Schilling—who has managed musical giants like the Beach Boys and Billy Joel—accompanied Presley as a personal friend at the peaks and valleys of his career, and even joined him for a unique spiritual quest. It's being reissued this week. Looking out over the sprawling metropolis below his Los Angeles home, Schilling talks about a Presley who few knew.
The two met in when year-old Schilling was growing up in Memphis. The singer still had time, though, to play quarterback in pickup football games on Sunday afternoons. And by chance one day that July, Schilling was invited to join. The two became fast friends. By , Presley was the highest paid actor in Hollywood. Yet, despite the money, he was dissatisfied. He imagined himself in pictures similar to Rebel Without a Cause and On the Waterfront , but was instead starring in musical comedies like Girls!
Weary too of the ubiquitous Hollywood pushers and hangers-on, Presley wanted people around him whom he could trust.
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So after an evening at the Memphian movie theater that same year, Presley implored Schilling, then a college student studying history, to come work for him, according to Schilling. Schilling accepted the bid, and the next morning he was on a road trip with Elvis to Hollywood. August is an especially poignant month for Schilling and for Presley devotees around the world.
It's when Elvis died at 42 in Each year, fans make pilgrimages to Graceland in commemoration. August also saw the first and only meeting between Presley and the Beatles.
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Schilling was among those present that night. John, Paul, George and Ringo—then at the height of their fame—seemed dumbstruck in the presence of their idol. George Harrison at one point said he remembered smoking a joint out by the swimming pool that night, so his recall may have been a bit hazy.
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But not the way his close friends, employees and others who entered his life knew him. For this is their story, told in their words. He interviews those who knew Elvis intimately, from the now elderly woman who was at school with him and whose parents foreclosed on the shack they rented to Elvis' mother when his father was in jail, to the maid who prepared his peanut butter sandwiches and hamburgers and watched him line up the girls he wanted to take to his bed.
In between, we meet the black man who remembered sneaking into a local cinema with his pal in defiance of most of the Deep South race laws, members of the so-called 'Memphis Mafia' who went where he went, laughed when he laughed and suffered when he suffered - and usually received a brand new Cadillac for their troubles. There's also his doctor who denies giving him fatal doses of the drugs he collected along with the hamburgers. Writer and broadcaster Michael Freedland went all over the West Coast and Southland to talk to these people who shared Elvis' life, telling the complex Elvis Presley story in a way more true to the real man than the usual collection of dates, film and song titles.
Read more Read less. Review 'There are fascinating tales aplenty here to beguile anyone drawn into the Presley enigma. No customer reviews. Share your thoughts with other customers.
Elvis Memories : The Real Presley - By Those Who Knew Him
Write a customer review. Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon. February 22, - Published on Amazon. Verified Purchase. As a result, this is the first book to buy if you're wondering what all the fuss was about, but there's plenty of thoughtful eulogy for hardcore fans, too. The stunning Bea Feitler photos are alone worth the price of purchase.
The best of the in-depth attempts to understand Elvis as all things to all people, Guralnick's two-volume, page monster the post-Army being the second half offers painstaking and sometimes painful detail on what life the King was, in fact, leading while worshiped from afar. Sort of a rise-and-fall tale that substitutes The Pelvis for the Roman Empire, and often cited as the greatest rock and roll biography ever written, it's a must for any Elvis fan. Guitarist Scotty Moore, who worked with Elvis at Sun and beyond, was one of the handful of people present when Presley "created" rock and roll, but his memories are even more valuable than that fact would indicate: he was also one of the King's favorite people if not quite a close friend, but who was?
Add to that the fact that he knew Elvis well for three full years before the Sun sessions, and this becomes the most important and least sensational of the "insider" books.
Ernst Jorgensen's is the bible for those who want to know what Elvis did in the studio and when, but for the big day-by-day picture of the King's life, you want this lavishly illustrated coffeetable book, which utilizes Guralnick's wordsmithing and Jorgenson's archivism to paint a very intimate portrait of Presley's life. Want to play detective and figure out who the real Elvis was? Here's pages of often surprising evidence. A simple and straightforward tome: transcripts of radio interviews and descriptions of performances that Elvis made in the postwar era.
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But what a revelation! Presley was walled away from the public, both by accident and design, after his initial success, but before then he was an open book, and this book attempts to show us the Elvis we might have met on the street before he became an icon. Essential reading for those who think his professional life started in A book that exists to fill a vacuum, but it's a fun and necessary job: a look at the thirty-one!!!
Many folks snicker at these films, but in his earliest years of stardom, Presley was thought of as a possible successor to James Dean.
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