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Cyber Club  

  Newsletter 53



August 2008



In this issue

2009 is Elvisly Yours year!   New Product Designs   Maureen's Day 4  Bill Burk Tribute  
Larry Geller's New Book    Barbara Leigh Audio Book    Brief News Items   Memory Lane  

AUGUST 16th FREE Elvis Street Party
Elvisly Yours Shop 12 noon until 3pm

Get your friends to join the Elvisly Yours Cyber Club. Please forward this Newsletter to family and friends

2009 finally sees Elvisly Yours lift-off !!

Elvis Bronze Statue
Elvisly Yours Statue
at Capital Radio
Sid and Putin
Sid and Vladimir Putin at opening of Russian Supermarket

Elvisly Yours started as a company in April 1978 when I first commissioned Jon Douglas to make a bust of Elvis that we still sell today, then many more Elvis lines followed. After getting a large order from a German company in early 1979 Elvisly Yours rapidly expanded. The first Elvisly Yours poster magazine was published in August 1980 followed by the first magazine in October 1980. Business boomed and I commissioned Jon to make a life-size statue of Elvis, unveiled by Charlie Hodge in September 1981. Originally it was to be donated to a London museum but no museum wanted our Elvis. Instead we found a home and large store in Shoreditch. Business continued to grow and peaked in 1988 when we were supplying many of the major mail order catalogues and had trade customers worldwide.
Always looking for fun ideas to promote Elvis, in 1989 I found the biggest rock 'n' roll fan in the Soviet Union and took him to visit Graceland. The promotion was a huge success and became a worldwide story. However, the visit to Russia was a catalyst for many years of problems. On visiting Russia I found amazing business opportunities and in 1992 I opened the first Western supermarket in Russia. As soon as the Supermarket had been opened (by Vladimir Putin) my Russian partner immediately wanted to break the partnership and take 30% of the stock, and equipment valued at $250,000.00. He had not spent a penny on the stock or the business and was just renting shop space. When we refused to break the partnership he persuaded Russian Police to surround the building one night with machine guns as I was returning to St Petersburg from London as he broke into the premises. He stole everything and when we approached the Police Chief and City Council they said it was a dispute that had to settled by the Courts. After five months I persuaded the Russian State Prosecutor to investigate the crime and within days we had our stock and equipment back. But it was out of date, some damaged and we never recovered or found another location for the shop. The problems in Russia caused the the liquidation of two companies and business was a struggle for many years after.

I had sued EPE in the UK Courts over their trade marks in 1991. They delayed the case for years but finally I got justice in the UK High Court in 1997 but EPE appealed. In March 1999 the UK Court of Appeals ruled in my favour against EPE and I cancelled their trade marks in the UK. I had a green light to finally expand Elvisly Yours. First, I had to sell my property in Shoreditch and buy a home for me and Maureen. It took over 7 months to sell the commercial property but we finally settled into our home in November 1999. Maureen became ill and was then diagnosed with breast cancer in March 2000. I had to neglect the Elvisly Yours business to care for Maureen for the next seven years. Sadly, she died in March 2007 just five nights after being told cancer had returned with a vengeance through her body, having been declared cancer free in June 2005. Britain has the worst cancer survival rates in Europe because the NHS just do not bother to test you after you have been declared free of cancer.

For the rest of 2007 I did very little, grieving over the loss of Maureen, but I then met an established Licensing expert, Andrew Maconie. His company 'Licensing Management International' now represents Elvisly Yours all over the world, outside North America. We are now signing up new Licensees on a regular basis who will launch a massive new range of Elvisly Yours products at the Spring Fair in February 2009. But, some products will be available from October 2008. You will be seeing Elvisly Yours products all over the country in High Street stores, supermarkets, chain stores, on TV shopping channels and in the large Mail Order Catalogues. As more of our Elvis products come to market this will encourage more manufacturers to take up Elvis licenses from Elvisly Yours instead of EPE...Elvisly Yours finally sees lift-off in 2009.

It is my life's greatest regret that after all the years of grief EPE had put us through Maureen will not be with me to share in the financial success of Elvisly Yours. I could handle the stress and strain, but sadly, Maureen could not. I believe stress is one of the prime causes of cancer.

