We are pleased to announce that Ed Bonja, who worked for Elvis and the Colonel as tour manager and photographer will be joining us as a guest on the Elvis Party Cruise, for details on the other guests booked for the cruise, see below.
Ed will be meeting and mingling with all fans on the cruise be will also be bringing a selection of his stunning Elvis photographs, including several new prints.
Born in Chicago, Illinois in 1945, first met Thomas A Parker (not Colonel yet) in Chicago in the late 1940s through his Uncle, Tom Diskin, who was managing a singing trio known as the Little Dickens who were Edís aunts. Tom Parker and Tom Diskin met and became friends while their acts were performing on the same shows as they toured around the country. They often visited the Bonjasí home in Chicago and Los Angeles for Sunday afternoon supper. The entire Bonja family grew up knowing Tom Parker and his wife, Marie, as Uncle Tom (later Uncle Colonel) and Aunt Marie. Of course, the Bonjas were the first kids on the block to know about Elvis Presley, and the Colonel made sure that they had all his records, photos and souvenirs. It was in June of 1964, while working for the Colonel, that Ed first met Elvis at a surprise birthday party Elvis gave for the Colonel at MGM Studios.
After completing his college post-graduate work in 1971, Ed went to work on a full-time basis as an assistant to the Colonel and as the Elvis Presley Show Tour Manager and Photographer until April of 1977. During the 1970ís, Edís photographs were used for all the souvenir books, posters, buttons and publicity shots that were seen and sold at Elvis concerts and Las Vegas/Lake Tahoe engagements. Edís first record album cover was ELVIS: As Recorded Live At Madison Square Garden, released in June of 1972. His photos appear on the covers of dozens of Elvisí albums, single sleeves and CDs. In the booklet with the 1970s Box Set (THE ESSENTIAL 70íS MASTERS) RCA/BMG used twenty-six of Edís photographs; and four of the five cover shots used for the individual CDs for that set were also Edís work. Both the original covers and the more recent remakes of the Elvisí MOODY BLUE and RAISED ON ROCK cds feature several of Edís photographs.
Guests for the Elvis Party Cruise now include:
Ed Bonja - Elvis' tour manager and photographer
Karen Sue Presley - Elvis' first cousin
Paul Larcombe - Winner of the UK's Ultimate Elvis and top ten world finalist in Memphis
Rob Kingsley - Winner of the 2008 European Championships, recently signed to Sony BMG
Colin Paul - Dynamic vocalist and performer, a Graceland favourite and highly regarded with all fans.
The Elvis Party Cruise takes place on May 17, 2008 on Royal Caribbeans brand new Independence of the Seas, which is set to become the third in the spectacular Freedom class of ships. Upon her May 2008 debut in the United Kingdom, she will be the largest ship ever to be home-ported in Europe.
2008/01/22 www.elvis.co.uk / www.epgold.com
I never understood why Bonja was kept on so long.
His photos are nowhere near as good as many other Elvis snappers, like Sean Shaver or Bob Heis.
He really wasn't that great, IMO.
Getlo - cute'n'cuddly