I have had this first edition book by Elvis’ step brother Billy Stanley for a while, but hadn’t read it. I actually enjoyed it. I know to take everything with a grain of salt. I also have books by his other step brothers Rick and David and by their mother Dee Presley. I read everything the good, the bad and the ugly. I like to have all vantage points when reading about Elvis.
Billy wrote Elvis My Brother: An Intimate Family Memoir of Life with the King in 1989 about 10 years after his mother’s book with input from his brothers because he did not really contribute to that book because he didn’t adore Priscilla like they did and wanted to tell his side of the story, his experiences with Elvis. I actually wanted to read Billy’s book because of the talked about affair Elvis had with his wife that I read about in Dee’s book. There wasn’t much detail though except that Elvis and Billy’s wife did have a month long affair but it seemed everyone blamed Billy’s wife not Elvis, although Billy was very hurt by it.
That seems to be the reaction with everyone, including fans especially fans, in regards to Elvis’ affairs. It got me thinking about all the Priscilla haters out there, and even Billy mentioned it in his book. Why is it that Priscilla ‘betrayed’ Elvis by having an affair and left him? Why is Priscilla vilified for this when Elvis had many affairs? Double standard much? And why was it alright for Linda to leave Elvis (and Anita and June for that matter) yet Priscilla is hated for leaving?
I found it interesting Billy wrote how strict and religious his mother Dee was and how they couldn’t do anything unless it was sanctioned by the church yet Dee cheated on her husband and divorced him. I doubt that was sanctioned by the church.
There were two things Billy wrote about I had never heard before. First, I did not know Elvis was offered the part of Jethro in The Beverly Hillbillies. Second, I did not know the Beatles tried to visit Elvis at Graceland but he wasn’t there – this was before they actually did meet in LA. Did these things actually happen? Again, grain of salt.
Although I have pointed out some of the negative aspects, I do recommend this book. It was a very interesting read by Elvis’ oldest step brother. I will be reading Ricky’s book soon.