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30 review for Elvis: What Happened?

  1. 5 out of 5

    Steve

    On surface, this is probably a 3 to 3 ½ star book, largely due to its organization, which is a mess. It feels rushed, stories are repeated more than once, jumps in time that seem increasingly arbitrary, as if someone all of sudden remembered another “good one.” But, in this case, that’s a strength. Elvis: What Happened is your classic “Tell-All” from a trio of “body guards” who had been fired by Elvis. The revelations of drug taking and generally bizarre behavior by Elvis probably would have bee On surface, this is probably a 3 to 3 ½ star book, largely due to its organization, which is a mess. It feels rushed, stories are repeated more than once, jumps in time that seem increasingly arbitrary, as if someone all of sudden remembered another “good one.” But, in this case, that’s a strength. Elvis: What Happened is your classic “Tell-All” from a trio of “body guards” who had been fired by Elvis. The revelations of drug taking and generally bizarre behavior by Elvis probably would have been shouted down by fans and the Elvis publicity machine, if Elvis hadn’t of died within a few weeks of the book’s release. On this alone I’m willing to give an extra star. What could have been called “sour grapes,” suddenly gains credibility, as whispers regarding Elvis’s end got a whole lot louder. Upon reading this, I was actually surprised at the lack of sour grapes complaining. Red West, a friend of Elvis since high school, is clearly the source for about 90% of this book. West definitely liked the man, and was troubled by his descent. If he’s fudging on anything, it’s probably his (and the rest of the “Memphis Mafia”) activities. These activities are often lumped under doing “crazy” things, and being “wild.” Oh, he does fess up to some drug taking, and some threatening here and there, but you get the sense that you’re only getting the tip of the iceberg. Elvis, now that’s different. The good side, his generosity, his talent, love of Mom, etc., is shown often, as if to keep reminding the reader that the King was a complicated dude. Maybe so, but his decline is one mean slope. One incident that struck me as particularly vicious was an argument that resulted in Presley hurling (like a spear) a pool cue at a woman, striking her in the chest. What a dick. He had other strange ideas about women, that, well, you’ll just have to see for yourself. Another telling incident, toward the end of the book, had Elvis being rushed on stage by some nut. While the nut was wrestled to the ground, Elvis moved around the stage delivering karate kicks to the air. At this point, life for Elvis had become something scripted by Hunter S. Thompson: trashy, sensational, and everything I want in a rock and roll bio. It’s easy to see why this book is now considered a cult read. While I was reading it, I would on occasion check on events as reported in another, more recent bio. For the most part, the stories held up. Note, this book getting hard to find, and my (fragile) copy was a pricey purchase via Amazon’s used books. It was worth every penny!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Carol Storm

    The night Red West would like to forget . . . The first and best of the Elvis tell-all books, WHAT HAPPENED is a lean, powerfully written narrative that has its own unique voice. When I read the book as a teen, I didn't really fall in love with Elvis -- that was a done deal. No, man, I fell in love with Red, Sonny, and Dave Hebler. Every loser teen should have a friend like Red West. And every superstar should have security men like these. I think what got to me even then was the "voice" of these The night Red West would like to forget . . . The first and best of the Elvis tell-all books, WHAT HAPPENED is a lean, powerfully written narrative that has its own unique voice. When I read the book as a teen, I didn't really fall in love with Elvis -- that was a done deal. No, man, I fell in love with Red, Sonny, and Dave Hebler. Every loser teen should have a friend like Red West. And every superstar should have security men like these. I think what got to me even then was the "voice" of these tough Southern men -- compassionate, but never sentimental, macho, but never bullying. Long before I discovered the books of Stephen Hunter and Larry McMurtry, I swooned like a Sinatra-era bobby-soxer to the hypnotic rhythms of Southern male speech as recorded here by Red and Sonny. All of the book sounds like actual conversation, spoken in a tough redneck bar over cold beers long after midnight. The rhythm goes something like this: "Now Elvis, he is high and he is bugged, and this pinko-lefto rock critic from ROLLING STONE starts asking him what he thinks about Vietnam. And right away, man, Elvis is in his face, saying he served his country and he voted for Nixon. And this writer, man, he is getting angry -- but you can see at the same time he is ready to lose it, just cry all over the place that Elvis is not the guy the rock press wished he was. So right then good old Lamar comes up to me and says, Red, man that dude is about to say something he shouldn't, why don't we get him out of here. And so I go up to him and say, now look, man, if old E does not like hippies there is no use bugging him about it. If you start to hassle him then you will have to start with me, too, and that will turn into a whole other situation. And that was the last time any rock critic ever asked Elvis about Politics. After that they just made it all up."

