Meeting Elvis' inner circle and pals...

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drjohncarpenter
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Re: Meeting Elvis' inner circle and pals...

Post by drjohncarpenter »

When I said hello to Ed Parker at a convention, he was quietly menacing. He was still selling copies of his book, Inside Elvis.

Despite a rather wide waist tucked behind a very Elvis-like, Santa Claus belt, I knew that he was capable of decimating anyone who approached him in an aggressive manner. He did not smile. I remained very polite.


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Rocker77
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Re: Meeting Elvis' inner circle and pals...

Post by Rocker77 »

I met DJ Fontana and got to talk with at length about the early days with Elvis. I asked Him what Elvis used on his hair in the 50’s , DJ said Brylcream ! We all used it. But it believe he was thinking maybe the 68 special as Elvis used Vaseline hair tonic in the 50’s. But it was cool to talk and hang out with the Legendary drummer from Shreveport none the same. He also lit up the drums that night as if he never left the 50’s.

Sonny West I got to meet twice , Sonny was genuine and I could see why Elvis liked Him. He was a Guy you knew that if you upset him you would have your hands full. But he was very kind to use and took photos with my Wife and I. He was a cool dude to talk to

John Wilkerson - I don’t know when I met a nicer guy and went out of his way to be nice to me. He had nothing but kind things to say about Elvis and you could tell he meant them. I truly enjoyed talking with Him.

Joe Esposito - met Him twice also , not a Bad guy and enjoyed talking to him but you could feel the vibe that he thought he was more than he was. He had a small amount of arrogance about him to a small degree but that may have been his personality.

Myra Smith - Simply wonderful and She was just as nice as you would imagine and hugged me after we talked. I believe she was in her late 60’s then but you could not tell it.

David Stanley - Not a fan of the Stanley’s so I will leave it at that. He kept trying to sell me pictures of Elvis and him together after I said I was not interested he gave up

I have met sone co stars from his movies also but the names escape e at the moment. I really enjoyed meeting people who was there with Elvis. They know , it is cool to hear 1st hand. I will always remember them. On a side note I did not get to meet Scotty Moore but I did get to play his Gibson electric guitar at Sun Studios back in the 90’s when I was 14. That was pretty cool to say the least.



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Christopher
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Re: Meeting Elvis' inner circle and pals...

Post by Christopher »

it's "wilkinson" - "like the blade ..." elvis once said.
i cannot believe, that you probably know his name for many years and even met the man personally and still cannot get his name right ...

"myra" instead of "myrna" might be a typo, granted. :wink:


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Re: Meeting Elvis' inner circle and pals...

Post by Rocker77 »

Christopher wrote:
Sat May 27, 2023 7:37 am
it's "wilkinson" - "like the blade ..." elvis once said.
i cannot believe, that you probably know his name for many years and even met the man personally and still cannot get his name right ...

"myra" instead of "myrna" might be a typo, granted. :wink:
Actually one was a typo and I misspelled one. I do not have my glasses on and my sight is not what it used to be. I had a stroke in one of my eyes so sometimes I don’t see so good. Thanks for pointing that out. Appreciate it.
Last edited by Rocker77 on Sat May 27, 2023 9:53 am, edited 1 time in total.



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jacob
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Re: Meeting Elvis' inner circle and pals...

Post by jacob »

ElvisDan wrote:
Sat May 27, 2023 12:03 am
Would love to hear any memories of members who have met any of Elvis' friends, associates or inner circle. What were they like? Nice? Any stories you remember? I will start:

Al Dvorin:

One spring day in 1983/84 (fuzzy memory). We had a video store in Skokie illinois. A gentleman walked in looking to buy a VHS recorder for his daughter who lived in town. Well, needless to say, as soon as the man uttered his first word, I knew it was Al! The first thing I said to him was not what you would expect . I didn't say " aren't you the guy who says Elvis has left the building". No, I didn't associate him with that . I said " Hey , aren't you the guy in Elvis in Concert who says " we better have, the colonel asked us to get us about 50 men..so plus the roadies, we should have good saturation. The colonel wants it that way!" Al just smiled and said, yeah, that's me! Well he purchased a VCR for his daughter and he asked me if I would be kind enough to deliver it and connect it for her. If I did, he said he would bring me a genuine souvenir from one of Elvis concerts. So I did. The next day Al came back and dropped of a button type necklace that I guess was sold at the concerts. Not much of a keepsake, but the fact that Al gave it to me meant a lot. Still have it to this day, sealed in its plastic wrap . attached photo below

Ed Parker:

Sometime in early 1980's, our fan club (the Elvis Presley fan club of Chicago) invited Ed to a luncheon with the members he was so nice. It was right in the middle of the Gail Brewer Giorgio "Is Elvis Alive" hype. So I remember someone asking him about that. He solemely stated " I was at my friends funeral and was one of his pall bearers., my friend is truly gone". He then told us some very funny stories of his time with Elvis, including vacationing in Hawaii and playing a game trying to pronounce street signs. (they tricked Elvis by asking him to pronounce P I P E L I N E, to which Elvis pronounced it "PEE PEE LEENIE"). Ed was a very nice man and I will never forget his time spent with us.

