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moodyblue40
12-09-2007, 12:07 PM
Hi there, can anyone tell me what they think about that book. I read it many years ago. Do you think there is much truth in it, and is it worth buying, as I have found it is only available on ebay. The first edition anyway. Thanks.:blink:

Getlo
12-09-2007, 12:22 PM
Do you think there is much truth in it

Yes, definitely. And much more than many fans care to acknowledge. Sift through some of the anger and most of the sensationalism courtesy of Aussie journalist Steve Dunleavy, and get to the facts contained in the book. It's not as bad as some would have people believe, IMO. It is a portrait of a man in decline, but it is still definitely worth a read.


is it worth buying

Yes, but don't pay too much for it. You cannot make an informed opinion of the book unless you've read it. There are fans on here and other forums who condemn What Happened (and other tomes like the Goldman book) without actually having read them!

Oh man, this could develop into a can of worms. Do a thread search under the book's name, and see what I mean!

Let's not turn this thread into another debate about why the guys wrote the book, shall we? Let's stick to answering moodyblue40's questions.

MissyM
12-09-2007, 12:26 PM
oh Get- you know you love worms! (just playing with you)

elvis himselvis
12-10-2007, 07:05 PM
I would like to read this book...I think it's very intresting to read.

ksimms2
12-10-2007, 07:13 PM
EWH is a good book. I fought for a while on ebay trying to get my hands on one. I did not take it as a book that was written for revenge - quite the opposite. I guess back in 1977 it was a big deal - but in this day and age - is not. Great book, I recommend it highly. (I'm trying to work my way through Goldman's book - but have to say - having a hard time with it)

Tony Trout
12-10-2007, 07:40 PM
EWH is a good book. I fought for a while on ebay trying to get my hands on one. I did not take it as a book that was written for revenge - quite the opposite. I guess back in 1977 it was a big deal - but in this day and age - is not. Great book, I recommend it highly. (I'm trying to work my way through Goldman's book - but have to say - having a hard time with it)


My best advice is to throw Goldman's book into the fire and burn it....

orwell1976
12-10-2007, 07:55 PM
I don't like the book, because it concentrates on the negative things. I don't say that it contains lays, but the stories are compiled in a way that makes the things a lot darker than they might have been. It's written in a style that makes even normal things looking more monterous and sensational. The book isn't objective and does not even try to be. That's why I don't like it. I know that Elvis was addicted to havy medication and I know that this led tho things that are not nice to read. But even if you have the urge to write such details down you can do it in a more objective and nicer way than it is done in this book. Everything is written for an effect and everything is made up to make things bigger, worse and more horrendous. It's not my style at all.

Lonniebealestreet
12-10-2007, 07:58 PM
EWH is worth reading and probably includes mostly truthful tales. Where the book fails to be truthful is primarily in its focus on the negative. In that respect the book lacks truth.

If you have read some of the other prominent EP biographies it shouldn't be shocking or revealing of many things you haven't heard before, though certainly you can understand its punch in 1977...and why Elvis obsessed over its publication.

utmom2008
12-10-2007, 08:19 PM
My best advice is to throw Goldman's book into the fire and burn it....
Good advice Tony.(y)(y) I have said since day one that I thought the book was a great fire-starter!(n):D

poormansgold
12-10-2007, 08:59 PM
My best advice is to throw Goldman's book into the fire and burn it....

Yo u Right About That Book, I Burn my book, It's one book that was full of dirt .
Tom

Diane
12-10-2007, 09:02 PM
I have to agree with Orwell1976 and add that if this book and Goldman's hadn't been written and disclosed so much, Elvis wouldn't have the image he has for some who only look at him for his last few years instead of all the great ones he gave us.

Diane

Kris P
12-10-2007, 09:09 PM
Being the first book that blew the lid off EP's private life (and personally effected Elvis) it certainly is worth reading.
As Getlo said, get past the Dunleavy angle and it is quite a factual account of some of the events that took place while these guys worked and shared a friendship with Presley.
This being a 1976/7 written account from two of EP's closest bodyguards/friends (and one Johnny come lately), makes it worth the price of entry alone.

