Biography, True Story

Elvis: My Best Man–George Klein with Chuck Crisafulli

I’ll start by stating the obvious: I’m a huge Elvis fan. I dig his music, I watch his movies, and I even have a cookbook of his favourite foods.

 Which is why when my friend gave me this book for my birthday that I decided to give it its fair shake even though I’ve already read the one written by Sonny West. (Elvis’s former body guard/security team member/Memphis Mafia member who was fired unfairly by Elvis’s dad and manager for no apparent reason. Then decided to write a book at the time with his cousin and friend about what happened inside the circle so that people could see what Elvis’s drug use had been like and so that they could open Elvis’s eyes to the situation he was sinking in. Needless to say, they weren’t invited back to the Mafia but probably would’ve been forgiven eventually if Elvis hadn’t died. They wouldn’t have even been fired if Elvis hadn’t been out of town when it all happened. …for the record I read the more recent book the Sonny wrote by himself, I didn’t read the other one…yet.)

 Anyway, so when I read this I thought awesome, this guy is in with Priscilla and the rest of the gang, he was super close to Elvis and he’ll have some real great stories.

    When I first started reading this I thought this man had his head so far up Elvis’ butt that he was halfway in a grave. It seems like even though Elvis died from drugs and the affects of that, that George Klein was still making excuses for him. But as I read on I noticed that he was probably just trying to let us all see the man that he saw. Elvis always treated him right, they rarely fought, and he was an excellent performer to the billionth degree.

       In a way I can see the love, but I can also see the fact that he leaves Sonny West practically completely out of this even though he was there at the time. He says that he can never forgive what they did, but I think Elvis would’ve wanted him to.

     The only thing that felt really real about the book was Elvis himself. It kind of felt like he was writing with someone breathing over his neck and he was trying to placate them.

 I can understand trying not to hurt peoples feelings and showing the good instead of the bad, but at a certain point it’s just brushing it under the rug and ignoring the facts.

 He does say that Elvis tried to hide his drug use from him, so he was obviously not seeing anything that Elvis didn’t want him to see. And who wants their oldest friends to see you at your worst when they only expect the best?

   He did everyone justice and was very good at telling the right stories. But on the whole it all felt a little fake to me. I’m not choosing sides because quite frankly, I don’t know these people, I wasn’t there, but looking at it from a writing stand point Sonny’s version sat better with me because he was being real. This just seemed like an old friend trying to protect his friends image and make us all see the good in everyone…which in a way was refreshing and nice.

     But like Elvis, I want you to come to me with the facts and say it to my face. No beating around the bush, and the whole book felt like it was beating around the bush.

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