- Elvis friend from way back seeks to restore the artist's reputation
By CHARLES RUNNELLS
(news-press.com, May 29 2009)
Jerry Schilling knew Elvis the man before he became Elvis the icon. Before the jumpsuits. Before Vegas. Before the drugs. Before the impersonators.
Before all that, Schilling was there. Schilling - who will sign copies of his book, "Me and a Guy Named Elvis," at an Elvis art exhibit in Naples on Saturday - knew Elvis was special the moment he met him in Memphis in July 1954. Elvis Presley's first single, "That's All Right Mama," had just started getting radio play when Schilling joined him and some other guys in a pick-up game of football. Elvis was 19 at the time. Schilling was 12.
Nobody said anything, nobody introduced Elvis by name, but Schilling just knew that charismatic, charming guy had to be the one he'd heard on the radio.
Even back then, there was a superstar quality about Elvis. "It was like James Dean had just walked out of 'East of Eden,'" recalls Schilling, 67, of West Hollywood Hills, Calif. "And it was kind of magical." More football games would come. And later, when Elvis became famous, he invited Schilling to become a member of the so-called Memphis Mafia, his inner circle of buddies and confidantes.
From then until Elvis' death in 1977, Schilling did everything from promotion to security work to producing to being a movie stand-in. He was there when Elvis met Nixon and The Beatles. He rushed Elvis and Priscilla Presley to the hospital the day their daughter, Lisa Marie, was born.
After Elvis died, Schilling went on to manage other rockers such as The Beach Boys and Billy Joel. But then he decided to write "Me and a Guy Named Elvis" to humanize the legend. He wanted to show the deeply intelligent Elvis, the generous Elvis, the underrated record-producer Elvis. "He had an ear of gold," Schilling says. "He knew what a hit record was in 20 seconds. And he knew what songs to pass on."
Schilling's book-signing coincides with the opening of "The Art of Elvis" at American Royal Arts gallery. The show features rarely seen photographs of The King, French posters from his movies (including "Love Me Tender"), paintings by noted Elvis Presley artist Joe Petruccio and other Elvis-related items. The show coincides with what would have been Elvis' 75th birthday this year. It continues through July at the gallery. ... Schilling will sign copies of his book and talk about his old friend.
So many people remember the overweight, drug-addled Elvis, Schilling says, but that was how Elvis was only at the very end of his life. He wants people to know "the real Elvis." "I wanted it to be a backstage pass," he says of his book. "We all know what happened to Elvis onstage, the good and the bad, and in the movies. But he was a human being. He had struggles.
"I hope this book gives him some of the dignity that he deserves."
- Elvis Presley's prescription bottles among unusual auction items
By Suzanne Kayian
(LiveDaily, May 28 2009)
Numerous pieces of Elvis Presley memorabilia--including prescription bottles, jewelry, guns, clothes and furniture--will be among the items available at Julien's Auctions Summer Sale, to be held June 26-27 at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, according to a press release.
Many of the items come directly from the collection of George C. "Dr. Nick" Nichopoulous, the doctor that was charged with over-prescribing controlled substances to Presley during the months leading up to the entertainer's 1977 death.
Nichopoulous, who was acquitted but later had his license suspended on the same charges, has consigned more than 45 items, including several prescription bottles with an estimated value of $800 - $1,200 each, his medical bag valued at $4,000-$6,000, a red strobe light Presley gave him for quick access to Graceland, a nasal douche and a laryngeal scope. ...
- For sale: a doctor's memories of Marilyn and Elvis
By Guy Adams
(independent.co.uk, May 27 2009)
Pill bottles that belonged to Elvis Presley, a selection of Marilyn Monroe's off-licence receipts and some of the last items of clothing that either star wore before their untimely deaths are to be sold at auction in Las Vegas.
The grisly selection of memorabilia and medical paraphernalia includes personal effects that belonged to Presley's physician, George "Dr Nick" Nichopoulos, such as a "nasal douche" which the so-called King of Rock'n'Roll used to treat his sinuses and irrigate his throat before each concert.
The two-day sale in June includes a number of items from a separate collection of Monroe's property, including two bricks from her house, signed cheques, alcohol receipts, an umbrella and a dressing gown purported to be the last garment she wore before she died from a drug overdose, which is expected to fetch $6,000 (£3,745).
