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franny
05-30-2009, 11:51 PM
Elvis friend from way back seeks to restore the artist's reputation:
Jerry Schilling knew Elvis the man before he became Elvis the icon.
Before the jumpsuits. Before Vegas. Before the drugs. Before the impersonators.


Before all that, Schilling was there.Schilling - who will sign copies of his book, "Me and a Guy Named Elvis," at an Elvis art exhibit in Naples on Saturday - knew Elvis was special the moment he met him in Memphis in July 1954.
Elvis Presley's first single, "That's All Right Mama," had just started getting radio play when Schilling joined him and some other guys in a pick-up game of football. Elvis was 19 at the time. Schilling was 12.


http://www.elvisinfonet.com/image-files/jerryschilling_elvis.jpg
Nobody said anything, nobody introduced Elvis by name, but Schilling just knew that charismatic, charming guy had to be the one he'd heard on the radio. Even back then, there was a superstar quality about Elvis.
"It was like James Dean had just walked out of 'East of Eden,'" recalls Schilling, 67, of West Hollywood Hills, Calif. "And it was kind of magical."
More football games would come. And later, when Elvis became famous, he invited Schilling to become a member of the so-called Memphis Mafia, his inner circle of buddies and confidantes.
From then until Elvis' death in 1977, Schilling did everything from promotion to security work to producing to being a movie stand-in. He was there when Elvis met Nixon and The Beatles. He rushed Elvis and Priscilla Presley to the hospital the day their daughter, Lisa Marie, was born.
After Elvis died, Schilling went on to manage other rockers such as The Beach Boys and Billy Joel. But then he decided to write "Me and a Guy Named Elvis" to humanize the legend. He wanted to show the deeply intelligent Elvis, the generous Elvis, the underrated record-producer Elvis.
"He had an ear of gold," Schilling says. "He knew what a hit record was in 20 seconds. And he knew what songs to pass on."
Schilling's book-signing coincides with the opening of "The Art of Elvis" at American Royal Arts gallery. The show features rarely seen photographs of The King, French posters from his movies (including "Love Me Tender"), paintings by noted Elvis Presley artist Joe Petruccio and other Elvis-related items.
The show coincides with what would have been Elvis' 75th birthday this year. It continues through July at the gallery.
"It's an amazing display," promised Jim Lentz, head of the American Royal Arts chain of galleries. "It's pretty cool."
Schilling will sign copies of his book and talk about his old friend. So many people remember the overweight, drug-addled Elvis, Schilling says, but that was how Elvis was only at the very end of his life.
He wants people to know "the real Elvis."
"I wanted it to be a backstage pass," he says of his book. "We all know what happened to Elvis onstage, the good and the bad, and in the movies. But he was a human being. He had struggles.
"I hope this book gives him some of the dignity that he deserves." (News, Source: Charles Runnells, News-Press.com)

debtdbruno
05-30-2009, 11:58 PM
He seems a decent guy, Jerry, enjoyed his book, does air on the side of 'niceness'.
Some interesting stories offering a different slant on events.
Worth a read, they all offer different incite into Elvis' persona............closest we will ever get.

Deb

franny
05-31-2009, 12:09 AM
I agree, Deb. (y) Jerry does seem to be a nice and decent man.
Love it when he tells how Elvis bought the home, he still lives in.

I'm still not finished his book, though. :blush:

franny

Diane
05-31-2009, 12:39 AM
I agree, Deb. (y) Jerry does seem to be a nice and decent man.
Love it when he tells how Elvis bought the home, he still lives in.

I'm still not finished his book, though. :blush:

franny

I bought his book and enjoyed it although I didn't feel I learned anything new from it but it was good to get someone else's perspective on what he thought of Elvis and I did appreciated the fact that he was always kind.

Diane

midnight
05-31-2009, 01:14 AM
I have always liked and respected Jerry Schilling!(y)

Fair Dinkum
05-31-2009, 07:26 AM
I've always liked and thought of Jerry as a good bloke.His book is a great read.(y)

presley31
05-31-2009, 01:40 PM
l have always liked jerry and very interested what he has to say about elvis.

mistymorning
05-31-2009, 09:06 PM
It feels good to hear that someone is going to show true friendship towards elvis and let us share nice memories.

elvislady
05-31-2009, 11:22 PM
I bought his book and enjoyed it although I didn't feel I learned anything new from it but it was good to get someone else's perspective on what he thought of Elvis and I did appreciated the fact that he was always kind.

Diane

I agree 100 percent diane thats how i felt about jerrys book... i also think he was a great friend to elvis from what i have heard and read about him.!
elvislady:)

SweetCaroline
06-01-2009, 06:13 AM
This ELVIS book is one of my favorite ELVIS :king: books. The book is as much about Jerry's life as it is about ELVIS'...but hangin' with ELVIS ...Jerry had a pretty interesting life.(y)

Jungleroom76
06-01-2009, 10:36 PM
I had the pleasure of briefly meeting Jerry in Memphis in 2000, and he was very nice and seemed very genuine and down to Earth. He was part of George Klein's Mafia reunion and I truly enjoyed hearing his stories about his time with Elvis.

I really believe that Jerry's account of his time with Elvis, which he details in his book, is probably the closest that we're ever going to get to the truth. Jerry just doesn't seem like the kind of guy to embellish his stories for personal gain or to make himself look better, so I am inclined to really believe Jerry's account of the things that happened during his time with Elvis. (y)

TCB!
Mike

Diane
06-01-2009, 10:38 PM
Thanks Mike, that is really good to hear.(y)

Diane

utmom2008
06-02-2009, 12:26 AM
I really believe that Jerry's account of his time with Elvis, which he details in his book, is probably the closest that we're ever going to get to the truth. Jerry just doesn't seem like the kind of guy to embellish his stories for personal gain or to make himself look better, so I am inclined to really believe Jerry's account of the things that happened during his time with Elvis. (y)

TCB!
Mike

That's exactly how I felt after reading his book as well Mighty Mike. I know some fans want to say he "sugar-coated" all of the problems, but that's not the way I saw it at all. To me, it was more along the lines of how a real friend would describe the situation.(y)

Jungleroom76
06-02-2009, 12:44 AM
Thanks Mike, that is really good to hear.(y)

Diane

Thanks Diane! :D

Like you said, although there really wasn't anything new to be learned in Jerry's book, the way it was written and how it was described from Jerry's perspective was a more honest account of how events unfolded I think than we have read in other books. :hmm:

TCB!
Mike

Jungleroom76
06-02-2009, 12:45 AM
That's exactly how I felt after reading his book as well Mighty Mike. I know some fans want to say he "sugar-coated" all of the problems, but that's not the way I saw it at all. To me, it was more along the lines of how a real friend would describe the situation.(y)

I agree Rosanne...Jerry certainly didn't sugar coat anything, in my opinion, which I think lends more credibility to Jerry's account of events than other books that have been released in the past. :hmm:

TCB!
Mike

debtdbruno
06-02-2009, 12:48 AM
Agree, he didn't try to 'over sensationalise' his story to get a reaction