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View Full Version : Following Aloha should have came a career move



EP75
08-10-2007, 03:38 PM
Following the Aloha benefit concert EP's health and career began to slide downhill. It was the first time he was officially hospitalized for health problems that we knew of. I believe it was in February 1973. Then with the success of the 2 LP live album reaching and debuting at #1, his next 3 albums to follow (Raised On Rock, Good Times and Promised Land) all failed to break the Top 20 on the Billboard 100. His image went from being the hottest rock ticket on the planet to being a washed up Vegas act to the public. All in just a short time period. And finally the power in EP's performances dwindled from a more rocking soulful sound to a more softer country pop sound for his shows and his albums. Although there still were at times signs of magic and his brilliance remaining in an aging 42 year old body riddled with drugs. The rest of that period (1973-77)displayed an image of what once was.

It seemed that following the Aloha success, EP wen the opposite direction than moving into a new more positive direction. He needed a new career move and there wasn't one given to him. Instead of touring overseas and making good top quality films as he desperately wanted to do like A Star Is Born, he went backwards and kept up his usual routine of Vegas shows and touring the Midwest and southern cities of two shows a night and one night stands. EP got burnt out on the usual and instead of doing something different to make it enjoyable and exciting again and not just a job, he caved in to the Colonel and to his posse. I think this is what really did EP in the most. The drugs didn't kick in as bad until AFTER Aloha also. And as we all know, the divorce took place after Aloha too.

So in a sense of reality and popularity, EP actually died in 1973 as the entertainer the world knew him as. The human died in 1977 overweight and in some eyes, finished.

Had EP taken a year off from touring in 1973 following the tv special, excepted the marriage was over and had moved on to Linda instead of drowning in his sorrows, concentrated on top quality material for his albums, spent the year recuperating from an exhausting US tour in 1972 that started off in January in Vegas and didn't end until November in Hawaii, then EP might have actually had a much better and longer career in the process. Who knows, he might have still been alive today and over the past 30 years could have had many more #1 singles and albums. More record setting performances. And Michael Jackson's glory years would have been adequate compared to EP still making history himself. EP would have still been the EP as always-the King! Imagine what the New Year's Eve show in Detroit in 1975 would have been like with a more inspired and healthier EP.

presley31
08-10-2007, 03:53 PM
Don't think by taking time off would of kept him alive, He didn't take care of himself and thats when things went down hill for him.

KPM
08-10-2007, 04:19 PM
From 55 to 77 he had a 22 year career-stardom like no one before him. His last couple years were sad to say the least. Now its it easy to say what might have been the right thing to do-to change what we now know happened. But theres no way to know what would have been right. I try not to let the last few years to overshadow the 19 or 20 before that.

Diane
08-10-2007, 04:41 PM
I agree l00% KPM!(y)(y)(y)

franny
08-10-2007, 04:56 PM
I think exhaustion played a part, but the pills took it's toll on Elvis...who knows the "what if's"...I think Elvis would had to do make major changes in his life, but we still don't know if that would have made a difference by 74'...

It's one of those things, we will never know...

franny

jak
08-11-2007, 01:34 AM
"making good top quality films as he desperately wanted to do like A Star Is Born,"

In the latest interview with Sonny West on EIN this was mentioned.He stated Elvis didnt want to do the film and told the Col to get him out of it.He stated Parker has wrongly taken the blame all these years when it was Elvis who killed the idea.There is no reason to doubt that statement.All of your observations are basically correct.Elvis' increasingly bad habits stole his desire and motivation during the period you discuss.
Jak

Leroy
08-11-2007, 02:51 AM
"making good top quality films as he desperately wanted to do like A Star Is Born,"

In the latest interview with Sonny West on EIN this was mentioned.He stated Elvis didnt want to do the film and told the Col to get him out of it.He stated Parker has wrongly taken the blame all these years when it was Elvis who killed the idea.There is no reason to doubt that statement.All of your observations are basically correct.Elvis' increasingly bad habits stole his desire and motivation during the period you discuss.
Jak

Since when is Sonny West a reliable source. This man still has to back himself up for what he did in 1977. Elvis wanted this role. Pure and simple. After Barbra Streisand approached him Elvis started to work on himself. Trying to get himself in shape.

It all came together. The plans for the Karate Special and probably playing the role of his life which might be a possibility to make a comeback in more serious roles in the future. But first the Karate Special got the red light. Then Elvis lost his role in the movie and from then on you could see it went downhill.

People like Sonny West are not interested in painting the pure Elvis picture. Just like EPE they are only interested in re-shaping their own part in this puzzle.

stefankoch
08-11-2007, 03:06 AM
I think Elvis had a glories career the way he did it.
Everyone knows that he didnt take care of himself and noone schould try to tell him how to live his life (especially not 30 years after his death).
So dont use all this energy wondering what would have happend if he did this or this.
Just enjoy what he did for all of us and share a tear for a man who gave everything for us and nothing for himself.:'(
Elvis Presley will always and forever be THE KING. :notworthy

Joe Car
08-11-2007, 05:40 AM
Elvis had many great moments after the Aloha, his biggest problem, ( aside from prescription abuse ) was he depressed, plain and simple, which sapped a lot of his desire to stay in shape or to tackle projects such as A Star as Born, so a world tour, when feeling like this, would have been too much to ask. He needed time off, period, perhaps a year or even two years, to freshen up, physically and most importantly, mentally.

