1985), that's the publisher's cross to bear.
mature_elvis_fan75 wrote on September 14, 2006
Fact one-the book was written for profit and its something no friend does,we all know elvis wasnt perfect but he also didnt write a tell all book on one of his friends, fact 2-elvis was bi polar from all the accounts i have read,it goes wayyy beyond depression! fact 3 im not a sonny fan im a elvis fan,sonny doesnt entertain me,evlis does, fact 4-i dont wear blinders, i just believe in being respectful, end of story!
ttwiise wrote on September 14, 2006
Very well stated Bill E. Ok so they wrote a book, today that sort of think is commonplace but in 1977 it was kinda new. I believe the WQests wrote EWH with the intention, as they state, of waking Elvis up, I believe, and this is my opinion, it scared him so much that he felt he couldn`t face his fans again. A proud, insecure person as he was he had kept this from the world and now it was out. Of course these days he would never have been able to cover it up, times have changed. I would much rather read a book by the wests than by any of the other guys, they pull no punches but are sincere and i have no doubt of their love for EP. Just watch the video of all the kings men, you`ll see!
cathyreno wrote on September 15, 2006
Bill read your post, I am flabbergasted I saw 'all the kings men' and Red and Sonny were very sincere... If anyone hasnt seen it do get it... like I said in a previous post I understand why the book was written... I dont believe it was done solely do wake E up to what he was doing to himself it was done for profit as Red did say at a convention that I was at. At the end of the day if the demand is there for new stories new insights to this remarkable man (EP) it shall be met... T C B and thank you Bill for your post
sherriemr wrote on September 15, 2006
I will say that I read the book..and it infuriated me that someone could betray a "friend" that way. If all that happened in that book really happened...my point has always and will always be....it SHOULDN'T have been written! How many of you have skeletons in the closet that your closest friends know about? How would you like a book written about all your shortcomings and your darkest secrets? And how would you feel if that book was written by people who "love" you? What was done..was done to Elvis..and in a sense done to his daughter...(which by the way is no WEED as someone stated earlier...she is Elvis Presley's DAUGHTER) If you don't like her, please don't disrespect her dad by making bad comments about her. Have some respect for Elvis...that is his daughter..like it or not. If you wouldn't say it to his face...don't say it. As for this next book...I doubt VERY seriously that I will be supporting someone just because they messed up with Elvis years ago..and now is trying to "make up for it..." Make it up to who? Elvis is gone...how could it ever be "made up" to him? He died knowing that people he trusted and cared for betrayed him ultimately...he loved his fans so much..and it hurt him very bad to think of his fans reading all that about him...don't ever doubt for a second that it didn't. There's no way it couldn't have. I get very heated about this subject...so I'll just stop jabbering now...and to each his own...but I will not be supporting a new book...the old was was rough enough for me.
byebye wrote on September 16, 2006
Hey Bill, you can twist it around anyway you like. Fact is the Wests masterplan didn´t work out that well, did it? Regardless if it was based on greed or monumental stupidity with "Catcher in the rye" excuses, it was just as bad! And for you to even compare Elvis´ lacking apologies after "blow up´s" etc, to a book deliberately meant to hurt and embarass EP, just shows that your on the same level as Sonny&co, and their total lack of proportions.
elvispresleyfanclub wrote on September 16, 2006
I have a personal opinion, that if Sonny West wanted to do the right thing, then he should of just left it at that when he was let go. He should of thought of saving himself first and taken care of his own problems before having dealt with someone elses. Tell all books are works of fiction for the most part. You tell one person one thing and when it gets to the fiftieth one the story is about how you became a priest one minute and the next you have sold yourself. Well he cannot sell me on any of it. Elvis Presley is not around and I have always and will always state that there should be respect for the dead. Allow him to rest in peace and if you don't have something good to say about him then keep in shut. Just my own personal opinion. :) David EPFC Yahoo Group!
Casey wrote on September 18, 2006
Thanks Bill for your input here. I for one appreciate the insight. I look forward to Sonny's new book.
