sonny west`s betrayal.
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orion2010

Bolton, UK

#1 Aug 2, 2011

On August 1st 1977 – 34 years ago today – Sonny West headlined of the first press conference about the “Tell All” gossip book “Elvis What Happened”. Sonny defended the book and repeated that he had “no regrets”. Dave Hebler was at the press conference too, but Red decided to stay away (although he did lend his name to the gossip book). The excerpt below, from the movie This Is Elvis, shows you what Sonny West’s REAL intentions were. The very first question asked by a reporter is: WHY did you write this sensationalistic book about Elvis Presley? Sonny can’t wait to answer and to get his share of the spotlight:“Out of bitterness to start with. When we were given a three day notice and a week’s pay by his father… and he flew out of town…,”. There you have it, straight from the horse’s mouth: the book was his way of getting even, of getting the revenge he dreamed about. Sonny West does NOT talk about how he wanted to protect Elvis by writing this book. In fact, it isn’t until a journalist hints at that possibility that Dave Hebler sees the chance to pick up on that. Sonny is silent as a grave – because that was not what the book was about. It was about trying to get his former “friend”(ha!) on his knees because “no one fires Sonny West”.

Elvis died 2 weeks later. Devastated by the effect of the gossip book, betrayed by people he gave cars, money, all the glitter & glamour they could possibly handle. He died knowing that the image he worked for his whole life was shattered by people like Sonny West, whom he had trusted and cared for. Who needs enemies with friends like Sonny West?

34 years later Sonny West finds himself in financial problems again (strange he doesn't blame Elvis for that this time) and he asks fans all over the world to send him money and wire donations to his bank account. The more the merrier. "I need it man, I need it."

In the meantime, Sonny's new best friend, the 400 pound impersonator Pete Vallee, has agreed to do a benefit concert and donate the profit to Sonny.

Since: Mar 11

Location hidden

#2 Aug 2, 2011
Another absolutely hopeless, blinkered and pathetic attack on Sonny West.

Here are some FACTS:

1. The press conference was actually held on the afternoon of August 17th, 1977, the day after Elvis died. Where you got August 1st from is anyone's guess.

2. "Out of bitterness to start with ..." TO START WITH being the key words there. Obviously, you haven't seen/read the FULL transcript of the press conference.

3. Sonny West has never asked fans for money. That is an out an out LIE ... oh, unless you can provide a link to where he did this? Wire money to his bank account? Please. What a scurrilous, pathetic attempt to smear one of the few friends Elvis actually had; only fans like you are too dimwitted to know that.

4. "Pete Vallee, has agreed to do a benefit concert and donate the profit to Sonny." Yeah, so what?

5. Your text above is lifted directly from here: http://rica.alfahosting.org/everythingelvis/i... ... so next time, do try to state your source ... unless you were the one to write it for Elvis Matters?

6. "He died knowing that the image he worked for his whole life was shattered by people like Sonny West ..." No, he died knowing his image was shattered - most of all - BY HIMSELF.
AJR

Santa Rosa Beach, FL

#3 Aug 2, 2011
I agree & disagree with both of the above statements above...:} IMO, the book WAS written to "get back at Elvis" and because they needed the money. No one meant or knew he was going to die . Because the Wests knew Elvis so well...they should and could have just waited it out as they've stated ; all of them had been fired at time one or another ,by Elvis himself. So yes, it was written "out of anger & bitterness." The interview was done after Elvis died and I respect Red more than Sonny. But, it's been many years now, I think Elvis would just have liked to put it all behind them and get on with life. Too bad he's not here to tell us himself...and stop all the pent up anger and hate.
Having said that; I'd never do what these so-called "friends" did and I don't believe Elvis would have either . All of them did exactly the same things and lived the same kind of lives. Let it go .

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#4 Aug 2, 2011
Elvis died over 30 years ago and his life has been written about over and over .Sonny West isnt doing so good now and Im sure he knows some fans think its his payback! I think Elvis wanted to kill him but he aiso would of forgiven him or maybe he did -phone call with Red seems Elvis still cared about Red
Karree

Oxnard, CA

#5 Aug 2, 2011
about Sunny- just karma at work
About Red- to live a life full of regrets can't be easy
Gracelandgroupie

