Merry Christmas Memphis Mafia and Family (by Jeff Schrembs)
by Jeff Schrembs
Memphis Mafia (circa 1974 Jeff Schrembs Collection)
Merry Christmas to every member of the Memphis Mafia (i.e. Joe Esposito, Jerry Schilling, Billy Smith, Lamar Fike, Red West, Sonny West, Marty Lacker, and Larry Geller, etc.) and to their families.
It is LONG past time that Elvis Fans Worldwide, including this one, acknowledges the role and sacrifices that the Memphis Mafia played in the life and accomplishments of Elvis Presley.
Regardless of the book, Elvis What Happened, the fact is that these men LOVED Elvis...and he loved them. They spent the majority of their (then) lives with Elvis and Elvis was not a "9-5″ job. Elvis required 24/7 "center of attention always" dedication and loyalty.
Furthermore the Memphis Mafia were not "highly paid" and they did not receive "fair compensation" when they left Elvis' employ. However, I believe that in time Elvis may have re-employed them and the healing would have begun. Perhaps they would not return to work for Elvis only "subjective" remains as we will never know.
A wise man once said "If you die and you leave behind 5 friends then you have lived a good life". Well, I know about 50 MILLION Elvis Fans and they would like nothing more than to be friends with the Memphis Mafia.
What we do know is that these grown men, capable of defending themselves physically, have REAL emotions about Elvis — his death — and their time with him. They have expressed sadness and, on many occasions, have "opened their hearts" telling the story of their life with Elvis. The wounds that these men carry with them have not healed and will never heal unless/until they know, monetarily and publicly, how much THEY mean to Elvis Fans Worldwide. I believe that time is "running out" and the time for praise, expression of thanks and acknowledgement is warranted.
So, let me say aloud THANK YOU for everything you did and for allowing us (the Elvis Fans) to share your memories and most of all for the things you have not shared. Where ever Elvis is, and I hope and pray that he is in Heaven with God and Gladys/Vernon/Dodger/Jesse/Charlie Hodge/etc., I believe that he knows how much you cared for him as well as his "shortcomings".
Happy New Year to all of the Memphis Mafia and to their loved ones.
May 2010 be the year that you achieve ALL of your personal, and professional, endeavors.
Take care and God bless.