ELVIS, MY BROTHER by Billy with George Erikson Stanley


Email this review


Actually, stepbrother: and after his mom married Flvis' dad, it took 30 years for Stanley to recover sufficiently from Elvismania to write this emotionally intense account of life with the King. Freshly-minted widower Vernon Presley whisked Stanley's mom away from Billy's natural dad--Patron's former bodyguard--while Elvis was stationed with the Army in Germany in 1958. In early 1960, Stanley and his two brothers moved to Graceland and met Elvis for the first time; the next morning, the King presented the boys with a bounty of ""bikes, sleds, games, footballs, bats, toy cars, tractors, rifles, and even puppies and kittens."" The marvel and excess displayed in that gesture echo throughout Stanley's account of the 17 years he spent with Elvis--years that yield few surprises here but that provide fresh takes on some familiar storied themes: Elvis flashing the DEA badge given him by Nixon, threatening to sweep Memphis free of drug dealers; Elvis flashing lewd photos of Priscilla; Elvis, draped in long coat and wide-brimmed hat, riding in the back of his limo with a Thompson submachine gun in his lap: ""He was 'Superfly' with a cigar""; Elvis popping pills, stuffing himself, singing, ""Oh, I'm fat, forty, and funky again."" But of course this is Stanley's story, too, so threaded within the Elvis material is the author's own very sad tale of living under a giant's thumb and, after the giant dies, still feeling the pressure until it grinds him into the rock-bottom of drag-addiction: ""I'd become Elvis. It had always been my goal and I'd achieved it."" But finally, hope: treatment at a drag-abuse center, a healing return visit to Graceland, this book. With myriad eye-witness details, this won't bore Elvis fans, but Larry Geller's ""If I Can Dream '(p. 100) sheds far more light on the King's bizarre character, while Priscilla's Elvis and Me and Albert Goldman's black portrait remain the definitive works of Elvisiana.

Pub Date: Oct. 11th, 1989
Publisher: St. Martin's