Some of the fabulous designs for new Elvisly Yours products in 2008/9

Over the next six months a massive range of new Elvisly Yours licensed products will be available not only from Elvisly Yours online or at our shop at 233 Baker Street, London NW1 but in many major UK High Street stores, supermarkets, TV shopping channels, major retail websites and mail order catalogues. Here are just some of the new Elvis products you will see: dinner sets, tea sets, teapots, kitchen gloves, aprons, tea towels, boxed mugs, boxed mug sets., cookie and storage jars, metal coaster sets, plant pots, handbags, purses, new t-shirts, jigsaws, duvets, pillowcases, curtains, fleecy blankets, towels, beanbags and cushions. There are ongoing negotiations to license party goods such as paper plates, paper cups, napkins, confetti, paper table cloths. Also, there may be Elvis canvas prints of different sizes, plus life size and bigger sheets of Elvis photographs to cover a whole wall. For each product there will be different designs, e.g. eight Elvis t-shirts, six Elvis mugs each with its own individual box.

Mug box
Fabulous mug box by Pop Art Products Ltd with other designs of mug on right side of the box
Mug collage
Elvis collage design that is a wraps around the mug by Pop Art Products Ltd
Elvis the king mug
Elvis the King coffee mug by Pop Art Products Ltd
Elvis duvet

Elvis pillowcase
Elvis duvet/pillowcases by Zap October 2008
Elvis 50s duvet/pillowcases by Zap in 2009

'Maureen's Day 4', more fund-raising and you should always fight for what is right !

On August 16th we will have another free Elvis Street Party with live music outside the Elvisly Yours shop at 233 Baker Street, London NW1 (tel 0208-486-2005). Elvisly Yours will be celebrating the 40th Anniversary the "Elvis '68 Comeback Special". The "Geordie Elvis", Elvis Shmelvis and other ETAs will give their time for FREE raising money for 'Lynda Jackson Macmillan Centre' and this will now become 'Maureen's Day 4'...a series of fund-raising Events in memory of Maureen.

AUGUST 16th FREE Elvis Street Party
Elvisly Yours Shop 12 noon until 4pm
233 Baker Street, London NW1

Elvis tribute acts New york times
London Times: Gary King, Geordie Elvis,
Barry Tone, Elvis Shmelvis
New York Times outside Elvisly Yours:
Sicilian & Geordie Elvises
Put on you blue suede shoes and come on down to 233 Baker Street, London NW1 to commemorate Elvis' passing and the 40th Anniversary of the '68 Comeback. The Elvises will be suitably dressed in their Elvis Comeback leathers. Do tell all your family and friends to come along because this year the Anniversary is on a Saturday. We are just 100 yards north of Baker Street Station (see map below) and don't forget to be generous with your donation to LJMC.

Always fight for what is right !!

When Maureen died I decided to have a cremation as her mother and father were both cremated. I wanted to put Maureen's ashes with her father's ashes at Kensal Green Cemetery close to where she grew up and taught for 28 years at Harlesden Primary School. I filled out a form with the undertaker asking for the Crematorium to keep the ashes until I made plans for them. After some weeks I got an advertising brochure from the cemetery listing their charges. There was no letter of condolence just a cold leaflet. I waited some weeks and then went to the Cemetery offices. I gave them my name, details about Maureen's funeral and asked about the ashes of her father. Apparently, his were just scattered in no particular location. I said I wanted a rose bush and plaque in Maureen's memory and was told to see the Crematoriun offices, the other side of the cemetery. There followed a series of changes of personnel and I ended up speaking to five different people over the next six months.

I received a letter asking about the ashes in July and made immediate contact with their offices and drew up designs for the plaque and waited for a quote. Finally the fifth member of staff I had contact with arranged to make the plaque and ordered the rose bush. On December 17th I invited close family and friends to a ceremony to inter Maureen's ashes by the rosebush and plaque, but leave a small phial of the ashes to keep. At Kensal Green crematorium you have to rent the rosebush for five years, it costs over £200.00 ($400.00) and then you have to rent it again after five years. A few days before the ceremony I get a phone call from the manager of the Cemetery telling me they did not have the ashes, they had already been scattered without my permission. I was very upset and angry but there was nothing I could immediately do and went ahead with the ceremony and instead of Maureen's ashes I placed in the earth by the rosebush little keepsakes of Maureen, strands of hair, toothbrush, her favourite perfume.