  3. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    Elvis: What Happened? is a collection of memories about Elvis, his rise to stardom and his gradual downfall as told to journalist Steve Dunleavy by three former friends and employees of Elvis. Cousins Red West and Sonny West had known Elvis since highschool, and Dave Hebler was a part of Elvis' entourage from 1972-1976. These three were fired from the "Memphis Mafia" in July 1976. Steve Dunleavy contacted them shortly thereafter, and this book was published on August 1st 1977...only fifteen days Elvis: What Happened? is a collection of memories about Elvis, his rise to stardom and his gradual downfall as told to journalist Steve Dunleavy by three former friends and employees of Elvis. Cousins Red West and Sonny West had known Elvis since highschool, and Dave Hebler was a part of Elvis' entourage from 1972-1976. These three were fired from the "Memphis Mafia" in July 1976. Steve Dunleavy contacted them shortly thereafter, and this book was published on August 1st 1977...only fifteen days before Elvis died. Going into this story, I thought it would be difficult to truly appreciate it. Of course Elvis is such an ingrained part of our popular culture, and we all know that towards the end of his life he was hopelessly addicted to prescription medications and that his behavior was erratic. But at the time, this was a closely guarded secret. Elvis: What Happened is a very ugly look at the private life of The King, told by men who know him better than most people. I didn't find myself shocked by the stories of drug abuse, women, and bizarre behavior the way people were with this book was first published. However, the more I read, the more I was appalled and disgusted by the behavior of Red West, Sonny West, Dave Hebler and the rest of the entourage. The Memphis Mafia was a strange monster. These men considered themselves close and personal friends of Elvis, yet complained that they didn't feel they made enough money from him. While they told stories of being able to travel with Elvis (on Elvis' dime) live with him in various mansions, have access to all sorts of women, their meals were paid for, Elvis bought them countless cars, and other gifts... yet their paycheck wasn't always high enough. Really? So what was their role, friends or employees? My vote is employees. While these men complained that Elvis' behavior was becoming more and more erratic, and his beliefs wack-a-do, they never contradicted him. Red relates: "Since my days playing football, I've always had a bad back, and sometimes at the top of my neck it gives me hell. Well, after a while I learned not to complain about it when I was around Elvis, because I knew what would happen. Whenever he knew I had the pain, he would ask me to sit down in front of him, and then he would lay on his hands, telling me over and over that the pain would go away, that he was drawing out the pain. Well, I would sit there and he would say, 'It's going away, Red. You're going to be okay.' I would say, 'Yes, boss, I hear you.' Then I would tell him, 'Hell, man, you're right. The pain has gone. That's fantastic. It really has gone.' He would give me one of those little secretive smiles that told the world that he had these powers, and he would walk away pleased with himself. I would walk away and my back and neck were still hurting like hell. It was a case where I didn't want to tell him that he was kidding himself, because he really had the best of intentions, but he was convinced that he had fixed me up." The book opens with a passage of Elvis getting angry at a woman at one of his house parties. In a fit of rage, he threw a cue stick at her, spear style. According to Sonny West, "...she started talking about suing Elvis. I was worried about that in the back of my mind. She had every damn right to sue him. I told her not to be silly. She should forget about it. Then I very gently told her that she was in his house, and she did insult him, and there were a lot of his friends around as witnesses and then I said, 'Who do you think they're gonna stand up for?' ...Sonny felt ashamed of himself. That really wasn't his style. Here was this little girl, victim of a sudden, sadistic flash of temper, and he was trying to talk her out of suing. 'I wouldn't have blamed her a it,' he says, 'but I was so locked into Elvis. It was second nature for me to stand up for him, even when I knew he was very wrong.'" Finally, a memory from Dave Hebler, ...Elvis was talking about the power of metaphysics, although I'm not quite sure whether he knew the real definition of the word... Suddenly Elvis yells out, 'Stop the car. I want to show you what I mean, Dave. Now see that cloud? I will show you what my powers really are. Now I want you all to watch. All of you, look at that cloud.' Well, we all look at the damn little cloud up there like a bunch of goats. Elvis is staring a hole through the damn thing. Well, the perspiration is dripping off us. Not a sound in the car, just a whole lot of dummies dying of heat stroke looking up at a cloud. I'm near dying and I am praying that the sonofabitch would blow away. At the same time, I'm really having a problem not to burst out laughing. Well, after about ten minutes, thank God, the damn thing dissipated a little. I mean, if you watch a single cloud anyway after ten minutes, it will move or dissipate to some degree. I saved the day by noticing it first, and, because I didn't want to die of dehydration, I said, 'Gee, Elvis, you're right. Look, it's moving away,' That was just the right thing to say. Old Elvis gave me one of those sly little smiles that told me he had done it again. 'I know, I moved it,' he says. Then we drive off." Fuck. Poor Elvis. This book tells story after story of Elvis displaying the patience of a two year old and the beliefs of a crazy person. And his so called "friends" encouraged him every step of the way. It is an intriguing look into a side of Elvis that very few people were privy to. It is also the most disgusting display of "yes men" and hangers on I have ever read. Red West, Sonny West, and Dave Hebler ~ no matter what their true feeling towards Elvis, are still making money off his name today. My one consolation is that I purchased this from a used book store, and these men did not receive my money. They say this book was intended to be a way of reaching out to Elvis, a way of letting him know his behavior was out of control. Was it? Big surprise Elvis was reported to be hurt, saddened and betrayed. Elvis: What Happened? is actually not as cynical as one would expect. Although Dave Hebler appears to be more star struck when he talks kindly of The King, the West cousins insist they truly do care about Elvis and hoped he would turn his life around. Elvis: That's the Way It Is, despite being the best documentary evah, always makes me a little sad. Whenever Elvis cracks a joke, he very quickly looks around the room to make sure every one of his boys is laughing with him. And of course they are. What a shame that a man with so much talent was coddled and spoiled to point that he became delusional, isolated and so unhealthy that he suffered a fatal heart attack at the age of forty-two. Perhaps his life would have taken that turn anyway? But somehow, for these men to say they cared about Elvis... while never having the heart or courage to be straight with him, for these men to benefit from living a charmed life as a paid companion to Elvis while complaining that they didn't earn enough... something just ain't right. This book was at times sad, at times disgusting, yet always fascinating. Let me end this review on a high note. Elvis had a number of hobbies and interests, one of which was collecting law enforcement badges. At a Hollywood party, Elvis discovered that an unnamed celebrity was an undercover agent for the Federal Narcotics Bureau. When Elvis saw the badge, he decided he needed to have one and set up an appointment with John Finlator, then the Deputy Narcotics Director. Finlator met with Elvis, and offered to give him an honorary badge but Elvis wouldn't take it, he wanted the real thing. Elvis insisted that he wanted to help in the fight to keep people off drugs, and even offered money. Finlator stood firm, and would not give Elvis a real badge. Undaunted, Elvis left and hired a chauffeured limousine to drive him to the White House. Although this was spur of the moment, and he didn't have an appointment to see the President, Elvis charmed his way into the oval office. According to Sonny West, "Presley seemed very much at home in the Oval Office and he said, 'Now, the president has got something for ya'll.' President Nixon returned to his desk and presented Sonny and Jerry (two of the Memphis Mafia with Elvis at the time) with key rings and cufflinks with the presidential seal emblazoned on them. Presley wasn't shy when it came to the president. He said, 'You know,l Mr. President, they've got wives.' And the president, on Presley's prompting, gave them each a brooch with the presidential seal on it for their wives. In a daze, Sonny and Jerry and Presley then left the office, after warm handshakes. Before Sonny and Jerry had gotten to the office, President Nixon assured Presley he would get his federal narcotics badge. Presley smiled triumphantly at Sonny and Jerry and said, 'Who said something can't be done?'" Conning the President of the United States just to get a badge to add to his collection? Fuck me. THAT is the power of The King!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Andy

