Have You Heard The News  (International)

Sonny West new book

Sonny West was Elvis Presley�s close friend and bodyguard for years. And he speaks of The King without any celebrity attachment. West is refreshingly open that theirs was a winding, pothole-riddled road of friendship.  He has just released a second book on Presley called �Still Taking Care of Business�. In his first book, �Elvis, What Happened,� West and co-authors talked about Elvis� sad journey into the abyss of addiction.  �He had become rude and insulting,� West said, aware how definitive his choice of words were. �We were told to leave it alone. Elvis said, �I can quit when I want to.� Obviously he was in total denial. My brother [Red] and I didn�t back off.�

West�s voice, now audibly shaken, almost whispers, �If I�d have written that book when Elvis fired me for speaking out about his prescription drug use towards the end of 1976, I really feel he�d be alive today.� Today, West speaks so fondly of the legend it appears to be true love and not mining for gold that drove him to pen the new book. �I couldn�t let that first book, which openly challenged Elvis, to be my final word.�

Then completely switching gears, possibly to prevent his own tear shed, West began to tell a tale about Elvis� power of charisma. �In 1970 Elvis once brought me to see President Nixon. Actually, I was in a whole different room. But I knew if Elvis said I�d meet the man, he�d do it somehow. �A few seconds later the phone rings. The guard turns and says, �Come on, you�re going to meet the president.��

When the duo got to the oval office, West said there was Elvis acting like he ran the place. �He was in his deep-purple fur suit with the huge belt buckle and a cane and those tinted glasses. And the president was in a conservative suit.� �The president says to him, �You dress kind of wild, don�t you son.� Elvis said, �Mr. President, you have your show to run and I have mine.�� Then Nixon says to us, �I have something for you.� And he hands us each a little 14 karat gold keychain withthe presidential seal on it.�

Elvis springs into action, �He said, �Mr. President, they�ve got wives, too.� Nixon went to his desk drawer and offered up two other items.� This year marks 30 years since Elvis passed away. But West speaks of the man as if they�d just hadbreakfast at a Memphis IHOP. And West was there almost from the start of Elvis� phenomenal career. His brother, Red West, certainly was. �My brother was a tough dude. They were in the same class and he protected Elvis in high school.�

West was in the same school, but a few years behind the future icon. He said it wasn�t until 1958 that he and Elvis were actually introduced, which then lead to employment. He said Elvis had only one request. �I�d had a flattop haircut. And he said to me, �Sonny, that hair is not gonna cut it out in Hollywood. You gotta let that moss grow. You gotta get that Tony Curtis look.� The cover of �Still Taking Care of Business� was taken just months after the request. He said, �You can see it�s growing out.�

Source: EIN.

Posted: 21st. June. 2007 

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