I wrote to the Cemetery Directors and threatened to sue them unless they paid £1,175.00 to LJMC, this sum was needed to make up £5,000.00 to name 'Maureen's Room' at LJMC. They offered a derisory £250.00 and blamed me because I did not reply to their letters about the ashes. I did not reply because I went to meet their staff instead but no one bothered to take notes of my requests until the fifth member found a scrap of paper with my name on it and phoned me. The weeks went by with no developments, except I reduced my demand to just £575.00 because of extra funds coming in to the Appeal. I sued them on March 14th 2008 and they defended the action. After three months of letters and emails they have now decided to settle out of Court. They will pay £1,175.00 to LJMC, £450.00 to me for my costs and the rosebush will be rent free for 20 years. Always fight for what is right, stand up and be counted and if you have a loved one cremated make sure they follow your instructions and not just scatter the ashes without care or thought. So I have decided to try and raise another £5,000.00 for 'Lynda Jackson Macmillan Centre' starting with Kensal Green Cemetery's cheque for £1,175.00.
Lynda Jackson Macmillan Centre
Donate online/or send cheque in Maureen's memory
Rose One lovely ending for this initially sad story is not only have I raised much more money for LJMC through perseverance and fighting for what is right but I found a few weeks ago on Maureen's rose bush there were three of the largest, most beautiful red roses I have ever seen. They were five inches across and three inches deep. I cut one rose to take home, it lasted splendidly for one week and I kept the dried petals. Rose
Images of Maureen's beautiful roses at the garden of rememberance and in my home

Bill Burk Tribute for Elvis Week 2008
Bill Burk
Bill Burk

I received this letter from Mary Hinds and please support her and Nancie Craft in their tribute to Bill Burk at Marlowe's in Memphis, details below:

Dear Sid,

What a lovely, touching memorial to Bill! I wept as I read your words about him and about your beloved Maureen. My heart goes out to you and to Connie.
Nancie Craft and I have organized a memorial event for Bill to be held during Elvis Week, at the same time and locale as he had planned for his annual Elvis World luncheon. If possible, could you please spread the word to your readers so they may come and honor our dear Bill? Connie will be there, of course, along with Bill's children and grandchildren. I went to Memphis for the funeral. Everyone was in shock. But the service was touching and we all felt his presence. Thank you so, so much. What follows is the announcement and pertinent information.

Mary Hinds

Please join us to celebrate the life of our dear friend Bill Burk on Sunday, August 10, 1 to 3 pm, at Marlowe's. Lunch will be served. All of Bill's friends - the fans and the famous - have been invited to come to remember Bill and share memories. An open mic will be available for comments, stories, songs, poems, photos ... whatever you would like to do. There will also be a special presentation to Bill's family. Everyone in attendance will receive a special memento.

Reservations are a must. Tickets are $15 and include your lunch and beverage. Please send your check - made out to Nancie Craft - to her at

6607 Cindy Lane, Houston, Texas, 77088.

(Part of the ticket includes a donation in Bill's name to St. Jude's.)

Larry Geller’s latest Elvis Book
Elvis Book Cover
The story Elvis
wanted Larry to tell
I had promised Larry Geller I would review his book “Leaves of Elvis’ Garden” after he kindly sent me a signed copy. I must apologise to Larry for not including the review in my last Newsletter.

I have known Larry since 1983 when I invited him to come to England for an Elvis Convention for the Elvisly Yours Fan Club. Of all the Elvis guests I had invited over the years Larry was the most interesting speaker and it was always fascinating to hear all his Elvis stories. He was very close to Elvis not only as a friend, but also spiritually. He was Elvis’ spiritual advisor. They spent hundreds, if not thousands of hours, discussing spiritual matters with Elvis.

I had read and very much enjoyed Larry’s book earlier book “If I Can Dream” and was even given a proof copy that I take pride of in my Elvis collection. The book had an unusual title and brought back memories of Peter Seller’s last film “Being There” where Sellers related everything in life to gardening. Of course, Elvis was a huge fan of Peter Sellers and I never asked Larry but wonder whether the Sellers film had any bearing on the title.

I wrote to Larry to ask him if he wanted to write anything for the fans who read my Newsletter and his response was :

Sales of my new book are doing extremely well, picking up steam from word of mouth. Every day I receive emails from all over the world, as fans tell me they feel this is the closest possible look into the heart and soul of Elvis. Many of them have written that they have been inspired to reconnect with their own spiritual search. You can see a small sample of the Readers' Praise on my web page, www.larrygellerauthor.com - which is also where they can order the book signed by me. By the way, if you want a picture of the book cover or of me, they're both on the Media page of my site in 300dpi. The Introduction and first chapter of the book are also there.

