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 Post subject: Sonny West
PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2007 7:54 am 
Dragon

Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2007 10:02 am
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Hi - Please can someone fill me in on who Sonny west is and where does he fit in. I am sure he was within Elvis's circle?

I was reading a website and I did not really like what he said about Elvis and Cilla's marriage - he said and I quote "The fairy-tale marriage Priscilla likes to rhapsodize about today was, in reality a complicated mess from the get-go. The truth of the matter is they both led double lives, and the only thinkg they had in common was their love for Lisa Marie" unquote. Isn't that a bit harsh - I mean Elvis loved Priscill and vice versa, surely this is very one sided, he might have known a lot about what went on but surely he could not presume this was the case. How does he know what Elvis and Priscilla feel.

Things like this make me mad because I am of the opinion that there was a lot of love between them and if things were different they might have been together still....


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2007 8:44 am 
Jewel in the Lotus

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Vixen, I try to answer your question and NOT comment on his person or words.
Sonny West is the cousin of Red West, who became Elvis' friend even in school when Elvis was "unknown" to the public. Later Red became also Elvis' body guard and after that at some time Sonny joined the group of Elvis' security team /and also part of the socalled "Memphis Mafia". I don't know WHEN Sonny showed up, but even in the 60s he can be seen in the background of some of Elvis' movies (mostly in fighting scenes) along with Red. And later of course he can be seen in "That's the way it is" and "Elvis-On Tour".
Sonny became very unpopular with Elvis' fans when after being fired by Elvis in 1977 (along with Red), he co-wrote the infamous book "Elvis-What Happened" which was published just some days before Elvis passed away.....you surly know about this book?!
)



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2007 8:51 am 
Dragon

Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2007 10:02 am
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Maybe I shouldn't have been so out spoken about Sonny and what he said - I forget I am not always diplomatic and tend to say what is on my mind....

I actually don't know about that book, I am a new fan so I am still trying to get my hands on everything and get my head around the "bigness" of Elvis and his life as well as everything else that went with it. I tend to have a soft spot for his and Cilla's relationship...

Please fill me in on that book and what it entails - I assume it is not a good book anyway so I don't think I will get that one....


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2007 9:42 am 
Jewel in the Lotus

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Vixen, please don't mind your words! I myself am no Fan of Sonny West and iIdon't share his opinions on Elvis in any way!!!! But I don't know much enough to give a competent comment.
Actually "Elvis-What happened" was one of the first books I read (one year after becoming a fan of Elvis in 1977) and there weren't many good books around at that time (at least which I could read in English, my copy of the West-book was the German translation).
I wouldn't buy and read it TODAY!! Many incidents described in it are dirtorted and made up by people (the other authors also) who REALLY DIDN'T UNDERSTAND ELVIS AT ALL (in my and many other's opinion).
These men wrote the book when they were frustrated because Elvis had fired them (for good reasons) and didn't hire them back (even if he wanted Red to come back, he told some friend).
Anyway, you may decide yourself if you want to read that book...... :? :roll:
I read nowadays the goodies only which contain the TRUTH!! :)



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2007 10:25 am 
Dragon

Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2007 10:02 am
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Thanks - I try not to step on anyone's toes....

I must admit I try to stick to sites or pages that give me the truth but I just come right back here when I have a query or if something niggles me... I know that everything that Wanda and all the girls say is the truth and I can rely on that. Thanks all for that!

I wish Elvis was alive so he could defend himself and put an end to all the assumptions and put everyone in their place. Humans can be so fickle and false!!

I was thinking about things the other day and I feel so sorry for Priscilla, you know after Elvis's death there was just so much said about what he was up to with other women and that kind of thing, she could not even go to him and just ask him for her own peace of mind, all these women came out of the wood work proclaiming this and that about him and she just had to hear it all. I don't know how I would have handled that if I was her.

Many people judge her for keeping his name and for opening Graceland and they always have to bring up her affair but honestly what do they expect from her. I think she is judged very harshly..... There I go again -I have such a soft spot for her and Elvis - I just can't help it :)


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2007 12:22 pm 
Jewel in the Lotus

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Quote:
I have such a soft spot for her and Elvis - I just can't help it :)


I think that's great! Elvis really loved her so wh should we not at least really like her!
One day before the anniversary she gave an interview in Graceland and it was well received here in the group! (I heard only a little part).We all have our flaws and we all want to be liked and accepted, isn't it??!!



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2007 9:11 am 
Jewel in the Lotus

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This was posted yesterday by ReGina-Jewel and it may answer some questions for you, Vixen! (On thread "Books, DVDs and Websides"):



From the site of his new book Elvis Straight Up Diamond Joe talks about the first of MANY Elvis books...the infamous Elvis What Happened?

Quote:
Weeks prior to Elvis's death in August of 1977, a paperback book titled Elvis: What Happened? was released by Random House publishers. It was authored by a tabloid journalist named Steve Dunleavy based on interviews with former fellow "Memphis Mafia" members Red West, his younger cousin Sonny West and one of Elvis's karate instructors, Dave Hebler. The three bodyguards were unceremoniously fired in mid-1976, but instead of lying low until the situation resolved itself, they made a terrible, drastic decision that shattered Elvis's world and created the greatest devastating upheaval in his personal life since the passing of his beloved mother.