    What starts out as a "Get Rich Quick" p-back on the downfall of Elvis becomes more of an expose on the Memphis Mafia that catered to Elvis' every whim, making them the most demented pack of yes-men since the Bush Administration. Lining up chicks for the King, getting cast as extras in cinema classics like "Harum Scarum", and bullying over-zealous fans, these guys were bigger life-savers to Elvis than the DEA. You'll read about them taking care of Elvis' pet chimp Scatter, colorfully named after, What starts out as a "Get Rich Quick" p-back on the downfall of Elvis becomes more of an expose on the Memphis Mafia that catered to Elvis' every whim, making them the most demented pack of yes-men since the Bush Administration. Lining up chicks for the King, getting cast as extras in cinema classics like "Harum Scarum", and bullying over-zealous fans, these guys were bigger life-savers to Elvis than the DEA. You'll read about them taking care of Elvis' pet chimp Scatter, colorfully named after, well you know, scat. Then there's Elvis' ex-girlfriend running off with his karate instructor and making out in the audience while he's performing. There's Elvis turning into a Hillbilly Hitler on a Memphis flunky for using the word "motherf*cker" because Elvis loved his momma. Sorry, Michael Jackson, Elvis is not only be the King of Rock but he'll always be the King of Wack, and this book lays it all out. You can probably score this classic on eBay for 65 cents.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Tony Trout