You asked if I had any comments I would like to share with your readers about Leaves of Elvis’ Garden.
This book is the full, true and mesmerizing story of a deeply spiritual man who spent untold hours poring over metaphysical literature and practicing soul-searching meditation and prayer in an attempt to find the true meaning and purpose of his life and to converse with God. In the book, I share ideas and passages from Elvis’ favorite teachings, private conversations between Elvis and me, and even pages of his favorite books notated and underlined by him.
Now, for the first time, the reasons behind Elvis' many legendary gifts and devotional songs can be understood. It becomes clear, too, why his legend and the devotion of his millions of fans worldwide grows and deepens with the passage of time.
Not until now have we had the chance to know him as he would have wanted us to. Elvis charged me with this responsibility, empowering me and inspiring me to write this book. ‘The world knows Elvis Presley all right, but they don’t know me. I want them to know me, the real person. Larry, I’m counting on you.’
Sid, I hope this helps - anything else you need, please let me know.


Larry in New York launching
Reese's Elvis Candies in 2007
I finally read Larry’s book on a flight to Florida in February when we had a family get-together, as two of my sisters have apartments for the winter in Delray Beach, Florida.

It is one of those books that you cannot put down but it raised so many questions in my mind. It is not a book about Elvis’ life but about his spiritual journey together with Larry to try to understand why Elvis was chosen to be “Elvis Presley”. Why did Elvis have this God-given gift to be the world’s greatest entertainer and now his musical legacy has become immortal? Elvis always asked and wondered…why me? On his gravestone Vernon Presley wrote Elvis had a gift from God and Leaves of Elvis’ Garden tries to explain this fact.

At the end of the book I wanted to know so much more about Larry as well as Elvis. But as Larry wrote to me it was the “Leaves of Elvis’ Garden” and not his garden so the book centred on what really mattered to Elvis on his spiritual journey. It is a must read book for any Elvis fan because it gets behind the megastar phenomenon that was Elvis Presley and explains what really motivated Elvis. If you want to understand what made Elvis tick then you must read Larry’s book. Elvis is like a giant 3-d jigsaw; there are so many conflicting stories, so many myths, so many half-truths, so many untruths. Larry’s book tries and succeeds in showing the true Elvis Presley. It is a wonderful book, written in an endearing style, highly readable and offers a fascinating insight into the real Elvis unlike any other book. A lot of Elvis’ books written by friends and associates are often a ego trip and dwell on how wonderful that person was to Elvis and concentrates more on the individual rather than Elvis. This book is all about Elvis. I wanted to know more about Larry’s relationship with Elvis, why he left a wonderful hairdressing business to go on the road with Elvis, how he coped with the hatefulness of the other guys who saw Larry being too close to Elvis, how he felt when he was discarded and not even invited to Elvis wedding? This book does not give these answers, you must look in Larry’s book “If I Can Dream” and his next book that I hopes ties together all aspects of the amazing relationship Elvis Presley had with Larry Geller.

Just click on Larry’s website www.larrygellerauthor.com and order a signed copy of his book today


NEW ELVIS in the MOVIES t-shirt  

Elvis in Movies

Elvis in the movies T-Shirt
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Bill Burk's
Humes Years 


The Sun Years

Raised on Elvis!
Elvis! Elvis!
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    Elvis 2009     calendar

Elvis calendar 2009
Click picture to see the back

2009 Elvisly Yours calendar £7.95
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New T-Shirt
Love me Tender  
Love me tender

Love Me Tender T-Shirt
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Barbara Leigh's New
Audio Book...

“The King, McQueen and the Love Machine”
Barbara Leigh
Barbara Leigh

If you have not ordered Barbara Leigh's superb audio book do so TODAY. It is fascinating to listen to Barbara tell her intimate story, well supported by actor friends playing roles of Elvis, McQueen and Aubrey. It is a unique collectable that gives another insight into the very personal side of Elvis. The audio book is reasonably priced at $25.00 for 3 CDs with a signed photo. Mailing $5.00 US, $10.00 overseas. Everyone who has heard Barbara's audio book has loved it. It is a unique dramatization of a unique period in her life as if Barbara is personally telling the story just to you and you are listening in on her conversations with Elvis, McQueen, Aubrey and others. BUY IT TODAY !!!


