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.
Source: Email / Updated: Jul 18, 2006