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Thread: new sonny west book

  1. #1

    new sonny west book

    After three years of writing and research Sonny West and M.Terill have completed their book"Elvis, still taking care of business."
    What do you think of Sonny and his book?!
    1-Did he write it to make atone for the first one?
    2-Did he want to make himself feel better because he is feeling guilty in his old age?!
    They told us the first one was the truth and now we are to believe that this one is the truth?!The first one devastated elvis so much, why another?!
    I will appreciate your opinions!

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    Elvis What Happened, was a true book. While it may not garner the favour of some Elvis fans due to it's blunt honesty, it was true.

    It's very hard to argue that by 76'/77' Elvis was the same as 68'/69'. He was dependent on prescription medication, clinically depressed and his body was nearing the end of it's life cycle. How he ever managed to give some shows in the late 70's is beyond me. He was also using cocaine to an extent that the Elvis from only a few years earlier would of found abhorent.

    Elvis reacted so badly to it, because he knew it was true.

    I do believe they wrote it to make money - they had no jobs. Yes it was sensationalist - but that's what sells. If they wrote a book about Elvis being a quiet shy, humble country boy they would not have sold half as many books.


    I am looking forward to reading the book.
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    International Level NEA's Avatar
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    Hi 0349054,

    Just a couple of things I'd like to query with you regarding your statements in your post:

    "Elvis - What Happened?": Was it a true book or was it sensationalistic of true events? If it was sensationalistic of true events then I think this would be classed as not necessarily true?...written with blunt honesty?...Remember, the guys who wrote the book were going through a period that was filled with very blunt bitterness - but you can't blame them for feeling that bitter because Elvis had dismissed them quite unfairly...Nevertheless, I do feel that you have contradicted yourself.

    Elvis using cocaine? Well, this certainly throws a whole new perspective on the fact that Elvis was addicted to prescription drugs only - so Elvis had an illegal 'hard' drugs problem too? And, even though no traces of these substances were found in his blood stream - he still went through a period of constant cocaine usage?...Hmm...this is a new one on me...I think this is the first time I've heard this 'claim' coming from a Fan - don't think I've ever come across it from anyone that was a member of Elvis' Family or Memphis Mafia...Although, could I be missing something here and somebody through the years has already claimed this is true?....David Stanley, Marty Lacker, Lamar Fike....Sonny West?....maybe, in his new book of re-written history?...Hmm....
    Last edited by NEA; 12-21-2005 at 06:30 AM.
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    Hi NEA,

    It was sensationalist in that it focused on the darker sides of Elvis' life, rather than being sugar coated.

    The events described in the book are true. The sensationalism is that they focused on these rather than saying Elvis was perfect.

    I don't think I have contradicted myself, well at least I hope you now see what I mean by sensationalism in regard to what was put into the book.

    Elvis used cocaine. Red did it with him on the balcony of the Las Vegas Hilton in 75', he used to soak cotton wool balls in liquid coke and put it in his nose. Most of the guys who are honest about events will admit he used it.

    He used LSD in the 60's with Priscilla, shes admitted that. But he did use Coke in the late 70's. The fact none was found in his bloodstream only indicates he didn't use it before he died.
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    I`m very shocked about this as far as I know he never used cocaine.
    As for those three scumbags they were short of money because the person who had supplied it had sacked them. Their reaction was to do a book that would depict Elvis in the most wicked light possible and they did that.
    In my opinion it wasn`t a true book because it was distorted through anger, bitterness and revenge.
    A true book is what reflects the good and the bad of a person and that book was all bad. It was the most awful book about Elvis (apart from Albert Goldman) that I have ever had the misfortune to read.
    Sonny West has proved that it was distorted because he admitted that the author Steve Dunleavy had sensationalised it to sell more copies.
    Now he says he is writing the truth about Elvis.
    All Red West could say was that he did it to help Elvis what rubbish. He later admitted to Todd Slaughter that he did it for the money.
    As for Dave Hebler hes that honest that a few years ago there was a programme about a shirt that Frank Skinner had bought at auction and Frank became suspicious that he had been duped because it was claimed to be the one Elvis wore at the Tupelo Fairgrounds but on close inspection it wasn`t that one and the condition was so good and it couldn`t of been it.
    Dave Hebler said that Elvis gave it to him in the seventies because it was cluttering up his wardrobe. He is a complete liar.
    All three of them make me sick.

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    I wont comment on Hebler, because I don't like the way he has described Elvis since Elvis passed. His general opinion of Elvis seems to be negative.

