I was just going over the transcripts to the discussion that Red West
had with Elvis Presley in late '76 on the telephone. And I came across
something that I've never seen discussed here. By that I
don't mean just discussions about Presley Center Courts, but how the deal
wound up being part of the reason for the firing of Red,Sonny and Dave Hebler.
I guess the money that Elvis wound up losing in that deal had a lot to
do with why it became so necessary to cut back on expenses to begin with.
Elvis gives the impression that it played as big a part in the firing of the
West boys as the lawsuit against him for their violent behavior did. There
is a point in the conversation where Red talks about how worried he was
about Elvis. Elvis says, "Yea you were so worried about me, you turned
around and tried to hurt me." To this Red gets defensive and brings up how
it was Elvis who first hurt him and left his family out in the cold. Elvis
replies, "Well things went on that you didn't know about." I can only assume
that he was referring to Vernon's decision not to give them each $5,000.00
and let them know they'd be hired back, but he doesn't go into detail
because Red cuts him off again with how he was 'out in the cold.'
Elvis talks about how "friction was created in the group and everybody
was afraid to move." He then adds "Who knows what the hell they were hearing
and being told. I just know that it was a very tense situation, where it
should've been a fun and relaxed kind of thing." Red agrees with this
assessment and that's when Elvis says, "And that on top of the racquetball
thing, everything else and all the personal shit. It was a fact that we did
have to cut back on expenses."
I also get the impression from several things Elvis said about Dave
Hebler in this discussion that he seemed to believe Hebler had been the
cause of a lot of the tension within the group. He also talks about how
Sonny was never around much anymore. Red says, "Yeah." and Elvis points out
that that was something that they'd talked about before.
Earlier in the conversation, when they were talking in length about the
Courts deal, Elvis gives the blame to Dr. Nick's associates, who were doing
things and making decisions with Elvis' name that they never even discussed
with him. And when Red says, "I always thought Dr. Nick and Joe were pretty
smart guys." Elvis says, "Not when it comes to business." He goes on to talk
about how Joe had to put his mother's house up for the money and how he
wound up getting screwed as well.There are also some hilarious exchanges about a secretary that was needed for the project that wound up costing $80,000.00,and how Elvis believed that by the time the project was done, instead of holding a racquet in his hand, he'd be holding a **** banjo.