The Seeker King: A Spiritual Biography of Elvis Presley [NOOK Book]

Overview

A woman in the audience once handed Elvis a crown saying, “You’re the King.” “No, honey,” Elvis replied. “There is only one king — Jesus Christ. I’m just a singer.” Gary Tillery presents a coherent view of Elvis’s thoughts through such anecdotes and other recorded facts. We learn, for instance, that Elvis read thousands of books on religion; that his crisis over making bimbo movies like Girl Happy led him to writers such as Gurdjieff, Krishnamurti, and Helena Blavatsky; and that, while driving in Arizona, an ...
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The Seeker King: A Spiritual Biography of Elvis Presley

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Overview

A woman in the audience once handed Elvis a crown saying, “You’re the King.” “No, honey,” Elvis replied. “There is only one king — Jesus Christ. I’m just a singer.” Gary Tillery presents a coherent view of Elvis’s thoughts through such anecdotes and other recorded facts. We learn, for instance, that Elvis read thousands of books on religion; that his crisis over making bimbo movies like Girl Happy led him to writers such as Gurdjieff, Krishnamurti, and Helena Blavatsky; and that, while driving in Arizona, an epiphany he had inspired him to learn Hindu practice. Elvis came to believe that the Christ shines in everyone and that God wanted him to use his light to uplift people. And so he did. Elvis’s excesses were as legendary as his generosity, yet, despite his lethal reliance on drugs, he remained ever spiritually curious. When he died, he was reading A Scientific Search for the Face of Jesus. This intimate, objective portrait inspires new admiration for the flawed but exceptional man who said, “All I want is to know and experience God. I’m a searcher, that’s what I’m all about.”
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
09/23/2013
Much as he did for George Harrison in Working Class Mystic, Tillery ploddingly traces the spiritual dimensions of Elvis Presley's life. Retelling the already well-told tale (see Peter Guralnick's Last Train to Memphis) of this young Mississippian's somewhat unlikely ascent to the heights of popular music, Tillery focuses on Elvis's 1964 meeting with Larry Geller, his hairdresser. Geller became Elvis's spiritual director, introducing him to a book that revealed to the musician his purpose in life—to serve others—and set him on a short-lived journey through a variety of spiritual traditions, from his own Pentecostal Christianity to Hinduism, Gnosticism, and New Age teachings. Yet Presley's manager, the domineering Colonel Parker, feeling threatened by Geller and the changes he witnessed in Elvis's personality under Geller's tutelage, eventually made it difficult for the hairdresser to remain in Elvis' entourage. Once Geller left, Elvis descended into the self-destructive behavior and excess that characterized his last seven years and from which he never recovered. Tillery illustrates Presley's deep insecurities and constant need for love, but his portrait of Elvis as a saint and seeker is ultimately unconvincing. (Oct.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780835621229
  • Publisher: Quest Books
  • Publication date: 9/9/2013
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 216
  • Sales rank: 743,908
  • File size: 641 KB

Meet the Author

A native of the Southwest, Gary Tillery was born in Phoenix in 1947. In 1968-69 Tillery served in Vietnam with the United States Air Force. His enlistment over in 1970, he returned to Phoenix and earned a bachelor’s degree in Latin American Studies from Arizona State University and a master’s degree from the American Graduate School of International Management.

After two decades in the business world, primarily as co-owner of an advertising agency in suburban Chicago, Tillery turned his time and energy to his lifelong passion for literature and art. He published a collection of interrelated short stories set in Vietnam titled Darkling Plain, and began a series of humorous novels featuring “soft-boiled” detective Jack Savage—the first two titled Death, Be Not Loud and To An Aesthete Dying Young.

The Seeker King is the newest in a collection of spiritual biographies which includes Working Class Mystic: A Spiritual Biography of George Harrison (Quest Books) and The Cynical Idealist: A Spiritual Biography of John Lennon (Quest Books). Each of these mystical biographies examines the rock stars’ creative work as it relates to their spiritual development.

Tillery is also a professional sculptor. He favors the mediums of metal and stone, using these traditional materials to express contemporary ideas. His most prominent work is the sculpture for the Vietnam Memorial in Chicago. He also created the bronze bust of Steve Allen for the Steve Allen Theater in Hollywood; and through his association with the Rotblatt-Amrany Studio he created, among other works, the life-size bronze of Luis Aparicio at U. S. Cellular Field in Chicago.

Tillery has displayed in galleries from Pennsylvania to New Mexico and appeared in shows as far away as Shanghai. His works are in the private collections of Patricia DuPont and General Tommy Franks, and the National Vietnam Veterans Art Museum in Chicago possesses two pieces in its permanent collection.
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