The book would become a blockbuster, one of the best-selling paperbacks of all time. It's timing couldn't have been better, or worse, depending on which end of the gun barrel you were on.

Red West and Elvis were very, very close. They were from the same part of Memphis and went to the same school together. The incident that cemented them forever happened during their days at Humes High School, when Red thwarted a group of bullies from beating up on Elvis. From then on, they were thick as thieves. Red eventually took on the role of protecting Elvis with his life until the day they parted company, over twenty years later. Red was there from the beginning, his sincerity proven by the fact that he befriended Elvis long before he was a star. Red was one of the few of us who knew his mother, Gladys. Elvis and Red were very tight. There's no question about it. In a way, they were brothers. They loved each other like brothers, and on more than one occasion, they clashed like brothers.

Personally, I had no problem with Red. In those days we all basically put aside whatever personality differences we may have had with one another for the sake of getting along and enjoying the exclusive bond we shared as members of Elvis's entourage. Actually, Red had some showbiz talents of his own. At the time he was gaining exposure as a stuntman, actor, and later, acting coach (He eventually opened his own school.), a field he has excelled in over the years. Red was also an unlikely but very apt songwriter. He wrote some very fine tunes that Elvis recorded including "If You Think I Don't Need You", "Separate Ways", "If Every Day Was Like Christmas" and "Seeing Is Believing". Red was somewhat of a paradox; tough as nails but with the heart of a poet. To the outside world, he was tough. But he had to be in order to shoulder the responsibilities he had to shoulder for Elvis. And let's face it, if he hadn't kicked the hell out of those bullies that day at Humes, he might never have bonded with Elvis the way he had in the first place! Overall, I would say Red was a good guy during the years I worked with him, despite his short fuse.

The first time I became aware of this "short fuse" of his was the day I met him in Bad Nauheim, Germany, near where Elvis and I were stationed in the Army. Elvis flew him over from Memphis to be around and have fun with during his time off duty. I was sitting at a table in the local pub talking with some of my fellow servicemen when all of a sudden this fight breaks out behind me. Before I knew what was happening, Red West is beatin' the hell out of some guy at the bar. To this day, I don't know what that poor guy said or did, but Red knocked the hell out of him!

Perhaps it was an omen. Red eventually had to return home to Memphis. One of the factors being because the Army was giving him hell about the skirmishes he was having with the locals. Ironically, history would repeat itself about eighteen years later when Elvis's father, Vernon, actually fired Red and his cousin, Sonny, claiming it was because of some costly lawsuits leveled against Elvis that involved fights they had instigated.

Now, every one of us who had ever worked for Elvis had been fired at least once. It was something that was inevitable if you were around him for any period of time. But we also knew, one way or the other, sooner or later you would be asked to come back. So for the life of me I could never understand, until this day, why Red and Sonny turned against Elvis the way they did. Scorned, they retaliated by aligning themselves with a sensationalist writer and began work on an explosive "tell all" expose of Elvis's personal life, his faults, bad habits and temper tantrums. To be fair, they also covered a lot of the good times as well: Elvis's generosity, his immense talent, his love affair with his fans, etc. The main purpose of the book however, was to return fire and blow the lid off the Presley myth. But why was this even happening? Didn't they realize their being fired was likely only temporary? They were let go in July of 1976, and within six months we were reading sample chapters of this book eventually known as Elvis, What Happened?

Well, I'll tell you "what happened". As Elvis poured over the pages, reading the most salacious things he could ever imagine anyone saying about him, he became ashen. He was devastated. He was convinced this book would destroy his whole life. And in a way, I really believe it did.

After the contents of that book were revealed to Elvis, I believe a large part of his spirit just gave up. He lost his will to fight. Onstage, he was always singing the lyric, "Lord, this time you gave me a mountain...I may never climb." Although I never voiced my fears to a soul at the time, inside, I had a terrible feeling this might be that mountain...



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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2007 9:48 pm 
Jewel in the Lotus
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well, I think I know where that Sonny boy fits but he hasn't gone there yet..



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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2007 5:31 am 
Jewel in the Lotus
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As El'vis Aaron said, they were afraid, not understanding, not getting the sense of what was happening to them. What is important to us is that we know Elvis incarnated forgave them and El'vis in Numis'OM says he loves them.

I believe it's more useful to try to understand the emotional dynamics involved in all this circumstance, to learn from it without getting involved ourselves emotionally and so do not let it disolve in the stream of Life without further negative effect.

I truly believe when we are giving emotional presence to any "negative" circumstance from the past or the present, we are feeding it with energy bringing it to renewed life.

I use what we are commenting on Sonny West and the book to illustrate something that I consider basic to take on account at the present, with so much negative happening around the world. I know my posture may be controversial for some of the friends of the Forum as it may seem I say not to feel the pain of the world. No, the pain arrives. What matters is what we do with it afterwards, what kind of "action" or "reaction" it generates in us... if we then add pain into pain...

I let open that reflection...



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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2007 7:39 am 
Jewel in the Lotus
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Thank you, Sue!



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