"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)

















































































































































































































































































Book Review

"Desert Storm: The Shattering Of A Myth!"

by Darrin Lee

DL Books, Inc, 2005, Illustrated, 251 pages

Available in softcover format with E-Book supplement

Desert Storm: The Shattering Of A Myth! is a book that has, and will continue to divide fans.

For it is controversial, daring to take on, headfirst, many too widely and uncritically accepted issues in the multi-layered, rich terrain that forms the Elvis world.

Its foundational merit and intrinsic value lies in the breadth of research the author has undertaken in mounting his views.


Written with an engaging writing style it is easy to become enmeshed in the juicy narrative.

The titular theme is of course the infamous monologue Elvis delivered in Las Vegas on September 2, 1974, an amazing piece of Presleyana appropriately issued on the bootleg 2CD release, Desert Storm Closing Night September 2, 1974, from the Fort Baxter label (see cover picture below).

A detailed track-by-track analysis of the Desert Storm album combined with first hand accounts from members of the audience and other material, mounts a persuasive case suggesting Elvis may not have been "strung out" on the night as is widely believed by many fans.

And there is a lot more in Desert Storm than its titular issue. Some of the other fascinating and often little known incidents in Elvis' life include:

  • the response to Elvis dropping the 2001 opening theme from one of his shows
  • Patricia Parker's unsuccessful paternity claim and the involvement of Hollywood celebrity P.I., John O'Grady is comprehensively covered over several chapters
  • the Bill Cosby incident in Vegas
  • Child Bride - the virginity rumor
  • the truth about Elvis and Priscilla's divorce
  • the movie magazines - were they junk?
  • Elvis and overseas travel - the real reason Elvis bought the Lisa Marie

The author's perspective on Elvis' split from Linda Thompson in 1976 is also controversial. Did Linda leave, as many biographies suggest, or did Elvis progressively phase her out of his life? Again, Darrin Lee offers a thought provoking analysis.

In discussing the famous Bill Cosby incident, Darrin Lee at one point borrows a telling observation from Ernst Jorgensen's excellent book, "Elvis Presley: A Life In Music":

"Elvis' constant and lengthy interruptions grew increasingly bizzare as the show progressed. He introduced Bill Cosby from the stage, though he wasn't actually there".

In the 1960s and 1970s two monthly magazines about The King reigned supreme and are fondly remembered by longtime fans.

These were Britain's Elvis Monthly, and Rocky Barra's Strictly Elvis in the US.

Both magazines feature in Desert Storm.

A major contributor to Elvis Monthly, Anne E. Nixon, and Dennis Berry, provide "first hand" accounts of the night the Desert Storm monologue was delivered by Elvis.


And Rocky Barra's "on the spot" critique of Elvis' Summer Festival in Las Vegas in 1974 adds further weight to Darrin Lee's carefully considered points.

The author's comprehensive research and analysis also provides us with a detailed record of Elvis' humorous on stage antics and brings to life a sub text in Elvis' stage performances, his recurrent use of direct sexual references and innuendo.

Another seminal revelation is Elvis' use of 'religious recitation' during a performance of You Gave Me A Mountain. The author also makes important observations on Lisa Presley and the dreaded paparazzi.

Not surprisingly, Desert Storm has met with criticism on at least one of the Elvis messageboards.

Analysis of the criticisms shows that Darrin Lee's critics have either picked on several minor aspects of the book (eg. the Sheila Ryan "Playboy" spread) or missed the significance of others. The relevance of the movie magazines as sorely overlooked media texts influencing public opinion about Elvis is a case in point, as Darrin Lee cleverly uses the magazines to illustrate many of his points. In my opinion, these widely read tabloid releases are an aspect of the Elvis story worthy of detailed sociological analysis.

In criticising the author for allegedly not providing substantive argument the critics conveniently overlook the various "official" documents presented in Desert Storm including the legal papers for Elvis and Priscilla's divorce and the Patricia Parker paternity suit.

Should Darrin Lee have interviewed people close to Elvis at the time? Perhaps, but there again we all know the polarised views that are regularly espoused by members of the Memphis Mafia.

