On Elvis! Elvis! Elvis! A Look Back At The Good Times with
Sandi Haynes Pichon
Haynes Pichon & Thorne Peters; Forewird by Kathy Westmoreland
Publishing Ltd, 2004, UK, Softcover,196 pages, Illustrated,
Haynes Pichon is one of those people most Elvis fans
envy! Why? Because Sandi became one of Elvis' friends
and was admitted to The King's inner circle. She hugged
Elvis on his motorcycle at his home on Audoban Drive,
attended after show parties and visited Elvis at Graceland.
memoir, Raised On Elvis! Elvis! Elvis!, is both similar
and dissimilar to other books of its ilk. Professionally
produced, it is a flavoursome record of laughter,
awe, tears and great times in the presence of The
King of Rock 'n' Roll.
On Elvis! Elvis! Elvis! has a pleasing book design. Its
pages are well formatted with ample white space separating
text and visual making it very easy on the eye. The print
size is excellent and those with eyesight difficulties will
particularly benefit from this.
release has three distinct strengths:
Pichon's narrative reads like a diary as she recalls each
moment of being in The King's presence, watching him live
on stage and attending his after show parties with the Memphis
Mafia and other celebrities.
are many great and sometimes sad stories from the taping
of Wink Martindale's famous "Dance Party" to Jackie Kahane
being booed off stage at Madison Square Garden, fun times
with Uncle Vester and the greed exhibited by cold-hearted
vendors following Elvis' death. And
as you'll read, Sandi Pichon was also there in Greensboro
the night Elvis made very unfortunate remarks about Kathy
Westmoreland and The Sweet Inspirations.
Sandi's song-by-song descriptions of Elvis concerts vividly
brings to life the magic of The King's charisma. Sandi Pichon
and Thorne Peters know how to engage the readers interest
with an easy flowing writing style full of interesting narrative:
group was off to Philadelphia and then to Memphis, while
I made arrangements to be there on August 31st in Macon.
But in those ten weeks the core of his world was shaken
to its foundation in ways that no one could have imagined
when he took a drastic action that would profoundly alter
his life and legacy."
author does not hold back her feelings and there are a number
of passages that have particular potency. On the last few
months of Elvis' life Sandi Haynes Pichon writes:
have wondered so often if any woman could have helped Elvis
when he needed to turn to that special person when he felt
alone, bored or just plain fed up with his lifestyle. He
never found that one person to love him unconditionally
like his momma had and he searched in vain to find another
kindred spirit. The immature young waif that he was involved
with was way over her head and neither understood his world,
nor cared for him adequately."
photographs, of which there are many, include numerous great
shots of Elvis on stage in some of his most pronounced and
colorful jumpsuits. There are also several intimate candids
snapped during the 1950s and later showing Elvis with fans.
As candid shots they obviously aren't of the same quality
as is found in many "professionally shot" photo-journals
but despite this they in no way disappoint!
chapter titles are cleverly drawn directly from Elvis' career
with titles such as 'Pot Luck', 'From Elvis Presley Boulevard',
'Don't Leave Me Now!', 'Promised Land' and 'The Last Farewell'.
There have been many memoirs by fans lucky enough to have
known Elvis Presley. Sandi Haynes Pichon's book ranks as
one of the best ever and while it will arguably be appreciated
more by women than men, it deserves to be read by all fans.
Recommended for anyone wanting to experience the atmosphere
of actually "being there".
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