Elvis’ Last Recorded Conversation

Transcript of telephone conversation between Red West and Elvis

[IMGl]http://www.tcb-files.com/articles/541dd489d96d5c.jpg[/IMGl]”This is red west, you are about to hear a telephone conversation between Elvis presley and myself that I recorded sometime in october 1976 while I was in los angeles writing the book ?Elvis what happened?, along with my cousin sonny west and dave hebler.

It was no secret that we were writing the book and knowing Elvis as I did I knew he would try to contact us. I also knew we would be called liars, judas?, traders and any other expletives by fans and even some people around him who we had been close to up until this time. I knew that he would reveal in this conversation enough information that would substantiate what we said in the book.

It was even more than I had expected. And more than I wanted to hear. By this I mean I heard a sad and lonely man. A man I had grown up with and watched rise from near poverty to become the greatest entertainer this world we?ll ever see. A boy in a mans body who could not handle the celebrity that he had now become. I had a sinking feeling that I would never see my best friend again and I didn?t”

*** start of conversation ***

Elvis: how you doing man?

Red West: I just woke up.

Elvis: I was just on one of those singing binges. I got a couple new guitars and singing my *** off. Watching little kids marvel. I?m by myself, linda is in l.a. she?s changing apartments. We had that apartment, the people found I was in back of it and raised the rent double. She got another one right down the street. Charlie told me about the talk you all had, I guess I do owe an explanation.

Red West: I wish you had come to me and told me.

Elvis: you don?t do things like that cause that?s my daddy?s business.

Red West: no it?s not.

Elvis: I was getting a lot of excess pressure. You know that racquet thing. Two courts for a million three hundred thousand dollars? My understanding was that we were going to just use my name. And that?s all and that was the contract I signed. I did it as a favor for dr. Nick and joe. I?m just trying to tell some of the things that led up to it. I was wrong about hebler. Just a bad thing on my part. He was very undermining and sneaky.

He hated all you guys and everybody else and I kept this ****. It just burned into my ear. And those deleted – see guidelines #2 lawsuits in two years. I don?t know whether you heard it, but they were trying to prove us insane. I?m talking about some influential people who were checking psychiatrist reports. They were trying to prove us insane. The whole bunch.

Red West: I could not believe it. You had left town. Your daddy called us and talked about cutting down expenses and giving us one week?s notice. They give Chinese coolies two weeks.

Elvis: I didn?t know anything about it. The one week thing.

Red West: the bottom fell out. I got a little hurt at first.

Red West: but anyway, where were we?

Elvis: you know my voice is so low. I can make j.d. sumner sound like a tenor. We sang so long, I got a new martin guitar, my **** fingers are blistered from playing.

Red West: yeah, that?s the way mine used to get when I?d sit up and try to write songs. My three first fingers were just too big. I mean, just had big blisters on the end of them. But ah, ah ****, I wish I could get my mind cleared, just waking up. But ah, talking about, oh yeah.

Elvis: I have ah, ah, yunno, I?m operating on but one cylinder.

Red West: but like I said ah, I?ve gotta ah, that show is doing pretty good, I?ve got a regular running part in it. It starts in the next three or four weeks, I think. And I think I?m just gonna hang with that.

Elvis: well, yunno, one thing that happened was a combination of a whole lot of things building up. It wasn?t necessarily personal, or even the god****ed lawsuits. It was like a fuse burning, yunno. Just because of a lot of things that piled up on me.

Red West: yeah, well.

Elvis: and ah, maybe I did lose sight of… Especially you, your family and everything.
Red West: yeah. It was cold Elvis. (interrupted)

Elvis: I love pat.

Red West: yeah.

Elvis: and ah, you got a good family and everything

Red West: well, I?ve had a lot of time to think about it, I mean, yunno, I can sit here and people say ?oh, the old days? and all that ****, but it did cross my mind. And all I?ve ever done is try to ah, maybe sometimes I overprotect you. And that?s the gods truth.

Elvis: yeah.

Red West: and ah…

Elvis: well, I know that.

Red West: and here I was. Here I was. And, but that, yunno, Elvis, like you say you had problems.

Elvis: well, you know what it is. That old guy said in cool hand luke, a failure to communicate.

Red West: yeah, well that?s the god?s truth we sure the hell didn?t communicate in the last year or so.

Elvis: yeah. And it was just like I said, it was just a series of things. If I could lay them out to you one by one…

Red West: yeah.

Elvis: to show you the reasons why the separatism?s. Lack of communication.

Red West: right.

Elvis: my daddy was sick. Nearly dead. My family is strung all over the face of the united states. It?s the deleted – see guidelines #2 lawyers and law-suits making a mountain out of a molehill.

Red West: yeah. Yeah, I know, yunno, that was some rough times going through that. One lawsuit came along and then everybody else saw a chance to jump on it. It mushroomed and then boy everybody and his cousin was after our ***.