    First of all, what people still need to realize is that this book was actually written by Steve Dunleavy---NOT SONNY, RED AND DAVE HEBLER! All three of them were absolutely SHOCKED when they read the previews of the book in the National Enquirer because what they actually told Dunleavy to put in the book was taken and twisted and sensationalized so that the National Enquirer could sell more issues! The reason I say this is because Dunleavy was a writer/journalist for the National Enquirer at the First of all, what people still need to realize is that this book was actually written by Steve Dunleavy---NOT SONNY, RED AND DAVE HEBLER! All three of them were absolutely SHOCKED when they read the previews of the book in the National Enquirer because what they actually told Dunleavy to put in the book was taken and twisted and sensationalized so that the National Enquirer could sell more issues! The reason I say this is because Dunleavy was a writer/journalist for the National Enquirer at the time the book was written so I take what is in the book, of which there ARE some true events, with a grain of salt.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ragdoll306

    This was and still is a pathetic book. While Elvis was no angel his 'friends' certainly made no attempt to protect him. They say they could not walk away but really as grown adults they were just as guilty if not more so in supporting his habits and whims. if you are a 'good friend' which they all claim to be you do not hope to 'help' someone but displaying every weakness to the world. Glad I only paid $2 for a copy. Anyone who wants a clear view of Elvis and his slow descent into despair should This was and still is a pathetic book. While Elvis was no angel his 'friends' certainly made no attempt to protect him. They say they could not walk away but really as grown adults they were just as guilty if not more so in supporting his habits and whims. if you are a 'good friend' which they all claim to be you do not hope to 'help' someone but displaying every weakness to the world. Glad I only paid $2 for a copy. Anyone who wants a clear view of Elvis and his slow descent into despair should read Careless Love.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    I think most of America suffers from "Elvis disease" --too much, too soon, too fast! What a tragic and preventable story. I think most of America suffers from "Elvis disease" --too much, too soon, too fast! What a tragic and preventable story.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Elvis Gregory-sayce

    This was on bucket list,. So glad I read it. I learnt a lot

  9. 4 out of 5

    Martin Sertich

    I had just turned 7 a month before he passed but remember it(my memory goes back until I was 2), anyway, at 7 I was already into music... kinda strange that along side Star Wars toys I also wanted 45's. So my mom had all the Elvis stuff from his death(magazines, random stuff...etc.) so by junior high I read this book for the first time and didn't get all the drug references until I read it again years later. WOW, how he lived as long as he did is beyond me. A must read if your able to find it si I had just turned 7 a month before he passed but remember it(my memory goes back until I was 2), anyway, at 7 I was already into music... kinda strange that along side Star Wars toys I also wanted 45's. So my mom had all the Elvis stuff from his death(magazines, random stuff...etc.) so by junior high I read this book for the first time and didn't get all the drug references until I read it again years later. WOW, how he lived as long as he did is beyond me. A must read if your able to find it since it's been long, long out of print. If you see it, grab it.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ramona

    This is the book that came out just before his death and was written by his former friends and bodyguards/members of the Memphis Mafia, Red and Sonny West. Many believe that this book put Elvis on a downward spiral from which he never recovered. It broke the true story about his excessive druge use, and painted a very unflattering portrait of him. It was tres juicy, but I remember crying when I read it (at 16 years old).