JDD
12-10-2007, 10:13 PM
I don't personally view it as one of the best books written on him, but its clearly not all a bunch of lies. I also don't think its as bad as some do. When I read it
I read a lot of really good thoughts by Red and Sonny about Elvis, and it was clear to me they cared . Sure they spilled the beans on the drugs but its not like that wasn't in the rumor mill anyway . Had he lived maybe it could have helped in the long run.

Hebler and Dunlevys contributions were annoying at times but I've seen lots worse since.

Getlo
12-11-2007, 01:59 AM
I don't like the book, because it concentrates on the negative things. I don't say that it contains lays, but the stories are compiled in a way that makes the things a lot darker than they might have been. It's written in a style that makes even normal things looking more monterous and sensational.

Uhm, What Happened is specifically about the downfall of the King, so naturally there won't be a happy tone to it. It's not a movie or concert book, it is about what happened to Elvis. There is much more truth in it than many choose to acknowledge. Again, if you ignore the sensationalism of some of the writing (all of which was not under Red, Sonny and Dave's control) it is still a good read.


My best advice is to throw Goldman's book into the fire and burn it....

Or you could read it yourself and make an informed opinion. Again, there is more truth in the Goldman book than some may like to admit. It's well-written, but the overall viciousness to Elvis and Southerners is its biggest letdown - not the actual content.

ksimms2
12-11-2007, 02:29 AM
Uhm, What Happened is specificaly about the downfall of the King, so naturally there won't be a happy tone to it. It's not a movie or concert book, it is about what happened to Elvis. There is much more truth in it than many choose to acknowledge. Again, if you ignore the sensationalism of some of the writing (all of which was not under Red, Sonny and Dave's control) it is still a good read.



Or you could read it yourself and make an informed opinion. Again, there is more truth in the Goldman book than some may like to admit. It's well-written, but the overall viciousness to Elvis and Southerners is its biggest letdown - not the actual content.

exactly......read them for yourself and make your own opinions......:hmm:

utmom2008
12-11-2007, 04:40 AM
Uhm, What Happened is specifically about the downfall of the King, so naturally there won't be a happy tone to it. It's not a movie or concert book, it is about what happened to Elvis. There is much more truth in it than many choose to acknowledge. Again, if you ignore the sensationalism of some of the writing (all of which was not under Red, Sonny and Dave's control) it is still a good read.



Or you could read it yourself and make an informed opinion. Again, there is more truth in the Goldman book than some may like to admit. It's well-written, but the overall viciousness to Elvis and Southerners is its biggest letdown - not the actual content.
Let it be known that I have read the book.....cover to cover. ;);)

SweetCaroline
12-11-2007, 04:58 AM
I have to agree with Orwell1976 and add that if this book and Goldman's hadn't been written and disclosed so much, Elvis wouldn't have the image he has for some who only look at him for his last few years instead of all the great ones he gave us.

Diane

:king: Isn't that the truth! Thank you, Diane and Orwell1976!!!:king:

TCBnAflash
12-11-2007, 05:25 AM
I've read the over 10 times and find it to be a good source of information. If you could look past the sensationalism of it all and focus on what was happening, then you can enjoy it.
The bodyguards acted out rage for losing their jobs and wanted Elvis to get better.
But like Dave Hebler said in the press conference, "How do protect a man from himself?"

Here's the link from the press conference for the book. You could tell by looking at them that they knew it was wrong to write this book.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qkWds8YuCAU

Lisarose
05-12-2010, 04:56 AM
Yes, this is an old thread, but I didn't want to start a brand new one when there's a perfectly good one present already.

