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Thread: Elvis Australia - Great Interview With Sonny West.

  1. #1
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    Elvis Australia - Great Interview With Sonny West.

    This great interview deserves to be promoted, shared, & posted here in The Main Forum:

    Interview with Sonny West
    By: Scott Jenkins - May 13, 2005
    Source: Elvis Australia

    Elvis Presley & Sonny West
    The following interview between Sonny West and Scott Jenkins took place in Sydney Australia, on May 4th, 2005. Copyright ? 2005, Scott Jenkins/Ganymede Services Pty Ltd. Exclusive to Elvis Australia.

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

    Link:

    http://www.elvis.com.au/

    Go over to the right side, once there, & select under "Elvis Articles" .......... "Interview with Sonny West."

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

    Highly recommended, friends.

    Sonny gives some very HONEST, ACCURATE, & NO-NONSENSE answers to a number of issues & questions.

    Sonny, IMO, is right up there at the top in terms of honsesty & reliability. Enjoy, ........... for I certainly did.

    Particularly noteworthy: His discussions about "A Star Is Born", Larry Geller, & EP's increasing addiction to prescription medication.

    I must say -----------> ALL he said is 100% straight-shooting, right on the money ............... AND REFRESHING to hear to for a change (vs. the propaganda that EPE likes to serve up).


    - Capt. "EL."

  2. #2
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    What a superb interview, thanks Capt. El! I certainly learned a few things there!, I thought Larry Gellar was around Elvis a lot longer than he actually was, I hope Sonny eventually brings his tour to the UK.
    "When You Let Your Head get Too Big, It'll Break your Neck" Elvis Presley.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Liverbobs
    What a superb interview, thanks Capt. El! I certainly learned a few things there!, .......
    Thanks to the interviewer / website for a rare SUBSTANTIVE & INSIGHTFUL contribution to The Elvis World & fans.

    Most of all thanks to Sonny.

    Quote Originally Posted by Liverbobs
    I thought Larry Gellar was around Elvis a lot longer than he actually was, .........
    Larry Geller, ....... is blowing smoke ....... in a major way ...... bamboozling many gullible fans (ironically, kind of like he did Elvis ).

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

    Sonny' remarks on Geller:

    (Excerpt / snip):

    " Q: What was the consensus on Larry Geller, Elvis' so-called spiritual advisor?

    SW - Asshole. He's told so much crap over the years, it's amazing. He was around for a little while in the sixties, he left in '66 or so. Then he came back in the last few months. But the way he tells it, he was there for years. And that spiritual advisor label is crap. Elvis was always searching for spirituality, but he found most of it himself from a lot of different people and places."


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

    These words are so blunt, to the point, & a penetratingly accurate bull's-eye ........ that I give a tip of my hat to Sonny for his candor.

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

    Some other tidbits:

    - "Apathy" ultimately killed Elvis, first.

    - "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" ........ explaining why Elvis never really changed his concert set-lists much in the 70's.

    - EP wouldn't have died on August 16, 1977, had Linda Thompson still been on the scene -----> Sonny states this very strongly.

    - EP was in complete denial about his medication dependency & rationalized his use on a number of different levels. Sonny & others were blocking sources & disposing of deliveries ........ until Elvis ultimately forced them to back off ........ eventually culminating in firing them.

    - They knew EP would have eventually hired them back (The Wests), minus Hebler (Hebler was permanently gone at that point, from EP's point of view).

    - Everything in EWH was TRUE, just presented in a skewed & regretfully SENSATIONALIZED manner. In part, that is also what Sonny's second book is hoping to rectify.

    - EP definitely did read EWH in time (before his death).

    - EP loved Priscilla "at first", but ............. Elvis ultimately didn't want to marry her ........ (but felt he had to) ....

    - The bigger blow to EP's ego when Pris. left him, ...... was not so much the leaving, but .......... going to the arms of somebody he knew. That said, it was also Elvis Presley THE ENTERTAINER whose ego was bruised most, ......... not so much Elvis the man.

