Elvis Presley “Unseen”
Authored by Jeff Schrembs, Elvis Presley Historian
2010 – All Rights Reserved
With all of the images of Elvis Presley, in print on the Internet on DVD on VHS taken via Polaroid Cameras and movie cameras and even paintings, does anyone conjure up Elvis laying in his bed wearing his black rimmed eyeglasses reading books (i.e. about God, Spiritual quests, Religion, etc.) and underlining passages and making handwritten notes in the “unprinted columns” of each page?
How about an image of Elvis reading a newspaper about a hurt, or killed, Fireman or Policeman and then authorizing (with the caveat that it is kept out of the press) ‘whatever monetary needs the widow and children need”?
How about an image of Elvis, when given the opportunity to have the 1st Live Concert Broadcast around the World via Satellite, donating the concert proceeds to Charity?
How about an image of Elvis, during his peak earning years where he was in the NINETY PERCENT TAX BRACKET, being afraid of an IRS audit and simply saying to the IRS “just tell me what I owe you”?
Each of these images were real and for every one I have mentioned there were thousands of others just as “unique” and just as “sincere”. For all of Elvis’ wealth, talents, strengths, and weaknesses he was a man and he loved and he hurt and he dreamed and he…felt. At numerous points in his life he mentioned that “one day I am going to write a book about my life and I am going to call it Through My Eyes by Elvis Presley”. His intent was to leave, in print, his own words recalling his own experiences (both good and bad) for his life was (wholly) unlike any other. Sadly, Elvis never got around to writing that book and we, as a people and not just as fans, were deprived of what would have been something very special indeed.
If someone were to ask an Elvis Fan “how much heartbreak did Elvis leave on women”? The likely answer would be “infinite”. But, in reality despite his looks and humor and fame without exception the women he loved in his life left him on terms other than how Elvis wanted. From June in the 1950’s to his Mothers passing (sadly) to his wife Priscilla to Linda. The SOLE reason why I bring up his Mothers passing is NOT to minimize or disrespect their relationship in any way. To the contrary it was, other than his love for his daughter and wife, the “love of his life”. Elvis always dreamed of providing for his Mother and the thought of her not being there, every step of Elvis’ life, was so “forgone” that it was not even rationalized up until (sadly) her health declined and she was hospitalized in August of 1958 (note: sadly, Gladys Love Presley died on August 14, 1958 at the age of 46). Each of these women LOVED Elvis and yet their time with him was “shortened” and Elvis carried the hurt of losing them throughout his entire life.
Yes it is true that Elvis had “more than his share of relationships” but to think how “perplexing” it must have been for Elvis to give his heart, dreams, word, soul, and hopes to and the relationships didn’t last. Most of the World, in years past now and in years to come, will never take the time to think about HOW it must have felt for Elvis to have these relationships, in public and in private, suffer knowing that he truly LOVED these women.
Regrettably, far too many people are exposed to Elvis as a “caricature” or an “Elvis Potato Head” (note: for the record it is a “cute toy” and I have already written about this item and my opinion thereof) or Elvis Wig and Sideburns. Not only is this “unflattering” but it takes away from the fact(s) that Elvis was the Greatest Entertainer who ever lived and had the power to mesmerize those whose eyes laid upon him. Believe it or not Elvis in person was even MORE attractive and even MORE personality powerful and even MORE charming that the lens of photographic equipment could capture.
Without Elvis own handwritten account, and the efforts of Priscilla Presley and Lisa Marie Presley and Jack Soden and EPE, the “closest” connections we have left are the members of the “Memphis Mafia” specifically Marty Lacker – Lamar Fike – Billy Smith – Red West – and Sonny West. Additionally, you have Joe Esposito and Jerry Schilling and members of Elvis’ band and backup singers and Orchestra. Sadly, up until this point the members of the Memphis Mafia have not been given the respect, attention, monetary reward, acknowledgment, and creative outlets that they DESERVE. I believe, and have now since (sadly) Elvis’ passing, that this is SALT IN THE WOUND to Elvis’ memory and his intentions. Elvis LOVED these men, shared his soul with then, and spent the majority of his life with them and yet they are somehow/someway regulated to “bits and pieces” of interviews/videos/books. Far too many Elvis Fans said after Elvis’ passing “if only we told him how much he meant to us” and now I know and fear that the same is true of each and every member of the Memphis Mafia and their family members. I hope, and pray, that these “wrongs” will be “righted” and that Elvis’ Family and EPE “rights these egregious wrongs”…intentionally or not.
During the interim I encourage Elvis Fans Worldwide to reach out to the members of the Memphis Mafia, and to their family members, and convey your thanks/appreciation and commit to support their endeavors AND add your names to the (as of August 2010 115,000 names/signees) proclamation (which will be forwarded to EPE in 2011) asking that each of these men be given a “formal platform” so that we can hear them – learn from them – and get the REAL stories of Elvis life from them. What a wonderful learning experience that would be as Elvis would have wanted it to be.
What we know of Elvis is only part of his life and his story. The remainder is “unseen” but that doesn’t mean it should be kept…”unspoken” or not written about. It has been my distinct pleasure to author this article about Elvis Presley and I hope that it causes Elvis Fans Worldwide to look at Elvis’ life with renewed appreciation as I have all these decades.
Take care and God bless.
Jeffrey Schrembs, Elvis Presley Historian & Elvis Presley Collector
***note: This article has been published with the expressed permission of Jeff Schrembs as he endures medical treatment. 2010 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED ***