"Elvis Presley is the greatest cultural force in the 20th century."

(Leonard Bernstein)


"If you're an Elvis fan, no explanation is necessary; If you're not an Elvis fan, no explanation is possible."

(George Klein)


"For a dead man, Elvis Presley is awfully noisy."

(Professor Gilbert B. Rodman)


"History has him as this good old country boy, Elvis is about as country as Bono!"

(Jerry Schilling)


"Absolute id crashed into absolute superego...as the uptightset man in America shook hands with just about the loosest."

(Mark Feeney on the 'Elvis meets Nixon' meeting)


"Elvis is everywhere"

(Mojo Nixon & Skid Roper)


"...especially in the South, they talk about Elvis and Jesus in the same breath"

(Michael Ventura, LA Weekly)


"The image is one thing and the human being is another...it's very hard to live up to an image"


(Elvis Presley, Madison Square Garden press conference, 1972)


"Elvis was a major hero of mine. I was actually stupid enough to believe that having the same birthday as him actually meant something"

(David Bowie)


"No-one, but no-one, is his equal, or ever will be. He was, and is supreme"

(Mick Jagger)


"I wasn't just a fan, I was his brother...there'll never be another like that soul brother"

(Soul legend, James Brown)


"Before Elvis there was nothing!"

(John Lennon)

















































































































































































































































































E-Book Review:

Desert Storm: The Shattering Of A Myth!

E-book's (download or CD-rom format) are one of the new technologies gaining popularity in America and parts of Europe.  For anyone with a computer and good sized monitor, they are an accessible alternative to the traditional hardcopy book.  Darrin Memmer's new 250 page book, Desert Storm: The Shattering Of A Myth! is one of only a few Elvis Presley books using the concept.  

What Darrin Memmer tries to do in Desert Storm is, through using "reality glasses", debunk the myth that at that period in his life, Elvis was in fact 'strung out', a situation many claim was motivated by the cold resonse he received when he unveiled a new format show to a 'by invitation only' crowd on 19 August 1974 .  Desert Storm: The Shattering Of A Myth develops its narrative impact from a threshold question: was Elvis relaxed, tanned and fit after a holiday in Hawaii, or on a downward spiral fuelled by pills and negative thoughts?  

As a result of detailed research by the Memmer, a fresh perspective is shed on Elvis's emotional and physical shape at that time, one that is certain to reignite the messageboard debate.  In many respects, Desert Storm effectively builds like a detective novel.  Starting with a basic premise, the author investigates, analyses and builds a case, piece by piece.

The title for Darrin Memmer's latest Elvis release is taken from the infamous bootleg CD release from the underground label, Fort Baxter, the titular, Desert Storm.  That double album is the soundboard recording for Elvis' closing night of his Vegas Summer Festival season in August-September 1974.  It includes a very emotional five minute monologue tirade from Elvis attacking stories that he is 'strung out on drugs'.  The almost violent passion with which Elvis delivers his tirade led to a vigorous debate on Internet discussion boards about his state of mind and state of health in mid 1974.  The book offers a lot.  The author has critically dissected and analysed each of the recorded concerts available for the Vegas Summer Festival season, and his analysis is telling!

Beyond this, the author presents verbatim quotations from Elvis himself from different concerts during the season.  They include Elvis' "X-rated" humor, word for word, so if you are easily offended, beware.  All this is complemented by fascinating eye-witness accounts of the season from Elvis world identities such as Anne E. Nixon (British fan club), Elvis authors Lee Cotten and Ernst Jorgensen, and Rocky Barra, (publisher of the much loved but now defunct USA monthly magazine, Strictly Elvis), together with industry reviews from the time.  In particular, the author draws on two articles published after the August 1974 season: 'How Can It Get Better Than This' by Dennis Berry and 'Vegas '74 Revisited' by Anne E. Nixon.

Contrasted with the (tertiary) Internet messageboard criticisms, these 'primary' source materials mount a convincing argument.  

Consider for instance, the following comment from Christine Hayes, writing in 'Strictly Elvis' shortly after the August 1974 Vegas season:

"In my accustomed pilgrimage to Elvis' Vegas shows, I noticed the emergence of a different presence about him.  This was a man that deeply valued human relations."

Anne E. Nixon was there during Elvis' 'strung out' tirade.  She comments:

"Whether you care for this outburst or not, I can tell you it was riveting to see the drama played out just a few feet in front of your eyes.  The crowd on the night were 100% supportive of Elvis.....It was one of the best shows that I ever saw."

But Desert Storm is much more than a look at Elvis Presley hitting out at his critics.  It addresses various other controversial issues, and again, Darrin Memmer builds a convincing case for his arguments based on substantive research.  The issues include:

  • The Painted Statue Dialogue
  • Bill Cosby: Friend or Foe?
  • The Paternity Suit
  • The Truth About Elvis and Priscilla's Divorce

On the latter issue, a diary record from Anne E. Nixon is poignant.  Ms Nixon noted that while singing It's Midnight, Elvis looked at the Presley booth and added:  "Listen Cilla".

Cleverly, the author also manages to interweave historic and contemporary iconic symbols into the narrative to illustrate his point: Superfly and The Vagina Monologues being just two.

The author's art is compelling: in considering particular incidents in anyone's life we need to look at the full context (ie. personality and events leading up to the incident), not just the incident itself.  Considering incidents in isolation of a contextual overview will more often than not result in a skewed interpretation and understanding of the issue.  