Elvis: yeah, that?s what I mean. One gets away with it or thinks they do. What they try to do is establish a pattern of insanity and violence.

Red West: yeah.

Elvis: like condemn me for shooting out that lamp up there in….

Red West: what the hell was that?

Elvis: the hilton hotel with a .22 target pistol.

Red West: yeah, oh yeah, well we was known as the wild bunch.

Elvis: yeah, that?s for sure. But the good old days are still a fact.

Red West: they?re definitely a fact and always will be. I mean, what?s done was done. We had a lot of good times man, there for a while, like you said, things got real serious. A lot of problems came up.
I don?t know we just lost sight of a lot of things. A lot of the good things. I don?t know. Just the fun, the fun left.

Elvis: the fun ceased to exist.

Red West: yeah.

Elvis: I couldn?t pinpoint it. Just couldn?t quite figure it out. Yunno. Deleted – see guidelines #2, shhhhhh, deleted – see guidelines #2 racquetball courts.

Red West: yeah, I passed by there the other day, well, I passed by for a while while you all were gone and it was still presleys center court and then……………

Elvis: they ought to take that down cause……………

Red West: huh?

Elvis: they oughtta take that down.

Red West: they already have, yeah, I was gonna say, just before I came out here I didn?t see that sign anymore.

Elvis: oh well, the last I heard it was still up. I dont know, but you know, a good conman, when its my name… They got these builders and they got themselves bound to a contract. Two courts, there up to a half a million dollars each?

Red West: that?s too expensive.

Elvis: what the **** man! Poor old joe had his mother to hock her house. To get a loan on her house, to get the money.

Red West: I could tell you about going into business with sharp, sharpies. They don?t care, you could hock your mother?s ***.

Elvis: that?s what he had to do.

Red West: yeah. Did joe get out of it?

Elvis: huh?

Red West: is joe out of it, is?

Elvis: um yeah, he?s in the process of trying to get out of it. The builders, who were contracted to build the **** thing are the ones holding up the ballgame. But I pulled out of it, yunno, I just.

Red West: yeah.

Elvis: I had to. Cause I saw that it was a con job. I had a sneaky feeling, yunno.

Red West: well, I didn?t know, yunno, I didn?t know if it was or not. I just had a feeling it was.

Elvis: it started off kinda innocent. I was told one thing, like I wouldn?t have to put up a dime, yunno. Wouldn?t be no money or nothing.

Red West: yeah.

Elvis: well, that was the contract that I signed. I talked to daddy about it just after he came out of the hospital. We talked over a period of time, but yunno, if it will help joe and nick, they could use my name because I couldn?t benefit nothing from it.

Red West: right, it was just something to help them out. Nick, yunno, nick didn?t, I don?t think nick knew the guy that well. The guy was…..

Elvis: I don?t think he did either.

Red West: no, he just got sucked in. He saw a chance to make some money, hoping, and joe did too. But this other guy is the one I was leery of.

Elvis: oh, that son of a *****, I dunno, I?ve talked to my attorney?s yesterday about the racquetball thing, you know mr. Davis died.

Red West: yeah, I know. I saw that in the paper just before I left.

Elvis: well the guy thats taking his place. Just ah, said that, he said that ah, he started telling me, to help, all this lawyer stuff, and then he said, he said, Elvis, this sonofa***** is a con artist, rigged up. Ya see, they came running in and said one thing… Well ya see, what started happening would be ah, they started hitting me up for ten thousand, twenty thousand.

Red West: start hitting you up for it?

Elvis: yeah.

Red West: oh yeah, well there?s a pattern.

Elvis: thats what I thought well, I said, you guys putting up that kind of money? Yunno. They said, yeah, we?re in, so its all mine. Lawyers, they?ll **** you blind.

Red West: yeah, I remember he was on one of the tours with us…………

Elvis: on the tour, pretending to be interested in numerology books and stuff. But it all falls into place. But were smart enough to do that. Alright. Then ah, it amounted to they needed eighty thousand dollars. And I said ok, for what? For a secretary.

Red West: god ****! Boy I?ll tell you, those secretaries, they gotta union there or something?

Elvis: thats exactly what I said. I said how in the hell is a secretary going to cost eighty thousand dollars?

Red West: ****, naw, in this town you gotta get out of that ****.

Elvis: yeah, I mean I tried to hang in there with them, you know.
I didn?t want to crush their enthusiasm, their dreams or whatever.

Red West: just crush the secretaries.

Elvis: eighty thousand dollar secretary.

Red West: almighty, how much does the president of the board make?

Elvis: yeah, well you know they?ve got all these cards and **** printed up……chairman of the board. It started off presley center courts and they changed that to Elvis presley center courts without ever even asking me one thing about it.

Red West: ah ha, ****.

Elvis: they had all these cards and **** made up, president, vice-president. Still, didn?t even come to me and ask me.