You can order this audio book of Barbara Leigh from eBay and Amazon.com or why not directly from Barbara with perhaps some additional signed photographs.

Read the Press Release  

and read the Playboy Review:   www.playboy.com/blog/2008/05/sex-and-the-seventies.html.

If you have any questions email Barbara Leigh: baralee16@ca.rr.com

ITV Play for Christmas...'Caught in a Trap'
In September I am going to be invited to a special screening of "Caught in a Trap" and I can't wait. This ITV play is all about Elvis with 20 or more of Elvis' songs used in the production. It tells the story of a fanatical Elvis fan played by Connie Fisher, Maria of "Sound of Music" fame. She has a boring job working for a local council counting coins from parking meters. However, she devises a way to steal coins and this starts an obsession collecting Elvis memorabilia and records that she hides in the loft of her home. She eventually gets caught having stole hundreds of £thousands in coins and goes to prison.

Ian Coulson (Geordie Elvis) and I were at the film studios in Chertsey on the set of the production. We saw the actual end scene of the play which is quite touching and a very appropriate Elvis song ends the play. There is a cute scene where the Elvis fan appears on a quiz show hosted by Nicholas Parsons and asks an Elvis question that she, naturally, gets right.

There has never been a play on TV that has featured so many Elvis songs and I am delighted to say many of the memorabilia items used in the production were supplied by Elvisly Yours. The play will be screened close to Christmas and soon after there will be a DVD of the play that will be mass-marketed. We will keep you informed of the date the play is screened and the DVD launched. You are going to love this Elvis-themed play.

World's Best Elvis Playing Cards

Front and back of the new 
Elvis card pack

Elvis playing cards £9.95 for 2 packs, £5.95 for 1 pack
 p&p £1.00 p&p, £2.00 Eu, £3.00 world
1 pack -
2 packs -

RCA Calendar card

Order two packs of playing cards now and receive this special RCA 1979 calendar that was released in Tupelo. Elvisly Yours bought all the remaining stock in 1983 and has never offered it for sale to our customers.

Brief News items

Asian Elvis Extravaganza at Edinburgh Festival

I had the pleasure of meeting SAL, an Asian Elvis, at Mrs Shmelvis' birthday party, Sue Dias. As usual the Shmelvis family put on a great party with lots of food and lots of great live music. Martyn had performed up to 2am the night before, then had a headlining gig in the park in St. Albans at 4pm and then had the party at 6.30pm. He is the equivalent of the "Duracell Elvis" and just keeps on going and going. No problem with the neighbours over the loud, amplified sound because they are all guests of Sue and Martyn Dias. Sal sang some Elvis songs and a few ballads. He also does tributes to Billy Fury, Ricky Nelson, Buddy Holly etc. He has a good voice and excellent stage presence. Check out Sal's website: www.sallikeelvis.co.uk. Sal told me he will be at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, part of the "Asian Invasion" or rather the "InvAsian Festival". Sal will be performing an Elvis Tribute every night throughout the Festival.

Sal said the Chinese Elvis, Paul Hyu will also be performing. You would have seen Paul on AOL TV commercials and on Billboards and he won the 'Elvis Weakest Link' show recently. Paul is sponsored by a Chinese beer company. Click: www.edfringe.com/shows/detail.php?action=shows&id=684 to see details of Paul's shows that will be held each evening at the Quincentenary Hall, the Royal College of Surgeons.


Castletroy Park Hotel, Limerick

August 16th 2008

This Irish Elvis Convention is organised by Michael Richardson of the old, famous Pirate Radio Station, Big L Limerick www.bigl-limerick.ie. This Elvis Convention is for charity and all proceeds are for Muscular Dystrophy Ireland. For further information and tickets contact Michael by email: Jagsecurity@diginet.ie or phone 061-372129.

ELVIS SHOP at the Convention stocked with Elvisly Yours memorabilia

Tickets: Family Daytime tickets only €8 and evening disco tickets only €5



Another Elvis Radio Show

I get 10,000 Elvis related emails a year and Elvisly Yours tries to help everyone and I respond to all emails. I am sometimes up at 3.30am in the morning catching up with my emails. I received this email from a big Elvis fan that runs his own Elvis Radio show:

Hi Sid ,

I host an internet based radio program each Friday and Saturday evening from UK . On Friday 15th August I will be hosting a 24 hour Elvis show starting at 7pm and continuing until 7pm on 16th August. Would it be at all possible Elvisly Yours could donate a prize or prizes for a free draw?