CD King wrote on September 20, 2006
What more can he tell you after nearly 30 years that have not been already told. So wise up and stop feeding the vulture.
Sean Ryan wrote on September 25, 2006
I have met Sonny and he comes across as a decent bloke.Im sure Sonny never asked Elvis for anything but if Elvis wanted to buy you something like a car,gold chains etc, what, you gonna say no to Elvis and hurt his feelings? Ok,so Sonny made a few mistakes but so did Elvis and are we all putting Elvis down,no of course not.I remember a story when Elvis punched Sonny for no reason and Sonny didnt hit him back.Elvis never even said sorry.This is just one of many stories that happened.What im trying to say is how can anyone judge Sonny when they werent there or know what happened.Yeah, Sonny was bitter about being fired and was left without a job.Sonny wasnt a yes man like Joe or Charlie and im sure didnt like to be treated like a puppet by his friend.Im looking forward to this book cause im sure there are gonna be some great stories that we havenever heard before.No one has any right to criticize Sonny cause none of you were there and dont know the full facts.
Elvisy wrote on September 25, 2006
I have read all the posts and it brings back memories of how sad I felt years back when I read that book. It did'nt take me long to realize even then that, apart from bitter angry and jealous Sonny and Red were all out to damage Elvis. Envious perhaps? Don't forget they were young then. And like some were saying meeting them and seeing All The Kings Men they seem pleasant,sure they will be as its taken a long time to get that way! They shattered his already broken heart and shred his dignity.Men who were supposed to be his buddies and trusted bodyguards! I would like to ask Sonny what did he do to you so bad that you had to write so many untruths (I kno Elvis was no saint) but alot were lies! And what did he not give you and all around him, asking for nothing in return except your company paying for it in a lavish way,apart from your loyality and little else. Why destroy the little faith he had in you guys? Bad enough he felt so let down on all acounts. Great Charlie Hodge was his only true friend until his own death. Why did'nt he feel the need to help him off drug abuse by writing a book?? Don't forget Elvis was proud and a sincere friend .Not any of them will or can deny that. Until the end he bled his last upkeeping each and every hangers-on. He had mouths to feed and people who depended on him.He died so alone and so betrayed. My heart still bleeds for his last days on earth.He must have known for sometime and had no one to turn too. I'm sure Sonny and Red must at some point felt a deep regret but then it was done in cold blood and you both will have to answer some day! To forgive is divine and Elvis did just that! I only hope atleast you guys made your peace with him before he went and WE......dont have to know!
Viva wrote on September 26, 2006
Very, very well said Mr Burke. I am a bit late on this one, but I'm sure we can all agree that this is a very emotive subject. The thing which suprised me most the first time I read EWH, was the fact that although I promised I would never read such trash (Based mainly on what I had read about the book in fan magazines); when I actually did read it I honestly couldn't believe what all the fuss was about. Elvis comes across as a really great guy who also had the ability to be a complete prat. "Oh my god" I thought, he ... is... HUMAN... arghhhh. I have tried to imagine myself in the Wests position, and I have to say that given the circumstances, I came to the conclusion that there really wasn't a lot else anyone could do. Too many Elvis fans are so quick to state that Elvis was human, but when faced with the realities of his weaknesses, instead of using this knowledge to further their understanding of what he was all about and accepting his few, but serious, faults they prefer to go into denial and crucify those who force us to face up to the harsh realities of living with, and being, Elvis Presley. It's no good just saying Elvis was human: You have to genuinely believe it too! The Wests have absolutely nothing to apologise for. These guys lived with Elvis for god's sake, I think they are better qualified than anyone to say what Elvis was really like. I would much rather read an honest, warts and all, TRUTHFUL book on Elvis than the sugar coated, diluted and distorted version some people would have you believe. That isn't the real Elvis, and I care enough for the man to be able to read about his failings and still think he was the greatest individual of the 20th century. And Bill: You say "I had known the drug situation for at least 4 years by then, but was ordered by my editors never to write about this -- and I haven't, not even thru today" People like you who have had the rare honour of being so close to all that has happened in the life of Elvis, owe it to future generations to set down the whole truth, however unpleasant, for all to read. If you don't, then years from now some lowlife with no compassion or understanding of Elvis the man will present a twisted, exaggerated version which will become fact. The truth must be laid out while the people who lived it are still here - Try and sugar coat everything and people will simply not believe a word and make up their own versions and, yet again, Elvis gets a bum deal in the media.