James Burton:

Met James out here in Vegas. He was introduced to me by my good friend, Dan Shepard, A Nashville session musician who played with many singers like john Denver, ricky nelson. Dan was best friends with James and brought him down to where I worked to meet me. James was super nice. I had Elvis in Concert playing on a small TV (It was a TV and Audio store). James looked at the video and turned to me and said " hey, I played that!"...I kinda looked at him and said " yes, I know!" He gave me a guitar pick he had in his pocket. I think he wound up buying a camcorder. Later, i did meet James and the entire TCB band at the Hilton hotel in Vegas when they toured with "Elvis The Concert". it was cool to see them all play on the same stage they played with Elvis for 7 years! Got all their autographs on the tour guide photo album. (all the dealers in the casino were wearing big buttons that said "He's Back!". man I wanted to get one of those😪...

Lisa Marie and the twins, Priscilla

Didn't really talk to them (as they were flanked with bodyguards who all looked like Putin!) But my daughter and I sat directly behind them during the tribute show at the Westgate hotel (formerly the International & hilton) during the opening night of the new Elvis Experience. It was just nice to see the entire family in one place. Lisa's husband, Lockwood I think (the guy with the funny hat) was also there .was a cool night, the Elvis tribute artist looked fantastic and the entire band, on the same stage as Elvis performed on, all dressed in 70's attire. The instruments, speakers and amps were also vintage 1972, so I guess it was about as close to the actual original sound as you could get.

Almost forgot...
Kathy Westmoreland, John Wilkinson , Joe Geurcio and the Sweets

While filming a tribute artist called " Greg Miller spirit of America" back in 1995 at a huge country bar/lounge here in Vegas, Kathy, John and the sweet inspirations were backing up Greg for his show. I was one of the camera men filming the show. It was a big deal since it was the first time since Elvis died that they were together. I remember John Wilkinson was crying terrible , very emotional night. The tribute artist, Greg Miller was shitting bricks knowing that members of Elvis' actual band was there on stage with him. He was very good and it was a fun night! I have the VHS tape around here somewhere ...!
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Isn't that also Lisa's late son Ben with the blue hair sitting with his back to the camera?




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Re: Meeting Elvis' inner circle and pals...

Post by AndyDumas »

While Filming a Documentary on the costume Company B&K Enterprises, called "Fit for a King", We filmed multiple times in Las Vegas, Memphis, Palm Springs and at Graceland, I had several opportunities to hang out with and interview George Klein. I also did an interview with Bill Belew at his Home In Palm Springs. I found George to be funny and engaging, and as it turned out, mine was the last interview that Bill Belew ever gave.

George Klein clip:



Bill Belew Interview:



Fit For A King: Full Documentary:

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Re: Meeting Elvis' inner circle and pals...

Post by Greystoke »

I met Ronnie Tutt. It was brief. He was nice. He was walking around unrecognised in the foyer prior to Elvis the Concert when it first toured the U.K. I said hello, shook his hand, said I like his work and that was about it.



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Re: Meeting Elvis' inner circle and pals...

Post by eligain »

Through our fan club I got to meet Charlie Hodge, George Klein, Sonny, Ed Parker, DJ Fontana, Patti Perry. When we went to Graceland in 82, I met Billy Smith, Vester and I got yelled at by Aunt Delta for accidentally leaning on the front doorbell and making her dog bark! We ran into Joe Guercio at the Las Vegas airport in 1988 and I got his autograph. I met and chatted with James Burton and Dr. Nick at a Jerry Lee Lewis concert in 1993. Met JD Sumner and the Stamps outside of their TCB bus that Elvis gave them, when I spotted to bus parked outside of a nightclub in Denver in 1980.

I know all of Elvis' Denver cop friends. They are all from the same neighborhood that my parents grew up in and are friends to our family's friends. One of my Dad's best friend's who he grew up with was a Denver detective that worked directly with and was good friends with Capt. Jerry Kennedy and the others. We know and are distantly related to the Pietrofesso family.

Several members of our fan club got to know many of the MM and I remember some of their opinions of them. They pretty much all said that Sonny and Red were really nice and personable. Charlie was almost always drunk and always telling the dirtiest jokes, even to women. Joe was nice but stand offish and kind of arrogant, like he was above everybody else. Billy and Jo Smith were really nice. Ed Parker was arrogant and didn't like talking to fans. The Stanley boys always seemed stoned or doped up. Of course they all felt all the band members were great.

I got a hug from Lisa Marie after her show during her first tour. I saw (did not meet) Priscilla, Riley and Benjamin at Lisa's show during her second tour.




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Re: Meeting Elvis' inner circle and pals...

Post by JosephC »

I met Joe Esposito at Graceland in 2001. He was selling some book, which I bought. Nice guy, said I had a nice name (Joe).

JosephC

I found the photo my wife took. This was so long ago...
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