Yours hopefully

Dave Wyatt

Elvisly Yours will be supplying prizes for his show

“Miss You in Memphis”
As I have mentioned, I get all sorts of interesting emails and phone calls at Elvisly Yours and recently I got an email from a Kent Mcneel of Nashville then a phone call. Kent had looked at my website and loved what Elvisly Yours does and that we beat EPE in the UK Courts and made Elvis Presley public domain here.

He had written a song called “Miss You in Memphis” and wanted me to help promote the song to Elvis fans around the world to sell over the Internet as downloads. I asked to hear the song and he sent me the original version. It is a beautiful ballad that is probably the best ever tribute song to Elvis. But nowhere in the song is Elvis’ name mentioned for fear of EPE causing legal problems. A song all about Elvis but because EPE have a monopoly Kent feels Elvis’ name cannot be mentioned. Kent is making arrangements to launch a special website to download this wonderful Elvis tribute. He will donate part of the proceeds to a US charity and for any downloads via Elvisly Yours all proceeds will go to the “Lynda Jackson Macmillan Centre” in memory of Maureen, more details soon in the next Newsletter.

Eddie Poole

Eddie Poole
Eddie Poole, Jo and Billy Smith in
Memphis hotel visiting Elvis fans
on our Tour 1986
In a previous Newsletter I had mentioned Eddie Poole, an old friend from Memphis and I wondered what happened to him. Sadly, I got the news last week from his wife Lorene that Eddie died September 23rd 2006. Eddie was one of the good guys and had run an Elvis fan club for many years in the early days and had great stories to tell. He would come with Billy and Jo Smith to visit the Elvisly Yours fan club tour at our Memphis hotel.

Whereas, a large number of Elvis' friends and fans cut off contact with me after I was sued by EPE in America Eddie was supportive and I was very appreciative. I did not know but Lorene told me he went back to the Church and was a minister with his own church. Lorene told me over 1,000 people contacted her or went to the funeral when he died, he was loved so much. Apparently, he lost touch with the Elvis World when he became a preacher. I will write more in my next Newsletter with new photos and my deepest sympathy to Lorene and other members of Eddie's family

Last Remaining stock of Bill Burk’s Trilogy of books:
Tupelo, Humes and Sun Years
  The Tupelo Years The Humes Years      The Sun Years    Elvis in Canada
Tupelo Years
Humes Years
Sun Years
Elvis in Canada
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Ov £5.00

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Elvis the King' t-shirt
(p&p £1.50)

Elvis book
''Elvis A King Forever'
(p&p £2.50)

Elvis Tapestry 50's
Elvis Tapestry 70's
Elvis Tapestry 50's
Elvis Tapestry
Elvis Tapestry £16.95
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Elvis Tapestry £16.95
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Elvis sunglasses GOLD

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Rare Elvis
Rare Elvis Cover


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New Magnets
£7.95 for 3 metal magnets
p&p £1.25 UK £2.00 Eu £2.50 Overseas
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ELVISLY YOURS Competition Winner

The winner of the Elvisly Yours monthly draw is Steven Trebillcock, Newbiggin by Sea, England

He receives the Elvisly Yours 2009 calendar.

Remember, each month a member of the Elvisly Yours Cyber Club will be drawn at random to win an Elvis prize. Get your family and friends to join our FREE Elvis Presley Club. 

They can simply join ONLINE at www.elvisly-yours.com 

Fantastic, new Elvisly Yours Watches
Gift box
Ladies Diamante Watch
Ladies Pink
Aloha Watch
Gift Box
Ladies Diamante Watch
(with Blue Suede strap)
(p&p UK £2.95, Eu £4.95, Ov £6.95)
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Ladies Pink engraved watch
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Gents Aloha watch
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Talking Clock
Retro Clock
Elvis Talking Clock
£24.95 (p&p UK £4.95, Eu £6.95, Ov £11.95)
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Retro Alarm Clock
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Bill, Elvis and friends
Bill centre next to Beth Pease at Elvisly Yours party Memphis1982
Bill, Donny and Sid
Bill, Donny Pease and Sid
at Beth Pease's house

