Book Review

Elvis: Truth, Myth & Beyond

An Intimate Conversation with Lamar Fike

Elvis Presley's Closest Friend and Confidant

by L.E. McCullough & Harold F. Eggers, Jr.

Reviewed by Nigel Patterson, November 2016

Hound Dogs Books & Media, USA, 2016, 190 pages, Illustrated, Hardcover (ISBN-13: 978-0996788922)/Softcover (ISBN-13: 978-0996788915)/Digital (ISBN: ISBN-13: 978-0996788908)

Kindle USA

USA Softcover

"Mart was your typical small town," he once said. "Just a sleepy, quiet little Texas town. "When we would visit there as kids, everybody knew me and I knew them. I thought that when you died, you went to Mart instead of Heaven." Lamar Fike

"I dated Elvis for about five years and saw Lamar about every time I saw Elvis. He was humorous and so was Elvis, and they were so funny together. They kept me in stitches all the time." Anita Wood

Many of Elvis’ inner sanctum (family, friends and the Memphis Mafia) have released one or more books about their experience with Elvis. In 2011 it was anticipated the larger than life, Lamar Fike, would finally publish his memoir. Publication plans were delayed as Lamar courted interest from Hollywood about a screen adaptation of his book. Then, very sadly, before the book was finished, Lamar passed away on 21 January 2011.

Recently, it became known that before he died, Lamar had also spent several days with researchers L.E. McCullough and Harold F. Eggers, Jr. discussing his 23 years association and friendship with Elvis. The result of those discussions have been released in the book, Elvis: Truth, Myth & Beyond An Intimate Conversation with Lamar Fike Elvis Presley's Closest Friend and Confidant.


McCullough and Eggers' book is a compilation of 400 questions and answers that provide a multi-lensed window into Lamar Rielly Fike’s forthright and candid perspective on the King. Each of the wide ranging chapters contain questions and answers for a particular category. Some of the chapter titles are:

  • Family Roots: The Boy in the Man
  • Elvis Meets America: The 1950’s
  • Elvis and the Colonel
  • The Everyday Elvis
  • Elvis and Priscilla
  • Elvis and His Other Women
  • Elvis and His Public
  • The Inner Elvis: Feelings, Emotions, Sorrows & Joys
  • Living on the Edge: Elvis & Danger
  • Elvis Is In the Building – The 1970’s
  • The Final Day

The questions asked of Lamar by the authors are broad and cover a spectrum from the somewhat prosaic to the deep and meaningful, and occasionally unusual.

Examples of the 400 questions include:

  • Did Elvis ever talk of his childhood?
  • Was Elvis’ early success aided by radio payola?
  • (in relation to his Army days) Did he perform at any of the USO shows?
  • So, the Memphis Mafia served as a shield for his eccentricities?
  • Did he ever connect with [Marlon] Brando over the years?
  • Elvis was really going to get rid of the Colonel as his manager?
  • Did Priscilla have knowledge of Elvis’ drug use when they first got married?
  • Did his concern of the affair [Priscilla and Mike Stone] affect the music at some point?
  • Was he ever rejected by a woman?
  • Was Elvis not a fan of ribs?
  • Did Elvis want to buy a helicopter?
  • Did he get into nature much?
  • Was it tough for Elvis to decompress after a show?
  • Did Elvis read his concert or record reviews?
  • Did Elvis ever do any private shows?
  • At the end, do you think Elvis was consumed by depression?
  • Was Elvis’ last year a sort of slow suicide?
  • What is it about Elvis that makes some people regard him as almost a saint or a divine being?

Lamar’s answers are, as you would expect from one of Elvis’ most outspoken and colourful friends……..thoughtful, incisive, often thought provoking, sometimes surprising and invariably, illuminating.

In relation to Lamar’s answers, the following are instructive:

Q. Were you ever fired?

A. I was fired about 300 times. Maybe 400. And then he'd hire me back. Everybody got fired. He just did it. He fired me more than anybody, because I was always arguing with him.

Q. Was Elvis obsessed with his public image?

A. (part of answer) Elvis never knew at any given time what caused whatever he did. It just happened. I remember one time Wolfman Jack was backstage. Jack just asked Elvis, "What's it like to be Elvis Presley?" Elvis just stopped cold. I was sitting right beside him. He said, "Where did that question come from?" I said, "I have no idea. Can you answer it?" He said, "I don't think I can." He finally told Jack, he said "I can't answer that. I don't know."