Red West: oh hell, once they?ve gotcha your name on it. Once this mike got your name on there. I heard him yunno, he went to nashville and everywhere just saying well I represent mr. Elvis presley and this racquetball venture. Just on your name alone, yunno. He just ah, got just what the hell he wanted. But ah, I don?t know what I?m trying to say, e. We?ve got to get back to my problem. Man, I?ve never done that. Just old red trying to do a job, man, and….

Elvis: no, I wasn?t using that as an example. I was just telling you.

Red West: yeah, ah-no, no, I know it. I just we?re talking about something I don?t know about is that racquetball court. I just know about my problems.

Elvis: what started out as a friendship and a favor and they turned into a million three-hundred-thousand dollar project.

Red West: yeah.

Elvis: do you realize how long it would take to realize a profit, after putting that money into it?

Red West: yeah, I am afraid so. It would take…

Elvis: they?d be so old, until they think the racquet resembles a ****ing banjo. Hey, what is this? I?m trying to play it.
Red West: plaster falling off the walls. Ah ****, well, like, nick,
poor old nick, everybody?s trying to make a buck…. Like nick?s chips he went into man, hell, that was a flop. They had everything figured but the **** truck that hauled them over from arkansas. That fell through like…..

Elvis: nick?s chips, ****…

Red West: well, that fell through, like…..

Elvis: I never seen anybody drive to a hospital in something.
Deleted – see guidelines #2 I mean, I had mixed emotions; I hit the floor the first night, just rolled there. Nick?s chip, ****, my ***. The first thing I conjured up in my mind was a gambler saying he was in vegas and nick the greek, yunno. He?s the gambler. That?s what I created in my mind. Nicks chips, ****. He just don?t. He obviously just don?t know, yunno. And these ****ing contractors up there are just cold hearted business men. I mean.

Red West: oh sure. Look, you start messin with a guy like that, I mean that dollars talk and that?s it.

Elvis: still, but the way it was done, I mean, they led, they led their calf to slaughter.

Red West: yeah, well, you got out of it. You?re out of it then right?

Elvis: yeah, I?m in the process of getting….

Red West: yeah, I don?t blame you ?cause…you start going into business with a bunch of people, if you do it yourself then you know what?s happening, but you get two or three other guys, then.

Elvis: with my signature they all must have just went stark raving mad.

Red West: sure they did, I know that mike did.

Elvis: the lawyer read to me the contract, yesterday. Where it said that if anything happened to it, Elvis stands goods for the whole thing.

Red West: oh, oh. Yeah, well see there. They didn?t tell ya (interrupted)..

Elvis: you know good ****ed and I don?t even care that much about racquetball.

Red West: yeah, right.

Elvis: um. Yeah, I would stand good for the whole thing. So that was news to me. Also, I just found out yesterday that this guy mike had set him up, management fee was fifty thousand dollars a year.

Red West: sure.

Elvis: uh, extra. Um, joe didn?t know anything about it, nick didn?t know a **** thing about it. But yet, the lawyers had it rightthere.

Red West: yeah. Well, that?s what I figured, this mike conned nick and everybody else into it. He?s getting well on it, yunno. That?s a shame man, nick always man, I thought he was smart and I thought joe was smart.

Elvis: not when it comes to business.

Red West: no. I think we?re on a party line or something.

Elvis: and my whole thing, see, I can never possibly realize any kind of a profit out of it. I did it just as a friendship thing yunno. I didnt think it was..there was no harm, yunno, in helping these guys get a couple of racquetball courts, one here, and one in nashville, however it was fine with me. I didnt see no harm.

Red West: yeah, no, not (interrupted)

Elvis: but you see, the paper that I signed had nothing of that mentioned. So my lawyer figures that this **** was put in there after I signed it. Yunno what I mean.

Red West: yeah.

Elvis: uh, because, you know **** near well, I wouldn?t have signed it. After a while, stand good for a couple of ****in racquet, half a million dollar racquetball courts.

Red West: yeah.

Elvis: that just totally surprised me too. A half a million dollars for a racquetball court? Why hell, I can get earl in with a hammer, and albert let him construct one. Dont give the woodpeckers long enough.

Red West: really for $39.98. Oh, well they must have gone for the sauna, the whole health club bit, or something. They had to, it don?t cost that much to build no **** two racquetball courts. I don?t know. Well.

Elvis: well ah, I think it?s gonna be ten courts at each place.

Red West: oh, well, huh, oh!

Elvis: I mean, ten places to play like out at memphis state.

Red West: yeah well.

Elvis: but still……

Red West: that?s…

Elvis: you take that, you take a man and a woman?s showers, it can?t add up to no half a million dollars.

Red West: that?s a lot of money.

Elvis: well ****. Yunno I got one built here in the back, yunno the one I got. That son of a ***** was only eighty thousand. Yunno how plush it is.

Red West: yeah, you **** right. Yeah, it?s ah.

Elvis: these people just, it?s like you said they saw my signature and went stark raving mad.

