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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Elvis what happened
This book is the one Elvis didn't want to get out but it doesn't matter he still would have been the best had he been with us today this book is a great read and gives you a great insight what Elvis was like behind closed doors no worse than anybody else in his position but a really nice guy shame he's still not here with us today to tell us in person his great life he...
Published 19 months ago by Mr. S. M. Higginson

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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A Judas Act
Told by three of Elvis Presley's former bodyguard 'friends' and anxiously written by fast-living gossip specialist Steve Dunleavy, this is the book that pushed Elvis over the edge and contributed substantially to his untimely death on 16th August 1977.

In July of the previous year, the long serving bodyguards had been fired by Presley's father with Elvis'...
Published on 13 April 2011 by tommyboo


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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A Judas Act, 13 April 2011
This review is from: Elvis, What Happened? (Mass Market Paperback)
Told by three of Elvis Presley's former bodyguard 'friends' and anxiously written by fast-living gossip specialist Steve Dunleavy, this is the book that pushed Elvis over the edge and contributed substantially to his untimely death on 16th August 1977.

In July of the previous year, the long serving bodyguards had been fired by Presley's father with Elvis' consent no doubt, reportedly as a result of financial cutbacks, though generally believed for their big-headedness and lawsuits brought against Elvis as a direct result of the bodyguards' heavy and violent handling of fans. They had seemingly become a burden. Whatever the real reason, they decided to avenge this action by publishing a tell-all book, exposing Elvis to the world for the very first time. Remember, up until that time, Elvis' image had been cleaner than soap.

The book exposed Elvis' purported eccentricities and prescription drugs dependence for the very first time, and made its motives very clear from page one. Though the publication today reads like a Walt Disney epic compared to other rock stars' antics, it must be remembered that the only information one had of Presley at the time was that he lived reclusively in Memphis and that he had gained weight. Suddenly with this book, it is revealed 42 year old Elvis is one of the frontmen of the sex, drugs, and rock'n'roll brigade. In its wickedly obvious quest for revenge and quick revenue, the book more than hinted at Elvis' fondness for beautiful girls, powerful cars, guns, rich food, jewelry, and potent addictive medication. Stunning revelations!

We might shrug our shoulders at these revelations today but back then they were unnacceptable for the mega superstar. And nobody knew this more than Elvis himself. So much so that a secret financial offer was made to the bodyguards to stop the publication, and Elvis even called one of the bodyguards in a mild attempt to divert the course of the book - all to no avail.

Instead, they went the whole way. Betrayal doesn't come any dirtier. These men had seen and heard everything over the past 20 years, and now they were about to spill it all out to the world - with no detail spared. Even the knowledge of Elvis' little daughter one day reading this book did not make them rethink. Easy revenge and get rich money came first.

Elvis reportedly took the knowledge of the impending release of this book extremely hard, ultimately affecting his health in such serious ways that many believe drove him into irreversible despair and depression, and eventual death. A debatable subject of course, but I am of the opinion that had this book not been written, Elvis would still be with us today, or at least lived much longer.

The book was released on 1st August 1977. Two weeks later, the day before he was to start a new fourteen day concert tour, Elvis died. The tour would have brought him face to face with his audiences for the first time since the book's release, and he probably expected the worst from his fans.

His premature death catapulted the book's sales to record levels - and Elvis into mythology.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 'Fiery' Friendships..., 26 Aug. 2014
This review is from: Elvis, What Happened? (Mass Market Paperback)
After reading most of this book, just for the sake of curiosity, it was amazing to learn about the considerable lengths of a 'revenge mission' that 3 so-called 'friends' of the world's biggest superstar would go to in order to let the so-called truth be known. Nevertheless, there are sprinklings of great truths amongst the trashy tabloid style of the prose, and of course great fabricated 'dramatics' seep into the text along the way - they had to make some money afterall! It was told to, and written by, a trashy journalist so he was obviously skilled enough to get the 'hatchet job' done as quickly as possible. The 'boys' here were hurt, and they had families too. EP could have a least honoured their years of service in a more professional manner instead of turning the task over to his Daddy to do the deed (if only he had sacked that manager too into the bargain!). One feels that a better handling of the bodyguards' 'firing' situation by the man himself could have at least softened the blow a little for all parties involved, and just maybe this type of 'biography' could have been avoided and Elvis' final year would have had one less aspect of stress to contend with. However, maybe the considerable effects of several doses of prescribed medication was as much to blame for his approach to the 'firing' situation more than anything else. We'll never really know the truth about that situation. However, putting aside the writers' bitterness towards their boss, it's quite apparent that they did love him and on several occasions tried to protect him - especially from himself, which eventually proved a very difficult task indeed which bore no fruit. A sad story.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Elvis what happened, 6 Dec. 2013
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This review is from: Elvis, What Happened? (Mass Market Paperback)
This book is the one Elvis didn't want to get out but it doesn't matter he still would have been the best had he been with us today this book is a great read and gives you a great insight what Elvis was like behind closed doors no worse than anybody else in his position but a really nice guy shame he's still not here with us today to tell us in person his great life he had as a star I'm sure this book wouldn't have bothered him now so go and buy it if you can get it,
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Elvis - What Happened?, 4 Nov. 2013
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This review is from: Elvis, What Happened? (Mass Market Paperback)
I am a mad Elvis fan and finally got round to buying this book after reading nearly every other book out there on Elvis.