I just finished reading EWH. First I read Red's interviews - both of them. I rather think Red is of the "once burned, twice shy" opinion.
The book was good, & although it did have positive and negative, the writer was awful. Dunleavey, the "King of Sleaze" - it became quite clear very
quickly how he came to own that title - portrayed the West boys as *****s. Their conversations with Dunleavy were written in the vernacular and verbatim,
which sometimes made them hard to take seriously. The theme seemed to be: "yeah, he was a real jerk, but you know, he had a heart of gold"
Red stated in his interview that everything he said for the book was true, but after I read it, I wondered! Sure it may have had a ring of truth,
but was it exactly the truth?

debtdbruno
05-12-2010, 10:34 AM
I definitely think it's worth reading. As usual with all books, use common sense, and you can generally sift through the sensationalism................

Diane
05-12-2010, 07:26 PM
Yes, this is an old thread, but I didn't want to start a brand new one when there's a perfectly good one present already.

I just finished reading EWH. First I read Red's interviews - both of them. I rather think Red is of the "once burned, twice shy" opinion.
The book was good, & although it did have positive and negative, the writer was awful. Dunleavey, the "King of Sleaze" - it became quite clear very
quickly how he came to own that title - portrayed the West boys as *****s. Their conversations with Dunleavy were written in the vernacular and verbatim,
which sometimes made them hard to take seriously. The theme seemed to be: "yeah, he was a real jerk, but you know, he had a heart of gold"
Red stated in his interview that everything he said for the book was true, but after I read it, I wondered! Sure it may have had a ring of truth,
but was it exactly the truth?

In a way it was the truth, maybe slightly exaggerated I think but slanted towards making "them" look better than they were. They were taking drugs too so how was that helping?????

Diane

TTWII2001
05-12-2010, 10:46 PM
It's a must read book...so that way you'll make your own opinion....you might have a look a the other side.....I think no one is always good and perfect....and it all makes us what we are dont it?....life is a long run...it's OK to have a few stops on the dark side...

TCB81975
05-13-2010, 12:01 AM
I thought it was a good book. I didnt think that there was anything in there that we all dont already know now and if it really bothered us that bad than we wouldnt be true Elvis fans. I would rather read tell all's by people that were actually there then books by people who speculate.

rickb
05-13-2010, 12:16 AM
Itis sensationalised but not in the same trashy league as Goldman's disgrace.

TCB81975
05-13-2010, 01:55 AM
Itis sensationalised but not in the same trashy league as Goldman's disgrace.

I agree Rickb. Goldmans book is a disgrace. Well put.

Lisarose
05-13-2010, 02:42 AM
I thought it was a good book. I didnt think that there was anything in there that we all dont already know now and if it really bothered us that bad than we wouldnt be true Elvis fans. I would rather read tell all's by people that were actually there then books by people who speculate.

Well certainly nothing new anymore, but back in 1977 - before Elvis died? I'm still surprised that the media being as it is, that the
public didn't hear any of this. Especially since the rumor mill was then, pretty much what it is now. I think the paparazzi is 100x more
vicious now. I know that Red was with Elvis from the beginning, although their friendship developed during Elvis' rise to fame. Sonny came
into the picture after Elvis got out of the army, but Dave - it's really hard to fit him in, and aside from the fact that they were all fired at the
same time, Dave really, IMO, shouldn't have been asked to participate. No, I take that back. Dave didn't know Elvis before so he really had the
Elvis perspective as he was at that time. He didn't really know the background. Of course, I didn't get the impression that he much cared in any
case.

Towards the end of the book, Red states that he was only making about $425 a week. (286 or 474 AUD) I don't know. Maybe it wasn't a lot
of money, but down here in the south - not the big city of Houston mind you, I know alot of people making about that much now! I have
an old book, so I don't think that was a typo.

nash
05-13-2010, 03:03 AM
My best advice is to throw Goldman's book into the fire and burn it....

GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:clap:

TCB81975
05-14-2010, 12:03 AM
[QUOTE=Lisarose;373404]Well certainly nothing new anymore, but back in 1977 - before Elvis died? I'm still surprised that the media being as it is, that the
public didn't hear any of this. Especially since the rumor mill was then, pretty much what it is now. I think the paparazzi is 100x more
vicious now.

I see what you are saying, but I still prefer it to alot of what I've read since that book came out.

