Nash culls reminiscences from long-term girlfriends, starlets like Ann-Margret and Cybill Shepherd, and assorted strippers, showgirls and groupies for this gossipy, besotted biography of rock's original sex god. They attest to the allure that had females lining up for access to the young Elvis's bed: devastating looks, pelvic gyrations and a bad-boy sneer combined with a romantic soul, sublime kissing technique and a courtliness that lulled parents into handing over their underage daughters. (He was attracted to 14-year-old brunettes, Nash argues, like future wife Priscilla.) And there's the indefinable magnetism—i.e., celebrity—that kept them coming through the drugs and debauchery, the bizarre monologues and random gunplay, the impotence and incontinence and vomit and bloat of the King's declining years. Nash's mix of breathless melodrama (his voice was soft and sensuous, and he had a mischievous grin on his face, and he was looking straight at her) with rote psychoanalysis (Elvis could never really let go of [his mother] Gladys) often reads like a fan magazine. Her shallow but vivid portrait nonetheless manages to evoke much of what made Elvis so enthralling. (Jan. 5)
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“Alanna Nash’s long look at Elvis’ bizarre history with women...collect[s] all the madness, badness and sadness of the Elvis myth in one exhaustive and embarrassingly tempting volume.” (New York Times)
“In this astounding look at the King’s unstoppable pursuit of women from his elementary school days until his untimely death at 42, hundreds of girls and women pass through the revolving doors of Elvis’ love life.” (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
“An exhaustive and penetrating work that functions as an intimate personal profile, a family study and a psychosexual investigation of one of the 20th century’s true cultural icons.” (Memphis Commercial Appeal)
“A major new contribution to Presley lore...[Alanna Nash’s] focus on Presley’s relationships with women takes us on a long and often fascinating journey...It’s a welcome and well-crafted addition to our understanding of his strange, triumphant and tragic life.” (The Globe and Mail)
“The most comprehensive work ever on how the women in Presley’s life…influenced him and his music.” (New York Newsday)
“Alanna Nash…turns her eye toward The King’s other women in a psychological history ...Among those who loved him tender - Ann-Margret and Cybill Shepherd. Those who turned him down include Cher and Karen Carpenter. And of course, there’s plenty on the No. 1 woman in his life - Mom Gladys Presley.” (New York Post)
“A frank and fascinating portrait of an essentially lonely man...[told] with grace and intelligence...The work of a master.” (Louisville Courier Journal)
“New girls slip between [Elvis’] satin sheets on nearly every page...Combine that with an absorbing snapshot section, and [Baby, Let’s Play House] will leave you all shook up.” (BettyConfidential.com)
“If anything, Baby, Let’s Play House heightens the heartbreaking aspects of Presley’s life.” (Los Angeles Times)
“By far the best study of Elvis Presley I have read. ‘The King’ emerges more clearly from this mosaic of his troubled love life than from any linear biography to date.Impressively researched, written--and felt.” (Philip Norman, New York Times bestselling author of John Lennon and Shout!)
“Alanna Nash meticulously documents and explores all the relationships Elvis had with women that were ‘extremely special,’ as Ann-Margret so delightfully (and euphemistically) phrases it. I was delighted to see my stepmother, June Carter, make an appearance, as she always became uncharacteristically silent when Elvis’ name came up in conversation. Nash belongs in the pantheon of great music writers, and this book is a fascinating study (Rosanne Cash)
“What’s left to say about Elvis? Plenty, if Alanna Nash is on the case. She rips the satin sheets right off the King, resulting in the most entertaining Elvis book ever. Ann-Margret! Raquel Welch! Barbara Eden! Tura Satana! This is very funny book.” (Jimmy McDonough, New York Times bestselling author of Shakey: Neil Young's Biography)
“Deliciously gossipy but never mean, revealingly intimate but never leering, Baby, Let’s Play House is a masterwork of psycho-sexual history neatly disguised as celebrity journalism.” (David Hajdu, author of Positively 4th Street, music critic for The New Republic, and professor at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism David Hajdu, author of Positively 4th Street, music critic for The New Republic, and professor at Co)