More Bill Burk Memories

Over the years I went to Memphis I always found Beth Pease to be the most hospitable person. Beth worked for Grayline Tours and in 1981 gave me the grand tour to try and get Elvisly Yours business. We soon became friends and I was always invited to her home for dinner. Bill Burk would also be invited and we shared many happy hours at the Pease house, that is, after I could find it on my first visit. My instructions were to go south on Elvis Presley Blvd to Horn Lake and then take a right at the "Package Store". I get to Horn Lake and then drive up and down looking for a shop called "Package". There were no mobiles in those days so after20 minutes getting lost I found a callbox and phoned Beth to get instructions. Bill and Beth explained to me the meaning of the word "package" , nothing like the Queen's English. Apparently, it is a liquor store and the reason they are called "package stores" is because it is illegal to show the label and drink in the street so people put them in a brown package, then drink from the covered bottle. I recently had a cousin and her daughter over from Winnipeg, Canada where it is also illegal to drink in the street. They took photos of people in London drinking outside pubs to show their friends back home.

Bill Burk knew everyone in Memphis. I asked his advice on many things, even staffing when I opened the Elvisly Yours warehouse in Memphis. In 1982 we shipped four ton of Elvisly Yours British made souvenirs to Memphis so that I could supply all the independent Elvis stores opposite Graceland, as well as Graceland. I need someone to help me unload the large consignment and I rented space at a warehouse owned by Les Tubbs. Les owned the large store "Souvenirs of Elvis" and represented the landlords of the Graceland shopping mall to collect rent from all the other tenants.

Bill had recommended a young black boy whose name eludes me, said he was honest, hard-working and reliable and Bill was right. I could trust this boy to also handle trade customers. I told him not to supply anyone without payment but forget to tell him to supply Les as he was my biggest and best customer and had rent me the space. Les was something like a 19th century plantation owner in his manner. When he came by to pick up some stock for his Elvis store my young employee refused to supply him. Here was a 17 year old black boy refusing to supply an old school, white, powerful businessman. Apparently, all hell broke loose and it took me a long while to calm Les down but the boy was just doing his job and it was my fault. The boy worked for me before and during Elvis Week and I was very grateful for his help and thanked Bill for his recommendation.

First Soviet Citizen to get a US Visa to visit Graceland

Johnny, Randall, Sid, Kolya and Lord Sutch
Johnny Earle, DJ Randall Lee Rose,
Sid, Kolya and Lord Sutch
Kolya and Sid
Kolya hugs Elvis in Shoreditch,
note flowers & cards
Harold, Kolya and Sid
Elvis' cousin the late
Harold Lloyd, Kolya and Sid
Kolya by Elvis statue
Kolya at Beale Street by Elvis
statue wearing Elvisly Yours jacket
'Arrested' by police in Tupelo
'Arrested' by police in Tupelo
who escorted our Tour buses

In 1989 I found the biggest rock 'n' roll fan in the Soviet Union, Kolya Vasin, and took him with the Elvisly Yours fan club to visit Graceland. Each year we had raised money to take a handicapped fan to Graceland. After Aunt Lorraine died I wanted to honour her memory and extend our Appeal in her name and make it international. I worked with a Memphis Elvis club run by Julie Banhart to raise money. Sadly, Billy Smith refused us permission to use his mother Loraine's name for the Appeal.

I went with Maureen to Russia in June 1989 to meet Kolya and we had the most amazing time meeting famous rock stars in Russia and a rock concert was given in our honour. In October Kolya came to London for a few days and we took him to visit Liverpool because he was a huge Beatles fan, as well. Then it was off to Memphis via Boston where we changed planes. At Boston airport we were met by Jay Gordon a DJ with an Elvis Show, an Associated Press reporter, the Boston Globe and several photographers. On arrival at Memphis there were two TV crews and the local paper and we made the evening news and a whole page in the Commercial Appeal paper next day but Elvisly Yours was not mentioned anywhere in the article or my name, such is the power of EPE.

Then, the media frenzy started. At 5.30am I got a telephone call from a radio station in Phoenix, Arizona asking to speak to the Soviet Elvis fan. I asked him how he got the information we were even in America. He told me we were the No.1 Associated Press story in the world and the news was all over worldwide wire services, the first Soviet citizen to get a visa to visit Graceland. I was besieged by the media for the next week. What was wonderful was the media were phoning Graceland who could say or do nothing because they were in litigation with me. They had to refer all media calls to me and did not know when we were due to visit Graceland. I also had 120 other Elvis fans to look after on the Tour so my hands were full and Maureen did not come because she did not like Kolya.

