on 18 August 2014
I really enjoyed this book it was a easy read with some very touching memories of a man who really loved Elvis as a true friend. From what he said I think Elvis had a lot of love for Jerry. I feel I know more about Elvis the very human being. We have all heard some unpleasant things about Elvis I the past but reading this book I could understand the frustrations of a man with such incredible talent being thwarted in his desire to do more challenging opportunities knowing that he tried several times to put a European tour together and the colonel put a stop to it. Also his great disappointment at not playing opposite Barbara Streisand in A star is borne also because of the colonel must have been a crushing blow for Elvis. It didn't become clear just why the colonel didn't want Elvis going abroad as he wouldn't have been able to accompany his as he was an illegal in the USA. He kept that quiet until the court case about all the money he had taken in the years he was Elvis' manager and only made it known so he couldn't be charged with anything as a man of no nationality . To me that shows what a deceitful man he was. That knowledge came from reading another book. He made some good business deals but always to his greater financial benefit. I also think people forget elvis came from very humble beginnings and was used to deferring to is elders add to that the fact that Elvis was never interested in the money side of things and it is easy to see why he was manipulated. His generosity is legendary but I never realised how much he gave to good causes. His thirst for spiritual knowledge tells me he was a man of great depth and understanding. I could wish that there were men around Elvis who could have fought his corner with his desire for more challenging and worthwhile projects to stretch Elvis' incredible talent. This book is a ver human look at the man so universally loved and admired by his millions of fans and as such a must read for them but also for people who didn't really understand the legend that was Elvis Aaron Presley. So thank you Jerry for a wonderful, compassionate and loving look into the life of the greatest entertainer who ever lived RIP Elvis we fan will always love and miss you
on 5 November 2009
Jerry Schilling can easily be considered one of Presley's most loyal and trusted friends.
Before meeting Elvis, Jerry was like any other obsessed fan. His dreams were exceeded when he met and was later hired by Presley. The book tells the whole story from Jerry's earliest recollection of first hearing of Elvis Presley through to working and partying with him, almost to the end. You will learn about the good times as well as the frustrations. Jerry was there and witnessed it all.
If you are already well read on Elvis, much of the stories told in this book will sound familiar or even repetitively boring. To the uninitiated or the new fan, Jerry's book is a revelation without the sensationalism found in other "friends' books.
on 24 July 2013
This is a must for any Elvis fan. Jerry takes you back to when it all began. He introduces you to Elvis the man, you learn about his humour, moods ,loves, and insecurities and not forgetting his generosity and the love he had for his fellow man/woman.. You read how humble this man could be I loved the way Jerry gives you his thoughts on events and his honesty. He didn't gloss over any imperfections but also doesn't dwell on them. With this book you see the full picture, the man as a whole. You can feel the love Jerry had and still has for Elvis as a friend and you feel the lose he is still feeling. This is a book will you read again and again and find things in it you read but didn't pick up the first time.
on 12 March 2015
Jerry Schilling writes with real grace and love and dignity about his friend Elvis in this book. Starting off as the twelve year old in awe of the older boy (Elvis) at a football game, it gathers pace and the reader can see how these two young men's affection for each other develops into more of an equal, reciprocal , honest and loving friendship. All the adventures of their halcyon youth as young men about town in Memphis and California, the film sets, the girls, the cars, the motorcycles, the concerts and the difficulties and pressures of life on the road in the 70's are written about with real heart and one can picture it all in their head as one read it. Jerry was very lucky to have such a friend in Elvis but Elvis was also lucky to have a friend like Jerry, who's sheer, intrinsic decency, grit and independent spirit shines through. We know already how remarkable Elvis was but Jerry comes through also as a pretty interesting guy and the reader can see why Elvis had so much respect for him.
on 28 December 2009
Jerry, you wrote in this book that Elvis was your best friend. But you left him in February 1976,18 month before he died. In the most vulnerable period of his life. OK. We already know the picture of Elvis's last year and a half. Peter Guralnick already described his downward spiral into drugs, fear, ilnesees, paranoia....But if Elvis was your best friend you should stay with him until the end and maybe try to save him. OK, some many others would reply: how can you save Elvis from his self distructive behavior? Maybe it's right but not 100% percent. Elvis bought you a house roughly one year before you left him. You described in your book one last meeting with him in Landover, Maryland in the summer of 1976 and you wrote "Elvis gave a good show that night". Just like that? Your book is warm, funny, so I believe you was a good friend of Elvis. But something is missing, Jerry is very diplomat regarding Priscilla, the other girls, the Mafia members, the guns and the drugs. About the drugs: if you took the uppers and downers just only 48 hours after you went with Elvis on first trip to California and realize that "living better to chemistry" is dangerous so why didn't you talk to Elvis right away? i think you was afraid being fired on the spot. I like the book, i believe in sincere friendship, but, Jerry, I believe you are knowing a lot more stories about Elvis and you chosed to not offend anyone (the members of the Mafia, Priscilla, even Colonel Parker). So, it's a good book, but a carefully constructed clean image of the greatest singer of the XX'th century with all his contradictions and faults. I read a lot of books about Elvis and, again, I am very sad about the tragedy of a genius who appeared supernatural in the eyes of the others, including his inner circle, but in reality was only a human being like everybody else. Thank you nonetheless, Jerry, for the stories regarding Eric Clapton, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, I think these are very enjoyable news to all the fans.
P.S. After 2 years i reread the book. And now I have more mixed feeling about it. Jerry admited after seeing the "Elvis in concert" 1977 TV special: "I think Elvis was pitiful and I never seen him looking so unwell" So I have to ask you one more time: What about the October 1974 shows when he fell to his knees? The July 1975 Asheville concerts when Elvis shot in the chest Dr. Nick and insulted the Sweet inspirations and Kathy on stage? The august 1975 Vegas shows when Elvis was so weak phisically? You have the responsability of not talking to Elvis much openly (not with diplomacy) about his drug problem and the deteriorating quality of his shows. At least Red, Sonny, Lamar had the guts to do that.And after Elvis separated from Linda Thompson, in November 1976, you must had speak with the Colonel and Vernon and also with Priscilla(which you are in such cordial terms) to do something. Unless you painted a landscape when after Elvis' death, you had a very good relation with the Colonel and also you had been part of Elvis presley Enterprises. So all were happy after Elvis's death might do I ask?