Red West: yeah, yes sir. Everybody was taken in after they got your signature, plus when was this **** guys salary supposed to start, already? Mike and the secretary and all that ****.

Elvis: yeah.

Red West: and you are supposed to pay for that huh? Yeah, bull****, bull****. Just get the hell out.

Elvis: merchandise and things. Little cards, little pamphlets, little advertisements, and this and that. And all without my acknowledge, yunno without consulting me, without asking me about it, yunno.

Red West: well.

Elvis: so it just built up into a ****ing monster.

Red West: right. You?re **** right they did. They?re trying to take advantage of you. I don?t blame you for gettin? the hell out of it. But ah, then I guess yunno all that pressure and everything, lawsuits, everything led up to our demise, yunno whatever. But ah, it was a shock to all of us. Old dave was out here. He was flat *** broke, well we?re all broke! Course I had some property and stuff. I sold my house, I hated to do that, yunno. But when you got to do something, you gotta do it.

Elvis: you sold your house?

Red West: oh yeah. Sold my house, both cars and everything. And uh, hebler, he?s flat *** broke and sonny was down to the, well you know it was a bad time by all, I tell ya.

Elvis: well, I guess there never is any really good time. It was a bad time for me, too.

Red West: yeah.

Elvis: I hadn?t been out of the hospital long enough to start rolling.

Red West: yeah, but uh.

Elvis: my daddy was, I almost lost him. He?s my daddy regardless of anything else.

Red West: oh yeah. Listen, I can understand. But ah, yeah, we were just, we were in shock there for awhile. What do we do? Yunno. But then we thought about it, and all the pressure and everything and said well I guess he?s got his point too. It?s just, I wish, yunno, we?ve always been able to talk, a lot, most of the times. There has been sometimes we couldn?t. But ah, if I just had heard it from you, it would have been easier to take.

Elvis: well, in doing business and things of that nature, I don?t,
I don?t do that.
Red West: you mean about firing us and everything?

Elvis: yeah.

Red West: well.

Elvis: I had to go to palm springs, analyze and weigh…deleted – see guidelines #2 racquetball courts. I?m still seeing little fuzzy balls.

Red West: well.

Elvis: but uh, charlie was telling, charlie talked to you and you thought I was on the line.

Red West: uh, uh. Well I thought. I heard that….

Elvis: I was over at my daddy?s house going through these figures.

Red West: yeah.

Elvis: yunno, if I wanted to hear something, I wouldn?t do that. I would go another way.

Red West: well you know how paranoid everybody gets about…

Elvis: oh, sure.

Red West: something like that. I just, I don?t know why, I just thought….

Elvis: oh sure, like looking over your shoulder and not knowing who the hell it is, regardless of what.

Red West: yeah. But, uh, anyway?s, yunno, it?s all done and that?s it, I guess now, yunno, cause ah.

Elvis: how?s pat and the kids and stuff?

Red West: they?re all fine. They just hanging on until I get something going.

Elvis: well.

Red West: but ah, it?s been kind of rough.

Elvis: I was very disillusioned by hebler. He faked me off something terrible. I thought he was the way the both of us understood.

Red West: well, what did he do, what did he do?

Elvis: well he just, he would say little things to me, who he hated.

Red West: (laughing) who he hated?

Elvis: yeah.

Red West: ****.

Elvis: and uh, this went on over a period of two years. Ed parker told me to keep him at arms length. But I still didn?t catch on. Dumb *** me, yunno.

Red West: I really don?t know what you?re talking about, ah.

Elvis: well. It?s hard to explain. I don?t think that he liked anybody in this group, except maybe dean.

Red West: yeah, well, i….

Elvis: I think that I?d become a dollar sign to him, red. I think in the process he lost sight of Elvis, first, yunno. That can easily happen.

Red West: oh, yeah, I guess so, um.

Elvis: yunno, ah, when that happened, red, I?d become an object, not a person.

Red West: yeah.

Elvis: but ah, yunno, I?m not that sign, I mean that rouge touring down there. I?m not an image to build up. I?m myself.

Red West: yeah, that?s the way I always tried to like to think of it.

Elvis: and uh, you?re so wrong on one thing and listen, don?t get paranoid. Because I?m just talking to you as a friend. Now we?re on a private line and there is not a ****in soul but us.

Red West: right.
Elvis: I am not ****ed up by no means. On the contrary, I?ve never been in better condition in my life.

Red West: well, what I was talking about then you had been pretty ****ed up, what I was talking about.

Elvis: well, I went through a divorce, you know, you were there.

Red West: yeah, what I was saying…

Elvis: that wedding thing, that wedding thing, I had nothing to do with that. That was railroaded through. Uh, I didn?t even know who was there. It was all in a little room ?bout the size of a bathroom with a supreme court justice. It was in there over and done with so quick I didn?t realize I was married.

Red West: oh yeah, you?re talking about your wedding.

Elvis: yeah.

Red West: right. Well yunno, like you don?t think about these things. But at the time, it, it, once again, that, it?s that old, I been with you and all of a sudden I was held back and told one, that I wasn?t supposed to come in.

