Music Book Review

My Life with Elvis by Becky Yancey and Cliff Linedecker

ImageThis book, which promises “the fond memories of a fan who became Elvis’s private secretary,” has all the earmarks of a potboiler. Replete with typos and grammatical errors, it includes much previously published information. Its authors refer to Elvis in both past and present tenses; and their material has little to do with the titles of chapters that contain it.

Much of the volume is as unconvincing as it is poorly written and organized. Granted, the smattering of footnotes may convey an air of authenticity to the casual reader—but not to those who notice that many of them cite the National Enquirer, National Star and National Tattler. Moreover, contradictions can be found throughout the book. At one point, for example, Becky Yancey admits that she “wrote checks to doctors in Las Vegas for nightly medication that amounted to thousands of dollars a month.” She also describes what clearly seems to be drug-induced behavior by Elvis and reports that he concealed prescriptions from his family. Then, on the very next page, she claims that Presley “always hated drugs and . . . didn’t even abuse alcohol or tobacco.”

Even without the aforementioned problems, the book could be recommended only to the most fanatical of Elvis’s fans. Saying practically nothing about his music and revealing almost as little about his personality, the authors instead concentrate on fanzine-style trivia of the lowest order. Do you care that the sunporch at Elvis’s mansion is painted heliotrope with gold trim? Or, for that matter, do you care what color pajamas he was wearing when he died? If not, you probably ought to pass this by.

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