EP75
08-11-2007, 08:31 AM
"making good top quality films as he desperately wanted to do like A Star Is Born,"

In the latest interview with Sonny West on EIN this was mentioned.He stated Elvis didnt want to do the film and told the Col to get him out of it.He stated Parker has wrongly taken the blame all these years when it was Elvis who killed the idea.There is no reason to doubt that statement.All of your observations are basically correct.Elvis' increasingly bad habits stole his desire and motivation during the period you discuss.
Jak

Sonny West is wrong. Myrna Smith whow as actually there in the meeting (with the producer and Steisand and EP) said EP was heartbroken when the Colonel demanded that EP get top billing and that killed the project for EP. This was also the last hope for EP to turn things around. After that, he pretty much just gave up. Besides, none of the Mafia was even around at the time of his death or much of 1977. Lacker, Sonny and Red were all fired and then turned on him to write what I call the final nail in the coffin, the book What Happened.

jak
08-11-2007, 10:09 AM
Sonny West has proven himself to be reliable.He has always been consistent.The ones that really knew Elvis best were a select few of the MM.They were his confidants if you like them or not.Elvis couldnt have done the film because he wasnt up to it at that point in his life.It would have been a disaster and he knew it.Sonny has no reason to lie.Myrna Smith was not on the inside like the MM.Elvis just passd the back so he would save face.I dont think many here actually realize just how poorly Elvis' mental and physical state was at that time.He was pretty much beyond help at that point.How was he going to maintain sobriety while he worked for a few months or whatever while making a major film?You actually think he was just going to stop taking drugs?He had already tried detox in the hospital at that point if im not mistaken and that didnt work.No way he was just going to get himself in shape by snapping his fingers.Elvis being heartbroken over the loss of that film role is a great myth.Once again so many say the Col just told Elvis the way it was going to be so Elvis just shrunk away.Dont forget the 68 special when the Col wanted a xmas show and Elvis told him how it was gonna be.When Elvis wanted something he got it.The movie role would have been the same way.Blaming the Col is a joke.I dont believe for one second Elvis wanted to go through with that movie role.He may have had a moment of consideration but Im sure he realized the reality of his situation and then backed out.
Jak

presley31
08-11-2007, 10:12 AM
l read he was excited about this movie chance, and as for the mm they are no good in eyes.

jak
08-11-2007, 10:12 AM
Sonny West is wrong. Myrna Smith whow as actually there in the meeting (with the producer and Steisand and EP) said EP was heartbroken when the Colonel demanded that EP get top billing and that killed the project for EP. This was also the last hope for EP to turn things around. After that, he pretty much just gave up. Besides, none of the Mafia was even around at the time of his death or much of 1977. Lacker, Sonny and Red were all fired and then turned on him to write what I call the final nail in the coffin, the book What Happened.

Elvis was approached for the movie in 1975.All the MM were still there at the time.
Jak

elvis himselvis
08-11-2007, 10:17 AM
I think Elvis didn't had a challenge in his life anymore,and was disappointed in things in his life...like not getting the role in A Star is Born...i think after that,he didn't want anything more,and just let things happen and didn't take care of himself anymore...very sad:'(

jak
08-11-2007, 10:19 AM
Since when is Sonny West a reliable source. This man still has to back himself up for what he did in 1977. Elvis wanted this role. Pure and simple. After Barbra Streisand approached him Elvis started to work on himself. Trying to get himself in shape.

It all came together. The plans for the Karate Special and probably playing the role of his life which might be a possibility to make a comeback in more serious roles in the future. But first the Karate Special got the red light. Then Elvis lost his role in the movie and from then on you could see it went downhill.

People like Sonny West are not interested in painting the pure Elvis picture. Just like EPE they are only interested in re-shaping their own part in this puzzle.

West has always been a reliable source.He doesnt owe anybody anything for what he did in 77.The fans need to get over it.
Elvis didnt finish his karate film becuase he couldnt.He was going to be the force behind the film but he wasnt able to follow through.That karate project he got started was a good two years earlier than the filming of Star is Born I think.By the time the chance of that role with Streisand came about he was in far worse condition.If he couldnt finish his pet project of the karate film how does anybody think he could have had the work ethic to complete a major film?Elvis knew he couldnt.
Jak

presley31
08-11-2007, 10:19 AM
He gave up after the movie but also lost that spark he had for life and excitement. I will never forgive sonny or any of the MM.

jak
08-11-2007, 10:42 AM
He gave up after the movie but also lost that spark he had for life and excitement. I will never forgive sonny or any of the MM.

No offense but it's that kind of thinking that allows people to ignore the truth about what Elvis did to himself.It's much easier to make Elvis the victim.Elvis had given up long before that film was discussed.
Jak

presley31
08-11-2007, 11:06 AM
I don't think he gave up before the movie, but we all have different opinions.

EP75
08-11-2007, 11:30 AM
Let me get this straight Jak. You are saying that just because the Mafia was there and around EP (as were so many others) that their story stands ahead of all others and that they have no reason to lie? OK, interesting. Then why did they LIE in the book back in 1977 to begin with? Why did they LIE on Larry King Live just last year and try to make Esposito look like a fraud on there? Why did they also disrespect Kathy Westmoreland on that same show by saying that she was crazy and didn't know what she was saying? Face it. The Mafia is a bunch of thugs and tough guy bullies and have apparently brainwashed some fans into believing everything that they say about EP (although it is mostly degrading and embarrassing of him) is the Holy truth?

The truth of the matter is that the Mafia if anyone else around EP has as much to gain by LYING than telling the truth. Why? Because they love the popularity and even 30 years after his death continue to not only live off of his fame but degrade him even more. They love to THINK that their story is what ALL EP fans want to know and hear. It's their way of getting attention. And now 30 years later they are still putting out more books and changing their stories around, while more loyal friends to EP like Myrna Smith hasn't even written a book about EP when she could have back in 1977. Remember, EP told her that he wanted her to write his autobiography someday, because she knew him best, through his own eyes. Not the Mafia buds. That's the one thing I love about Myrna. She's never attempted to stab him in the back and portray him after all these years. A little consistency in their story would also go a longer way in giving them some type of credibility and reliable input. Here's something EP fans who are MM fans seem to forget. Back in 1977 when ABC interviewed the 3 Mafia leaches Sonny was the one to speak up and say "when we wrote this book it was out of bitterness". There's your answer to what they actually thought about EP in the first place. It was a revenge plot against EP since they were fired.(n)

Any EP fans who glorify them or act as if they tried to help EP are obviously not well aware of their true identity. EPE even banned them from ever stepping foot on the Graceland property. And that was probably the best thing to respect EP that they have ever done.(y)

Another thing. Myrna was more in the know than most realize. Her boyfriend was EP's right hand man for crying out loud. Not the other Mafia guys and they have always disrespected Schilling and because of Myrna and his relationship to begin with. Myrna herself has also said that she was around him on the road and at home where she lived with him and saw him 24/7. I guess most EP fans have forgotten about that and that when she and Jerry got married in 1982 that none of the guys went because of the interracial thing except for Klein and Esposito. Joan Esposito was Myrna's maid of honor if I'm not mistaken and Lisa Marie was the flower girl. Priscilla was there too. But that's all another story.

