Tuesday, May 31, 2005

THE KING, MCQUEEN AND THE LOVE MACHINE by Barbara Leigh and Marshall Terrill, (Xlibris)

We're talking the King (Elvis Presley), (Steve) McQueen and former president of MGM, Jim Aubrey (known as the Love Machine--among other nicknames.)

THE KING, MCQUEEN AND THE LOVE MACHINE is first and foremost a memoir, and secondly a "tell-all" tale of Hollywood exploits (maybe exploited isn't the right word.) Why wasn't the book published (as most tell-alls are) by a New York house? The book is 25 years out of date.

Too bad, too--because this is an interesting book (50+ pictures included!) of a time past, but shows not much has changed in Hollywood. Fans of yesteryear (especially those who were in their "prime" during the late 70's) will get a good jolt of entertainment here. Otherwise . . .

How many of you know who Jim Aubrey is?

There is an entire generation out there that has never seen a Steve McQueen movie (not even THE GREAT ESCAPE!)

Everyone knows Elvis, but seriously, even the King would admit he's played.

But most of all . . . who is Barbara Leigh? Well, she's Vampirella, of course!

It doesn't really matter who she is; she has a good story. And we get it all from the neglected upbringing to the courting (and sexual encounters) with Elvis, Steve and Jim, among others. The book is actually quite tender, and at times almost innocent:

"I was too shy to speak up, having little in common with these celebrities. I felt as if I was being watched. I couldn't quite explain it, but the feeling was there—a sixth sense, perhaps. Call it intuition, call it whatever. I call it luck."

The book was actually written by Marshall Terrill who has had biographies published on folks like Steve McQueen and Aaron Pryor (by traditional publishers, mind you) though the writing here isn't why you are reading. It's the story. It is simple and entertaining, and considering the material, you'll likely walk away smiling.