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Thread: Ed Bonja, the final years, The Colonel, drugs & gambling!

  1. #1
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    Ed Bonja, the final years, The Colonel, drugs & gambling!

    Hi guys,
    I have posted this elsewhere - but Ed Bonja is one of the nicest guys you could meet and needs everyone's support.

    Ed Bonja took 10 thousand photos of Elvis and was the nephew of Colonel Parkers? right hand man Tom Diskin.
    In August Ed Bonja not only lost best friend Al Dvorin in the car crash but also lost a large number of his precious possessions. There are tentative plans for a fund-raising Elvis show in Las Vegas in November to help pay for his bills. Ed is still bruised & battered but is recovering.

    In Part 2 of the interview Ed talks of the final years, good times & bad, and why he had to leave the ?Elvis Presley family.?
    Including ?.

    EIN - What did you feel when you realised that it was all getting worse? That period in mid 1976 sounds terrible?

    Ed ? That was a bad, bad period. That?s why when people asked me if I was surprised to hear that Elvis had died, I said I wasn?t surprised at all - but I was shocked.

    EIN - Do you think that anyone could have done anything more to help Elvis in those years?

    Ed ? Boy, that is the billion dollar question. Because Elvis had so much power, so much strength and so many connections, who could stand up to him? Jackie Kahane (comedian) and I used to have lunch every month and he was writing a book called "I killed Elvis". He said he used that title because he, like everybody else, could see what Elvis was doing to himself and how he was deteriorating. But for whatever reasons, fear of losing his job, fear of getting Elvis angry, he kept silent. As did everyone else.

    Read the full interview here.
    Ed Bonja Interview Part 2

    Cheers
    Piers

  2. #2
    Heartbreak Hotel, Room 11 Albert's Avatar
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    Ed Bonja, 2000


    "But for whatever reasons, fear of losing his job, fear of getting Elvis angry, he kept silent. As did everyone else."

    That pretty much sums up the problem. Elvis was addicted, didn't acknowledge the problem, and those who could help (rightfully) feared to do so.
    ‎"A year from now, you'll wish you had started today"

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  3. #3

    of all the 10,000 Ed Bonja photos of Elvis...

    Does he have one of him and Elvis together???
    just curious..
    Wade
    (HRH)

  4. #4
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    Does he have one of him and Elvis together???
    just curious..
    Actually, no!

    He says there are plenty of him taking photos of Elvis on stage but they always just shows the back of Ed's head!
    He has yet to see a good photo.

    Although he was part of 'The Colonel's family' he obviously resents the manipulation & unnecessary control that The Col put him under.
    Seems so sad to be so close to The Man and yet be under strict orders to keep your distance.

    Cheers
    Piers

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    It was refreshing to read Bonja's take on his own book "I Shot Elvis" .............. and it also goes a long way to redeeming him in my eyes.

    I look forward to him redoing it properly ....................... because, considering the source, ............ he had much, much more to offer on a number of levels.

    Seems like a nice enough guy, .................. but I'd like to see a hard inquiry as to the semantic liberty misrepresented TCB photo ID badges he has flooded the market with as "genuine" "originals." Have seen some, misrepresented as EP's, sold for around $1,000.00 on the secondary market (ie: after Bonja has sold them & passed them on).

    The same goes for his name - often found associated with JH sourced bogus / secretarial signed EP autographed material.

    Would be curious as to his take on some of these matters, ......... in any future, follow-up interviews.

    - Capt. "EL."

  6. #6
    Coming On Strong SouthPaw's Avatar
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    Yes having learned the hard way of Ed's talents I would love to see that follow up..
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  7. #7

    I've been skeptical too..

    I've been skeptical too..of all the "ID BADGES"..and "Lyric sheets"..that Bonja has been linked to...also..a few months ago...his official "camera bag" sold for an astronomical amount on EBAY...hmmmmmmm..it all seems/seemed a little fishy..
    TCB
    Wade

  8. #8
    From Elvis Presley Blvd Lonniebealestreet's Avatar
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    Is there no question as to his actual participation in said misrepresentations?

    I don't doubt these claims or have any allegiances; I'm just asking.
    ...you won't forget me when I go.

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    Lonnie (SP / Wade) -

    Hardcore collectors are pretty much aware of Bonja & certain items, .......... and have been for a long time.