Elvis: I ****ed that up. I could see it, I could see it back then, but see it wasn?t my doing.

Red West: right.

Elvis: wasn?t my doing.

Red West: yunno, I figured that was the colonel and….

Elvis: it was a ramrod type thing. I had nothing to do with…you know, all of a sudden I was getting married.

Red West: yeah.

Elvis: yunno, when you go through that, you keep your mind on one thing.

Red West: yeah, yeah right….

Elvis: it was pretty tough.
Red West: well I can understand that. That was a long time ago, but that was just a point I was bringing up to charlie, and uh, but let?s get back to, to the last couple three years. Let?s face it man, you haven?t enjoyed yourself. You just been…you do your work, you go work and then ah…

Elvis: I enjoy my work.

Red West: yeah, I know that, thats the only time we really see you, I really see you anymore. The rest of the time, it?s just ah, I don?t know. It?s just ah……

Elvis: we had a pretty good time up in vail.

Red West: oh yeah, we had a ball in vail. That was the, man, that was the one time out of the last few years that we really got back to the, back to the, well, whatever, back to knowing how to enjoy ourselves. And I mean everybody just had a ball.

Elvis: yeah, I know I did.

Red West: yeah, I know I did too. Cause that was something we?d all been wanting to do, just to get out away from it all, man and…

Elvis: yeah, yunno, that?s ok, because uh, yunno, they just want me to have a house up there.

Red West: yeah.

Elvis: and they want to buy food and everything. So, these real estate guys get a hold of that. I mean its a beautiful place but my thinking is not along those lines right now.

Red West: right. I don?t blame you, you can always go up there and rent something.

Elvis: yeah, exactly.

Red West: but um, I don?t want to get real upset yunno, it?s been so long since I talked to you. I don?t want to get real serious on the conversation. But, we were all worried about you, I?ve always been worried about you. About taking quite a few things, I thought.

Elvis: you worried about me so much until you turned around and tried to hurt me. But see, I know what that is.
Red West: well, that?s after you hurt me. You already hurt me and my family very bad. Yunno, you left us out in the cold. So lets don?t talk about me trying to hurt you.

Elvis: things went on that you didn?t know about.

Red West: yeah, well all I know is I was out in the cold and couldnt understand.

Elvis: all I know is there was friction created in this group. The vibes were so bad, people were scared to move and everything.

Red West: yeah that?s true too.

Elvis: so who knows, ah, what the hell they were hearing and being told. I just know it got to be very, very tense. A situation where it could have been a fun and a relaxed kinda thing.

Red West: yeah.

Elvis: something went wrong.

Red West: yeah.

Elvis: and ah, then on top of the racquetball thing and everything else all the personal things. I was upset too. It was a fact, ya know, but a, we did have to cut down on expenses.

Red West: yeah, well (interrupted)

Elvis: I had the feeling …(interrupted)

Red West: whatever you had to do, you?re the dude. I told your daddy, yunno you gotta do what you gotta do. If you need to cut down on expenses by firing me, yunno, that?s a little weird to me. Seems like you could have cut somewhere else. I thought I was important to the organization. But I?m glad I finally found out I wasn?t. Cause then, I still got a little life left. I?m gonna, I?m gonna enjoy that. I?m still young enough I can find something else, yunno.

Elvis: oh, yeah.

Red West: but ah, it was just, cutting down on expenses. I just couldn?t understand that. All the other, a lot of guys around I thought I

was more important to the organization then they were, but I guess I wasn?t. But I?m glad I found that out. So…..

Elvis: well, its just an unfortunate situation. He?s just now, he?s starting to get back on his feet. My daddy has lost down to one hundred and sixty-five pounds.

Red West: yeah, you mean now?

Elvis: I think he?s up to one hundred and seventy, eighty, something like that. That just shocked and scared me to death. Because you know how I feel you know how you felt about your daddy.

Red West: yeah, thats right. Well…..

Elvis: well suspicion, red, was cast on this group. I couldn?t figure out the source of it. Suspicion. Just like that song we did, ?we can?t go on together with suspicious minds?.

Red West: yeah.

Elvis: so ah, maybe I did act abruptly. First one to admit it. Without thinking.

Red West: yeah, well.

Elvis: you know sonny was never around, red.

Red West: yeah.

Elvis: yunno, we?ve talked about that.

Red West: yeah.

Elvis: ah, he?s a great guy but he never shared anything with us. I ain?t, I ain?t got nothing against sonny. Just ah, hebler tried to bully his way through everything with scare, scare tactics……

Red West: yeah.

Elvis: with some of these young guys.

Red West: well.

Elvis: they would ask questions like…and they never could get a straight answer…they were just turned dean, yunno, down at every corner.

Red West: yeah.

Elvis: that?s the only way they could find out. I know, yunno, what it was like, yunno, when I was twenty four years old, ****. I mean my mind was just scattered to the four winds.