That was probably the best question I've ever heard asked of Elvis, and he couldn't answer it.......It just stunned him. It was like somebody had just landed a flying saucer andf started talking......

Q. (about performing overseas) How was the Colonel able to keep these offers at bay?

A. He would read the bad reviews and get pissed off about them. They put him down big time. We'd just try to keep everything away from him. Any good press was bad press to Elvis. He'd pick out something the guy said. It'd piss him off. So he just got so he didn't read it. He wouldn't read his reviews. We just wouldn't put his reviews around him. They'd talk about his weight and stuff like that. ?He'd go crazy. Just get mad and start throwing shit, make our life miserable.

Verdict: Elvis: Truth, Myth & Beyond is an easy to read and enjoyable book. At times it entertains or educates. At other times it makes you think or elicits a smile as you come face to face with the wonderfully wry and dry Lamar Fike sense of humor. It is also the sort of book you can casually browse from time to time to refresh your memory and understanding of the complex person that was Elvis Aaron Presley.

Elvis: Truth, Myth & Beyond includes a Foreword by Marty Lacker and also contains a brief biography of the very interesting and diverse life of Lamar Fike.

Comment on this review

Kindle UK

UK Softcover


EIN Website content ©

Copyright the Elvis Information Network.
Elvis Presley, Elvis and Graceland are trademarks of Elvis Presley Enterprises.

The Elvis Information Network has been running since 1986 and is an EPE officially recognised Elvis fan club.


















































































































