West in Australia
Bev McKinlay soaked up the intimate atmosphere when
Sonny West visited the Gold Coast to talk about his
life with Elvis - an evening of loving reminiscences
& laughter. This is Bev's review:
a touch of Elvis furnished by four of his jumpsuits
lining the Southport, Gold Coast, stage Sonny West enthralled
the Queensland crowd last Saturday night with sincere
stories of his life with Elvis.
you may have also heard both Joe Esposito & Red West
on similar Australian tours, Sonny was far friendlier
and there was a lovely atmosphere, almost like sitting
in the lounge with him sitting 6 feet opposite you and
either stood on stage or walked around a bit or sat on a high
stool and talked, and laughed and talked and laughed.
reminisced lovingly and told so many great stories.
instance one about Elvis’ visit to the White House. When Elvis
arrived he had about 5 guns on him but he only removed three
3 and naughtily kept the other two. So when Elvis went to
the restroom - and the security guards went too - he bent
over and one fell out from the waist of his pants and clattered
like hell on the floor but the guards just ignored it!
said to Sonny and Jerry later, "Just as well I didn't tell
them about the derringer in my boot too!"
stories like these you get to understand more about the playful
& happy side of Elvis’ character - there was also another
really long story about the trick they played with JD Sumner,
on the Stamps, over a shooting threat and it was hilarious.
also told an incredible story about Elvis trying to
order a taxi in LA .... and it was so funny that it
had us all in stitches. On the serious side Sonny also
talked about being sacked by Elvis and about how devastated
he was the day Elvis died.
was impressed that he didn't really gloss over anything.
After Sonny finished talking, he then came back on stage
a couple of minutes later and showed footage of Graceland
explaining each room to everyone, which was great as
there were many fans in the audience who have never
been there, as you can imagine.
learnt that the door at the top of the stairs leads directly
to the stairs that come up/go down to the kitchen. There also
is/was a small bedroom downstairs off the pool/TV room area
where Charlie Hodge laid his head.
the end of the show he offered the captivated audience of
around 70 fans a chance to ask questions. And while there
were quite a few from people who didn't seem to know that
Elvis had produced more than one Readers Digest set of Greatest
Hits, Sonny answered them all gracefully and gave everyone
the same amount of time.
Sonny said, once these guys are gone, everything you hear
is only going to be second-hand. Interestingly Sonny also
admitted that while he didn't mind Elvis impersonators, and
thought most of them did a great job, the two things he didn't
like were the ones who tried to talk like Elvis afterwards,
and also the fact that so many people rave on about how this
one or that one sounds "just like Elvis".
said that no-one, but NO-ONE sounds just like Elvis and never
entertainment for the evening was provided by Chris Drummond
but, since Sonny talked for so long, he only got to sing about
4 of Sonny's favourite Elvis songs.
performance was really so relaxed and comfortable, and Sonny
was really, really human, which I think describes the whole
show was incredible and he is hoping to come back next year,
including NZ on the tour and do a bigger and better show -
I would certainly go back.
were having a draw at the end of the tour for a trip for 2
to Graceland, ..... all entries from every concert were in
the draw. I guess I didn't win it as I haven't had that magic
phone call about it ... YET !!
Source: Bev McKinley