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Le nouveau livre de RED et PAT WEST
A HELL OF A RIDE: RED WEST — Recollections of a Remarkable Life Before, During and After Elvis & The Memphis Mafia
nul doute qu'il devrait y avoir de lourd dans ce livre avec tout ce qu il a vécu ....
Those days were remarkable, even if they didn’t quite realize it. Usually, it was just the two of them, with Elvis’ band taking their own car — Bill Black slapping the bass and Scotty Moore on guitar, and later, D.J. Fontana on drums. Red made sure Elvis had what he needed — guitars at the ready and a car for a quick getaway. From the very start, there was a need for Red to use his fists to keep the peace.
un des rares a avoir connu ca !!!!
Red and Elvis were always friends, although they had serious disagreements from time to time. On a few occasions Red would leave the fold to follow his own dreams. He always came back, until that last split a year before Elvis died when Vernon Presley, Elvis’ father, told Red he was fired, along with two other bodyguards, Sonny West (Red’s cousin), and Dave Hebler. Elvis didn’t want anyone interfering with his drug dependence and when Red had roughed up a supplier, that was the last straw.
Elvis also introduced Red to Hollywood, and Red never stopped auditioning and booking roles in films and television. His songwriting career was also impressive, with nearly 100 songs recorded by various artists, including Elvis.
The first time Elvis and I hit the road, it was a rainy day and we were headed to a performance in Grenada, Mississippi, about 100 miles south of Memphis on U.S. 51. On the way down there, we slid off the road — nothing serious, but our Ford Fairlane got stuck in the mud. Elvis tried to get us out and wasn’t having much success, so I got behind the wheel and rocked the car, shifting back and forth from reverse to drive. That worked, but Elvis, who was pushing outside, got a big spray of mud on his clothes. For this kind of one-time gig, you performed in the clothes you traveled in — there was no wardrobe or dressing room. The mud stain was noticeable but not all that bad, and Elvis explained to the crowd what happened, and the audience enjoyed the show.
Elvis said he wanted me and Lamar Fike to go with him, Vernon, and grandma Minnie Mae Presley to Germany. He’d rent a place there and we’d all stay together. It was a much smaller version of his Memphis Mafia, but we were needed as much as ever, being there as friends providing companionship and associates to take care of business, which in this case was handling security and making sure whatever he wanted done got done.
For Elvis, the problem was something that wasn’t happening: performing. It didn’t help that Fabian was No. 1 on the charts and that the guy couldn’t sing. But the teen heartthrob was taking attention that would have gone to Elvis had circumstances been different.
He looked up at me and said, ‘Red, I reached the top, man. I had it made and suddenly it was snatched away. I was drafted into the Army, then my mother dies while I’m in boot camp and I’m shipped to Germany and my father’s screwing a sergeant’s wife while the man’s away on duty freezing his ass off. I’m sick of this shit. I’m here and my career is finished. It’s hard to handle.’
“Elvis thought about that and then got up and went to the piano and played that song. I sat in the corner of the room, overcome by emotion, and I couldn’t say another word. But after Elvis did that song, we both felt, somehow, that things would work out all right.”
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