  11. 5 out of 5

    Dan Tower

    Would love to make this into a movie using hamsters w/ bad voice overs. . .

  12. 5 out of 5

    DAISY DISNEY

    I was expecting more shocking information. I was surprised by Elvis was so rude to some of his groupies. I was under the impression he was a gentleman. That was the only shocker for me.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jenny Jones

    Very poorly written and completely disorganized.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Laurent M. Valliere

    The Memphis Mafia boys claimed this was a plea to Elvis to get help. They got some help, with the money grab...

  15. 4 out of 5

    Dustin Henson

    I liked this book, and for any Elvis fan who has read books on Elvis, will see some stories in this book that was later retold through others’ books. Some of this material in this book was also mentioned in George Klein’s book, Jerry Schilling’s book, and Linda Thompson’s, etc. So that makes the material in this book most likely true, but little subtle details vary between them all. However, what makes this fascinating is this book came out in July of 1977, just a few weeks before Elvis passed. I liked this book, and for any Elvis fan who has read books on Elvis, will see some stories in this book that was later retold through others’ books. Some of this material in this book was also mentioned in George Klein’s book, Jerry Schilling’s book, and Linda Thompson’s, etc. So that makes the material in this book most likely true, but little subtle details vary between them all. However, what makes this fascinating is this book came out in July of 1977, just a few weeks before Elvis passed. Some say this was a money grab, some say revenge, some say both. The boys who wrote this book with Steve Dunleavy said they simply hoped it would wake Elvis up to his unhealthy behavior and prescription abuse. Whatever the case, I’m glad I read it, and I have no better or worse opinion of Elvis. But what I do have is a better understanding that although we love Elvis the superstar, Elvis was also a human being. Who knows how each of us would handle and live the remarkable fame and success that Elvis had? But the bottom line after reading this book is this: Elvis was remarkably and unbelievably talented, loved, and adored. He was human & he had his own struggles whether he was in denial or not, and yes, Elvis was in a very steep decline mainly to what seemed to be due to his prescription drug use for the most part, which wasn’t only affecting him physically, but just as much psychologically, emotionally and mentally. Elvis was so wrapped up in being Elvis that the lines between that and reality were blurred, but only Elvis could of saved Elvis.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sam

    I'd wanted to read this book for many years but it was extremely difficult to obtain a copy! My hubby got hold of a copy and gave it to me for Xmas. I can see how this book would've created a storm when released in 1977. It confirms that Elvis was using prescription drugs, could have a temper, and had a love for the ladies, but there is nothing new or shocking to learn from this book, reading it in 2019. I was expecting it to portray Elvis in a much harsher light, considering the backlash it rec I'd wanted to read this book for many years but it was extremely difficult to obtain a copy! My hubby got hold of a copy and gave it to me for Xmas. I can see how this book would've created a storm when released in 1977. It confirms that Elvis was using prescription drugs, could have a temper, and had a love for the ladies, but there is nothing new or shocking to learn from this book, reading it in 2019. I was expecting it to portray Elvis in a much harsher light, considering the backlash it received.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Joe

    I read this when it first came out and since it’s been a while I wanted to go through it again. It definitely shows a different side to Elvis and the Colonel than the other book I read recently and this one makes for an interesting read. Time has shown that the bodyguard’s account rings of authenticity regarding Elvis’ downward spiral. Too much too soon indeed.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Paul

    Great book, very insightful and shocking.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Tristan Adamson