    Red and Sonny were with Elvis for a long long time, and were very close to him. Elvis should have had the sense to keep those sort of people around him instead of people like the Stanleys. But he was very sick towards the end.

    I believe they did it for the money, but also a hope that it may shock Elvis into doing something about his health.
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    Cadillac King orwell1976's Avatar
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    As far as I know Elvis did use cocaine, but only for a short time. Somewhere I read that Elvis used it in late 1974 (so Red West maybe wrong with 1975, but you can't blame him for that). When you listen to the shows Elvis gave in late 1974 I would believe it. Elvis was very talkative during these concerts and his mood seems to swing from one second to another. So maybe Red meant that Elvis started to use cocaine during the "Elvis Summer Festival 1974" (remember: the more that engagement wore on, the more talkative and strange he got and he stayed in this "mood" for the next tour and the engagement in Tahoe) and used it until he was sent into the hospital in 1975. After that he seemed to be his old self again.


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    Your right, he improved in 75' compared to 74'.

    They really tried to get all that stuff out of him in hospital - the drugs, both types.

    He looks and sounds much healthier in 75' though compared to 74'. But 73' post Aloha was a pretty bad year as well.
    Last edited by 0349054; 12-21-2005 at 11:22 AM.
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    Cadillac King amzietamzie's Avatar
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    i was never aware that elvis used cocaine... i thought he tried it once or something, possibly with priscilla, but didn't like it at all.
    as for the book, i don't see how it is possible for sonny west to write 2 "true" books. he claims that the first one, which in my opinion is a very one-sided account from a group of men who were bitter and twisted, was true. it may well have some correct information in, but its ultimate aim was obviously to shock and scare and so its "facts" can't really be trusted. his new book, if it is indeed meant to shed a good light on elvis, can't possibly be written without shaming the first book, or not containing the truth.
    i haven't read "elvis- what happened?" and i don't intend to- it is clear that it was written for money, although i can see the ulterior motive, that was an attempt to shock elvis into doing something about his drug use. but it clearly hurt elvis very badly and its timing wasn't brilliant. this second book, it seems to me, will either prove what liers the writers of the first book were, or will show sonny west to be a hypocrite.
    but i might be wrong, i don't know many of the particulars and sonny west could truly be sorry for the very negative approach given in "elvis- what happened?" and may now be wanting to make up for it.

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    Part of an INterview Sonny did with Leslie Smith..

    Q: What was the source of the drugs?


    A: Doctors around the country. Many of them had no idea that he was getting
    stuff from other doctors. He had doctors in Vegas, Memphis, LA,...dentists,
    podiatrists, doctors... The cocaine that came in came from someone who
    actually worked for him, and it came from a dealer. Those were the ones we
    stopped at times, threatened them until Elvis found out about it and
    threatened jobs on our parts. He said he needed the stuff to wake up from
    the pills.


    Q: Let's just talk about the cocaine for a moment. To your own certain
    knowledge he was using cocaine?

    A: Yes, no question about it.

    Q: You actually saw him doing it. He was sniffing it?


    A: Yes. And after that, Elvis used to take these cotton balls and soak them
    in his nose. And we were told it was liquid coke. Red and Joe often broke
    down the cocaine with another powder to make it less potent.

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    Memory - Jog

    Thanks for your reply 0349054...this has certainly jogged my memory somewhat regarding Elvis' use of LIQUID Cocaine...

    I vaguely remember reading somewhere that Elvis started to experiment with it like he did that time in the 60's with LSD. But, the fact of the matter was Elvis didn't like the white powdered version due to the process one had to go through to get the full affect of the drug (a quick snort up the nostril). So, that is why he preferred to use the liquid 'cotton swab' version.

    Elvis was hospitalized in January 1975 and cut his usual winter Vegas engagement short. Could this have been the main source of the reason for this stint in hospital? I think this habit was somewhat short-lived and so his addiction for various types of prescribed medication increased soon after this.

    I suppose it will be quite intriguing to find out what Mr. West will have to say this time around all these years later...something inside me tells me he really wants to make amends for the "What Happened?" shocker of 1977, and now that he is older he also can put these events of the past into perspective and possibly wants to move on from his guilt and former bitterness.

    Let's give him a chance.
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    I won`t give him a chance.