Now back to the original topic. EP was in good not great but good enough shape to have worked on that film in 1975. I don't buy that he was too gone to get it together then. I saw EP in May/June of that year and he was fantastic. Almost Aloha looking with a few extra pounds and even sounded better than Aloha. He was on his game then. It was late in the year that he began to fall apart.

EP75
08-11-2007, 11:32 AM
He gave up after the movie but also lost that spark he had for life and excitement. I will never forgive sonny or any of the MM.

You are exactly right and I share your feelings towards the Mafia. In my own personal feelings and opinion, it was the Mafia that killed ERP. Not the drugs. They too did heavier drugs than EP did but like to hush up about that.(n)

TurnpikeTaylor
08-11-2007, 12:53 PM
Jerry Schilling has also stated Elvis never wanted to follow through with Striesand`s offer concerning "A Star Is Born". He says Elvis told Parker to make the contract so stiff it would put Striesand off the idea.And i believe Schilling and Sonny West on this matter. If Elvis really wanted to do this film (which turned out to be a stinker) he would have done it, no matter what Parker thought.

I for one dont believe Elvis had the confidence to act opposite Striesand by 75,and it would`nt have been easy for him with Striesand and her boyfriend running the whole show.

I have no time for Parker as a manager, he did`nt have a clue. But there was times that Elvis was to blame for not making certain things happen, such as world tours, dramatic film roles etc.

KPM
08-11-2007, 02:33 PM
Jerry Schilling has also stated Elvis never wanted to follow through with Striesand`s offer concerning "A Star Is Born". He says Elvis told Parker to make the contract so stiff it would put Striesand off the idea.And i believe Schilling and Sonny West on this matter. If Elvis really wanted to do this film (which turned out to be a stinker) he would have done it, no matter what Parker thought.

I for one dont believe Elvis had the confidence to act opposite Striesand by 75,and it would`nt have been easy for him with Striesand and her boyfriend running the whole show.

I have no time for Parker as a manager, he did`nt have a clue. But there was times that Elvis was to blame for not making certain things happen, such as world tours, dramatic film roles etc.

If you go to the thread -NO easy answers to tragic ending-there is a link to an interview Schilling just gave yesterday which deals with this movie offer.
Here is an excerpt from it:
With Presley's desires for touring stymied, the last creative gasp for Elvis came from an unlikely source, Barbara Streisand. The singer and actress was contemplating a remake of "A Star is Born" and wanted Elvis for the demanding role of washed-up alcoholic rocker John Norman Howard.

"That's the last time I saw a twinkle in his eye about a creative project," says Schilling, who believes that the challenge of preparing for his role in "Star" would've gotten Elvis out of his funk.

But at the same time, Presley and Parker were beset by doubts about the project. There was distance over the fee Presley would be paid, but also Streisand was insisting that she get top billing, and that her hairdresser/ boyfriend Jon Peters serve as producer of the film. Ultimately, the Colonel objected and negotiations broke down. "The deal was never satisfactory from a business point of view," says Guralnick. "You had the first-time producer who was the boyfriend of the star, and that led to a certain amount of concern. But mainly, I don't think Elvis could have done it at that point."

"Elvis was concerned about his ballooning weight and about his ability to handle that kind of a dramatic role -- though he yearned desperately to do so," says Nash. "I think the Colonel came up with his objections to the project -- about money and billing -- but mainly he was fearful that Elvis could not pull it off."
IMO-So it does not seem so cut and dry in Schillings mind at least in this interview.

jak
08-11-2007, 03:08 PM
Let me get this straight Jak. You are saying that just because the Mafia was there and around EP (as were so many others) that their story stands ahead of all others and that they have no reason to lie? OK, interesting. Then why did they LIE in the book back in 1977 to begin with? Why did they LIE on Larry King Live just last year and try to make Esposito look like a fraud on there? Why did they also disrespect Kathy Westmoreland on that same show by saying that she was crazy and didn't know what she was saying? Face it. The Mafia is a bunch of thugs and tough guy bullies and have apparently brainwashed some fans into believing everything that they say about EP (although it is mostly degrading and embarrassing of him) is the Holy truth?

The truth of the matter is that the Mafia if anyone else around EP has as much to gain by LYING than telling the truth. Why? Because they love the popularity and even 30 years after his death continue to not only live off of his fame but degrade him even more. They love to THINK that their story is what ALL EP fans want to know and hear. It's their way of getting attention. And now 30 years later they are still putting out more books and changing their stories around, while more loyal friends to EP like Myrna Smith hasn't even written a book about EP when she could have back in 1977. Remember, EP told her that he wanted her to write his autobiography someday, because she knew him best, through his own eyes. Not the Mafia buds. That's the one thing I love about Myrna. She's never attempted to stab him in the back and portray him after all these years. A little consistency in their story would also go a longer way in giving them some type of credibility and reliable input. Here's something EP fans who are MM fans seem to forget. Back in 1977 when ABC interviewed the 3 Mafia leaches Sonny was the one to speak up and say "when we wrote this book it was out of bitterness". There's your answer to what they actually thought about EP in the first place. It was a revenge plot against EP since they were fired.(n)

Any EP fans who glorify them or act as if they tried to help EP are obviously not well aware of their true identity. EPE even banned them from ever stepping foot on the Graceland property. And that was probably the best thing to respect EP that they have ever done.(y)

Another thing. Myrna was more in the know than most realize. Her boyfriend was EP's right hand man for crying out loud. Not the other Mafia guys and they have always disrespected Schilling and because of Myrna and his relationship to begin with. Myrna herself has also said that she was around him on the road and at home where she lived with him and saw him 24/7. I guess most EP fans have forgotten about that and that when she and Jerry got married in 1982 that none of the guys went because of the interracial thing except for Klein and Esposito. Joan Esposito was Myrna's maid of honor if I'm not mistaken and Lisa Marie was the flower girl. Priscilla was there too. But that's all another story.

