Elvis World's Bill Burk has finally tracked down the November issue of Playboy and read the full set of claims made by Byron Raphael in his article with Alanna Nash, In Bed With Elvis.
This is Bill's review:
In summary, Raphael claims he worked for Elvis in 1956-57 and he procured countless girls to climb into bed with Elvis, including some rather well-known movie stars.
First off, Raphael worked first in the mail room for the William Morris Agency. From there, Tom Parker hired him to become a Parker assistant. This much we know to be true from reading Alanna Nash's Tom Parker biography, which will forever rank as the bio on that old carny as will ever be written.
But that was Parker. This is Raphael. And Elvis.
In checking with those closest to Elvis during his career, EW could find no one who could even hint that Raphael ever worked for Elvis, in any capacity, be it gofer or pimp. The nicest thing any of them said about his claims in Playboy was "BS" ... and that did not stand for "Before Stardom."
Raphael's claims (as written by Nash):
1. Elvis unzipped his pants and dry-humped RCA's Nipper on stage before thousands in a October 28, 1957 show in Los Angeles. WHY -- with all the thousands of cameras that followed Elvis everywhere he stepped -- have there never been ONE photo of this event seen by anyone? And WHY, with Los Angeles police in attendance, was Elvis not arrested for public indecency on the spot?
2. Raphael claims he noted a "huge hard-on through his pants" during the Nipper humping performance. Alanna seems to be obsessed with Elvis' erections. In one of her books she wrote 4-year-old Elvis got an erection from seeing up Mother Gladys' dress. In proof-reading that book, I challenged such a thing could happen to a 4-year-old ... but she claimed she checked it out with medical people and were told it "could" have happened, so the erection stayed "up" and "in" the book.
3. In brief, Raphael wrote, on seeing Elvis scantily clad so ... so often, that "he was well-endowed" ... and "he always had a hard-on." (There we go again.)
Well, two things: (A) Obviously Raphael never saw the Army induction photos of Elvis, clad only in his jockey shorts; and (B) even Elvis referred to that region of his body as "little Elvis" ... and rightfully so!
I used to threaten Elvis that if he angered me, I would print those jockey shorts pix and ruin his sex appeal with girls forever !!!
4. Raphael claims "Elvis seldom went all the way," and further claimed this was because "he always remembered his mother teaching him that "sex before marriage was a sin."
This ain't the Elvis that performed some 200 gigs on the road (away from Moma) during his days at Sun; and this ain't the Elvis so many females have told EW stories about.
5. He further claims he introduced Natalie Wood to Elvis and she went straight into E's bedroom and 20 minutes later she came out, huffing and puffing that Elvis did not want to consumate the act; at which point she challenged Raphael, right there in Elvis' suite, and they both got naked and Raphael took care of Wood's burning needs. That near the end of that sexcapade, Elvis came out of his bedroom, saw them in the act, and said, "Heaven help us."
HAD THAT SCENE actually happened, and had Raphael actually been working as Elvis' full-time Hollywood pimp, Elvis probably would have broken his neck right then and there. And he would have been fired on the spot!
Later, he says, Elvis dated Natalie Wood. I mean, c'mon, after E saw the two of them humping right there in his suite and he would even think of seeing her again? Hey, Byron, you got any mountains in the Sahara Desert you want to sell me?
6. Next, the obligatory innuendo that "tongues wagged that Elvis and (Nick) Adams were getting it on." E's attitude toward homosexuals was strongly opposed. And again, an inuendo. Writers should either come up with solid proof -- or keep their damned fingers off the keyboards !!!
7. He detailed how Juliet Prowse liked to position herself during sexcapades with Elvis during the filming of "G. I. Blues." And while that may or may not be true, this position is not the same as the one so vividly described by karate king Kang Rhee when he spoke to our EW Breakfast one morning in the only XXX-rated talks we ever had (though we didn't know it would be XXX-rated when we booked Master Rhee to speak).
8. That he set up a meeting between Marilyn Monroe and Elvis, and that he believes MM was interested in having a romp in the hay with Elvis, but got totally turned off by E's cousin, Gene Smith, and Cliff Gleaves. Not sure of MM's interest here, but can well understand how this twosome could turn any woman off wanting to be around Elvis!
9. Much of the end of this Playboy story comes straight out of the pages of the Memphis Mafia book, which Alanna also wrote with Lamar Fike, Marty Lacker and real cousin Billy Smith.
BOTTOM LINE OPINION: That Raphael's claims rank right down there with "cousin" Earl Greenwood's; that he has read of certain things; and heard of certain things; and then inserted himself into an active roll in all that happened -- or did not happen. Not sure whether Raphael's stories rank just above, or just below, Greenwood's.
Addendum: At times, in reading the language in the Playboy story about Elvis, I had to flip back to the magazine's cover to make sure I wasn't reading Penthouse by mistake. Much of the verbage sounded like it was straight out of the pages of Penthouse Forum. (For those of you who don't know the Forum, I'll spare you the embarrassment.)
"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"
"He was the most popular man that ever walked on this planet since Christ himself was here"
"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"
"When we were kids growing up in Liverpool, all we ever wanted was to be Elvis Presley"
(Sir Paul McCartney)
"You can't say enough good things about Elvis. He was one of a kind"