Siloam Springs, AR

#6 Aug 2, 2011
orion2010 wrote:
On August 1st 1977 – 34 years ago today – Sonny West headlined of the first press conference about the “Tell All” gossip book “Elvis What Happened”. Sonny defended the book and repeated that he had “no regrets”. Dave Hebler was at the press conference too, but Red decided to stay away (although he did lend his name to the gossip book). The excerpt below, from the movie This Is Elvis, shows you what Sonny West’s REAL intentions were. The very first question asked by a reporter is: WHY did you write this sensationalistic book about Elvis Presley? Sonny can’t wait to answer and to get his share of the spotlight:“Out of bitterness to start with. When we were given a three day notice and a week’s pay by his father… and he flew out of town…,”. There you have it, straight from the horse’s mouth: the book was his way of getting even, of getting the revenge he dreamed about. Sonny West does NOT talk about how he wanted to protect Elvis by writing this book. In fact, it isn’t until a journalist hints at that possibility that Dave Hebler sees the chance to pick up on that. Sonny is silent as a grave – because that was not what the book was about. It was about trying to get his former “friend”(ha!) on his knees because “no one fires Sonny West”.
Elvis died 2 weeks later. Devastated by the effect of the gossip book, betrayed by people he gave cars, money, all the glitter & glamour they could possibly handle. He died knowing that the image he worked for his whole life was shattered by people like Sonny West, whom he had trusted and cared for. Who needs enemies with friends like Sonny West?
34 years later Sonny West finds himself in financial problems again (strange he doesn't blame Elvis for that this time) and he asks fans all over the world to send him money and wire donations to his bank account. The more the merrier. "I need it man, I need it."
In the meantime, Sonny's new best friend, the 400 pound impersonator Pete Vallee, has agreed to do a benefit concert and donate the profit to Sonny.
Well your right about the interview that's exactly what he said.
Gracelandgroupie

Siloam Springs, AR

#7 Aug 2, 2011
AJR wrote:
I agree & disagree with both of the above statements above...:} IMO, the book WAS written to "get back at Elvis" and because they needed the money. No one meant or knew he was going to die . Because the Wests knew Elvis so well...they should and could have just waited it out as they've stated ; all of them had been fired at time one or another ,by Elvis himself. So yes, it was written "out of anger & bitterness." The interview was done after Elvis died and I respect Red more than Sonny. But, it's been many years now, I think Elvis would just have liked to put it all behind them and get on with life. Too bad he's not here to tell us himself...and stop all the pent up anger and hate.
Having said that; I'd never do what these so-called "friends" did and I don't believe Elvis would have either . All of them did exactly the same things and lived the same kind of lives. Let it go .
I agree with most of what your saying. It was a sorry thing to do. I wonder did the whole thing turn out liked they thought it would?
Gracelandgroupie

Siloam Springs, AR

#8 Aug 2, 2011
orion2010 wrote:
On August 1st 1977 – 34 years ago today – Sonny West headlined of the first press conference about the “Tell All” gossip book “Elvis What Happened”. Sonny defended the book and repeated that he had “no regrets”. Dave Hebler was at the press conference too, but Red decided to stay away (although he did lend his name to the gossip book). The excerpt below, from the movie This Is Elvis, shows you what Sonny West’s REAL intentions were. The very first question asked by a reporter is: WHY did you write this sensationalistic book about Elvis Presley? Sonny can’t wait to answer and to get his share of the spotlight:“Out of bitterness to start with. When we were given a three day notice and a week’s pay by his father… and he flew out of town…,”. There you have it, straight from the horse’s mouth: the book was his way of getting even, of getting the revenge he dreamed about. Sonny West does NOT talk about how he wanted to protect Elvis by writing this book. In fact, it isn’t until a journalist hints at that possibility that Dave Hebler sees the chance to pick up on that. Sonny is silent as a grave – because that was not what the book was about. It was about trying to get his former “friend”(ha!) on his knees because “no one fires Sonny West”.
Elvis died 2 weeks later. Devastated by the effect of the gossip book, betrayed by people he gave cars, money, all the glitter & glamour they could possibly handle. He died knowing that the image he worked for his whole life was shattered by people like Sonny West, whom he had trusted and cared for. Who needs enemies with friends like Sonny West?
34 years later Sonny West finds himself in financial problems again (strange he doesn't blame Elvis for that this time) and he asks fans all over the world to send him money and wire donations to his bank account. The more the merrier. "I need it man, I need it."
In the meantime, Sonny's new best friend, the 400 pound impersonator Pete Vallee, has agreed to do a benefit concert and donate the profit to Sonny.
This 400 pound impersonator must have a big heart. But i have read stories about people who will do anything to get close to the people who knew him.
AJR