On this basis there was probably little to be gained by interviewing members of Elvis' inner circle. It would only have served to reinforce their oft stated, politically motivated, and at times biased, points of view.

Unfortunately the critics exhibit exactly what they criticise Darrin Lee for...a lack of balance and substance. Their vitriol is misguided and their selective use of issues is very transparent.

The E-Book: Supplementing the softcover book edition of Desert Storm is a 100 page E-Book. The E-Book is comprised of around 50 pages of transcripts from the 9/2/74 Dinner and Midnight Shows. The inclusion of these allows fans to further their understanding of all Closing Night dialogue, song lyrics, and audience interaction.

The transcripts inform us of how Priscilla flirted with Elvis, BIG TIME, during the show. She even yells out a reference to his manhood during Fever! The E-Book also contains a chapter on John O'Grady and the paternity suit. It climaxes with many color images and excerpts from movie magazines - around 40 pages worth.

Considering Elvis' anger at the tabloids throughout the 1974 "Summer Festival," Darrin Lee is right in thinking the E-Book will be an interesting read for fans. There is also coverage in the E-Book of the man Priscilla left Elvis for, karate champion, Mike Stone.

Desert Storm is a well designed and neatly laid out book. It is printed on high grade paper stock and features numerous black & white photos throughout its 251 pages (maybe we could have color visuals in its 2nd printing, I think these would add another dimension to its appeal). Detailed Notes and Credits sections round out the quality production.

Conclusion: Regardless of whether or not you agree with all of the author's views, there is no doubt that in writing Desert Storm, Darrin Lee has spent many long, painstaking hours researching a broad range of sources. This gives Desert Storm a solidity and legitimacy that is missing from many other books released about Elvis.

The strength of Desert Storm is its willingness to openly confront and seriously question widely accepted positions in the Elvis world. The reader doesn't have to accept all of the author's arguments but if read with an open mind, the book is a rich and rewarding experience.

Desert Storm is the most controversial book to be published about Elvis since Alanna Nash's 2002 release, The Colonel: The Extraordinary Story of Colonel Tom Parker and Elvis Presley. If one measure of success is debate, then Darrin Lee has well satisfied this criterion by bringing life back into the increasingly staid and repetitive world of Elvis literature.

Verdict: There will be critics and undoubtedly some will want to malign. However, this in no way devalues the strong merits of Desert Storm: The Shattering Of A Myth! Darrin Lee is to be commended for writing a controversial, challenging and enlightening entry that is a delight to read. I unreservedly recommend Desert Storm to all fans....just read it with an open mind.

Visit Darrin Lee's website

Comment on this review


Darrin Lee's Upcoming Projects:

Elvis Presley: The College Park Hoax!

Elvis Presley: CBS TV Special - The Truth At Last






Book: Elvis On Stamps
Photobook: A Tribute To The King
DVD: Lilo & Stitch 2
FTD: Elvis Today
Concert: Elvis Leaves His Mark
Book: Elvis-UFO Connection
Book: Behind The Image Vol. 2
Book: Elvis on Screen
DVD: Elvis & Me
FTD: All Shook Up
FTD: Tickle Me
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
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
Mini-series: Elvis
FTD: Big Boss Man
DVD: Elvis 1st, 2nd & 4ever
'Elvis Seriously'- Why is Elvis' voice too often ignored
Elvis & Ed Sullivan - The Real Story
It's Over - Gordon Minto on 18 #1's
Elvis - symbol of freedom or not?
The importance of being Elvis
Elvis rules on television! (updated August 2005)
Tribute to Elvis (16 August 2005)
Elvis in the 50s - Maxine Brown
Meeting Elvis & Priscilla
How & where to sell your Elvis collection
Welcome to Gulag Graceland
The King and I
Elvis was a racist? (4)
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 & 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)
Candlelight Vigil 2005
Elvis On Tour (Hampton Roads) footage
Elvis On Tour
Elvis photo gallery #1
Elvis Week 2005 Photo Archives
EPE's multimedia Elvis gallery
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)