    - Elvis wanted out of "A Star Was Born" and purposely asked The Col. to find a way.

    - No international tours for two reasons: 1. The pills. 2. The guns. (Aloha From Hawaii was done as an alternative to accomplishing the same thing - for the fans). The Col. also had no connections abroad.

    ......... & much, much, more .............

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

    Just to reiterate, ........ a highly recommended interview for hardcore fans who can think critically & remove their blinders.

    EVERYTHING Sonny states in that interview, ........ is JUST THE FACTS. 100% Accurate. IMO, Sonny is a guy with a good head on his shoulders.

    I, for one, am looking forward to Sonny's book. An overdue sequel to EWH to put things into their proper & rightly deserved perspective - for the sake of not only Elvis Presley, but also those who wrote the book in the first place.



    - Capt. "EL."

  4. #4
    From Elvis Presley Blvd Lonniebealestreet's Avatar
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    Great reading. It seems we could not ask for more of a straight shooter. Thanks for the link, Cappy, and thanks to the parties involved.
    ...you won't forget me when I go.

  5. #5
    Too Much Monkey Business Jumpsuit Junkie's Avatar
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    intrieging read about Sonny and his time with Elvis, also had a read of the "Cholly" Hodge interview, this is less cutting edge but still enjoyable.

    Matt

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jumpsuit Junkie
    ........ also had a read of the "Cholly" Hodge interview, this is less cutting edge but still enjoyable.
    Hodge, by nature, is less substance (it is also intentional on his part). All positive, very little - if any - negative, ........ & the constant repetition of MYTH.

    That said, ....... he does indeed have much more to say. Since he is, however, adverse to discussing the negative or casting EP in a less than MYTHIC light ----------> he never will.

    This nature or tendency of Hodge's is also what makes him likeable ......... but, ironically, .......... ultimately unreliable on some levels.

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

    There are a ton of bogus handwritten set-lists on the market supposedly penned by EP, ........ many with COA's from Hodge vouching for. IMO, they are not genuine. He will also sign COA's for items for pocket change.

    I'm not saying that everything from Hodge is "questionable", but ..........

    Caveat Emptor.


    - Capt. "EL."

  7. #7
    Too Much Monkey Business Jumpsuit Junkie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Elwood David
    Hodge, by nature, is less substance (it is also intentional on his part). All positive, very little - if any - negative, ........ & the constant repetition of MYTH.

    The above said there is a place for Hodges ramblings, but as you say it's refreshing to hear Sonny's candor it has an Edge Of Reality (Pun Intended).

    Matt

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jumpsuit Junkie
    The above said there is a place for Hodges ramblings, .....
    Must agree, because the man does have come critical pieces to the puzzle / story. Just a pity that the TRUTH suffers from his filtering of said pieces. Considering the alternative, that one doesn't speak about anything at all, ............ you are indeed very correct.


    - Capt. "EL."

  9. #9
    International Level Cryogenic's Avatar
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    STUNNING interview. Stunning.

    I've never seen an Elvis interview with such lucidity and candour by the person being interviewed.

    What's the saying? "Time heals all wounds". It may not bring Elvis back... but I think this forthcoming book will be a seminal release. "Required reading" would be a a travesty of an understatement to apply to it.

    Sonny West; diamond geezer.

  10. #10
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    I was lucky enough to see Sonny and Judy on Saturday night. I had met them both in Memphis last year, and they greeted me like a long lost friend the other night. Sonny and I had a talk for about half an hour before the show, just he and I at a table, no-one else around. We not only talked about Elvis, but our families and what we had been doing since August.....his book will be a very good read, straight from the heart, as his show is. Sonny is one of the good guys.
    Carolyn
    "Walk A Block In My Socks"

  11. #11
    From Elvis Presley Blvd Lonniebealestreet's Avatar
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    Very cool, Carolyn. I recall you speaking so highly of them before. Sounds like a very nice evening.
    ...you won't forget me when I go.