Now back to the original topic. EP was in good not great but good enough shape to have worked on that film in 1975. I don't buy that he was too gone to get it together then. I saw EP in May/June of that year and he was fantastic. Almost Aloha looking with a few extra pounds and even sounded better than Aloha. He was on his game then. It was late in the year that he began to fall apart.

They didnt lie in the book back in 77.That's another popular myth.Elvis tried to bribe them because it was true.Dont forget the book was released while he was alive and could have defended himself.They wouldnt have slandered Elvis while he was alive becaus ehe would have sued them.He didnt sue because the book was true and his hands were tied.
Myrna's boyfriend was not Elvis' right hand man.He wasnt even there when Elvis died.He had already left.If you do believe everything Myrna says then you must agree with her recent interview that was posted here just a short time ago.She stated Elvis knew everything the Col did and always agreed to it.That would include the film role also.
Nobody has been banned from EPE property.Please get your fact straight.Sonny has been to Elvis' grave in recent years and that's a fact.
It's great you saw Elvis in 75 but to compare that to Aloha is absurd.He never even looked close to that in 75.I saw him in 74 and he looked better then than 75.Yet he was far from his appearance in Aloha.Elvis had a brief upswing in 75 but those shows paled in comparison to anything a few years prior.
Jak

KPM
08-11-2007, 03:42 PM
Jak I am curious- Elvis claimed the 3 were let go because of lawsuits and money problems according to most accounts. I have read that the big suit was the one from 74 where a guy sued for 6.5 million claiming Red and Sonny beat him up while ELvis watched. Is it true or not true that Red hit the guy-while he was handcuffed and sitting on a bed so hard that teeth flew out? Is it true Elvis said "Dammit Red hes handcuffed"
The story is, supposedly this guy had been drinking, had a girl on each arm and got to Elvis's floor and began turning lights on and off which scared everyone in the suite. He was confronted and he pushed at one of the Stanley brothers, Sonny hit him and knocked him down. Other security came and handcuffed him but he was out cold. They put him in a room and Elvis went to speak to him when he woke, to find out what he was doing in the suite. He sat down next to him and asked him some questions, the guy kicked at Sonny who entered the room and yelled "he hit me" Red then punched him so hard his teeth went flying. Elvis was pretty mad that Red hit him with handcuffs on. I just read this account in the book-"Elvis UP Close" Then a month or so later the guy filed the suit which Elvis settled for $600,000.
Now -if this is true- my point is this, Perhaps Reds actions are what got the whole ball rolling about the firing. $600,000 is a huge chunk of change. If this is true maybe the time had come to get rid of them because they were getting to punchy. I'm not saying the intentions of the 3 were to beat everyone to a bloody pulp but they were getting more and more rough.
I agree the firing should have been handled better than the way it was done. But-if we are saying Elvis and only Elvis was responsible for his actions on every level-IMO then so were they. (If this story is true as written.)

EP75
08-11-2007, 06:03 PM
They didnt lie in the book back in 77.That's another popular myth.Elvis tried to bribe them because it was true.Dont forget the book was released while he was alive and could have defended himself.They wouldnt have slandered Elvis while he was alive becaus ehe would have sued them.He didnt sue because the book was true and his hands were tied.
Myrna's boyfriend was not Elvis' right hand man.He wasnt even there when Elvis died.He had already left.If you do believe everything Myrna says then you must agree with her recent interview that was posted here just a short time ago.She stated Elvis knew everything the Col did and always agreed to it.That would include the film role also.
Nobody has been banned from EPE property.Please get your fact straight.Sonny has been to Elvis' grave in recent years and that's a fact.
It's great you saw Elvis in 75 but to compare that to Aloha is absurd.He never even looked close to that in 75.I saw him in 74 and he looked better then than 75.Yet he was far from his appearance in Aloha.Elvis had a brief upswing in 75 but those shows paled in comparison to anything a few years prior.
Jak


1)The book came out 14 days before EP died. So yes, they blasted him publicly while he was still on earth. He felt very betrayed by that.

2)Jerry Schilling WAS EP's right hand man up until he quit due to EP's uncontrollable behavior in 1976. Even proof read the letter to Nixon. Was closer to EP than any of the other Mafia guys. Lacker, Red and Sonny were all fired and not around at the end. Jerry was still connected to EP and called to check up on him constantly. The other guys were too busy trying to destroy him even more.

3)In the book What Happened...they claim EP referred to the Sweet Inspirations as "n****r girls" after they left the stage. That was one of the lies right there because Epsosito shot that down and said he not only didn't say that but that he never used that word PERIOD!

4)Myrna has never, ever said anything degrading or out of line towards EP that wans't true. She has always kept it as respectful and polite as possible. That can't be said for the mafia.

5)I believe anything that comes out of Myrna's mouth 100 times more than I do the Mafia. And any fan that thinks the mafia is being honest is naive. Simple as that.:angry: Another reason why I believe everything Myrna says is because she is probably the most loyal than all of EP's friends, ex-girlfriends and colleagues.

6)I was just a baby when I saw him so I don't recall too much. However I do have personal pictures, videos and audio tapes from his Huntsville shows here and he was absolutely incredible. More movement then than in Aloha even. His face wasn't puffy as it would be a few months later. His weight was starting to pick up in the belly section. But outside of that he looked fantastic! This sadly would be the last time he ever looked that healthy in his life.