Elvisy wrote on September 27, 2006
Viva, We fans of Elvis know every single detail of Elvis and please, we do know he was only human and had plenty of faults! What we did not like are the lies cooked up by these guys.Who the hell are they when living with him and using him to write on his private life? They were paid and paid well to keep they mouths shut.I wish Elvis had written a diary especially on the unknown truths! Maybe he did think of it as we all know Elvis did love reading a great deal it would have been really interesting dont you think? Maybe it did cross his mind after the books were out.God knows why he did'nt! It would have been mindblowing, much more than Sonny and Red have written especially with so much going on in his life at that time. Generous of Elvis till the end not to spill the beans about everything and everyone. And dont give us that stuff that someone else would have written some crap about him as we all know Elvis grew in size now and we really did'nt dream of it.Apart from the fact we the fans of the 70s and 80s mattered not that today's fans will care or even batter an eye-lid. Afterall what Elvis did then is child's play to today what celebritys do and with less digitnity too.But yet no one spill the beans and considering the time we live in today! I for one forgive Red and Sonny as I feel that now what Elvis suffered and is gone and as for them 'They know not what they did' but they did know and thats for sure. Regrets I'm sure they have plenty!
Sean Ryan wrote on September 27, 2006
Tangerine, seeing as you know so much, please explain to me what lies the guys supposed to have said?
Steve V wrote on September 27, 2006
Sean Ryan brings up a good point. What has ever been proven by anyone to be lies in the Wests book? I know I have read of many of the accounts like the morgue visits, the hurling of the pool cue in several other books. I'd like to know what were the lies. If anyone can say, much appreciated.
Jerome wrote on September 28, 2006
it eventually comes down to cracked ego's, Elvis couldn't face the truth (because of his stardom) and couldn't communicate with the guys. His bodyguardfriends were living in a magic kingdom, in which they were careful in advising/changing or commenting on Elvis. The Book EWH is a result of the lack of communication between them and a lack of dare to tell the truth, which they all knew inside. We all can learn from this sad story, that no matter how big the stardom, the truth is always more than the ego. The book only confirms the bad communication between them and is just a desperate (financial/emotional) measure to change things around. The West telephone conversation is just a little example of the interpersonal relationship they had, after all these years they still were afraid to tell each other the real truth.
RacingRocks wrote on September 29, 2006
The problem I had with the West's book when it came out in 1977 was that it revealed without explaining. The style of the book was choppy and not very well written. I was fourteen at the time and the writing seemed to be at a six grade level. The funny thing about this book, was that the Colonel always came out smelling like a rose whenever he was mentioned. One thing I give the West's credit for however, was that they didn't reveal his mother's problems and where respectful to her memory.