Tony Trout
05-14-2010, 12:56 AM
Or you could read it yourself and make an informed opinion. Again, there is more truth in the Goldman book than some may like to admit. It's well-written, but the overall viciousness to Elvis and Southerners is its biggest letdown - not the actual content.


I know this was originally directed towards me so...I'll bite.

Getlo, FYI for you: I did read the book cover-to-cover and still found it (the Goldman book) to be the worst book ever written about Elvis Presley.

ElvisLives
05-14-2010, 02:30 AM
I agree Rickb. Goldmans book is a disgrace. Well put.

I was so disgusted with that book 15 years after reading it, that I purposely let an opportunity to meet Lamar Fike go by. And I didn't feel bad about it.

He was eating in the same restaurant as me about 5 years ago, and I walked past him at least 4 times and never said a word to him. How he could be a part of something so horrid, I'll never know.

ElvisLives
05-14-2010, 02:34 AM
As for Elvis: What Happened?, it really isn't anything we don't already know NOW. But if I had read it when it first came out, it definitely would have been a "revelation".

I do think that they were VERY petty in some of their stories though, trying to make Elvis seem like he wasn't as "tough" as them, or as "good" as them.

N777
05-14-2010, 02:45 AM
GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:clap:

I AGREE 100%I READ IT WHEN IT CAME OUT ......AFTER ALL,IS NOT THE FIRST TIME I READ GARBAGE ABOUT ELVIS.IT ALL COMES DOWN TO $$$$$$$$$$
IF GOD HAS NOT PUNISHED THEM BY NOW,HE WILL. NOBODY LEAVES THIS WORLD WITHOUT PAYING BACK.

Lisarose
05-14-2010, 03:14 AM
As for Elvis: What Happened?, it really isn't anything we don't already know NOW. But if I had read it when it first came out, it definitely would have been a "revelation".

I do think that they were VERY petty in some of their stories though, trying to make Elvis seem like he wasn't as "tough" as them, or as "good" as them.
I don't think that Elvis was a redneck kind of guy - always ready to fight that is. But even early tales have him coming out swinging when he felt he was backed into a corner, or just plain had enough - but that's just typical of most people. Anyone gets bullied enough, they fight back.
I got the impression that Red had a very high regard for Ms. Gladys. There are alot of tales about her being an alcoholic or being addicted to diet pills, Red appears to have made it quite clear to Dunleavy that there would be absolutely no bad-mouthing Mrs. Presley, his respect & admiration for her was very high. THat certainly made a deep impression on me, (y) RED!

Getlo
05-14-2010, 02:41 PM
IF GOD HAS NOT PUNISHED THEM BY NOW,HE WILL.

What, for saying something with which you disagree?

Please.

FACT: There is more truth in EWH than most fans would care to admit.

Getlo
05-14-2010, 02:41 PM
I don't think that Elvis was a redneck kind of guy - always ready to fight that is.

Redneck does not mean ready to fight.

And Elvis embodied redneck at heart.

SleepyJack
05-14-2010, 02:49 PM
Thanks guys,I`d almost forgotten how amusing these discussions can get.I`m off to watch "Kissin` Cousins"!!!:lol::lol::lol:

Lisarose
05-28-2010, 03:14 PM
And Teddy, yes, Teddy**, have you read EWH?

In this book, Red writes with the utmost respect for Priscilla, he was genuinely concerned for her. He implies that Elvis and Priscilla
had a relationship that seemed to be unparalleled. He seems to take her feelings into regard. I was surprised to read about that, because
in later years, he and the other MM-ers go out of their way to imply that Elvis was coerced into marrying Priscilla by the col. That he had no
intention of ever marrying her- implying, IMO, that he was not truly in love with Priscilla.
I also found it interesting that of all the girlfriends he discussed in the book, he never once mentioned June Juanico. I know he was familiar
with June, because I've seen photos of them in New Orleans. Perhaps a deliberate snub? I know June did not speak kindly of Red in her book.


