"Elvis By The Presleys"
Review by Sanja Meegin
from the occasional interview with Priscilla – and more
recently Lisa Marie– this is really the first publication
since the No. 1 Bestseller “Elvis and Me”, in which
Priscilla reflects on her life with Elvis.
lot of memoirs from that book released in 1985 have
been repeated here, however there is the odd story/memory
that will be new to some fans.
Along with Priscilla’s recollections, there are also quotes from Elvis’ daughter Lisa Marie, Priscilla’s parents Ann & Paul Beaulieu and Priscilla’s sister Michelle Beaulieu Hovey.
the only other Presley family member (not by marriage) to
contribute - is Elvis’ double first cousin Patsy Presley Geranen.
Recollections from all of the above (along with some from
Elvis himself) are scattered amongst 240 pages featuring just
185 high-gloss photographs – some previously unpublished.
book is comprised of 14 short Chapters each reflecting
on a different part of Elvis’ life - ie. “Elvis is in
the House” – details Elvis’ love of Graceland, the only
one of many houses he owned in his lifetime that he
truly considered a ‘home’. Not only was it his refuge
high on the hill but also, at times, a hive of activity.
remembers: “I have enough memories of Graceland to keep
my head spinning for the rest of my life. It was amazing.
Filled with energy and excitement. Always something
going on. Non-stop action and surprises”.
are also given an insight into the “other women” that
lived at Graceland with Elvis - his Aunt Delta and his
Grandmother Minnie Mae, whom he affectionately referred
to as “Dodger”.
family remembers Dodger as a quiet woman whom Elvis had the
utmost respect for – and was perhaps even a little frightened
of. Aunt Delta (Vernon’s sister), according to Lisa – was
a “swearing, diabetic alcoholic, an hysterically funny woman,
who insulted anyone who came within a 5 mile radius of her”.
chapters include “Fate”, “Fire Eyes” “Irresistible Elvis”
and “I’ll Take Care of You” – which all detail Priscilla’s
meeting, dating, marrying and divorcing Elvis. Almost everything
written here is just Elvis & Me re-hashed and there really
is nothing that we haven’t heard a dozen times before.
only hint of Priscilla being perhaps a little more unguarded
than in previous years, is her allowing to have a love letter
she sent to Elvis in 1963 published in this book. “Daddy” however, is a chapter that makes for good reading.
Lisa Marie opens up about her father – even speaking of the
last time she saw him on August 16th 1977 – a topic that she
usually prefers to shy away from.
reflects on a lot of the times they spent together at Graceland,
the practical jokes Elvis played and of a time when she accompanied
him on tour and an intruder had made his way up to Elvis’
suite on the top floor of their hotel – Elvis grabbed Lisa
and hid in a small room, sitting her on his lap whilst aiming
two semi-automatic shotguns at the door!
are letters Lisa wrote to Elvis and also a photograph of a
scarf that he signed for her after his concert at the Long
Beach Arena in 1972 – “To Yisa, I love my Lisa, Daddy”. Lisa’s
love for her father is evident, however she is not backward
in coming forward when it comes to discussing Elvis’ darker
thing about my father is that he never hid anything. He didn’t
have a façade. Never put on airs. If he was crabby, you knew
it. His temper would give Darth Vader a run for his money”.
throughout the book are brief however and Elvis by the Presleys
is not by any means a detailed memoir. Ultimately it could
be referred to as a “coffee table” book.
are a lot of full page colour photographs - some family candids,
however the majority being of Elvis’ personal items that are
not on display at Graceland and haven’t previously been featured
example, from his bedroom upstairs we see his half full
bottle of Jovan Musk Oil for Men, the record on his
record player the day he died, his wallet (with picture
of Lisa and him inside) , a riding boot - still with
original mud on its sole (right), his alarm clock and a trunk
of scarves full of scarves still in plastic ready for
the August 1977 tour.
historical items featured include the original mailbox
from Graceland, his shirt and trousers from the film
“Charro” and Gladys’ jewellery box – still filled with
For the avid Elvis fan this book will be a disappointment if it is rare candids you are in search of. I found only 12 that were new to me and only half of those had Elvis in them. Priscilla is featured heavily in this book, and there are several unnecessary photos of her and her family.
A coffee-table book aimed at the general public, rather
than hard-core Presley fans. The photographs of Elvis’ personal
items are perhaps the most interesting part of this book,
but even then the book would have benefited from a more stylish
design. There are also some nice stories from Lisa – however
if you plan on acquiring the Elvis by the Presleys DVD then
beware since all the excerpts in here from Lisa are taken
straight from the DVD.
there just isn’t enough Elvis in this book!!
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Go here for the review of the 'Elvis By The Presleys' BMG CD.