UP AND DOWN WITH ELVIS PRESLEY by Marie with Gabe Tucker Crumbaker


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Co-author Tucker was a PR aide--and apparently an ail-around flunky/go-fer--for Presley's manager Colonel Tom Parker; but, written in the third person (so you never know how much is hearsay), this is the skimpiest and most amateurish of the many post-morten exploitation books on Elvis. The drugs, the eating, the pranks, the available women, the ""Memphis Mafia"" chauvinist-pig routines, the karate, the cars--Elvis fans have heard it all before, with far more detail and documentation. Nor does Tucker really shed new light on the relationship between Col. Parker and Elvis: the Colonel insisted on controlling everything, maybe worked Elvis too hard, but ""over and over the Colonel continued to try to protect Elvis from himself."" And, in the early days at least, ""when Elvis turned the cold shoulder to Tom Parker, the manager would literally take to his sickbed."" The only relatively fresh material here, in fact, is the chat about the Colonel's non-Elvis years (anecdotes from his dog-catching days) and a few raw glimpses of Elvis' father Vernon: manically possessive and rabidly anti-Semitic. Otherwise, it's a highly disjointed, sketchy biography of Elvis himself--plus tediously detailed reconstructions of the everyday routine of rack Tucker and his petty, eccentric, but effective boss: ""Hal Wallis once handed Gabe Tucker an address and said, 'When you get back to the Colonel's office, tell him to go over to this shop in Hollywood and pick out a few suits, shirts--anything he wants. It's a present from me.'"" Even for insatiable Elvis-ites--a spotty, lackluster collection of tidbits.

Pub Date: April 24th, 1981
Publisher: Putnam