Elvisy wrote on September 29, 2006
Steve and Sean ryan, I call it lies to a certain degree yes, as we all know Elvis was quite into some change having taken up with ginger Alden and was contemplating changes .He sacked them and was to get rid of many others since he was getting a lot deeper into spirituality. If you have seen All The King's Men,the tape that was produced was so craftly done with Elvis being unaware and not wanting to get to the core of anything.His answers to their questions were met with denial.Esp. about the drugs.These guys were sore with him and reason to be so. writing a book which Elvis never lived to defend.Elvis foresaw what was coming and who knows might have taken them back into the fold if it was'nt for the book.They say they were offered a huge sum for not publishing the book who knows for sure? Why do people just belive them when this book was written only when they were sacked? Why not before? Revenge is bitter sweet we all know that. And remember they had big hopes of making all the money which truly backfired. Elvis was shrewd but never thought that these would stoop to this level.They clearly wanted to destroy him.Why should anyone believe all they have written? Why do we love only to read what someone could'nt defend? Why not give Elvis the benefit of a doubt? Why should they be trusted to say the TRUTH as they call it? They who let him down and disclosed maybe some stuff that we fans never knew. I dont believe so many things in that book.You may say some things are true,but then the best way is to add some trutht and sandwitch the rest! Watching them on All The Kings Men you can read between the lines.The tears are for what THEY lost and the damage they had done. The tears of guilt and never questioned by Elvis himself! Who knows had He wanted too he could have easily retaliated in one of his own. I wonder how many people who can't defend themselves as its just not they way, put up with so much lies.Elvis was never the type to speak about anything in his private life right to the end! Are you so naive to believe that these guys are 100% saying the truth? What about those closest to him who remained in the fold like Larry Geller Linda Thomson,Joe Esposito and Charlie Hodge.I could go on and on. Where would these guys be without Elvis? It only goes to show that was'nt love those were just users and probably liked Elvis to be in that state so he could'nt tell the difference. Sure Elvis was'nt physically well and went through a lot especially when on drugs but then, with these kind of people around him who did'nt want him to change and saw the change coming,did'nt like it one bit. So what better way to get back at him? If anyone is to believed why not Linda Thomson she still speaks so well of Elvis and all had the same opinion of these two. I actually feel sorry for Sonny and Red who might have been very close to Elvis at a point of time but then Elvis out grew they company and gradually wanted to change everything including his lifestyle so why grudge him? Why not accept the fact that he wanted to change? NO these both just could'nt so the book! Books! Had he lived who knows Elvis would have been a very different person without these two around him and less influcenced,as some might say! Elvis was surely heading in a different path.
djm wrote on September 30, 2006
Elvis might have been a different person without those two around?? Did`nt he fire them well over a year before he died? If anything the drug problem got worse after they left. If Red and Sonny really wanted to make money, how come EWH has not been republished on the big anniversary dates? 10th, 20th etc? you blabber on like an emotional fool tangerine.
Elvisy wrote on September 30, 2006
Djm, First of I would like to remind you that I'm no emotional fool.You should really watch your tongue for starters! Now as to Red and Sonny being fired a year earlier so true but that does'nt mean the drugs got worse, it only took its toll on him as he was taking more anti depressants to stem the overflow of sadness and grief that came from knowing the book WAS going to be released! So whose to blame for that?? Think again! Secondly after firing those two things were working out as he had plans to fire some more. Drug fixing does'nt take overnight or maybe you do know someone whose a miracle worker? His life as we know I dont know about you was defnitely moving to a more spititual level. And yes Elvis got worse but not with drugs you see ,it was living with the fact of being let down and stabbed in the back by his so called buddies! By the way you seem to be more of a Sonny and Red fan than Elvis.And this my dear is'nt anything to do emotionally but with just intuition! The fact remains people like you find a Brutius more applealing than a Ceasur.Each one to his own. Elvis is gone and I for one have nothing again'st a Red or Sonny just listing the facts. Take it or leave it the choice is YOURS!
Elvisy wrote on September 30, 2006
Djm, I was quite amused reading a post directed to you from Peter.Now I do understand and I think the barbs must really hurt tho not ever comparing it to the hurt that Elvis felt! Anyway I think Peter and the person from the Elvis fan club said it all. Whats the point??
djm wrote on September 30, 2006
How do you know he was taking more anti depressants because of the book? how do you know his life was moving in a more spriitual level? Where you living at Graceland at the time? Sonny and Red knew him for the best part of his life so i will take their word over yours. What happened between Elvis and the wests over the book is between them. Goodnight my dear xxxxxxxx
djm wrote on September 30, 2006
Peter did not direct a post at me, so read again. Actually viva said it all. x
Elvisy wrote on October 01, 2006
Djm, I can only say you're right I did misread the post but it does'nt change my opinion! The posts that elvisfanclub,mature and so many other fans have written win out hands down. And remember girl this happens to be an Elvis the King site not a Sonny or Red or whatever.These people should'nt be given the time of the day? By the way I would love Linda or Larry Geller ( since Charlie's gone may his soul rest in peace!) to comment on this stuff.But then quiet speaks for itself and who better to have written a book than these wonderful friens in the true sense than these. djm as for you ,you can say and write whatever you care too. Remember tho, the king has millions of fans after being dead for 30 years STILL, while Sonny I'm sure has the same fans still holding him responsible for the hurt and pain our beloved Elvis suffered.If only he had left a diary! It only shows the choice of people you would love in your life.!!