The images in Desert Storm are very good.  They include a number from the season's closing concert and many fans will find the inclusion of numerous tabloid magazine covers and headlines fascinating.  ADD

A minor irritation is the author's repetitive use to start many paragraphs using the quoted person's name, eg. 'Miss Anne E. Nixon,'.  

Some readers will not like the CD-rom (PDF) format, which, unless you are a frequent computer user, takes some time to become comfortable with.

I recommend that while reading Desert Storm, fans also listen to the CD releases for the August 1974 Vegas Season.  The audio record of the season adds appreciably to Darrin Memmer's textual argument.  The titles (in chronological listening order) include:

    • ...from Sunset Blvd...to Paradise Road (DAE 3595-6/7)
    • I's Midnight (Follow That Dream)
    • Desert Storm (Fort Baxter) 2200)

In creating the Desert Storm E-book, Darrin Memmer utilised two state-of-the-art imaging software packages, Photo Impact and Adobe PhotoShop, and top-of-the-line picture/video/sound cards.  The images are best viewed on a high-end monitor.

Desert Storm: The Shattering Of A Myth (E-book) comes in a slimline jewel case with picture disc. Both the cover and disc photos are in color and feature Elvis in his "Tiger Man" jumpsuit.

The author's previous release is the softcover book, Elvis In Concert The 1977 CBS Television Special.

Verdict: Darrin Memmer is to be commended for the stringent research he has undertaken in writing Desert Storm: The Shattering Of A Myth.  His case is persuasive and effectively challenges the contrary views many fans hold and scurrilous Internet gossip.  I particularly appreciated how Memmer deftly used the combination of eye witness accounts and audio record to robustly draw out Elvis' mood and musical sincerity in August 1974 to produce an absorbing examination of a controversial issue(s) - issues rich in emotional fire and passionate polemic.

To buy Desert Storm: The Shattering Of A Myth: www.elvisconcertmyths.com

Click to comment on this review


CD: Elvis by the Presleys
Book: Warman's Elvis Field Guide
DVD: Why Elvis?
Book: Dewey and Elvis
CD: Black & White Elvis
CD: All Shook Up
Book: Rough Guide to Elvis
DVD: Elvis by the Presleys
FTD: Rockin' Across Texas
FTD: Elvis Is Back
TV Special: "Elvis by the Presleys"
Book: Elvis by the Presleys
CD: Tom Green
Show: Sonny West
CD: A Legendary Performer Vol. 5
CD: Young & Beautiful (TV Guide)
DVD: Elvis by the Presleys "Target" bonus disc
Mini-series: Elvis
FTD: Big Boss Man
VCD: Joe Esposito's Home Videos of Elvis
Meeting Elvis & Priscilla
Welcome to Gulag Graceland
The King and I
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Elvis was a racist? (3)
Schism between Elvis' stage & studio work
Tupelo, Miss....Elvis 2005
Elvis was a racist? (#2)
Elvis vs. Jerry Lee Lewis
Elvis was a racist? (#1)
Elvis making a killing
Elvis & the treasure chest of blood money
Priscilla - "no angel"
Elvis in the 1970s
More on Elvis on TV
"Orion" gunned down!
Elvis Is Back
Elvis - Hero with 1000 faces
Elvis Film Guide
Elvis rules on television! (updated May 2005)
Elvis & other major artists miss out on Grammy Awards
How did Elvis die?
Bernard Lansky
Albert Wertheimer
Priscilla Presley
Marshall Terrill
Lisa Presley on Larry King Show
Tony Joe White
Stanley Oberst
Bud Glass (part 2)
Red & Sonny West
Ed Bonja (Part 2)
Ernst Jorgensen
Phil Aitcheson (Presley Commission)
Elvis On Tour (Hampton Roads) footage
Elvis On Tour
Graceland cam
Listen to the Elvis "strung out" in Vegas audio
The "Real" Elvis off-stage
Unreleased Elvis audio now online
View EPE Graceland tourism ads
View video of "All Shook Up" opening night on Broadway
All about Elvis
All about Elvis tribute artists
All about Lisa Presley
All about Graceland
Elvis books 2005-07
Elvis film guide
Elvis Online Virtual Library
Elvis Presley Research Forum
Elvis was a racist? (archives)
Elvis Week 2005
How & where do I sell my Elvis collection?
Links to Elvis' family & friends
Online Elvis Symposium
Sale of EPE "Archives"
6th Elvis Website Survey
Spotlight on The King
"Wikipedia" Elvis bio


"Elvis Presley is the supreme socio-cultural icon in the history of pop culture"

(Dr. Gary Enders)


" Elvis is the 'glue' which holds our society together....which subconciously gives our world meaning"



"Eventually everybody has to die, except Elvis"

(humorist Dave Barry)


"He is the "Big Bang", and the universe he detonated is still expanding, the pieces are still flying"

(Greil Marcus, "Dead Elvis")


"I think Elvis Presley will never be solved"

(Nick Tosches)


"He was the most popular man that ever walked on this planet since Christ himself was here"

(Carl Perkins)


"When I first heard Elvis' voice I just knew I wasn't going to work for anybody...hearing him for the first time was like busting out of jail"

(Bob Dylan)


"When we were kids growing up in Liverpool, all we ever wanted was to be Elvis Presley"

(Sir Paul McCartney)