Red West: yeah.

Elvis: they need some kind of guidance. Some things just weren?t being done, yunno, just little things just weren?t being done. Red, you know how they train for the service. Regimentation. Doing the same thing everyday and night. I mean we knew by god, yunno, you did in the service what everybody else had served legitimately. But by god at seven o?clock we had to do this and at three we had to do that. And they do that by repetition.

Red West: sure.

Elvis: that?s how they train. And all their energy and youth and everything without proper guidances is wasted.

Red West: yeah.

Elvis: I just felt I should talk to you and let you see my side of it.

Red West: yeah, I appreciate that. Yunno, that?s what I wish we had done at the very first. Yunno. Maybe I could have understood it a little bit better. But ah, what?s done is done. You go on from there. I mean, I just, believe me when I tell you I wish you all the luck. I hope you go, right, stay right where you are, right on top for ah, forty more years man. I really do, I mean it with all my heart.

Elvis: I?m working on it.

Red West: but I would like to see you get healthier, e. You hadn?t been healthy in awhile.

Elvis: oh yes I am.

Red West: no you?re not.

Elvis: yes I am.

Red West: well, ok you say that.

Elvis: I just had an absolute complete physical head to toe, in the last ah, two weeks.

Red West: ok, well then I?m glad to hear you?re healthy.

Elvis: one of those things that is required by lloyds of london, the insurance office.

Red West: well, then I don?t need to worry about it then.

Elvis: that ah, that thing that I had, that lower intestinal blockage corrected itself, thank god.

Red West: good.

Elvis: I just, I went on a weird liquid diet. That big intestine down there has to have bulk.

Red West: yeah, that?s been discussed.

Elvis: went on a diet. Twenty days was ridiculous. Then I heard that was another mistake.

Red West: yeah.

Elvis: turns out that large intestine had nothing to work with so as a result it stopped working. I keep hearing that **** about being fat and middle-aged, yunno.

Red West: no, no, I knew that wasn?t it. I knewyou weren?t, you ate a lot but you weren?t fat, like people are fat. You could tell there was something else wrong. That?s what I mean, you hadn?t, you wasn?t healthy. Something was wrong inside. That?s what I?ve been trying…when I try to talk to you about it you get mad, just you done awhile ago. You wouldn?t listen to it. That?s what I?m talking about man. You were, something was wrong inside of you. We didnt know what we were worried about, we didn?t know what it was. We new it wasn?t fat though, it was something else. And you just….

Elvis: you know, I thought that I told y?all it was the lower intestine. I supposed to undergo surgery and take part of it out.
Red West: yeah, right I was there I remember when we were going to do it. I?m just saying…

Elvis: that was psyching me out because I didnt know what it was.

Red West: yeah. Well, I am glad to hear its all straightened out. I really am.

Elvis: it?s been straightened out for a long time. It?s just a failure to communicate. What we had red was crazy. Like that song roy hamilton did, ?understanding solves all problems.?

Red West: yeah, we didnt…

Elvis: its a good folk song.

Red West: yeah, that?s right. We didn?t have much understanding there for a long time.

Elvis: well, I don?t know if it was you and I as much as it could have been coming from somebody else. You know negative vibes.

Red West: right. Well that could very well be too. I?m, I?m not really into the psychic thing.

Elvis: well I?m not either, but I do know, ah that ah, we are constantly sending and receiving. All the time.

Red West: right. Yeah, we?ve discussed this. Minds, if they can put a picture through the air I guess they can put a thought wave through the air too.

Elvis: so that?s why I was feeling, I was feeling the negative things but and I couldn?t exactly pinpoint what it was. So I just reached a boiling point, hoped that ah you?d understand. It was a temporary thing.

Red West: well.

Elvis: that was what it was. Red see, I didn?t try to get communi-cate with anybody. I felt terribly lonely. You know like that num-ber eight. The thing that says they?re intensely alone at heart. For this reason they feel very lonely when in reality that have warm hearts toward the oppressed. But hide their feelings in life but do what they please. Well, I?m a number eight person and so are you.

Red West: yeah, that?s true. And it?s been lonely. It?s been lonely man, I tell ya. It?s been down right scary.

Elvis: well, I can see it.

Red West: but listen, ah I just, I?m old enough, I just chalk it up to life. It?s another step down that railroad, yunno. I have to learn to cope with it. Go on and try and do something. What can I say. I don?t want to feel sorry for myself. I?m a grown man. I can do something else, other things. Like you said there was a failure to communicate there at the last. Maybe I didn?t, I wasn?t around enough when you wanted to talk to somebody or whatever.

Elvis: well all that and maybe I was absent and listening too fast. But, ah it just kinda bugged me when you said, that was a cruel thing or whatever to charlie.
Red West: I can?t hear you, e. I?m sorry.

Elvis: said I was ****ed up.

Red West: yeah.