To be honest I knew it wouldn't show Elvis in a good light by any means but the main reason I bought it was because it was written by people who knew him well and whilst Elvis was still alive (just).

In my opinion Red and Sonny West (who were the main sources for the book) are open about their feelings and appear to be critical of themselves as well as Elvis.

If you are an Elvis fan I believe this book is essential reading and the saddest thing is that they talk of Elvis in the present tense when we know what happened only a few weeks later.

Even if only half of this book is partly lies or exploitative it is still worth reading in order to give a different perspective.

One thing it doesn't change though is the fact that Elvis is a one off who will never be surpassed.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, 19 May 2014
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This review is from: Elvis, What Happened? (Mass Market Paperback)
An excellent book, highly recommended, it has so much positive things to say about Elvis. Red west was really a true friend.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars People are people...., 23 Mar. 2014
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Greystone (Lancashire, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Elvis, What Happened? (Mass Market Paperback)
I remember reading this book when I was a massive Elvis fan. It really shocked me that Elvis swore, lol. That was the thing I really took from it.

The problem is that fandom is basically subjective. We put people on a pedestal, I did it with John Lennon too, and probably others.

The truth is, people are people, whether famous or not, we all have a good side we all have a dark side. That's the bottom line.

I really enjoyed this book, it shocked me, it opened my eyes, I was only fifteen when I read it. But I would still recommend it.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible book written by ELVIS ex bodyguards shortly after they ..., 28 July 2014
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N. Martin - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Elvis, What Happened? (Mass Market Paperback)
Terrible book written by ELVIS ex bodyguards shortly after they were fired by Vernon Presley.ELVIS saw it shortly before it was published & was hurt that three ex bodyguards & friends could go on and write such trash,merely to make money out of his name.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A glimpse into the nightmare Elvis' life had become - The Truth was much worse, 25 Mar. 2015
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Mr. D. Kalley - See all my reviews
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Elvis - What Happened, is still the original and still the best expose on the King of Rock N' Roll, I'm not sure why Elvis fans brand Red West and Sonny West as traitors and ingrates when in reality they were very badly treated.
Vernon Presley didn't like the fact that Elvis gave these guys cars, jewellery and stuff etc. - but then Vernon wasn't forced to spend night after night with Elvis in Las Vegas being asked to organise a 'Hit' on Mike Stone, if this wasn't enough, you were in a room with a guy loaded on drugs pointing a loaded weapon at you.
In many ways this book this book could have been a lot worse as they didn't mention Elvis was having an adult relationship with Priscilla whilst she was still a minor.
The book skips over the fact that Elvis was in numerous relationships whilst married to Priscilla, and that Elvis only married her due to pressure from both The Colonel and Priscilla's father.
To cap it all - Elvis didn't invite lifelong friends, Red and Sonny West to his wedding, and in 9 years after that, never once explained to them - why he did that.
If that was bad, then Elvis made himself scarce when he authorised Vernon Presley to sack Red West, Sonny West and Dave Hebler.
The book didn't mention that they flew across America to pick up pill prescriptions, Elvis was on speed when he met President Nixon and that their boss due to years of drug abuse had lost control of his bowels and would 'S***' in his bed.
Due to years of multiple needle injections, Elvis' back, arms and buttocks looked like pin cushions and because the skin had hardened, sometimes the needle broke when they tried administering his drugs.
Compared to what we know now about Elvis, this was the Disney version.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 15 Feb. 2015
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An eye opener
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 19 Nov. 2014
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Good value
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Elvis, What Happened?
Elvis, What Happened? by Steve Dunleavy (Mass Market Paperback - 1 Aug. 1977)
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