Col. Parker was a mystery, at least to me. How was it that that old geezer was the manager of the hottest Rock and Roll star of the century? It was pretty clear that he was a Svengali to Elvis, but how did he do it? This short book answers those questions. The authors show how Parker grew from a carnival hustler to a successful country music promoter. Parker lacked any sentiment about people. He just up and left his family in Holland. He treated his staff and Elvis with disdain. He had no qualms about self dealing. In this he shows the marks of childhood adaptation to abuse, for which the authors present some evidence. He had one "wife" (may not have been legally married) whom he met before Elvis, and whom he saw little, but with whom he stayed with thoughout his life. When he saw Elvis, he saw gold. He used his then business partner, Eddie Arnold, to help lure Elvis, and then cut him out. As he grew and Elvis grew, he cleverly cut Elvis out as well. The authors note how Parker's fast dealing style carnival aesthetic effected Elvis, holding back his art and his career. While the book is not footnoted, it is convincing. The author's minimize Elvis's role in allowing this to happen. I would have liked more analysis on symbiotics of the Parker-Presley relationship and it's effect on Elvis's style. For instance, in the end, the authors say Parker had the gold suit that Elvis hated wearing. I didn't know Elvis hated that (famous) suit... It's a real carnival type thing. How much of the Elvis signature style was Parker and how much Presley?
Excellent biography of the Colonel
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 19 years ago
To the degree possible, the author has reconstructed the life of Colonel Tom Parker, probably the most notorious personal manager in show business history. Beginning with his childhood in Holland, the factors that shaped the Colonel's character are unfolded in a plausible, well presented manner - no easy task on a man who could suddenly disappear without leaving a forwarding address.A listing of Elvis's recording sessions from 1954 through 1977 is provided at the end of the book. An index is also provided.
A great biography about Colonel Tom Parker's life with Elvis
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 23 years ago
You get a pretty good idea of what Tom Parker's life was like, because Vellenga interviewed so many people that knew Parker & Elvis. I was very curious because I manage an Elvis Tribute Band, of how they worked together and I learned alot from their mistakes. I don't think the author liked the Colonel too much but you can tell he put alot of research into it & I'm glad he wrote the book.You also get alot of insight into show business. Before I read the book I thought the Colonel was maybe someone special or a superb businessman to have been so successful, but after reading it, it showed me he wasn't all that great of a manager, not keeping Elvis's best interests at heart. One example of this is he made songwriters share their profits with him thus eliminating alot of very good songwriters. "Suspicious Minds" was an exception to this. Elvis could have had alot more great songs if the Colonel hadn't been so greedy. But their were some good things he did too, the concerts & especially Aloha from Hawaii, which was videotaped & similcast. I also liked the documentary movie "That's the Way it is" about Elvis & the NBC Special. I think there was some kind of karmic bond between the Colonel & Elvis. Elvis said it best, "We're caught in a trap, I can't walk out, because I love you too much, baby."
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