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    Nice interview. I can't believe that Elvis wasn't embarrassed by some of his movies, though. He did crave to be an actor, not sing to dogs and chickens.

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    Quote Originally Posted by quinn53
    I can't believe that Elvis wasn't embarrassed by some of his movies, though. He did crave to be an actor, not sing to dogs and chickens.
    Quinn -

    If it really is that important to you (this point), then I'm sure if you contact Sonny yourself & ask him for clarification on what exactly he meant ............ he'd probably be more than happy to set you straight in some of your misunderstandings.

    It really is that simple.



    - Capt. "EL."

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    Heartbreak Hotel, Room 11 Albert's Avatar
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    I tell you, I think he (the Colonel) was the best manager ever
    I simply can't understand why a person so close to Elvis still thinks that a person who showed so little interest in Elvis' mental and phyisical condition and hapiness can be the best manager ever....

    Great interview though
    ‎"A year from now, you'll wish you had started today"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Albert
    I simply can't understand why a person so close to Elvis still thinks that a person who showed so little interest in Elvis' mental and phyisical condition and hapiness can be the best manager ever....
    Evidence points to the fact that that's how Elvis wanted it -----> for The Col. to stay out of his private business & focus only on the business end of things. For the most part, The Col. did just that. Parker's own words, (paraphrased: "I was never social with the man (EP).").

    When EP's problems started to interfere with the business end of things ........... Parker did sometimes intervene: to get rid of Geller in the 60's & telling Vernon / Elvis to take some time off in the 70's to get his act together & not put himself & the fans thru what was going on. Parker's suggestion was brushed aside, because money was needed to keep Elvis' cash-flow moving.

    From all appearances, both parties (EP & The Col.) were more than comfortable with their mutual "understood" arrangements.

    Hindsight is always 20/20, often harsh & unforgiving. All things considered --> There is no denying that they made history together ....... in every decade of their career together (I say "their career", because Parker viewed their relationships as a genuine 50 / 50 partnership).


    - Capt. "EL."

  16. #16
    From Elvis Presley Blvd Lonniebealestreet's Avatar
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    On that subject, I am surprised at how the estate seems to have gone from being such great bedfellows with the Colonel up until very recently to now pointing the finger of blame his way to a considerable extent for Elvis' downfall. I suppose that's easier to do now that the man is dead (and corpses don't make great bedfellows to most people), and they probably feel justified for doing so since they continue to give him due credit for Elvis' rise to fame. And justified or not, it's mainly about whatever works for them at the time, I suppose.

    To sum up my feelings on the business relationship: great for Elvis in the beginning, not so great later on (though his job was made more difficult by the difficult star), and Elvis' fault for keeping him around.

    Speculative in one respect or not--and I don't personally find it irresponsible or far-fetched at all--Alanna Nash's "The Colonel" is a must-read. (Trying to make up for my EBTP recommendation. )
    ...you won't forget me when I go.

  17. #17
    Backstage Pass pacer1965's Avatar
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    Thanks Capt El
    for this link,I found the interview quite interesting

    Also thanks Lonnie for sending me to the right thread


    TCE
    Lorraine

  18. #18
    From Elvis Presley Blvd Lonniebealestreet's Avatar
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    You're very welcome.

    ...you won't forget me when I go.

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    Ditto on what Lonnie said.

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

    I think that the Sonny West interview is a particularly rare / substantive one, simply because Sonny is one of the minority primary sources that speaks ACCURATELY, INTELLIGENTLY, CANDIDLY, & most of all HONESTLY - about both, the good & the bad. In other words, you get both sides, & decide for yourself how to feel about it. (It of course helps, in the interviewer also has the chutzpah to ask the hard hitting / sometimes uncomfortable questions ).

    Sonny & this interview, both delivered.

    A pity we can't have more of this in The Elvis World.

    I wish Sonny all the best with his second book. Looking forward to it.


    - Capt. "EL."

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