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An intimate memoir of a friendship with Elvis Presley, arguably one of the most important artists in rock 'n' roll history, taking you from late-night parties at Graceland to the bright lights of Hollywood sets and the glittering stages of Las Vegas.
|Publisher:||Tantor Media, Inc.|
|Edition description:||MP3 - Unabridged CD|
|Product dimensions:||5.30(w) x 7.40(h) x 0.60(d)|
About the Author
Jerry Schilling has spent forty years in the entertainment industry as an actor, film editor, producer, and manager for such acts as the Beach Boys, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Billy Joel. His credits as a film and television producer include the Disneys "Elvis: The Great Performances"; the ten-hour series "History of Rock n Roll"; A&E biographies of Brian Wilson and Sam Phillips; and the CBS special "Elvis by the Presleys,"
Chuck Crisafulli is a veteran entertainment journalist and the author of several books, most recently "Go to Hell: A Heated History of the Underworld,"
William Dufris have extensive experience on stage and screen.
What People are Saying About This
Schilling has the goodsùwhere else can you read about the King giving karate lessons to Liza Minnelli in a hotel room while Chubby Checker and porn star Linda Lovelace looked on? (Entertainment Weekly)
More than anything, this moving and elegantly told memoir resonates with the spirit of true friendship. (The Washington Post)
Elvis the Reader
"Reader" is probably not one of the first terms that jumps to mind when people think of Elvis Presley, but in the twenty-three years that I knew him his love of the written word was a constant passion. One of the very first times I met him, at a touch football game in North Memphis, he referred to a friend of mine as "Penrod," and when I asked him where he'd come up with such an odd nickname, he told me it was from a book he was reading. He was a year out of high school at the time, driving a truck for an electric company by day and working on his music at night, but apparently he still found time to read Booth Tarkington novels. As a twelve-year-old who had trouble putting together a one-page report on assigned readings, I found that stunning.
As I got to know Elvis better over the years, I was struck by the range of his reading. He loved superhero comic books, but he also put a great deal of effort into absorbing the lessons of the Bible, the Koran, and the writings of Jewish mystics. As he achieved greater levels of fame and searched ever deeper for meaning in his own life, he turned to works like Paramhansa Yogananda's Autobiography of a Yogi, The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran, The Impersonal Life by Joseph Benner, and the great numerological work Cheiro's Book of Numbers. But his reading list could always surprise you -- you might find him one day poring over Notes from the Underground, a countercultural magazine picked up in San Francisco, and the next day he'd be focused intently on culling every possible detail of the Kennedy assassination out of the published volumes of the Warren Report.
Almost as striking as what Elvis read was the way he read. His copies of books were always ferociously dog-eared and margins were full of his own scribbled notes and questions. He loved to lose himself in a text, seeking out deeper meaning in words and ideas, much the same way that he'd give himself over to a song in order to interpret it. And he was an excitable reader -- when he was thrilled with a work he'd memorize huge sections of it, and soon be buying copies to hand out to just about everyone he encountered. I think it's safe to say that he was the only headlining star in Las Vegas whose idea of a great after-party was a freewheeling discussion of The Prophet
. Elvis's love of language wasn't limited to words in book form. He had memorized General Douglas MacArthur's farewell speech and could deliver a stirring rendition of it. He was deeply moved by Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech and committed that to memory as well. When I first went to work for Elvis in 1964, on our first cross-country drive, he stunned me one night in a Barstow motel room when he turned his attention to a television set and perfectly intoned the lines of the poem "High Flight," which was being used as a station signoff. The last lines of the poem were "...And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod / The high untrespassed sanctity of space, / Put out my hand, and touched the face of God."
Whenever you thought you had Elvis figured out, he surprised you. He was a seeker and a searcher, and his passion for great ideas and beautiful language was as deep as his passion for great music.