    If you are a huge Elvis fan like I am this is the book for you. It gives deep stories of what happened in Elvis's life. The reason why I liked the book is because I love the stories of how a poor boy grew up into the world famous "king of Rock&Roll". Thats not all though there are a lot of biographies out there about him but they don't really touch on how he made it, how his life was like when he was famous, who was he associated with, how and what did his parents do. This touches on pretty muc If you are a huge Elvis fan like I am this is the book for you. It gives deep stories of what happened in Elvis's life. The reason why I liked the book is because I love the stories of how a poor boy grew up into the world famous "king of Rock&Roll". Thats not all though there are a lot of biographies out there about him but they don't really touch on how he made it, how his life was like when he was famous, who was he associated with, how and what did his parents do. This touches on pretty much every aspect of questions that fans have or just some thing that they want to know. I am huge Elvis fan my great grandma got my dad hooked on him when he was little and my dad did the same thing when I was. The book is not just a story it's many stories and a brief biography. It's really inspiring to me because I am a musician and thats what I base my style on is young Elvis Rockabilly and old Elvis Blues and pure rock. To me this book is one of the best out there and to anyone who likes Elvis or even music in general, this is the book for you.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jeanette

    This was an eye opener, to say the least. I bought this from the United States , second hand, via Amazon, because it's hard to get hold of. The book was published in August 1977 , just before he died and it's a jar to the senses when Elvis is discussed in present tense - he was still alive. That makes is all the more tragic, as we all know what came next. I'm a big fan, and have recently visited Graceland and Sun Studio and lived being close to the world of such a superstar.. Clearly, there were This was an eye opener, to say the least. I bought this from the United States , second hand, via Amazon, because it's hard to get hold of. The book was published in August 1977 , just before he died and it's a jar to the senses when Elvis is discussed in present tense - he was still alive. That makes is all the more tragic, as we all know what came next. I'm a big fan, and have recently visited Graceland and Sun Studio and lived being close to the world of such a superstar.. Clearly, there were many unpleasant characteristics of Elvis on display in this book, and although I was disappointed, I wasn't shocked. Elvis followed a path many highly talented, creative performers do, and it's so sad because it was entirely preventable. If you're a fan, I recommend this book. But, it will dull the shine of your rose tinted glasses somewhat.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ernie

    This book is a fascinating look at the disintegration and warping of Elvis Presley. The interesting thing is that this was published before Elvis died. Now of course we know the tragic end. This book is written by his closest friends and provides a disturbing picture of a very complex. tortured and troubled soul. It is a riveting book that I finished in a sleepless two day marathon. I could not put it down. I had just finished the Unmasked biography of Micheal Jackson. The similarities are aboso This book is a fascinating look at the disintegration and warping of Elvis Presley. The interesting thing is that this was published before Elvis died. Now of course we know the tragic end. This book is written by his closest friends and provides a disturbing picture of a very complex. tortured and troubled soul. It is a riveting book that I finished in a sleepless two day marathon. I could not put it down. I had just finished the Unmasked biography of Micheal Jackson. The similarities are abosolutely unbelieveable. This is a must read for Elvis fans AND for Jackson fans. Yes Jackson fans; especially those who are reading or will read Unmasked. Even if you hate Elvis, this story is just too riviting to put down...It is hypnotic in its tragedy. Try it!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    This book was published 15 days before Elvis passed away. It must have been a very shocking book when it was written in 1977, by 3 of his former bodyguards. Sonny and Red West had known Elvis since High School. The book talks about his womanizing, his need for absolute control, and his down fall from prescription drugs. Elvis only wanted "Yes" men surrounding him. I was surprised that the men received very minimal pay, but then all their expenses were paid. These men devoted their life to Elvis. This book was published 15 days before Elvis passed away. It must have been a very shocking book when it was written in 1977, by 3 of his former bodyguards. Sonny and Red West had known Elvis since High School. The book talks about his womanizing, his need for absolute control, and his down fall from prescription drugs. Elvis only wanted "Yes" men surrounding him. I was surprised that the men received very minimal pay, but then all their expenses were paid. These men devoted their life to Elvis. It's just really sad that Elvis died way before his time. People that tried to get him into a rehab facility (this was before Betty Ford), were basically fired. Everything had to be his way 100 percent of the time. I really enjoyed reading this book.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Richie