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    Even though bits of "Elvis - What happened" may be true, or even if it all is, I still refuse to read it. I believe that this book, written out of bitterness and revenge(even if somewhat justified) was one of the causes of Elvis's increased intake of pills ( over 10,000 prescribed by DR. Nick alone in those last 8 months!) anxiety and depression that brought about a quicker end to his life, had the book not come out. And in addition to that, no matter how Elvis dealt with letting them go, does it justify an action of revenge so vile and obviously meant to harm as this book was? ( They were sending him chapters as it was being written, and his copy was heavily read, underlined and written in).
    I mean, afterall, they did say they were best friends and Red cosidered him like family. Do you do something like that to someone you profess to love? I mean, look at Johnny Cash. No book, just a loving family and friends that cared more about the man than the gravy train (money) and they didn't write a book or go to the press, they just intervened. I don't care what anyone says, there were people that were around Elvis that could have done it ( his dad, Priscilla, the Colonel, other members of the family.)
    I bet Sonny is trying to make up for that a bit, and it would be interesting to read what he has to say, but I'd take it all with a grain of salt. And I will never read the first one. I'm aware of what happened and I don't need to read a heavily slanted, sensationalized version of it.
    Last edited by Menwithbrokenhearts; 12-21-2005 at 10:41 PM.
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    From Elvis Presley Blvd Lonniebealestreet's Avatar
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    I am looking forward to reading Sonny's new book. Good for him if it helps him sleep better at night.

    There is actually an FBI file on Elvis' cocaine use...



    Though I question the total accuracy of this information, I believe there is some truth to it.

    A few of the guys have admitted to using cocaine with Elvis.

    While it is very significant he was using this illicit drug, it was the abuse of prescribed medications that wrought the most damage to Elvis' mind and body and led to his ultimate demise, as we all know. So I think it is not only due to a whitewashing of Elvis history that not too much is made of this.
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    Appreciation Value

    I can very much appreciate everyone's opinions on this subject matter of Sonny's new book, but no matter what, it will always revert back to his original attempt to tell it like it was 30 years ago.

    When you put it into perspective, and I'm sure Sonny knows this - the three of them ended up looking like complete Jerks who were mad at their boss because he had chosen to fire them in a not too friendly and cowardly way. There are still no excuses for three angst-ridden men who suddenly decide that the only way to get back at him was to write a sensationalised book about 'how he really is' and 'what it was really like'. There are still no excuses for three volatile men who decide to act as 'Judge & Jury' and still claim, to a certain degree, that they wrote the book to get Elvis to change his ways. There are still no excuses for three embittered men who only added to one man's battle against his then turbulent lifestyle. But, book or no book - Elvis would still no longer be with us. But, there are still no excuses.

    Sonny West is the guilty voice of the Memphis Mafia. He is now attempting to write the book that would have probably been written anyway (all three needed the money) - but it is the book that addresses their love and friendship throughout all the years. If Elvis would have handled his firing of them in a much more friendly and honest way, perhaps this would have been the book we would have got thirty years ago. It would have been a book with more affection and heartfelt concern for their friend's state of mind. But, there are still no excuses.

    I can appreciate what Sonny is trying to do - he is not a bitter and blinkered young guy anymore...he wants to talk about his friend the way he should have talked about him all those years ago. I have heard and read reports that Sonny West is a nice guy, and along with his wife, Judy, they are two of the most honest and humble people in the Elvis World. I have heard and read reports that Sonny West talks about his life with Elvis in a positive way like nobody has ever heard before. I am glad that it is Sonny who is putting pen to paper - I don't really trust his cousin, Red and I certainly don't trust the little man that is called Dave Hebler to do the job that should have been done many years ago.

    Well guys, we are now the Judge & Jury and the proof of the pudding will be in the eating, as the saying goes...the pressure is on, and Sonny most probably knows that.

    Watch this space.

    NEA.
    Last edited by NEA; 12-22-2005 at 03:54 PM.
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    ALL I KNOW OUR MAN DIED WITH A BROKEN HEART, THEIR WORTHLESS,TASTELESS BOOK HURT THAT PRESCIOUS PERSON ,THIS IS WHAT I CONCERN..AND ELVIS NEVER SAID OR WROTE ANYTHING BAD ABOUT THOSE ..... DON'T LET ME SAY WHAT THEY ARE..I HATE THEM "perfect cousins" SO THAT I CAN HAVE A HEART ATTACK RIGHT NOW..APOLOGIZING??..MY ... NOOOOO WAY.. I WON'T BUY ANYTHING FROM THEM..

