Me and a Guy Named Elvis: My Lifelong Friendship with Elvis Presley

Me and a Guy Named Elvis: My Lifelong Friendship with Elvis Presley

by Jerry Schilling, Chuck Crisafulli


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An intimate memoir of a friendship with Elvis Presley, arguably one of the most important artists in rock 'n' roll history, taking you from late-night parties at Graceland to the bright lights of Hollywood sets and the glittering stages of Las Vegas.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781592402311
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 08/17/2006
Pages: 368
Product dimensions: 6.34(w) x 9.22(h) x 1.23(d)
Age Range: 14 Years

About the Author

Jerry Schilling is a lifelong friend and associate of Elvis Presley.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Schilling has the goodsùwhere else can you read about the King giving karate lessons to Liza Minnelli in a hotel room while Chubby Checker and porn star Linda Lovelace looked on? (Entertainment Weekly)

More than anything, this moving and elegantly told memoir resonates with the spirit of true friendship. (The Washington Post)


Elvis the Reader

"Reader" is probably not one of the first terms that jumps to mind when people think of Elvis Presley, but in the twenty-three years that I knew him his love of the written word was a constant passion. One of the very first times I met him, at a touch football game in North Memphis, he referred to a friend of mine as "Penrod," and when I asked him where he'd come up with such an odd nickname, he told me it was from a book he was reading. He was a year out of high school at the time, driving a truck for an electric company by day and working on his music at night, but apparently he still found time to read Booth Tarkington novels. As a twelve-year-old who had trouble putting together a one-page report on assigned readings, I found that stunning.

As I got to know Elvis better over the years, I was struck by the range of his reading. He loved superhero comic books, but he also put a great deal of effort into absorbing the lessons of the Bible, the Koran, and the writings of Jewish mystics. As he achieved greater levels of fame and searched ever deeper for meaning in his own life, he turned to works like Paramhansa Yogananda's Autobiography of a Yogi, The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran, The Impersonal Life by Joseph Benner, and the great numerological work Cheiro's Book of Numbers. But his reading list could always surprise you -- you might find him one day poring over Notes from the Underground, a countercultural magazine picked up in San Francisco, and the next day he'd be focused intently on culling every possible detail of the Kennedy assassination out of the published volumes of the Warren Report.

Almost as striking as what Elvis read was the way he read. His copies of books were always ferociously dog-eared and margins were full of his own scribbled notes and questions. He loved to lose himself in a text, seeking out deeper meaning in words and ideas, much the same way that he'd give himself over to a song in order to interpret it. And he was an excitable reader -- when he was thrilled with a work he'd memorize huge sections of it, and soon be buying copies to hand out to just about everyone he encountered. I think it's safe to say that he was the only headlining star in Las Vegas whose idea of a great after-party was a freewheeling discussion of The Prophet

. Elvis's love of language wasn't limited to words in book form. He had memorized General Douglas MacArthur's farewell speech and could deliver a stirring rendition of it. He was deeply moved by Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech and committed that to memory as well. When I first went to work for Elvis in 1964, on our first cross-country drive, he stunned me one night in a Barstow motel room when he turned his attention to a television set and perfectly intoned the lines of the poem "High Flight," which was being used as a station signoff. The last lines of the poem were "...And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod / The high untrespassed sanctity of space, / Put out my hand, and touched the face of God."

Whenever you thought you had Elvis figured out, he surprised you. He was a seeker and a searcher, and his passion for great ideas and beautiful language was as deep as his passion for great music.

Jerry Schilling

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Me and a Guy Named Elvis 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Jerry Schilling's book portrays a friendship story told in the highest respect and purest love for a person who was and still is loved by millions to this day. True friendship is weathering the ups and downs of life and still knowing that friendship will never die. This was a story about two human beings, beautifully told with dignity.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellently written* The only thing that I must s ay though, is that according to my books on numerology, Elvis was a numer 9, not 8......A wonderful book however, it's good to see Elvis as a human being, not a god. I grew up to his music, My grandmother was a big fan. I had a very bad childhood, and the voice of Elvis had always had a soul soothing affect on me, not just his beautiful looks. He was one of a kind, there will never be another one like him. I still listen to him, and I made my children, who are adults now, listen to him, they are now making my grandchildren appreciate the pure musical genius of Elvis as well. There no words to describe Elvis Presley, just that I thank god that I had his music to survive a very rough youth. Thankyou Jerry Schilling for identifying with that, and putting that aspect of his voice down in words.
Greg Garrison More than 1 year ago
I have read quite few books about Elvis, but I believe that this one was the most enjoyable. It talks a lot about the private Elvis, his friendships, and most importantly tells the story of a boy who grew to be a man in Elvis' world. Great stories about the early days, the Colonel, Priscilla, and life after Elvis. I cruised through this book wishing for more. Jerry's easy style of story telling makes you feel like he is talking to a friend. Highly recommended.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved the book. I found it to be a loving gentle book about a boy {Jerry} and the beginning of a loving friendship with Elvis. It was an easy read and I couldn't put it down. It felt as if I was sitting somewhere with Jerry and he was sharing a sweet story about friendship and love. I enjoyed it very much.
warrior1690 More than 1 year ago
I was 14 years old when Elvis died in 1977 but remember it like it was yesterday. I'm sure that like many others, my interest in him and his impact on so much of American culture has only increased with time. This book helped me understand so much about his life and what it was like to know him as a friend. Jerry has done a wonderful job of telling the truth without beating to death the bad parts as some have but speaking openly about the human side and cost of fame. His book is one which ultimately leaves you feeling that you too, knew "the King" and hope to know him even better in the next Life.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Mr. Schilling has done what I've seen NO one else (including Priscilla) do - he's shown us Elvis the person.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Jerry is an awesome guy! His book really gives great incite to the man we all loved and adored. I really enjoyed this read .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Jerry did a wonderful job sharing his personal moments with his very much admired friend, Elvis. Elvis once again comes across as a very nice person who cares for his family, friends, and fans. Once Jerry shares at the end of the book of his employment at Elvis Enterprise I realize why he speaks so highly of Priscilla.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. As a 3rd generation Elvis fan, it really showed me what we all knew, he was a man ( a great man)....It was the Elvis that we all wanted to know and the only book that I have ever read that filled me with such emotion that I cried as if it were August 16th all over again.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I caught myself smiling so many times while reading Jerry's adventures with Elvis. Lovingly well written, informative and really enjoyable accounts of these two men and what they meant to each other. Elvis fans will appreciate the lifelong loyalty Jerry showed to Elvis and continues to show by his words and actions to this day.