Picks and Pans Review: Up and Down with Elvis Presley

UPDATED 06/08/1981 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 06/08/1981 at 01:00 AM EDT

by Marge Crumbaker with Gabe Tucker

For those who want to dig into such things, this book has the whole sordid story of the decline of Elvis Presley. A running description of Presley's close relationship with his manager, Colonel Tom Parker, is one focus. It began as a father-son kind of thing, with Presley touchingly grateful. As the star became a pseudo-monster, his mentor never deserted him—the money was coming in too fast, $18 billion over the years, according to the authors. Elvis is portrayed as never really growing up. The other main subject in Up and Down is Presley's pill taking. One of his hangers-on said, "When Elvis was out of dope, he'd just get in his plane and fly to Vegas and get some. One time out there, we tried to keep him from getting a delivery, and he jumped up on top of a table, waving a gun in his hand, and he told us that by God, if we didn't bring it, he'd just buy a damn drugstore!" Tucker, a promoter who once worked for Parker, and Crum-baker, a Houston newspaper columnist, have provided lurid details. The book, like its material, is cliché-ridden, crude and tawdry. (Putnam, $12.95)

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