Santa Rosa Beach, FL

#9 Aug 2, 2011
Gracelandgroupie wrote:
<quoted text>I agree with most of what your saying. It was a sorry thing to do. I wonder did the whole thing turn out liked they thought it would?
IMO, I still believe the book was written to " get even". Think they were as shocked as everyone else he died. But it was Sonny that rushed to cover his a**. He knew he was in big trouble. Hard to believe some fans just accept them & go on. While I feel kinda sorry for them sometimes,{Red mostly} I just can't overlook how they went about doing that book.IF they didn't like was put in it, they could have taken the man to court. Others have and won.
Karree

Oxnard, CA

#10 Aug 2, 2011
They were angry, but even more, they were greedy. They wanted to make a lot of money for little dirty talk. Red must feel like a Judas, and he will have to live with that guilt to his last day. He has displayed some conscience at least. Sunny is considered a shady character even in his own family. Hebler's opinion is not even relevant to Elvis fans, they were never really close.
Gracelandgroupie

Siloam Springs, AR

#11 Aug 3, 2011
Karree wrote:
They were angry, but even more, they were greedy. They wanted to make a lot of money for little dirty talk. Red must feel like a Judas, and he will have to live with that guilt to his last day. He has displayed some conscience at least. Sunny is considered a shady character even in his own family. Hebler's opinion is not even relevant to Elvis fans, they were never really close.
I agree totally. I have no pity for them they are greedy.I read one time in a book that Sonny got busted for drugs.I have never been able to find any fact's on that so i don't know if it's true or not. Of course had it been Elvis it would have been plastered all over the internet. But Sonny just isn't that important i guess!
Gracelandgroupie

Siloam Springs, AR

#12 Aug 3, 2011
AJR wrote:
<quoted text>
IMO, I still believe the book was written to " get even". Think they were as shocked as everyone else he died. But it was Sonny that rushed to cover his a**. He knew he was in big trouble. Hard to believe some fans just accept them & go on. While I feel kinda sorry for them sometimes,{Red mostly} I just can't overlook how they went about doing that book.IF they didn't like was put in it, they could have taken the man to court. Others have and won.
Yea i think it did shock them. And yes from watching that interview how SW was talking and his body language i agree he knew he was in trouble. I also don't understand how they are accepted. So they were let go from a job big deal it happend to people then and it happens now. Epe was a busniess then same as it is now. If your let go you don't seek revenge.That says a lot about a person. So Elvis flew or went out of town big deal was his world suppose to stop because EPE did what they had to do.But agree with ya sorry about the rant wasn't ment toward you or anyone on this board!
Lee

West Hollywood, CA

#13 Aug 7, 2011
orion2010 wrote:
On August 1st 1977 – 34 years ago today – Sonny West headlined of the first press conference about the “Tell All” gossip book “Elvis What Happened”. Sonny defended the book and repeated that he had “no regrets”. Dave Hebler was at the press conference too, but Red decided to stay away (although he did lend his name to the gossip book). The excerpt below, from the movie This Is Elvis, shows you what Sonny West’s REAL intentions were. The very first question asked by a reporter is: WHY did you write this sensationalistic book about Elvis Presley? Sonny can’t wait to answer and to get his share of the spotlight:“Out of bitterness to start with. When we were given a three day notice and a week’s pay by his father… and he flew out of town…,”. There you have it, straight from the horse’s mouth: the book was his way of getting even, of getting the revenge he dreamed about. Sonny West does NOT talk about how he wanted to protect Elvis by writing this book. In fact, it isn’t until a journalist hints at that possibility that Dave Hebler sees the chance to pick up on that. Sonny is silent as a grave – because that was not what the book was about. It was about trying to get his former “friend”(ha!) on his knees because “no one fires Sonny West”.
Elvis died 2 weeks later. Devastated by the effect of the gossip book, betrayed by people he gave cars, money, all the glitter & glamour they could possibly handle. He died knowing that the image he worked for his whole life was shattered by people like Sonny West, whom he had trusted and cared for. Who needs enemies with friends like Sonny West?
34 years later Sonny West finds himself in financial problems again (strange he doesn't blame Elvis for that this time) and he asks fans all over the world to send him money and wire donations to his bank account. The more the merrier. "I need it man, I need it."
In the meantime, Sonny's new best friend, the 400 pound impersonator Pete Vallee, has agreed to do a benefit concert and donate the profit to Sonny.
You are SO right, Orion. I can't believe how stupid today's Elvis fans are, to let these guys(all of them) repair their images, and try to repaint themselves as the "good guys". Elvis now has a horrible image because of them. They are pigs, all of them.