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    so this must be the new trend ..to be wise Elvis fans and to show that we are really grown up, we have to accept that he used everything from baby a spirine to cocain,it was him that didn't want to tour europe,he had soooooooo many darrrrrrkkkk sides,he did everything the way he wanted to so he himself ruined his life and everyone around him was innocent, very good, wise and helping ,sweetest, loyal people but he reject their loving and helping hands .. is that it?..Sorry friends,I'm not that perfect and new age Elvis fan..I always trusted my senses and I will go on doin the same..this world wasted a huuge and amazing potential that was a gift to all of us,Elvis wasn't a clich? so we still have difficulties understanding him.But to my senses (you may laugh at me)he was not the typical,media's fav sex,drugs,and r&r celebrity.. to many narrow mind's understanding capacity, he was too a big energy that we didn't know exactly what to do with him..so I call you miserable so called writers, stop ridicule your very own selves..and let us forget about you for your own good..

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    Quote Originally Posted by NEA
    I can very much appreciate everyone's opinions on this subject matter of Sonny's new book, but no matter what, it will always revert back to his original attempt to tell it like it was 30 years ago.

    When you put it into perspective, and I'm sure Sonny knows this - the three of them ended up looking like complete Jerks who were mad at their boss because he had chosen to fire them in a not too friendly and cowardly way. There are still no excuses for three angst-ridden men who suddenly decide that the only way to get back at him was to write a sensationalised book about 'how he really is' and 'what it was really like'. There are still no excuses for three volatile men who decide to act as 'Judge & Jury' and still claim, to a certain degree, that they wrote the book to get Elvis to change his ways. There are still no excuses for three embittered men who only added to one man's battle against his then turbulent lifestyle. But, book or no book - Elvis would still no longer be with us. But, there are still no excuses.

    Sonny West is the guilty voice of the Memphis Mafia. He is now attempting to write the book that would have probably been written anyway (all three needed the money) - but it is the book that addresses their love and friendship throughout all the years. If Elvis would have handled his firing of them in a much more friendly and honest way, perhaps this would have been the book we would have got thirty years ago. It would have been a book with more affection and heartfelt concern for their friend's state of mind. But, there are still no excuses.

    I can appreciate what Sonny is trying to do - he is not a bitter and blinkered young guy anymore...he wants to talk about his friend the way he should have talked about him all those years ago. I have heard and read reports that Sonny West is a nice guy, and along with his wife, Judy, they are two of the most honest and humble people in the Elvis World. I have heard and read reports that Sonny West talks about his life with Elvis in a positive way like nobody has ever heard before. I am glad that it is Sonny who is putting pen to paper - I don't really trust his cousin, Red and I certainly don't trust the little man that is called Dave Hebler to do the job that should have been done many years ago.

    Well guys, we are now the Judge & Jury and the proof of the pudding will be in the eating, as the saying goes...the pressure is on, and Sonny most probably knows that.

    Watch this space.

    NEA.
    Good post NEA,

    Have to agree with most of it.

    I take it you will buying the book then?

    I am looking forward to reading it.

    Anyone know when it will be released?
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    A Purchase

    Hi 0349054,

    Yes I will purchase the book.

    Let's put it into perspective - It will be a better purchase than "Elvis-What Happened?" and that goes without saying. I'm not too sure of it's release - possibly sometime in 2006, unless they are holding out for the 30th Anniversary year in 2007?

    Sonny knows there will be no room for a 'hatchet-job' this time around. We are looking for genuine honesty in this publication which will tell it to us in a very objective way from one man's point of view, and from somebody who was actually around Elvis a lot of the time...I really do hope that he can pull this one off. I think he has possibly done his homework in getting Marshall Terrill on his side to collaborate with this publication - it can't be much worse than that 'cess-pit' newspaper journalist, Steve Dunleavy, from thirty years ago.

    I think we shall get a less-clouded and much less bitter account of Sonny's life with Elvis this time. I don't think he will be writing in a style that will portray 'Elvis really owed him something' unlike "What Happened?". In actual fact all that Elvis owed Sonny and the other two was an apology - they owed Elvis much more by the time the first week in August, 1977 was dotted on the Calendar.

    Good Luck Sonny...you will need it.

    NEA.
    Last edited by NEA; 12-23-2005 at 04:50 AM.
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    Agreed.

    Elvis created the whole thing by the way he handled the firing and also by the way his health and lifestyle had deteriorated to an all time low at that stage.

    The book should probabaly not have been written, however it was and maybe one good thing that came from it, was that Elvis was forced to start to think how he was going to defend himself when people started asking questions.

    Billy Smith has said that Elvis spoke to him seveal times about the book and that he was going to admit to the acquasations contained in it should fans start asking during the concerts in the forthcoming tour. He was prepared to admit he had a problem.

    If only he had admitted it a few years earlier he could still be here setting the music world alight.
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