Elvis: cause I?m not. I got a daughter and a life. What profiteth a man if he gains the world and loses his own soul?

Red West: yeah.

Elvis: I love to sing for my fans, since I was two years old.

Red West: yeah, I know.

Elvis: we were sitting here playing the guitar and everything singing some songs, ?love is a many splendored thing,? and me and charlie talked about that harmony part, missing that harmony part.

Red West: yeah. Well, what I can say, I miss singing it, yunno. But that?s the way the ball bounces.

Elvis: well, look, you take care of yourself and your family. And if you need me for anything I would be more than happy to help out.

Red West: I appreciate that. I appreciate that.

Elvis: I mean it. I dont give a deleted – see guidelines #2, the articles or publications or none of that ****, that I?ve heard. I?ve just heard rumors, bits and pieces. I don?t know nothing. I was on tour and I have never really sat down with anybody and had it laid out to me. I don?t even know I just know that you as a person and pat, if there is anything I can do, anyway of getting a job, anything else. Let me know. I?m still here, son.

Red West: I appreciate that. I really do. I?ll tell pat what you said that will make her feel better she was hurt. She couldn?t understand it. My kids really, especially (interrupted) …..

Elvis: all of us were hurt. It?s like the song ?desada deraida,? listen to the dull and the ignorant because they too have a story. And then hank williams wrote. ?you never walked in that mans shoes and saw things through his eyes.?

Red West: right, that?s true.

Elvis: after analyzing the blame thing, I can see it clearly. That?s why I?m saying, anything I can do at all I?ll be more than happy.
Red West: ok, I appreciate it.

Elvis: you take care of yourselves.

Red West: ok, let me say one more thing before you hang up. If everybody is worried about the book tell them not to? Man, I mean including yourself. We?re writing the good stuff Elvis. People…..

Elvis: worried about the book? I don?t think so.

Red West: ok.

Elvis: not on my part.

Red West: ok. Good. Because I was out, I was broke. I was made an offer to write the book. I said I?ll write the book if I can tell all from day one the good days. He said alright, whatever.

Elvis: well, you do whatever you have to do. I just want you and pat to know I?m still here.

Red West: ok. I appreciate that. And you take care of yourself.

Elvis: ok.

Red West: ok.

Elvis: take it easy.

Red West: bye-bye

*** end of conversation ***

WHAT ELVIS MEANS TO ME

Elvis died in solitary confinement in his head

He just wanted to sing and entertain people

and as long as he got to have a good time, he was content to obey all the orders given to him by the people who signed the checks and made the deals

but they did not nurture him as a person

they treated him like an ATM machine

less even, given that he was a breathing feeling person

so Elvis the King died when his mother died in 1958

Elvis went into the army – probably saved his life – it gave him structure and a sense of purpose that made sense so he could take a break from everything and get his head around how much his life had changed

so, in a sense, John Lennon was write – Elvis the Rebel died when he was drafted.

Elvis the man benefitted from being drafted, and he needed to be reminded, grounded in reality, that he was just a man like any other man

because he was a boy when he stepped up to the microphone, who was playing with his power that he didn’t really understand

since what he did on stage was not different than what he saw performed in church and on the southern country and western circuit or in the black churches and nightclubs of the south where he also went to.

So he was a country boy on the country circuits with a dash of black southern style mixed in enough to make him stand out.

But on the northern stages – they looked down equally on white and black south – so he was just 100% outrageous in the North.

But around the world – the rest of the world is not as purticanical as America

dance is all about sex – so Elvis was the first American who could dance sex enough to capture the whole world’s attention.

If I could go back in time there are a few places that I would go – and one would be in Paris when Elvis was on leave.

To convince Elvis to stay in Paris after his tour of duty was over and be the artist expat that lesser lights – Jim Morrison – and whoever – got the left over residue of the spotlight with Elvis’ name on it.

because America – only recycles and reboots what’s been sold before – and Elvis had outgrown America

but an American Elvis was – a Southern Gentleman to his core – so he went home and stayed small

and got so small that even when he got physically huge – no one noticed that Elvis was dying and in solitary confinement

yet, he was all alone when he stepped up to sing his two demo attempts to attract Sam Phillip’s attention

and when he finally got to record his first professional recording – he played safe and picked ballad weepies

Harbour Lights

I Love You Because

and Sam Phillips wasn’t looking for Southern Dean Martin

He was looking for something and probably some one else.

and Elvis knew it – he was never going to make it as ballad singer

so he dug deep into his most secret dream

He wanted to be Arthur C Cruddup

an artist so obscure that neither Scotty Moore on guitar or Bill Black on bass knew –

Probably the best movie version of that moment was the Dewey Cox Story Walk Hard.

So Elvis without the tape rolling – launched into That’s AllRight Mama

and Sam Phillips was so started that he barely got the recording machine turned on

then he made Elvis do it again, to make sure it wasn’t a fluke

and at the end of the recording, you can barely hear Sam Phillips say:

hot damn that’s a pop song now!

