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The Elvis Presley I Knew: Beyond the headlines and scandal to the heart of the superstar Paperback – August 3, 2013

4.2 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Robert C. Cantwell was a Golden Glove competitor, nonetheless afraid to take the police entry exam never dreaming he would accomplish his life goal of being a police officer. He would climb through every rank in the Denver Police Department; become the Director of Prisons for the Colorado Department of Correction; and the Director of the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. After 48 years he would retire from Law Enforcement. He personally met a long list of famous people including the King-Elvis Presley. He has told many about the time he was with Elvis and was encouraged to retell his story in a book. This is his first written account of the time he was with Elvis from 1970-1977.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 174 pages
  • Publisher: 5 Prince Publishing (August 3, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1939217725
  • ISBN-13: 978-1939217721
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.4 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,074,120 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
First, I must confess to having a personal bias concerning the author. Bob Cantwell was my supervisor back in the late 1970s when he was a Denver Police Sergeant (I still respectfully refer to him as "Sarge") supervising the Colorado Attorney General's Organized Crime Strike Force. I was a Colorado Springs Police Officer on assignment and Sgt. Cantwell proved to be one of the finest, most soft-spoken and humble persons I had ever met. That quality clearly come through when you read his wonderful memoir about his time spent with that American cultural icon, Elvis Presley.
Bob (Sarge) clearly shows how at his core, away from the glitz and glamor of show business, Elvis-the media proclaimed "King of Rock 'n' Roll"-was simply an All-American southern gentleman who punctuated his comments with "sir" and "maam."
Over 30 years ago, while working with Bob, I heard bits and pieces of these Elvis anecdotes. This wonderful book fills in the blanks (for me) of those tales. For the Elvis aficionado this should be a "must have" addition to your collection. Read "The Elvis Presley I Knew" and you, too, will see the soft spoken, humble nature of its author and realize why Elvis is STILL in the building.
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This is just another friend's perspective on Elvis. It is an "okay" book. It is curious if Elvis was "always" so "drugged" up as his so-called "friends" say in their books that this narcotic's officer didn't see it when he was around him. Not that he was around that much but according to this book, Cantwell spent days at a time with Elvis - and many during the last few years when Elvis was supposed to be so drugged up all the time. We will never know the real truth about so much - but wouldn't it be nice to believe that he wasn't quite the drugged up person Lamar Fike (deceased), Marty, Red West and Sonny West make him out to be! These guys are still trying to make a living off of Elvis - hard to believe. And Red West - who was it that got him in movies??? Hummm... Thank you Robert for writing a book with some positive things to say about Elvis! And, for being his friend without expecting something in return.
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I enjoyed reading a book written from the heart as well as retelling anecdotes. Mr. Cantwell writes about a man who became a good friend. He allows the reader to see Elvis Presley as a warm and giving human being, who just happened to be an excellent entertainer. Like all of us, Elvis had his "down times", but he sincerely loved those who proved to be true friends. A delightful reading experience for both the Elvis fan and anyone interested in knowing the man behind the icon.
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I found some of the stories very interesting. I want to believe him when he states that he never saw Elvis in a "drugged" state. If he is remembering things as they were, why did so many of the Memphis Mafia tell a different story. Was it jealousy, rage at past slights or because their gravy train had left the station and they needed something to say to keep the public interested and the cash flowing.
I would like to see more of these books by insiders who knew Elvis but were not dependent upon him for their livelihoods.
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People are always trying to 2nd guess but Officer Cantwell does a great job of explaining how and why he only has the utmost respect for Elvis and never saw him do anything related to drugs or get out of line.
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This was a very informative book. It's so nice to know that he had friends who wanted nothing from him but friendship! I would recommend this book to all Elvis fans.
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Growing up in the 1970's, I had heard a lot about the Denver Organized Crime Strike Force and their relationship with Elvis Presley. When I saw that Mr. Cantwell wrote a book, I was interested yet hesitated to spend my money on it. But I'm glad I read it, since the timing was right, I will be in Denver for the film festival and a showing of a documentary about a major murder case the StrikeTeam worked on - which Cantwell briefly mentions on page 75.

After reading some of the reviews, I was also skeptical when the author states: "I would have been duty-bound if I had recognized Elvis' alleged drug use." Yet, the way Cantwell bloviates about himself in the book, one could believe that to be true. Elvis' death was officially attributed to a heart attack, but it is a fact that Elvis was a drug user. So maybe Cantwell didn't notice anything, or maybe he saw what he wanted to see. Being an officer of the law and the type of person he describes himself as, I would like to think Cantwell would also feel duty-bound to tell the TRUTH and not to twist the story to present it as something it is not.

The book is short and a basic read. Poorly written. I found much of the dialog and the re-telling of events to be simplistic and somewhat contrived.

The strike team officers served as body guards for Elvis when he was in the area performing. Cantwell explains that Elvis gave them gifts, but only because they were all friends and Elvis enjoyed their company. He described it as an opportunity to spend time with the superstar with "no strings attached".
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