Since: Mar 11

Location hidden

#14 Aug 8, 2011
Lee wrote:
<quoted text>You are SO right, Orion. I can't believe how stupid today's Elvis fans are, to let these guys(all of them) repair their images, and try to repaint themselves as the "good guys". Elvis now has a horrible image because of them. They are pigs, all of them.
No one here cares what you think, on this or any other subject.
Lee

West Hollywood, CA

#15 Aug 8, 2011
Presley Fan wrote:
Another absolutely hopeless, blinkered and pathetic attack on Sonny West.
Here are some FACTS:
1. The press conference was actually held on the afternoon of August 17th, 1977, the day after Elvis died. Where you got August 1st from is anyone's guess.
2. "Out of bitterness to start with ..." TO START WITH being the key words there. Obviously, you haven't seen/read the FULL transcript of the press conference.
3. Sonny West has never asked fans for money. That is an out an out LIE ... oh, unless you can provide a link to where he did this? Wire money to his bank account? Please. What a scurrilous, pathetic attempt to smear one of the few friends Elvis actually had; only fans like you are too dimwitted to know that.
4. "Pete Vallee, has agreed to do a benefit concert and donate the profit to Sonny." Yeah, so what?
5. Your text above is lifted directly from here: http://rica.alfahosting.org/everythingelvis/i... ... so next time, do try to state your source ... unless you were the one to write it for Elvis Matters?
6. "He died knowing that the image he worked for his whole life was shattered by people like Sonny West ..." No, he died knowing his image was shattered - most of all - BY HIMSELF.
Sonny was one of the ones who knew that Priscilla was going out on Elvis and didn't tell him. Also one of the ones who made disparaging statements about Elvis on tv in in all the tell all books and to Albert Goldman.

And the fact that it was "out of bitterness to start with" is not an excuse it an indictment. You think it is somehow o.k. for him to say the things he has about Elvis because it was "out of bitterness"? He and the others have damaged Elvis' reputation forever.
Lee

West Hollywood, CA

#16 Aug 8, 2011
AJR wrote:
I agree & disagree with both of the above statements above...:} IMO, the book WAS written to "get back at Elvis" and because they needed the money. No one meant or knew he was going to die . Because the Wests knew Elvis so well...they should and could have just waited it out as they've stated ; all of them had been fired at time one or another ,by Elvis himself. So yes, it was written "out of anger & bitterness." The interview was done after Elvis died and I respect Red more than Sonny. But, it's been many years now, I think Elvis would just have liked to put it all behind them and get on with life. Too bad he's not here to tell us himself...and stop all the pent up anger and hate.
Having said that; I'd never do what these so-called "friends" did and I don't believe Elvis would have either . All of them did exactly the same things and lived the same kind of lives. Let it go .
I disagree that they did not know he was going to die. You could tell just by LOOKING at him that he was about to die. I told my friends, "Elvis is dying".

They knew he was near death, they knew he was at his very lowest point in his life, and instead of supporting him, they kicked him. It was an all out, visious attack, not just a kick.
Lee

West Hollywood, CA

#17 Aug 8, 2011
They lie now and say they were shocked when the book turned out the way it did. They are liars. After the book came out, they did countless tv interviews repeating the same things they said in the books. It is only in the last few years that they have tried to go back..they now see that they may go down in history as the men who betrayed the greatest intertainer who ever lived, and contributed to his death.

Sorry. The dirtbags can't take back the hurt they put on Elvis, or the damage they did to his reputation.

Since: Mar 11

Location hidden

#18 Aug 9, 2011
Lee wrote:
<quoted text>Sonny was one of the ones who knew that Priscilla was going out on Elvis and didn't tell him.
And he knew Elvis was stepping out on Cilla too, but didn't tell HIM.

Your point?

IDIOT.

Since: Mar 11

Location hidden

#19 Aug 9, 2011
Lee wrote:
<quoted text>I disagree that they did not know he was going to die.
And you'd be wrong.

No one KNEW Elvis was going to die.

You did not tell your 'friends' any such thing; you had no friends in 1977, and you sure as hell don't have any now!

Oh, and if you knew he was dying, why didn't YOU do anything?

Pathetic old slag!
Jessica

Napier, New Zealand

#20 Aug 9, 2011
Lee wrote:
<quoted text>I disagree that they did not know he was going to die. You could tell just by LOOKING at him that he was about to die. I told my friends, "Elvis is dying".
They knew he was near death, they knew he was at his very lowest point in his life, and instead of supporting him, they kicked him. It was an all out, visious attack, not just a kick.
Yes, I too initially thought "Elvis is dying". If you go and look on Linda Hood Sigmon's Elvis Approved website and read the articles about Howard Hughes and Elvis...you will find that they both made themselves look as if they were dying. That they were both good actors etc. and it was part of the plan.

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