7)Aloha was overrated as far as energy and performance goes. He wasn't really into that show or the rehearsal as he was for his May/June tour in 1975 which I consider to be among his finest tours ever.

jak
08-11-2007, 09:52 PM
Jak I am curious- Elvis claimed the 3 were let go because of lawsuits and money problems according to most accounts. I have read that the big suit was the one from 74 where a guy sued for 6.5 million claiming Red and Sonny beat him up while ELvis watched. Is it true or not true that Red hit the guy-while he was handcuffed and sitting on a bed so hard that teeth flew out? Is it true Elvis said "Dammit Red hes handcuffed"
The story is, supposedly this guy had been drinking, had a girl on each arm and got to Elvis's floor and began turning lights on and off which scared everyone in the suite. He was confronted and he pushed at one of the Stanley brothers, Sonny hit him and knocked him down. Other security came and handcuffed him but he was out cold. They put him in a room and Elvis went to speak to him when he woke, to find out what he was doing in the suite. He sat down next to him and asked him some questions, the guy kicked at Sonny who entered the room and yelled "he hit me" Red then punched him so hard his teeth went flying. Elvis was pretty mad that Red hit him with handcuffs on. I just read this account in the book-"Elvis UP Close" Then a month or so later the guy filed the suit which Elvis settled for $600,000.
Now -if this is true- my point is this, Perhaps Reds actions are what got the whole ball rolling about the firing. $600,000 is a huge chunk of change. If this is true maybe the time had come to get rid of them because they were getting to punchy. I'm not saying the intentions of the 3 were to beat everyone to a bloody pulp but they were getting more and more rough.
I agree the firing should have been handled better than the way it was done. But-if we are saying Elvis and only Elvis was responsible for his actions on every level-IMO then so were they. (If this story is true as written.)

I dont know the details of that event you mention.To be honest I cant ever recall an in depth discussion of it.I do think they may have used some strong tactics at times.I just dont know about that handcuff story.I just dont think that was the motive behind the firings though.Particulary in Red's case.We will never know the exact reason.We can only make assumptions.I tend to believe it was because they were on Elvis' case because of the drugs and Elvis just had it.I also think his judgement was clouded because of the drug use and it made it easier for him to fire them.Elvis was generally a loyal person.It had to be some serious reasons for him to fire Red.He was there for a long time.
Jak

jak
08-11-2007, 10:26 PM
1)The book came out 14 days before EP died. So yes, they blasted him publicly while he was still on earth. He felt very betrayed by that.

2)Jerry Schilling WAS EP's right hand man up until he quit due to EP's uncontrollable behavior in 1976. Even proof read the letter to Nixon. Was closer to EP than any of the other Mafia guys. Lacker, Red and Sonny were all fired and not around at the end. Jerry was still connected to EP and called to check up on him constantly. The other guys were too busy trying to destroy him even more.

3)In the book What Happened...they claim EP referred to the Sweet Inspirations as "n****r girls" after they left the stage. That was one of the lies right there because Epsosito shot that down and said he not only didn't say that but that he never used that word PERIOD!

4)Myrna has never, ever said anything degrading or out of line towards EP that wans't true. She has always kept it as respectful and polite as possible. That can't be said for the mafia.

5)I believe anything that comes out of Myrna's mouth 100 times more than I do the Mafia. And any fan that thinks the mafia is being honest is naive. Simple as that.:angry: Another reason why I believe everything Myrna says is because she is probably the most loyal than all of EP's friends, ex-girlfriends and colleagues.

6)I was just a baby when I saw him so I don't recall too much. However I do have personal pictures, videos and audio tapes from his Huntsville shows here and he was absolutely incredible. More movement then than in Aloha even. His face wasn't puffy as it would be a few months later. His weight was starting to pick up in the belly section. But outside of that he looked fantastic! This sadly would be the last time he ever looked that healthy in his life.

7)Aloha was overrated as far as energy and performance goes. He wasn't really into that show or the rehearsal as he was for his May/June tour in 1975 which I consider to be among his finest tours ever.

I'll give my thoughts on each point.
1.Exactly my point.It's xrazy to think they would release a book filled with lies while Elvis was alive.Makes no sense whatsoever.
2.If Jerry quit because of uncontrollable behaviour,how could Elvis had made that film?Jerry would have stuck with Elvis if they were that close.Sorry but he bailed out on Elvis.He probably couldnt stand to witness what Elvis was doing to himself.That should be a clue for many as what it was really like to be around Elvis during this time.
3.Elvis did make racial comments to the girls at that show.He may have used the "n" word off mike in anger.We dont know.I dont think Elvis was a racist by a longshot.Everybody can say hurtfull things at times.Im sure the word passed his lips at times whether joking or in anger.No way a guy born in the rural south in the 30's didnt have that word in his vocabulary.But again,Elvis was no racist.
4.She's a class act.I have nothing but good thoughts about her.The MM guys get grief because they spill details.Doesnt mean they are lying just because you dont like the message.
5.Naive is dismissing all the info provided by the MM.They were around Elvis way more than Myrna or anybody else that was on stage with Elvis.Myrna was a girlfriend briefly like many others and she was an employee.The MM saw much more than she did.She wasnt around.That's where lots of people go wrong.People like her and JD for example were good friends.But they didnt live with Elvis 24/7 like the MM.People like Myrna are quoted as saying they ddnt know Elvis had a serious drug problem or how bad he was.Go figure?
6-7.Aloha is overrated.Always has been.However his physical appearance was not.I've never seen anybody look that good.You can use the term godlike.He was long past that in 75 or 74 for that matter.Everybody wants to believe the Elvis concert they saw was great.And it was.You were part of history.Sean Shaver said it best.If you didnt see Elvis perform between 69 and 71,you never saw the real Elvis.There is some truth in that.No matter what anybody that saw him was lucky.
Jak

Joe Car
08-11-2007, 11:04 PM
I think this article posted in yesterday's Memphis Commerical appeal, really nails down what happened to Elvis his last few years. There are some excellent points made by very respected people in this article, please read, and then maybe, some of the hardliners can cut Elvis some slack.

By Bob Mehr
Contact
August 10, 2007
For the thousands of visitors who'll make the pilgrimage to Memphis this week to mark the 30th anniversary of Elvis Presley's death, the next seven days will be filled with a mix of sightseeing and book-signings, concerts and celebratory events.

But for those who knew Presley best, like his longtime friend Jerry Schilling, the week inevitably serves as a very personal pause to reflect on the King's life, and regret the reasons for his untimely death.

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"I feel in my heart and soul that I lost my friend early because of creative disappointment," says Schilling. "The prescription medication was certainly the Band-Aid on the problem, but it was not the cause."

Schilling's is one of many theories about what happened to Presley during his final years.

For some, like Peter Guralnick, author of the acclaimed two-volume Presley biography, Elvis' demise is less about creative choices than a deep emotional struggle that was exacerbated by drugs.

"The downfall of Elvis ... was really the result of the depression he felt," says Guralnick. "And you can see it increasing

during the last four or five years of his life. You can see a man who's in the grip of depression."

For others, like Alanna Nash, author of an insightful volume on Presley's manager Col. Tom Parker, it was the failure of those around Elvis to help him personally and professionally.

"As great a manager as Parker was, by the '70s, his vision had finally run out," says Nash. "He was never a good judge of talent. And yet he lucked into the greatest talent of the 20th century. But he didn't really know what to do for or with Elvis in the end."

Despite its sad conclusion in the summer of 1977, the final decade of Elvis' life had begun with a brilliant burst.

After a decade-long run in Hollywood, turning out lightweight films, Elvis began his "comeback" with a return to serious music and performing. Though his re-emergence is generally thought to have begun with the 1968 television special sponsored by Singer Sewing Machine on NBC, it had its origins as far back as 1966, with the recording of dynamic singles like "Guitar Man," "Big Boss Man," "Hi Heel Sneakers," "U.S. Male" and "Too Much Monkey Business."

"From that you got into the '68 special, to the sessions at American, to the very ambitious musical commitment to Las Vegas, and you see a renaissance," says Guralnick. "In the beginning (Elvis) saw Vegas as a tremendous opportunity and was enormously enthusiastic about it. The idea was to present to the public his appreciation of the whole spectrum of American music, from the blues to Mario Lanza. And he continued with that into his sessions in Nashville in 1971."

But after 1971, Presley began to gradually withdraw from the studio and a combination of personal problems began to take over. "The thing that stopped his run -- whether you call it clinical depression or not -- was a form of depression that wasn't easily shrugged off," says Guralnick. "And for which he had no treatment and which was exacerbated by the prescription drugs -- which were for the most part depressants -- that he took."

As Guralnick points out, many of Elvis' problems were, to an extent, heredity. "In his family you can see the prevalence off all kinds of emotional problems. In many ways, Elvis was a rock in that family," says Guralnick. "The worse aspect of it was that he was not somebody who was inclined to admit to weakness and look for help.

"The abuse of prescription medication ... was not so easily solved at the time. There were no superstars turning to rehabilitation centers. People didn't go on talk shows and announce they had drug problems -- and Elvis would've been the last person to do that. And in a sense, like so many people, he rationalized that he didn't have a problem. His response in every instance to anyone's attempts to give him advice or confront him on that was, 'You don't like it? Hey, there's the door.' "

By 1973, Presley's problems were compounded by a growing dissatisfaction with the direction of his career, dictated by the business machine that had been built around him. It was a network made up of the film studio, the record company, and the booking agent -- all of whom got direction from one person, Col. Parker. "He had nobody on his side about what he wanted to do," says Schilling. "It was a whole old-school different view. You're the actor; do the role. You're the singer; here's the music."

Presley's most high-profile late-career successes -- the Steve Binder-directed '68 Comeback Special and the sessions with producer Chips Moman at American Studio -- were ideas that came through the back door rather than via Elvis' official management channels. "Those are the few times that Elvis' creative will survived the machinery around him," says Schilling. "But you have to ask yourself, why wasn't he with Chips the next session?... The machinery that had been set there for 15 or 20 years kicked right back in and it was back to business as usual."

Part of the problem, was that his management, essentially the Colonel, never understood Elvis' desires or appeal. "The Colonel would've loved if Elvis could have been Bing Crosby," says Schilling. "Because then he could've done Christmas specials and sung nice songs. But Elvis was James Dean and a rebel. And that was part of the frustration, too."

More significantly, it's likely another manager in another era would've been more finely attuned to Elvis' growing personal problems. But the Colonel -- who'd gotten his start working on the rough-and-tumble carnival circuit -- wasn't the kind of man to do it.

"Part of me thinks the Colonel's own distancing (is) involved in that," says Parker's biographer Alanna Nash. "He used to boast that he and Elvis never sat down and had a meal together. Which is a very strange thing to boast about in general, but it's also not true. There are photographs of them together dining. He had a kind of warped psychological view that he should not get too personally close to his clients. And so, the Colonel did not step in as a human being and try to help Elvis. There never seemed to be much empathy to him."

Instead of confronting Presley's problems, Parker simply put him on a lucrative but creatively deadening treadmill of tours and unchallenging recording sessions. To Nash, this fit a pattern in Parker's life. "When he worked at the carnivals, he was the one who would have to wrangle the geeks to come bite the heads off chickens. The geeks were always alcoholic, and they'd run and hide. The Colonel would be the guy to come and wave a big bottle in front of them and get them to do the show. To me, it's not that big a stretch from what he did there to what he did with Elvis."

Over the years, communication between Elvis and the Colonel began to erode, and there were serious blowups between the two in the early '70s. "In the beginning they had a warm relationship," says Nash. "But once it started to get tense and bitter, it started to get very tense and bitter."