**Teddy, please don't be insulted, there was no animosity intended, truly!

Lisarose
05-28-2010, 03:18 PM
Also, and perhaps I'm putting more into this statement than was intended, but Red holds Gladys Presley in the highest regard.
I could feel just how truly he loved and admired Elvis' mother. I got the impression that he made it clear to Dunleavy that there would
be no bad-mouthing of Mrs. Presley allowed, no rumors would unfold,etc. I have to admire Red for that.

And Getlo, I disagree about Rednecks, maybe where you're from rednecks are calm creatures, but in Texas, they love to drink, fight and
are ready for it!

Diane
05-28-2010, 03:38 PM
I've also found that the central core of being a redneck is being prejudiced against anyone who isn't like them so that doesn't put Elvis in that category at all.

Diane

TCB81975
05-29-2010, 12:00 AM
And Getlo, I disagree about Rednecks, maybe where you're from rednecks are calm creatures, but in Texas, they love to drink, fight and
are ready for it!

I guess it has different meanings everywhere. I am from Georgia,a true Southerner and even a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, but when I was growing up if someone called you a redneck, they were basically calling you trash. But now, here in Georgia(and I suspect everywhere else) it is considered a badge of pride by many. So I guess the name "redneck" just depends on how the person uses it. I have never considered Elvis a redneck by any means. He seemed like a well read man who happened to be decidedly Southern and God bless him for it. People are borderline ashamed to be from the South these days. Thank God that Elvis never was.

Erhan
05-29-2010, 01:02 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qkWds8YuCAU

you can read the comments for learn what they think about that book...

Lisarose
05-29-2010, 04:08 AM
Good clip, Erhan, there are a lot of interviews out there!
Sonny West came off as a real doofus in the book. He kept talking about different parties and different girls.
Dave was just angry. I didn't get the impression that he thought much of Elvis at all except for the perks that came his way.
Red - Red was conflicted. He was angry and remorseful all in the same sentence.
And they all admitted to doing a lot of drugs, but they didn't suffer the addiction that Elvis did.

So, Dunleavy - wow, IMO, just a manipulative, deceptive little journalist. If only this book had been written by a very different
author. Once again, just my opinion.

Diane
05-29-2010, 03:49 PM
Good clip, Erhan, there are a lot of interviews out there!
Sonny West came off as a real doofus in the book. He kept talking about different parties and different girls.
Dave was just angry. I didn't get the impression that he thought much of Elvis at all except for the perks that came his way.
Red - Red was conflicted. He was angry and remorseful all in the same sentence.
And they all admitted to doing a lot of drugs, but they didn't suffer the addiction that Elvis did.

So, Dunleavy - wow, IMO, just a manipulative, deceptive little journalist. If only this book had been written by a very different
author. Once again, just my opinion.

I'm with you all the way!

Diane

dstrattenfan
05-30-2010, 02:04 AM
My best advice is to throw Goldman's book into the fire and burn it....

I agree TT 100%

CLAY
06-02-2010, 06:39 PM
The last time i read that book was when it first came out,and it broke my heart then and i never read it again.I still have that first copy,maybe ill read it again after all these years and see if it reads diffrently now then back in the day.

KPM
06-03-2010, 02:35 AM
The reasons for writing the book were many-money, being hurt, striking back-but I think the real crime is that Dunleavy was involved-if it had been written without the "Star" rag mentality it would have been better for all involved.
Back in 1977 many of us had no clue to how Elvis had become so dependent on meds-that he felt there was a pill for everything that bothered you or that, ....for instance- in 1975-76 removing part of his colon was being considered because it had become such a problem-we did not know these things........we saw the image, believed the image....we ignored even Elvis's own hint,
"The image is one thing, the human being another.........its hard to live up to an image"
Now knowing all we know today-the book does not seem nearly as bad to me-just constructed in a sensationalistic fashion by a master of the type journalism-Dunleavy.
The cover alone screams "negative point of view"
Someone made a mint on this book-I recall that K-Mart ordered like 2 million copies right before or right after Elvis died-but I doubt that Red, Sonny and Dave got much of the real profits.