We visited Graceland at 11am and were greeted by the world's media. There were five TV crews following Kolya's every step with his long bushy beard and wearing blue suede shoes and an Elvisly yours jacket. There was a whole page photo in the paper of Kolya kneeling at Gladys' Cross from the back and him wearing our Elvis jacket with "Elvisly Yours" emblazoned across it. Again the paper did not mention me or Elvisly Yours, as if Kolya appeared like magic. Every day there were more and more interviews and Kolya became a "Star". Everywhere we went people honked their horns and waved, asked for autographs, bought us vodka in night clubs; it was unreal, surrealistic. Of course, I had to pay to get Kolya into Graceland and also a handicapped boy and family. Graceland should have immediately dropped their lawsuit against and paid me a substantial fee for the $millions of free publicity I got them through the simple idea of taking a Soviet Elvis fan to visit Graceland. After the media found out we had to pay to get into Graceland EPE gave some free tickets for another visit. The previous year with the UK TV Show "Surprise, Surprise" I was assaulted at Graceland by a security guard on the instructions of Todd Morgan. NBC were filming for the programme and in one shot behind the house I was in the line of film and the guard just pushed me over. Morgan screamed "there is a lawsuit going on and we don't want you in the film". I could have sued but I did not want to spoil a nice story. Again I had to pay for two handicapped boys and their family to get into Graceland.

I turned down the David Letterman Show and Good Morning America to interview Kolya because I still was responsible for the 120 other Elvis fans and could not just leave them and fly to New York. Then the publicity suddenly died because of the San Francisco earthquake. The publicity started again when we went to Las Vegas and were on TV several times and in the papers.

Kolya Vasin arrived in England with two shirts, two pairs of trousers, two socks and some Elvisly Yours t-shirts and his Elvisly Yours jacket. He left America with over 100kgs in luggage including 30 t-shirts, 50 albums, video cassettes and gifts that people had given him. You can imagine it was a very exhausting trip for me and whenever I get back from America I go to bed for a few hours. When I got back to London there was problems with Kolya's visa which did not allow for double entry to Britain even though he was leaving next day for Leningrad. I could not even say goodbye to all the other fans.

Kolya decided he must get a video player and demanded I take him to a shop to buy one as soon as we arrived back home. I said I had to get some rest first. Apparently, when I went to bed for a few hours Kolya said to Maureen "f--k Sid, I will get the video myself". He then started to call his Soviet friends who lived in London but none of them would help him. Also, he only had £30.00 left from the £200.00 cash we had given Kolya to spend in America. That evening he invited his friends over to our apartment. Kolya had produced a most wonderful handmade book about the history of rock 'n' roll in the Soviet Union that he gave to me when he first arrived in London as a thank you for arranging the trip. The book was full of paintings and spectacular artwork, copies of records pressed onto x-ray film. It was truly a work of art and I was so pleased to own it. That evening Kolya asked if his friends could borrow the book. I never saw the book again. One of his friends was asked by Kolya to return it to me in Leningrad when she went home.

Maureen always saw through people and in Kolya Vasin she saw evil. I remember Beth Pease saying to Maureen "you can look into a person's soul". Maureen was very upset by Kolya's manner, ungratefulness and selfishness. He had the most wonderful time in his life yet even took back the art book he made for me. What a nasty individual. He broke a mirror in our house as well. If you are superstitious you know that means bad luck and there has been years of bad luck ever since I met Kolya Vasin. Of course, he did not have enough money to buy the second hand video player so muggins had to give him £50.00 more. When he got to London Airport they wanted to charge him £hundreds for excess baggage. I demanded to see the duty manager of BA. I told him this was the "Rock 'n' Roll" Ambassador for the Soviet Union, showed him all the press cuttings and they escorted him direct to the plane and did not charge a penny. I saw Kolya one more time. When I went to Leningrad I always took him lots of gifts - whisky, cans of food, Elvis and Beatles souvenirs and all Kolya could say was "where is my beer, why did you not bring beer?"

I never saw him again. If a reader plans a visit to St. Petersburg, Russia, let me know so I can try to get back the book he gave me.

includes a thesis by Sid Shaw, DisGraceland and 21 more papers by experts in the Elvis World   
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