One such row in Vegas ended with Elvis actually firing the Colonel, before a fearful Presley -- facing threats from the Colonel about money he was owed -- relented and patched things up. "Ultimately, I don't think the Colonel would have let him go," says Nash. "Short of knocking the Colonel off, I think it would've been impossible to get rid of him."

One of the issues that had created the wedge between the two men was Elvis' desire to tour internationally, something Parker had long resisted.

"Elvis had always wanted to go overseas," says Schilling. "But mainly he wanted to go while he was still relatively young, while he was still capable of living up to the image that people had in their minds about him. He talked about that for years."

The idea of Presley going overseas did present legitimate "security" concerns. In the U.S., Presley traveled with his own doctor in tow, and had a ready supply of the pills he'd come to rely on. But the risk of going overseas with a traveling pharmacy presented real problems. In the early '70s, several rockers, including ex-Beatle Paul McCartney, had been busted in foreign countries with illegal drugs. The Colonel saw the potential for disaster looming there.

However, Nash suggests that Parker -- a Dutch citizen who was in the U.S. illegally and could not accompany Elvis overseas -- was more worried about someone poaching Presley, or poisoning him against the Colonel. "Into the '70s, when their relationship was extremely strained after Las Vegas," says Nash, "Parker could not have taken the chance of letting some young agent be alone with him for an extended period of time off in a foreign country telling him, 'You know, Elvis, not everybody takes 50 percent.' "

Why Parker never applied for U.S. citizenship is still a mystery. He certainly would've gotten it, as he had served in the U.S. Army, married an American woman and was powerful enough to call Lyndon B. Johnson a friend.

"It appears there was some horrible secret there that precluded people looking into his past too closely," says Nash, whose book suggests that Parker may have originally fled The Netherlands after murdering a woman in 1929. "It's what kept him from returning to Europe in a visible way. And so, Elvis never made it over either."

With Presley's desires for touring stymied, the last creative gasp for Elvis came from an unlikely source, Barbara Streisand. The singer and actress was contemplating a remake of "A Star is Born" and wanted Elvis for the demanding role of washed-up alcoholic rocker John Norman Howard.

"That's the last time I saw a twinkle in his eye about a creative project," says Schilling, who believes that the challenge of preparing for his role in "Star" would've gotten Elvis out of his funk.

But at the same time, Presley and Parker were beset by doubts about the project. There was distance over the fee Presley would be paid, but also Streisand was insisting that she get top billing, and that her hairdresser/ boyfriend Jon Peters serve as producer of the film. Ultimately, the Colonel objected and negotiations broke down.

"The deal was never satisfactory from a business point of view," says Guralnick. "You had the first-time producer who was the boyfriend of the star, and that led to a certain amount of concern. But mainly, I don't think Elvis could have done it at that point."

"Elvis was concerned about his ballooning weight and about his ability to handle that kind of a dramatic role -- though he yearned desperately to do so," says Nash. "I think the Colonel came up with his objections to the project -- about money and billing -- but mainly he was fearful that Elvis could not pull it off."

Nash believes the Colonel had resigned himself to the fact that Presley's future was not going to be as bright as his past. In 1973, Parker set up a corporation called Boxcar Enterprises "to exploit, and commercialize Elvis' name, image pictures and likeness."

"By that time, the Colonel's health was failing, and he thought he was not going to be around much longer -- and he certainly felt that Elvis wasn't going to be around much longer," says Nash. "So instead of helping him find projects that really fit him and would rejuvenate him, he simply put together Boxcar, which allowed the Colonel and Vernon (Presley) to take a much larger piece of the merchandising when Elvis finally died. So the Colonel could ultimately say, quite rightly, 'Elvis isn't dead, just the body is gone.' "

To those around him, the last two years of Elvis' life were like watching a man whose fires had burned out. "After 'A Star is Born' and not touring overseas, I think Elvis gave up," says Schilling. "There are a lot of other things that happened, too, like the divorce. After all that, he truly wanted his family back. Also, he never liked the idea of being 40. He could've probably worked out each one of those things, but with all of them happening at the same time ... it was too much.

"Elvis was always a guy who looked to the future and had an excitement about life," adds Schilling. "But when you start talking '75, '76, it's not quite the same person."

For Guralnick the questions about career choices and business decisions ultimately are dwarfed by the bigger issues of Presley's mental, emotional and physical states, all of which continued to worsen as August 1977 approached. "To wonder if Elvis had taken a different course, whether he would've had a more satisfying career is certainly a legitimate perspective," says Guralnick. "But at that point, I just don't see how any (career move) would have solved all his problems. If you've ever witnessed a person suffering, there generally isn't a single trigger for that depression, or a single way out of it."

Schilling, a natural diplomat when it comes to Elvis-related matters, says there isn't an easy answer to explain what happened to his friend. "It's a very complicated story," says Schilling. "Everybody wants to look at things in black and white, but life is usually gray.

"But the bottom line, for me, is that Elvis should be here. He should be here spending time with his grandchildren and enjoying this part of his life and his career. And that's the really heartbreaking part."

--Bob Mehr: 529-2517

KPM
08-12-2007, 11:02 AM
Jak -I recall the lawsuit and the allegation by the man suing Elvis, and that it was settled out of court. I had never heard the details discussed of the actual event before, it was pretty hush hush. I have read a couple other suits were filed in the 70s also. If the details are true on this 6.5 million suit-IMO I can see there might have been legitimate reasons to get rid of these guys. Elvis's money troubles would have been even further multiplied with a $600,000 settlement not to mention the legal fees for such things which do not come cheap. If your lawyer advises you to settle for an amount that big, IMO its pretty fair to say he felt the chances of losing were pretty good.
Even if its true I can see they were under a lot of pressure to protect Elvis because by the late 60s it was fact anyone in public eye could be got to. The movie years had to be a picnic compared to the touring on a security level.
But if Elvis is only accountable for his actions with no outside forces or stresses affecting them-so are they. Now personally I do not see everything as black and white-cut and dry because life is full of grays & dampness...but some do see it like that and so to be fair it has to go both ways in this case.
They may have been getting burnt out from the whole situation and then made snap judgements-and snap judgements haunt you. Vernon wanting to cut back expenses and overhead is also a factor. (its no secret he always felt there were to many getting paid). Regardless -if its true- I think it gives creedance to the lawsuit/money angle as being a very strong factor in the decisions to let them go. IMO

King_Creole
08-12-2007, 11:13 AM
...it was the Mafia that killed ERP. Not the drugs.

