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The Colonel - My View,
This review is from: The Colonel: The Extraordinary Story of Colonel Tom Parker and Elvis Presley (Hardcover)
Alanna Nash has written a marvellous account of the man who was the driving force behind Elvis Presley. Colonel Tom Parker was the man who took Elvis to the heights - and then stood by as the King destroyed himself by the age of 42.
It's been a mystery to many how Elvis allowed his talents to waste in a string of hopeless Hollywood movies and Las Vegas concerts that ended in embarrassment.
Nash's meticulous research explains how it all began in Holland when a young Dutchman, Dries van Kuijk, fled the country for America, assumed the name of Tom Parker, and joined the carnival trail through his new country.
That trade taught Parker the tricks that would prove invaluable in promoting the young singing sensation he met in Nashville in 1954.
Alanna Nash's story is littered with familiar names from Hank Williams to Natalie Wood; from Marlon Brando to Michael Jackson.
But it's the relevations about Parker's dark past in Holland, his gambling addiction and the deals which allowed him to take up to 50 per cent of Presley's earnings which take the breath away.
While Elvis was singing on the stages of Las Vegas, Parker was downstairs spending his earnings in the casinos. And, as Nash points out again and again, part of Presley's tragedy was that he was never strong enough to rid himself of the colonel.
There's no doubt that Parker made Presley popular music's first world superstar - but, in the end, was Parker good for Presley ? There's no comfortable summary from Alanna Nash. Like a good reporter, she allows the facts to speak for themselves. It's up to the reader to decide - I know whose side I'm on.
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Initial post: 21 Jan 2010 17:30:27 GMT
Janet Davies says:
actually it wasn't elvis who destroyed himself it was the colonel, all he wanted was elvis to do as many concerts as he could as the colonel had bad debts due to gambling, if the colonel had been a decent manager he would have realised that his access to money (as in elvis) needed a break now and then, then perhaps elvis would have been rested and not compltely exhausted, yes elvis did do prescription drugs, to keep himself going no doubt, so back off elvis ok, he cannot defend himself so loyal fans have to!!
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