WHAT ELVIS LESSON SAVED MY LIFE:

btw

that transcript isn’t actually accurate

if you listen to the terrible recording

Elvis peppers his sentences with song titles

whoever transcribed this version took it out as nonsense

although why it wouldn’t occur to someone that Elvis had lost the ability to communicate and so was trying to in the only way he knew how – songs

he wasn’t singing – he was talking – so he just said the song title that conveys the feelings and ideas that he was trying to express

and even fans, who pour over his every utterance

failed to understand the signficance of what had become of Elvis

and to be honest, even I did not understand until – after June 10, 2010

and I was alone in my head, in solitary confinement

but I am at home, away from the workplace situation which I don’t see as much different than Elvis’ own situation – his managemetn didn’t understand him either they just knew to keep the golden goose laying eggs that they could endlessly resell in different packaging – without any thought to the quality of the legacy – because Elvis was the First and Last Performer that everyone could agree on – Elvis for Everyone – meant lowest common denominator Elvis – and not Elvis as an artistic brand – and that’s why it’s so distressing that Billboard and RIAA and whoever keeps down grading Elvis.

Elvis is the glue that holds the entire entertainment industry in one global market – without Elvis – there wouldn’t be a globable market – there would just be competing regional ones – which is why there can never be another Elvis – the market is too fragmented – and now lesser lights like Mariah Carey can equal Elvis’ number of hit records – but she does not have the market or box office of Elvis – because Elvis records counted as one number one.

But his records were charted as number one in country, blues, rock, gospel charts – he’s the only performer that can be in each and every single American Music Hall of Fame – and in addition to those genres, he recorded world folk music, latin, UK Songbook, American Songbook, Canadian Songbook, show tunes, Swamp and Stadium Rock, Funk and at the end he even turned to spoken word songs, mixed the original italian song while he sang It’s Now OR Never and he got to be – alone in his heart and head – Dean Martin, Mario Lanza or Arthur C Cruddup or anyone he wanted to be in his imagination – that’s why Elvis the man – was able to create Elvis the Image.

We fell in love with the image of Elvis that he chose to project – and we were so in love with his face and voice – that the fans consumed everything with his name on it – like locusts.

And that’s what finally killed Elvis Presley the man – he realized that all we cared about in America was image – and the image is one thing and the human being is another.

Images come and go and they endure rebooted and rebranded – but human beings – they are only with us for a short time.

So I beleive when they said in Men in Black – Elvis didn’t die – he got tired and he went home. Elvis is Dead, Long Live the King’s Image.

and I realized that when I had my breakdown – June 10, 2010 – and was sent home on disability – in August 2011 – the workplace situation had reached it’s critical peak – a hearing at Labour Canada into Department 7s – lets just say – management – of the situation.

And I thought that they would finally understand that they cannot continue on managing as they had done for three years.

But I was wrong – I went on vacation and came back to a letter forcing me out of the workplace on disability.

There are more parts to this story, but they are not my story to tell, so I will not tell those parts. People who supported me made it clear – they could not and would not be witnesses because every single employee at Department 7 was  nail who was tired of being hammered.

They all admired my courage but wanted none of my viscera on them.

and it took me a while, when I was at home, to undo the damage done to me – and while I have recovered a lot of myself back – there are stll outstanding mental health issues – Post Traumatic Stress Sydrome and Social Anxiety disorders and panic disorders do not just go away on their own – it takes a supreme and sustained effort – beyond the means of the average person.

But I think that perhaps, I have proven with my blog – that started as a project blog to make myself shovel and shift the dirt in my front yard to turn it into a garden – and it is the showcase yard on my cul de sac.

Honest:  there’s been husbands who’ve come over and said – will you lesbians just relax about your front yard garden – my wife wants to live at your house – and seriously,  I’m just a man – I can’t compete against 2 lesbians.

Front garden, house painted an entirely new colour and a new roof – a blue roof on a dark blue house with cape cod grey trim – it’s stunning – we’ve been told by all the wives on our cul de sac.

Then we slowed down our external renovations and focussed on the inside – then other men from the cul de sac came knocking and wanted to buy/trade our house for a second property they owned – because they had watched all the inside renovations – new furnace, hot water tank, new doors and windows.

So we love our neighbours dearly and any time we need help – we grab a tool from our garage and one of the men will soon come running over to ask what we need help with – because straight men – I adore them – they can’t stand to see a woman using tools – and we’re Canadian, we’re neighbourly – we help each other out all the time.

We borrow tools and we loan tools – we ask for help when we need it and we provide inspiration for the whole nieghbourhood to follow.

Because we didn’t buy a house – we bought a home – so we want to make it the best home on the block – because we do not plan on moving any time soon – and we really wanted to live in an upscale neighbourhood – but we bought where we could afford to live – and scaled up that hood.

because as Frank sang and Elvis stole his theme song

I Did It My Way

One thought on “Elvis’ Last Recorded Conversation

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