Steve V wrote on October 01, 2006
I would love to know more about Ginger. She has certainly kept quiet all these years. She was there the last year however her presence obviously did not help in whatever direction Elvis was heading. You just dont hear about her or from her at all. She may have the most insigthto the Wests book coming directly from Elvis himself. I'm sure they must have talked about it.
djm wrote on October 02, 2006
who you calling girl tangy? x
Elvisy wrote on October 03, 2006
djm,Do you know something,I find you quite amusing still! Your sense of humour is quite touching too!
Elvisy wrote on October 03, 2006
Another thing djm, the book is not between the wests en Elvis, it is for us fans. We are living NOW to see him gone girl! Never mind. It will defnitely not make sense to you! I don't expect it too anyways. And hey good nite to you too!
djm wrote on October 04, 2006
i do understand your point of view tangy. I find you to be quite an amusing little thing too! Larry Gellar has written a book & so has charlie, hey they`ve all written em (even his nurse, cook etc! ) I prefer to stay in the middle and try to see both sides. Alot worse has been written than EWH. Its all in the past now. Nothing we say on here is gonna matter. Steve, ginger gave an interview to `essential elvis ` some months ago. It should be in the ess. elvis interviews book.
Elvisy wrote on October 05, 2006
Hey djm, Well.. So we both ARE amusing! Good to kno atleast we do have something in common. And yeah there is no point really as we both have different opinions on the same subject. The only difference being, I AM A DIEHARD FAN OF ELVIS and will always be and so... nothing can change the way I feel about the THRUTH regarding what the BOOK EWH DID to THE KING! And hey thanks for all the info.
Elvisy wrote on October 06, 2006
Peter I just want to tell you that I keep going back to the post you have written on sept.1. It makes my poor heart bleed my friend.I am also sure You are one lucky person to have good friends! We, you and I and many more on this site atleast have one thing in common and that is Our Love and Devotion to Elvis The King! It feels so bad altho so many years back to think what he must have gone through, especially the last few months of his life!
djm wrote on October 07, 2006
Our love and devotion to elvis the king....everybody get out your prayer mat!!!
Elvisy wrote on October 08, 2006
Hey Djm, I tried being nice to you but it looks like you are rather a sick person and don't appreciate being nice to.If you wanna carry-on with your jaded posts believe me, I can get nasty to and you bet it will send you cowering under the bed-clothes! Take your nasty self elsewhere as I really don't have time for people like you! On second thoughts Sonny and you will make a good team.Just maybe even he will find you tooooooo sick!Don't you have a life?? If not kindly get one and get off my back
djm wrote on October 08, 2006
thanks for that post tangy. It was brilliantly funny.
Sean Ryan wrote on October 08, 2006
tangerine, you say that red and sonny stabbed elvis in the back but wasnt the reason they were sacked cause red tried to stop one of the stanley boys from giving him pills and it got back to dee who obviously got into a row with vernon and then vernon told elvis and they were fired.it seems that they tried hard to get elvis from taking the pills and i dont think i ever heard that charlie hodge tried to stop elvis from taking pills.if my friend was killing himself in front of my eyes i would try and stop him.it seems that red and sonny did a number of times and elvis got rid of them when he needed them the most.you seem very bitter towards red and sonny but it seems youhavent looked at the full picture.if anyone is to blame for elvis's own downfall its elvis himself and no one should take the blame.if red and sonny gave so many years to elvis then was booted out the back door like they was i dont blame them for slagging elvis down at all.in fact, if it was me i would have given elvis a good hiding.elvis didnt even sack them to their faces, got his dad to do it. some friend elvis was to them.if they can make money from telling their story of there friendship with elvis i say good luck to them.
