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Elvis Aaron Presley: Revelations from the Memphis Mafia Hardcover – May 1, 1995

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Editorial Reviews


'The Best Elvis book written to date' Uncut 'You don't need to be an Elvis fan to be awed by this book. It is so detailed, gossipy, far-ranging, and coherent that it becomes a clear window on an entire era. The book's genius is in the volume of fresh and flowing information ... Nash is one of the finest, most perceptive chroniclers and appraisers of pop music in America.' Billboard --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Publisher

Elvis Aaron Presley is as close as anybody's gotten to a psychological profile of Elvis, based on family information from Billy Smith, Elvis's first cousin, who lived with him throughout his life. The book also examines the larger human aspects of an unparalleled social phenomenon. Twenty years after Elvis's death, he still mystifies and thrills. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 800 pages
  • Publisher: Harpercollins; 1st edition (May 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060176199
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060176198
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 6.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (128 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #190,283 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

56 of 61 people found the following review helpful By ChocolateStrawberries on July 27, 2007
Format: Hardcover
It's no wonder Elvis called what the Memphis Mafia did 'the worst betrayal.' Men who supposedly cared for him turned against him and the contents of this book are unbelievable or perhaps in-credible. A reader learns so much about Elvis that he/she is left in a state of shock. and not only that, but the reader is left confused.
Here is the private Elvis none of us knew. Lisa Marie even credits the Memphis Mafia for raking her father's reputation over the coals for the past thirty years and it's true. This book is a compilation of years of interviews by men who were with Elvis at every given hour of the day. The book shows a side of Elvis who tried to be in control but couldn't be his own person, was volatile, expressed his anger, fears, and tears. It showed his likes, dislikes, deepest desires, hopes, dreams, emotions, and even his weaknesses. In other words, we see Elvis as a human. It's obvious in this book as well as others I have read, that Elvis' life was never HIS. Still, though he surrounded himself with these men who were to protect him, he kept a private part of himself from even his closest friends, and his mafia.
Billy Smith, Elvis' first cousin, was far more sympathetic in his revelations than Lamar Fike and Marty Lacker, and it was good that where Fike and Lacker's details were either sketchy or in half truth and sometimes untrue, Billy elaborated on the truth about the real Elvis we all know and love.
To think that Colonel Parker who took 50% of his earnings at one point! To Elvis, I say, Mister Presley, I would have been mad too.' If you are an enemy of Elvis, you will enjoy this book, but if you are a die-hard Elvis fan like myself, you will be offended. The book is in many ways is heartbreaking.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful By tgfabthunderbird on May 27, 2006
Format: Paperback
Alanna Nash let the tape roll on three members of the "Memphis Mafia," the coterie of friends and relations that were closest to the King of Rock n Roll. There are a number of other recollections from family and friends as well, which blows the lid off the real life of Elvis, and what he turned into.

The stories seem a bit disjointed as the boys think back, but Nash has done well to assemble them and take us through a timeline of Elvis' early life, his career false starts, the rocket ride to superstardom and the tragic crash landing.

Elvis was indeed a talent, a great singer and performer and was indeed one of the pioneers of rock. Unfortunately he was also all too human; a small town Mississippi boy who never got rid of some of his prejudices, his love of southern food (and its odd combinations), his spiritual quest, and his descent into drug abuse.

Elvis like many great artists was an addictive personality--when he was into something, he threw himself into it, good and bad. The insiders followed Elvis through his varied vices (many wondering how they lived through it), and all the other things.

There were indeed moments of great generosity and giving, but Elvis could also be notoriously mean, controlling, and violent. His shooting out televisions was nothing, as readers will find.

Priscilla does not come off well; she is depicted as an ambitious, conniving creature who cared little for Elvis, but lusted after his money and anything else she could get out of him. Many relatives sponged off him, too, as did Colonel Tom Parker, the manager who enriched himself with what seems to be little caring for Presley's addictions and downward spiral.

The highs and lows are all here; believe it or not, the stories tend to ring true of many who achieve stardom and are not ready to deal with it.
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40 of 53 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 19, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This book was disappointing for many reasons.
Firstly, people must understand that the three principals involved in this book have a momentous preconception that because they came from the same place and time as Elvis, that they are the same as Elvis. Yet they are forgetting the simple fact of how different Elvis actually was to everybody else at that time and in that world.
I have personally had communications (on several occasions) with Marty Lacker, and I can confidently surmise that he (and the others) were very misdirected about the meanings of Elvis's thoughts, dreams and needs. After reading this book, I am even more confident that the entire Memphis Mafia hardly knew the real Elvis.
This was supposed to be a book about their life with Elvis. It turned out to be a mish-mash of conflicting statements made by a bunch of men (probably in a bar), that can hardly remember where they lived or even who was there. Events that they conveniently do remember (without doubt) are in direct conflict with previously published information that is supported by a variety of official sources and government records. These three men have used this book as a tool to create conjecture in many areas that can still be open to misinterpretation even by eye witnesses. The truth is only Gladys Presley really knew Elvis. All others are left to guess what it all meant!
The majority of this book is dedicated to failing memories of events that occurred, often without the three principals even being present. Yet these are "facts"?
Inconsistent, incoherent ramblings of mere witnesses to a life which even they had no capacity to understand - just because your in the group doesn't mean you know what is going on in the leader's mind. Elvis was the greatest human nucleus of our (or any) time, and these men were simply insignificant particles of meat orbiting around him.
There were no "revelations" in this book.
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