It also contains guns, jewellery and four bottles of medication Dr Nichopoulos issued on 15 August 1977, the day before "The King" died on the toilet from a prescription drug overdose.
Those products were at the centre of an investigation that saw Dr Nick charged and acquitted of over-prescribing controlled substances to the singer in the months before his death.
They formed part of a travelling collection at local casinos but Dr Nichopoulos, 81, is no longer able to continue touring, so is selling 45 of the items through the California memorabilia company Julien's Auctions. The collection is expected to sell for between $200,000 and $400,000.
"Elvis was a very big giver, and he gave a lot of things away," Dr Nichopoulos told Bloomberg yesterday. "[The collection] kind of describes Elvis in a way: some of his interests, like he loved guns and sheriffs' badges and books and religious things and jewellery. It gives you an idea of some of the things he was interested in."
Though Las Vegas and restraint are not often associated, the sale has been criticised in some quarters for overstepping the boundaries of taste.
Priscilla Presley, Elvis's wife from 1967 to 1973, said she was "very disappointed" in Dr Nick's decision to sell the items: "That a doctor could betray a patient who trusted his professional advice, trusted his integrity, trusted his right to privacy, but mostly his loyalty, is beyond my comprehension."
All shook up: Elvis's pills
Twenty-four hours before his death Elvis was prescribed a pack of 50mg Benadryl tablets, one of the oldest anti-histamines taken for allergies such as hay fever. Did Elvis suffer from allergies? Or did he just enjoy the woozy feeling induced by the powerful sedative effect common to all first generation anti-histamines?
In the 1970s, anti-histamines were used, and abused, as sleeping pills and as part of a cocktail with alcohol and other recreational drugs. Elvis also used a nasal douche to irrigate his sinuses and treat his throat. In heavy overdose Benadryl can cause a heart attack.
- Israel's YouTube "Elvis Presley"
(McClatchy Newspapers via Yahoo! News, May 28 2009)
Though he's appeared at Checkpoint Jerusalem before, here is a longer piece we've just done on Ophir Kutiel, aka Kutiman, the pioneering Israeli DJ and creator of ThruYOU. ...
- All the King's horses: Graceland barn open to public
By Marco R. della Cava
(USA TODAY, May 27 2009)
Elvis rides again. Beginning today, Presley fans will gain access to Graceland's stables, long an off-limits refuge for his surviving family members. It's the first new area opened at the estate since 1998, when his parents' bedroom was made public.
"It really was the last place on the property where Graceland still felt like home to me," says Priscilla Presley, who will lead the inaugural Elvis Presley's Stable Tour at Graceland ($8-$15, details at elvis.com). "But it's for the greater good."
The star attraction of the eight-stall stable is Max of Maine, a 3-year-old standardbred from that state who was going to be euthanized. Another is Sun's Reflection, a distant cousin of Rising Sun, the Golden Palomino Elvis bought for himself shortly after giving his then-wife a horse for Christmas in 1966.
"Everyone knows Elvis and his music, his films, his charities, but I felt they didn't know much about his true pastime," Priscilla says. "Elvis was happiest when riding horses."
- Watch a movie, visit a 'star'
By Mel Shields
(Sacramento Bee, May 24 2009)
Opportunities to watch classic movies are not as infrequent as they once were. DVDs, mail-order rentals and 24-hour movie channels have made the biggest films readily available just about any time. The chance to watch them with an audience and not far from a "featured performer" is more rare.
"Movie Cars: Cinematic Stars on Wheels" has opened at the National Automobile Museum in Reno and will continue through Nov. 19. Monthly movie nights will feature films, including many of the cars in the exhibit. Five cars from the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles have been shipped to Reno to join eight from the museum's permanent collection. Those from the Petersen collection include some pretty famous movie cars: the 1966 "Mongrel T" custom roadster by George Barris, used in the Elvis Presley movie "Easy Come, Easy Go"; the 1946 Ford "Greased Lightning" hot rod used in the movie "Grease"; the 1998 VW Beetle "Shagmobile" from "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me"; the 2002 Jaguar XKR featured in the James Bond film "Die Another Day"; and the sassy pink Honda S2000 from "2 Fast 2 Furious." ...