Elvisy wrote on October 09, 2006
Djm, I think you need a shrink badly girl! Take some friendly advise.Instead of sending me posts(and by the way the name is Tangerine) go see one! As for calling me Tangy its a warning not to tangle with Tangerine! You sorta misspelt it!
djm wrote on October 09, 2006
hi tangy...my name is dave so why do you call me girl?? Well tangy, i think you need a shrink for your over the top reactions, may i suggest dr.nick?? Dont mess with tangy.....again, brilliantly funny. why did you completely ignore sean`s post to you???
Elvisy wrote on October 09, 2006
Sean Ryan, First of let me tell you I'm neither bitter or angry with Sonny or Red I was!(I'm not DJM!whatever that must mean!) I just find it hard to swallow all their stories about why they were sacked ok? Writing a book about Elvis was stabbing him in the back whatever way you look at it.They took away his privacy the little he had left.It was conniving and mean. They say to help him what a laugh they should have helped themselves and got on with they lives.Left in dignity.Elvis was going through a lot of financial problem if you remember(to think of it now had he lived) what a laugh! Instead they wanted to butcher him. He Bled and died sad and lonely! They were on pay-roll it was a job too, don't forget. Elvis might have had some ways but ..........Tons of pure goodness and kindness! One way he never had for sure though was stabbing and being a tell all type. Charlie was and seemed the true friend trustworthy one at that. Who know what he might have tried doing to help Elvis? We would never know. A lot has been UNSAID and that is more important don't you think! Remember Red had last moments of pulling back from the book being published why so? As he knew for sure and felt that was WRONG! tThat should mean something. Well I'm sure Elvis did forgive them so who are we? God? I do see a lot of regret in their eyes and it must be hurting still no matter what they say. so....for that alone I wish them well and peace too but that it for me. A beating would have been better but the BOOK WAS NOT!
Sean Ryan wrote on October 09, 2006
tangerine, the major factor with this discussion is that the book was released a few weeks BEFORE Elvis passed away which took a whole new meaning of the book's contents.People were reading it a totally different way than they would have had,had Elvis lived. If Elvis had lived then the book would have not have had the same negative impact like it has.You cant blame Red or Sonny for Elvis's death.The fact is that they were sacked when they shouldnt have been.They were bitter so they wrote a book.So what??It was just very bad timing that Elvis happened to pass away when the book had been on the shelves for a few weeks. I have the book and read it and its not that bad.If Elvis was their friend he shouldnt have sacked them.If there is one person Elvis should have sacked its Parker. Anyway, i have met Sonny and Red and they are good men and im looking forward to this book of Sonny's.
Elvisy wrote on October 10, 2006
Sean, I could go on and on so all I can say is Peter and Jesper said it all really. Go back to reading those posts! Looks like we will NEVER end this discussion so why go around in circles? Topic over as far as I'm concerned. As for my opinion ...... I cannot change that but what I can, I will to say sufficiently that I wish Sonny and Red all the best in their book as I know for sure it will be a much improved one from the last two. Period!Elvis is gone so whats the big deal now! We cannot change history! These men I'm sure now have had to live with it and have their own regrets.As I said,regret is what I saw in their eyes on the tape! These guys did eventually lose a world famous and mind-blowing friend ! Who would have ever have known these two! The book brought THEM fame! Now you Dave cannot bame me for thinking you were a girl coz you sound like a wife whose always whinning! And by the way YOU ARE HILARIOUS! I still think you need a shrink boy!
djm wrote on October 10, 2006
good one tangy, i enjoyed that......your right thou, why go round in circles? This is my last post on this and i`ve enjoyed the war of the words with you..... ma boy ma boy...............
Elvisy wrote on October 11, 2006
What can I say Dave?? Lol. Lets follow the King in his footsteps. To forgive IS divine! It was good tho even to have a healthy arguement. It gets a load off the chest. For this I owe it to my fave site the elvisnews! For all you guys, who do all the work behind the scene, thank-you and keep going!