    I bought this at B. Dalton, just as it was released, 35 years ago. I was (not so much anymore) a huge Elvis fan, even getting to see him in concert, in Asheville, N.C, 1975. So, this book was quiet the surprise for a 14 year-old boy, who thought Elvis hung the moon and stars. After declaring a sabbatical from facebook, earlier this year, I decided to read this book once more. I find most of it to be true, but it jumps around so much it’s difficult to keep up. And yeah, Sonny, Red West, you may h I bought this at B. Dalton, just as it was released, 35 years ago. I was (not so much anymore) a huge Elvis fan, even getting to see him in concert, in Asheville, N.C, 1975. So, this book was quiet the surprise for a 14 year-old boy, who thought Elvis hung the moon and stars. After declaring a sabbatical from facebook, earlier this year, I decided to read this book once more. I find most of it to be true, but it jumps around so much it’s difficult to keep up. And yeah, Sonny, Red West, you may have bitched about your paycheck but you sure lived like kings on the king’s dime. Elvis was an asshole. Is that all you have to say?

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jen Borders

    Two years in a row for my Elvis reading I have tried this book. I should've learned my lesson the first go round. Bodyguards are not writers. The story skips around so much in time, it is impossible to keep track of where or when they are telling the stories. They also repeat the same stories more than once which is incredibly annoying, I mean did this book not go through editing at all? Was hoping to uncover some juicy details of a side of Elvis that I was unaware, no such luck. Seems like a ve Two years in a row for my Elvis reading I have tried this book. I should've learned my lesson the first go round. Bodyguards are not writers. The story skips around so much in time, it is impossible to keep track of where or when they are telling the stories. They also repeat the same stories more than once which is incredibly annoying, I mean did this book not go through editing at all? Was hoping to uncover some juicy details of a side of Elvis that I was unaware, no such luck. Seems like a vendetta of some classless guys that got on the outs with the King and surely since this book was published the week Elvis died, they were left out of the will...at least I hope so.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Tom Schulte

    This is my second or third time reading this book and I still enjoy this revealing American tragedy told from the inside by three of E's bodyguards that knew him and worked him for many years. In some cases, the relationship goes back to high school. Those early days are alluded to in the book, but this work was published after Elvis let Sonny & Red West go and in the early 70s when he was in decline yet still alive. More of the book's content is losing Priscilla to Mike Stone and the drug exces This is my second or third time reading this book and I still enjoy this revealing American tragedy told from the inside by three of E's bodyguards that knew him and worked him for many years. In some cases, the relationship goes back to high school. Those early days are alluded to in the book, but this work was published after Elvis let Sonny & Red West go and in the early 70s when he was in decline yet still alive. More of the book's content is losing Priscilla to Mike Stone and the drug excesses largely during a time when Elvis was more movie star than performer.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lonnie

    This stuff is old news now but it was a bombsheel in 1976. If you don't know the details of Elvis' addictions and temper tantrums, this is an easy read that pretty much covers it. It doesn't demonize the subject as much as make him a tragic figure. This stuff is old news now but it was a bombsheel in 1976. If you don't know the details of Elvis' addictions and temper tantrums, this is an easy read that pretty much covers it. It doesn't demonize the subject as much as make him a tragic figure.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sean

    This book dives into the evils that Elvis did. Yell, curse, did a crapload of drugs, thought he was God, had adultery, aaaand wanted to kill one of Priscilla's new boyfriends. Sounds like a typical wild rock n roller's life. This book dives into the evils that Elvis did. Yell, curse, did a crapload of drugs, thought he was God, had adultery, aaaand wanted to kill one of Priscilla's new boyfriends. Sounds like a typical wild rock n roller's life.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Charles

    I enjoyed it but I have no idea how accurate it really was. Three of Elvis's employees talked about him. Who knows how much the stories were embellished. If true, Elvis was pretty strange. But I always take these kinds of tales with a grain of salt. I enjoyed it but I have no idea how accurate it really was. Three of Elvis's employees talked about him. Who knows how much the stories were embellished. If true, Elvis was pretty strange. But I always take these kinds of tales with a grain of salt.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ashlee Colon

    Red and Sonny West had good intentions when they wrote this tell-all book but nothing is better than being an assertive friend and stopping any self-destructive behavior rather than just hoping the offender will come around.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Curtis

    "Moody Blue" will never sound the same. "Moody Blue" will never sound the same.

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