Elvis is still on our minds 33 years af­ter his death

Fans all shook up over The King

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE -

SYD­NEY: Elvis Pres­ley may have left the build­ing nearly 33 years ago, but a raft of new events and books re­leased this week to mark what would have been his 75th birth­day en­sure The King lives on – and so do his earn­ings.

Pres­ley, who died in Au­gust 1977 at 42, is one of the top earn­ing dead celebri­ties, bring­ing in $55 mil­lion last year ac­cord­ing to Forbes.com, and mar­keted by Elvis Pres­ley En­ter­prises, which en­ter­tain­ment mogul Robert Siller­man re­vi­talised in 2005.

His birth­day yes­ter­day oc­ca­sioned a cake-cut­ting cer­e­mony at his Grace­land home, a new exhibit of his cos­tumes, movie marathons, a Face­book ap­pli­ca­tion, a cruise later in the year, and a new Jail­house Rock doll in the Bar­bie col­lec­tion.

Around the world other events in­clude a gath­er­ing in the Aus­tralian town of Parkes, where Elvis im­per­son­ators are don­ning lamé suits and per­fect quiffs for an an­nual Elvis Fes­ti­val de­spite tem­per­a­tures of 40°C. Three new books about the singer, whose life has been scru­ti­nised in up to 50 other books, will also add fuel to the mar­ket­ing flame in whose spot­light Pres­ley re­mains young, haz­ing over his fi­nal years of bat­tling poor health and weight gain.

Au­thor Alanna Nash ex­am­ined the role of the women in her fourth book on Pres­ley, Baby, Let’s Play House, con­clud­ing an un­healthy bond with his mother, Gla­dys, and the loss of a still­born twin brother set him up for doomed re­la­tion­ships.

“I think what he wanted from a woman was to be moth­ered but he only went out with younger women so that never hap­pened,” Nash said af­ter in­ter­view­ing a list of lovers, friends, co-stars and fam­ily mem­bers.

“But what re­ally sur­prised me was that I found he re­mained emo­tion­ally aged about 15 to 17. I think this is why he con­tin­ued to like 14-year-old girls and found a lot of hap­pi­ness in men­tor­ing

‘What he wanted from a woman was to be moth­ered’

them. He was stuck as a teenager him­self.”

Ge­orge Klein, a DJ and TV host who out­lines his friend­ship with Pres­ley at school in Elvis: My Best Man, said the im­por­tance of Pres­ley’s mother in his life could not be un­der­es­ti­mated.

“She had a tremendous power over him. She was the rea­son he was so po­lite and such a gen­tle­man. Elvis loved her to death and never ar­gued with her. They had a tremendous bond,” said Klein.

Pres­ley’s mother died in 1958 at the age of 46.

A third new book, The King and Dr Nick: What Re­ally Hap­pened To Elvis And Me, is by Dr Ge­orge Ni­chopou­los, also known as Dr Nick, who was Pres­ley’s per­sonal physi­cian for 11 years. The book is writ­ten with Rose Clay­ton Phillips.

Ni­chopou­los was in the spot­light af­ter Pres­ley’s death from heart prob­lems af­ter tak­ing a cock­tail of pre­scrip­tion drugs. He had his li­cence per­ma­nently sus­pended in 1995 af­ter a med­i­cal board found he had over­pre­scribed to nu­mer­ous pa­tients for years.

Both Nash and Klein said Elvis’s death was pre­ma­ture.

“It was a shame he didn’t pay more at­ten­tion to his health and his diet. I don’t think he would have ever got off his pre­scrip­tions drugs but he could have lived longer if he had im­proved his diet,” said Nash.

Klein be­lieves Pres­ley would never have died so young had his mother been around, say­ing the two peo­ple that had most to lose – his man­ager “Colonel” Tom Parker and his fa­ther Ver­non who worked for Elvis – failed to help him.

“His fa­ther was scared Elvis would fire him or kick him out while Colonel Parker was all about mak­ing money. They kept their mouths shut and did not step up to help Elvis, not want­ing to get into a con­fronta­tion with him and be cut off. It would have been dif­fer­ent if his mother had been there.” – Reuters

MEM­O­RA­BILIA: A glazed ce­ramic sculp­ture by Robert Ar­ne­son, left,

The Book of E,

a scrap­book by an un­known in­di­vid­ual, ex­hi­bi­tion cu­ra­tor War­ren Perry, and an Elvis lunch­box and toy.


ELVIS STAMP: One of the many ex­hibits fea­tured on the Smith­so­nian In­sti­tu­tion ex­hi­bi­tion.

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