Who the hell is ERP ???: lmfao:

jak
08-12-2007, 01:10 PM
Jak -I recall the lawsuit and the allegation by the man suing Elvis, and that it was settled out of court. I had never heard the details discussed of the actual event before, it was pretty hush hush. I have read a couple other suits were filed in the 70s also. If the details are true on this 6.5 million suit-IMO I can see there might have been legitimate reasons to get rid of these guys. Elvis's money troubles would have been even further multiplied with a $600,000 settlement not to mention the legal fees for such things which do not come cheap. If your lawyer advises you to settle for an amount that big, IMO its pretty fair to say he felt the chances of losing were pretty good.
Even if its true I can see they were under a lot of pressure to protect Elvis because by the late 60s it was fact anyone in public eye could be got to. The movie years had to be a picnic compared to the touring on a security level.
But if Elvis is only accountable for his actions with no outside forces or stresses affecting them-so are they. Now personally I do not see everything as black and white-cut and dry because life is full of grays & dampness...but some do see it like that and so to be fair it has to go both ways in this case.
They may have been getting burnt out from the whole situation and then made snap judgements-and snap judgements haunt you. Vernon wanting to cut back expenses and overhead is also a factor. (its no secret he always felt there were to many getting paid). Regardless -if its true- I think it gives creedance to the lawsuit/money angle as being a very strong factor in the decisions to let them go. IMO

Like I said I guess we will never know exactly what happened.The reasons you give may have been a contributing factor.
Jak

ksimms2
08-14-2007, 02:35 PM
wow all this is so interesting.....I don't know details like you guys do...but this is fascinating for me to read....am reading Jerry Schilling's book now and his is the only MM book I've read so far. i did just order Joe Esposito's "new" book but it has not arrived yet....not sure what to think about him or the other MM guys.....but Jerry seems genuine.

JudyMcKinn
08-17-2007, 09:34 AM
I have always thought it was so sad that all those around Elvis should have been trying to protect him and get him off of all the prescription pills he took, getting them with prescriptions for all the Memphis Mafia, and others, so he could have access to way more medication that he should have. And Dr. Nick, letting him have all those pills. But when one thinks about it, WHO would have been able to do anything with someone like Elvis? He would be able to do exactly like he wanted. If his cook would try to cook healthy things for him, instead of what he wanted, he would simply get a new cook. If his Dr. tried to give him less medications, he would simply get another Dr., and on down the line. His very power and determination and hard-headedness in doing like he wanted, rather than following advice from those who loved him, is what did him in. I saw him in person several times, and there was an electricity about him that was hard to believe. I think that if you were in a room full of people, with your back to the door, and he came in, you would feel it and turn around. There was just a charisma about him.
I saw him at the World Championship Rodeo in Houston when he made his first appearance after all the movies, then saw him perform in Dallas, St. Louis, Kansas City (front row, center) and Vegas 3 times (front row one of those shows), and last in Little Rock, AR. He was in great form for all these shows. He then came to Springfield, MO in his last tour, and I live near enough to have gone, but couldn't, and I am now glad I missed that one, as I wouldn't want to see him in the condition he was in the last couple years. How I wish someone would have been able to turn things around for him, but I am afraid those stating above are right--he did this to himself. He will always be the greatest entertainer there ever was, in my opinion, however.

KPM
08-17-2007, 09:53 AM
No man is an island.

rocknroll
08-17-2007, 10:02 AM
Who the hell is ERP ???: lmfao:

I was going to ask the same thing. :lol:

Taking some time off after Aloha would have been a welcome bandaid, but would not have been a cure. Elvis proved over and over again he could rise to a challenge. That is why I think getting out of the stifling 14 day tours and Vegas engagements, and embarking on a world tour, would have been a great way to get himself out of his doldrums and get a refreshed view on life. In the end, it may not have solved anything (that was totally up to Elvis), but it difinately would not have hurt and I think Elvis would have made a dramatic turnaround. He needed constant challenges. After 1973, he did not get that.

Trev1
08-17-2007, 10:55 AM
Like I said I guess we will never know exactly what happened.The reasons you give may have been a contributing factor.
Jak

I've read most of the MM books atthis stage and they are very interesting - love them or hate them :hmm:

Whats interesting to me is the current relationship between the members of the mafia - their is obviously a lot of conflict between them and there very much broken into 2 groups,:

1. Red, Sonny, Lamar, Marty, Billy (of this group I dont mind Sonny and Billy...but Lamar and Matry in their interviews are very vulgar and straight talkin guys, but IMO dont show much respect for Elvis... and were basically hangers on. Billy was closest to Elvis for the last 2 years of his life esp., so I dont know why he such good buddies with the rest of em) :angry:

2. Jerry, Joe, G Klien, Lisa and Priscilla - Although not a huge fan of with Cilla (why keep saying shes his wodow :angry:) and Lisa...... I think Jerry and Joe come across the best in interviews)

Then from the original MM you have Charlie Hodge and Richard Davis (RIP) - not sure what point of view they had.

Larry Geller is someone that no one seems to have a good word for - and you know wheat I actually thought he was more sincere than any of them

WHen you read Sonnys and Lamar/Marty/Billys book they run down Esposito and Shilling, whereas its visa versa if you read Espositos and Shillings book on their time with Elvis! Question is - who do you believe :hmm:

Jumpsuit Junkie
08-17-2007, 06:47 PM
There are many reasons for the decline in Elvis' life, I do not believe that others can take the blame for all the ills in his life.