ElvisElvis by Albert Goldman is a book about the life andtimes of the king of rock and roll.It shows how a countryboy rose up and ruled the world of music, and also showedhis downfall.It starts by telling about Elvis’ childhood, andmoving to his teenage years.Elvis was always awholesome country boy no matter if people considered himleud, or outrageous.In fact, Elvis was discovered when hemade a record for his mothers birthday, Elvis alwaysrespected his parents.Next it moves on to the first fewrecords that Elvis cut at Sun Records with his first producerSam Phillips.What made Elvis different from other singerswas that he was “a white boy who could sing like a nigger.”as Sam Phillips described his style.It then moves on todetail his breakthrough year of 1956 in which he had suchhits as Heartbreak Hotel, and Hound Dog.1956 was theyear that Elvis took America by storm, and earned him thetitle “The King of Rock and Roll”.After that, it states thehardships that Elvis faced over the next few years in themilitary.These few years were not very good for Elvis, forthe first time he had to leave the US, and his belovedmother passed away before he left for his assignment inGermany.Moving on it tells us about his glorious return tothe United States, reclaiming his title as “King”, andmoving on to something bigger and better the movies. Over the course of the next few years Elvis made a lot ofmovies, but none were liked by the critics, but they didmake money.After his less than stellar movie career Elviscame back to music with a blast the 68′ Comeback Special. Once again Elvis was on top of the music industry.Afterthe 68′ Comeback Special Elvis moved on to verysuccessful shows at Las Vegas.Elvis played in Las Vegasuntil his death.He also started to tour again.It was duringthis time that he and his wife of only a few years, Priscilla,got a divorce.This is the main reason Elvis was soon veryheavily addicted to drugs.Elvis was always addicted todrugs, but it was after his break up with Priscilla that ledhim on a downward spiral leading to his death.
In my opinion this book is just great.I really enjoyedreading this book very much.It was very informative, andgave good insights into Elvis’ personal life.The aspect ofthis book which I loved the most though, is the honesty. The author, Albert Goldman, pulls no punches when hetalks about Elvis very eccentric personality outside of thespotlight.One example of this strange behavior is thatwhen Elvis played in Las Vegas, he was so paranoid thatsomeone might kill him, he went through a long drawn outordeal just to walk to the ballroom that was only a fewfloors down from his suite.And when he went he carriedabout 3 to 4 loaded guns with him.This is one of the manystrange aspects of Elvis’ personal life in his later years. One more thing I like is the honesty of Elvis’s drugaddiction.Like most Americans I didn’t think of Elvis as abig time drug user, until I read this book.It tells about howElvis spoke out against drugs to kids, and even met withthen President Nixon about the drug problem in America. The funny thing is that Elvis was probably one of thebiggest junkies in the entertainment industry.
As for the authors point of view, I think AlbertGoldman was very very honest in this book.And that isone of the best features of the book.To take some one whois a national hero, and tell the vivid details of his chronicdrug abuse, his abuse of his money, and the abuse of thepeople around him must have been hard,but is was just thefacts.I think that most of the people who have read thisbook had no clue what the real Elvis was like.Don’t getme wrong, the author takes nothing away from Elvis thesinger, he was, and still is one of the greatest entertainers ofour day, but Elvis the person was a totally different person. A classic case of Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde.Soinconclusion I would just like to say to any Elvis fans readthis book to find out what the “King” was really like.