Did You Miss these Popular Interviews?
Linda and Sam Thompson in Australia:
John Wilkinson Tribute & 1972 Interview:
Interview - Dr. Gary Vikan:
'Elvis: Walk A Mile In My Shoes' - Arjan Deelen Interview:
RIP - Bernard Lansky talks to EIN:
Allyson Adams 'The Rebel and The King' Interview: 
Joseph A. Tunzi
David Stanley (2012)
Author Chris Kennedy Interview about D.J. Tommy Edwards:
Vernon Presley Interview:
EIN interviews John Scheinfeld director of  'Fame & Fortune'
Jerry Leiber Interview for EIN
Elvis Paradise Hawaiian Interview - with Peter Noone
Sam Thompson, Elvis' bodyguard, 2011 Interview
James Burton Interview - Rick Nelson & Elvis:
Elvis Drummer Jerome "Stump" Monroe EIN Interview:
Donnie Sumner Remembers his friend Sherrill Nielsen: 
Lamar Fike EIN Exclusive Interview
Jamie Aaron Kelley - EIN Interview:
Ernst Jorgensen interview about 'The Complete Masters' and more:
D.J Fontana Interview - Elvis Week 2010 special: 
Red West Interview:- 2010 Elvis week special
Linda Thompson - Interview Special:
Elvis in 1969 - Ann Moses & Ray Connolly Interviews:
Ernst Jorgensen interview about 'On Stage' and Elvis' Legacy in 2010:
Paul Lichter
Dr. Nick talks to EIN
Alanna Nash
Ernst Jorgensen (2009)
Joseph Pirzada
Jeanne LeMay Dumas
Larry Geller
Mac Davis
Roger Semon
Ernst Jorgensen
Wayne Jackson (Memphis Horns)
Ernst Jorgensen (Record Collector)
Did You Miss these Popular EIN articles
'The Nation's Favourite Elvis Song' Spotlight
Linda and Sam Thompson in Australia:
Elvis Passwords - We’ve Hacked them all! 
Fourteen Key Elvis Singles:
Remembering ELVIS in 2013:
Elvis And The Vocal Group Tradition:
Happy Birthday EIN EIN turns 100 – a retrospective!:
Aloha From Hawaii - The Concert 2013- EIN Exclusive
Elvis at Madison Square Garden 40 Years Ago
'The Wedding' Elvis & Priscilla EIN special Spotlight:
'Elvis In Ottawa' Spotlight & Elvis Interview:
'Elvis: Live at the International' Book Review:
Book Review: Elvis in Vegas
'Promised Land' FTD CD Review:
'The Complete Louisiana Hayride Archives 1954-1956’ Review:
Elvis By Special Request '71 At 40 (Book Review):
"Kissed By Elvis" Janet Fulton Interview:
'1956, Elvis Presley’s Pivotal Year':
"ReBooked At The International'- in-depth Review:
EIN Spotlight on Alfred Wertheimer:
'Elvis Memphis to Madison 1977' The Gas Station Incident:
'The Elvis Files Vol. 2' Book Review:
'Elvis In Concert' 1977 TV special; Should it be released officially?
Ernst Jorgensen interview about 'The Complete Masters' and more:
Dark Side of the Colonel
Did you miss these Reviews
'Elvis Files Magazine ISSUE 5' Review:
'The Elvis Files Vol. 6 1971-1973'  Book Review:
'Love Me Tender' Blu-Ray Edition Review:
'Houston We Have A Problem' - CD review:
‘Elvis At Stax’ [Deluxe] Reviews:
‘The King Revealed’ Magazine Review:
'Hot August Night' FTD CD Review:
‘The King Revealed’ Magazine Review:
'Elvis - The Man & His Music'#100 review:
'Elvis Files Magazine ISSUE 4' - Review:
'Elvis - Aloha Via Satellite: A 40th Anniv Release' Book Review:
'The Elvis Files Vol. 1 1953-56' In Depth Book Review:
'Aloha From Hawaii' 40th Anniv LEGACY CD Review:
'Elvis Files Magazine ISSUE 3' - Review:
Aloha From Hawaii - The Concert 2013- EIN Exclusive Review:
‘Elvis On Tour’ E-book Review - with Great jumpsuit photos-
'From Elvis Presley Boulevard' FTD In-Depth Review:
'Prince From Another Planet’ In-Depth Review:
'Elvis: Walk A Mile In My Shoes' - EIN Review:
‘Greatest Live Hits of the 50s’ MRS CD Review: 
Once Upon A Time: Elvis and Anita (Memories of My Mother) - Book Review:
'A Boy From Tupelo' special In-depth Review:
Bootleg Elvis (Book Review)
'G.I.Blues Vol.1' FTD Soundtrack - CD review:
'The Elvis Files Vol. 5 1969-70'  Book Review:
'From Hawaii to Las Vegas' FTD CD Review:
'Blue Hawaii - The Expanded Alternate Album' Review:
'Elvis: Live at the International' Book Review:
'The Complete Louisiana Hayride Archives 1954-1956’ Review:
'48 Hours To Memphis' FTD CD Review:
Elvis By Special Request '71 At 40 (Book Review):
'The Elvis Files Vol. 4' Book Review:
'Young Man with the Big Beat' In-Depth Review:
'Fashion For A King' FTD in-depth Review:
"ReBooked At The International'- in-depth Review:
'Stage Rehearsal' FTD Review:
Best of Elvis on YouTube
Graceland cam
EPE's Multimedia Elvis Gallery
Sirius Elvis Satellite Radio
Elvis Radio (ETA's)
Elvis Express Radio
Ultimate Elvis Radio
Elvis Only Radio
"Images in Concert" PhotoDatabase
Radio Interview: Vernon & Gladys Presley
Sanja's Elvis Week 2007 Photo Gallery
'EIN's Best of Elvis on YouTube'
The Music of Elvis Presley - Australian Radio Show
All about Elvis
All about Elvis Tribute Artists
All about Graceland
All about Lisa Marie Presley
Ancestors of Elvis
Art Archives
Book Releases 2009
Contact List
Elvis and Racism
Elvis as Religion
Elvis CDs in 2007
Elvis DVDs in 2006
Elvis Film Guide
'2007 New Releases'
Elvis Presley In Concert "downunder" 2006
Elvis Online Virtual Library
Elvis Research Forum
Elvis Rules on Television
Graceland - The National Historic Landmark
How & where do I sell my Elvis collection?
Is Elvis the best selling artist?
Links to Elvis' family & friends
Links to other Elvis sites
Marty's Musings
Online Elvis Symposium
Parkes Elvis Festival 2009 (Australia)
Presley Law legal archives (Preslaw)
Presleys In The Press
Sale of EPE (Archives)
6th Annual Elvis Website Survey
Spotlight on The King
"Wikipedia" Elvis biography