    Lots & lots of these REPLICA badges have been sold over the years as something that they are not.

    There are also countless autographs with either letters of support for the primary source (JH) and / or COA's on The Col.'s letterhead, signed by Bonja .................... attesting to provenance of the material. In all cases, the sigs. are bogus - ALL.

    -- --------------------

    Wade brings up another good point about the "Lyric" sheets. IMO, some of the ones that I've seen, ................. have also been misrepresented (ie: I don't believe EP's writing / notations).


    - Capt. "EL."

  10. #10
    From Elvis Presley Blvd Lonniebealestreet's Avatar
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    Sheesh. Not too many people out there with reputations of being 100% trustworthy, are there? I'm not speaking from experience, but it seems like verifying that a certain individual does in fact endorse something could also prove challenging at times, no?
    ...you won't forget me when I go.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lonniebealestreet
    I'm not speaking from experience, but it seems like verifying that a certain individual does in fact endorse something could also prove challenging at times, no?
    Yes, ......... one does need to go directly to the primary source for their side (in this case, Bonja). Like I said, the material is out there and is definitely being misrepresented. It can sometimes get complicated on a number of levels.

    I have always avoided such material, because I know what it really is. I am also speaking from experience, ................ and I no longer easily give others the benefit of the doubt.


    - Capt. "EL."

  12. #12
    Coming On Strong SouthPaw's Avatar
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    Would the gold (brass) id badges also came by way of him? or someone else? What was the story on them vs the picture id's?

    I know RR has sold many over the last year and heard JV sold one engraved with Elvis name once to a collector. His son was selling some awhile back on ebay too.

    Sadly, DR (h) has all of sudden got a lot of EP sigs to him and he has spent a lot of time with EB lately makes me wonder if some favors are happening..I have known DR for 3 years and I do not remember him having so many personalized sigs as he now has....
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by SouthPaw
    Would the gold (brass) id badges also came by way of him? or someone else? What was the story on them vs the picture id's?
    Good question, SP. I'm not certain, but the story that I heard is that The Col. didn't approve the brass cards, so the TCB photo ID cards were created instead (designed by Bonja). Not positive as to Bonja's role with these brass cards, if any. Perhaps another good question for follow-up with him.

    Am also aware of dozens upon dozens of the brass cards being sold / passed around on the market amongst collectors / fans. Many have been engraved with EP's name and simply sold / represented as an Elvis-owned item. I believe the vast majority are replicas and have always avoided these pieces. If all are genuine, then EP had a drawer full of them.

    Quote Originally Posted by SouthPaw
    I know RR has sold many over the last year and heard JV sold one engraved with Elvis name once to a collector. His son was selling some awhile back on ebay too.
    RR (if we are talking about the same lady) .............. and a number of others who deal with EP Collectibles ................... are shysters to varying degrees of cunning - plain & simple.

    Quote Originally Posted by SouthPaw
    Sadly, DR (h) has all of sudden got a lot of EP sigs to him and he has spent a lot of time with EB lately makes me wonder if some favors are happening..I have known DR for 3 years and I do not remember him having so many personalized sigs as he now has....
    That's funny, because I remember back in 2000 DR stating that he only ever had one EP signed piece that used to hang on his wall ............ but the sig. eventually faded & disappeared due to time / age. When I first saw his inscribed sigs., being the trusting & believing person that I am .............. I thought perhaps they were "atypical" examples. Atypical, in my book, is just another word for a questionable piece that could go either way. After climbing the Learning Curve a bit more (which for wise collectors never stops) ............... I'm of the opinion that they are fakes (and I believe I know who wrote them).

    There is more I can privately add on DR and some pieces associated, if you are interested. Just send me a PM.


    - Capt. "EL."

  14. #14
    Coming On Strong SouthPaw's Avatar
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    Capt. El.

    Yes she is the lady I was referring, she seems to have ample supply of those cards.

    Also sent you a pm regarding DR.
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  15. #15
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    SP -

    I have shot a PM back at ya .............

    There is much I can say on a number of issues / topics related to this area of EP collecting. For obvious reasons, I prefer to keep it all off this MB and in a private discussion.

    If for some reason you can't find me here on this MB in the future, ................. catch me over @ FECC ............ or simply E-mail me directly ............. where we might have to take this conversation to continue.


    - Capt. "EL.

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