Another article came out today about the upcoming Elvis event. http://www.vcstar.com/news/local-news/conejo-valley/reyes-adobe-to-screen-love-me-tender_07473802
HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE! Special thanks to Brian Rooney for photos!
Nick would be 83 years old today and the stories keep coming. I want to thank those of you from all over the world who tune into my blog! Nick and Elvis thank you too! Thanks to Robert Dye Jr. for photo of Nick and Elvis on Audubon Drive.
My Dad was at the lowest part of his career while he was working in Japan on the Godzilla movies, yet everybody there loved him for his good humor and professionalism. Monster Zero and Frankenstein Conquers the World are now science fiction cult classics. I remember going to Japan as a little girl and have many fond memories. Yesterday I met Peter H. Brothers, author of “Mushroom Clouds and Mushroom Men” The fantastic cinema of Ishiro Honda, the great Japanese Godzilla creator. I learned that Ishiro Honda’s work was fueled by an anti-nuclear message due to the horrific bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Peter has great respect for my father’s work in Monster Zero and Frankenstein Conquers the World and reminded me that my father spoke English during filming, while all the other actors spoke Japanese. They don’t call it “acting” for nothing.
THIS IS HILARIOUS! Check out the trailer for FRANKENSTEIN CONQUERS THE WORLD! www
My Dad had amazing chemistry with actress Kumi Mizuno and (according to her) he called her up every night during filming and proposed marriage! Kumi refused his advances. She must have known that Nick fell for all his leading ladies.
Papa was a rolling stone…
Elvis met Nick Adams on the back lot of 20th Century Fox when he came to Hollywood to do his first movie Love Me Tender. Behind me are the Santa Monica Mountains on the 20th Century Fox Ranch where Elvis shot Love Me Tender in August of 1956. My Dad writes about Elvis’ filming experience in the book, as well as a trip to Catalina with director Robert Webb. It’s a hoot!
(photo by Brian Rooney)
and latest article on Allyson Adams http://conejovalley.happeningmag.com/?p=174934
Special thanks to Robert Dye Sr. and Terry Wood for photos!
The new, expanded edition of The Rebel & The King is in the works and coming soon on Amazon! 33 classic photos, introduction by historian Roy Turner and an amazing essay by bestselling author, Elaine Dundy, who wrote Elvis and Gladys.
The upcoming July 19 book signing and screening of Love Me Tender at the Agoura Historic Center have inspired me to share the stories that I have discovered since I first launched the book two years ago. I’ve mentioned before that this is my first Elvis rodeo and the fans and experts have schooled me well.
When I went to Elvis Week in 2012, I discovered photos of Nick and Elvis that I had never seen before. It was funny because I had seen some of these Elvis photos through the years, but my Dad had been cut out. People in Memphis remember Elvis carrying around a typewriter with my Dad that Homecoming week and when they asked him what he was doing, Elvis said, “We’re writing a book!”
Elvis wanted to set the record straight after a whole lot of slander from his critics. People forget how controversial Elvis was in his early career, and Nick and he were in cahoots to punch back. Here is an excerpt from The Rebel & The King by Nick Adams.
(From the chapter Don’t Be Cruel)
“While my blood is boiling I have one more thing I’d like to say regarding someone else who made a public statement about Elvis. Namely, Baptist preacher Robert Gray, whose picture appeared in Life magazine, August 27th of this year.
He said, and I quote, “Elvis Presley has achieved a new low in spiritual degeneracy. If he were offered his salvation tonight, he would probably say, “No thanks, I’m on top.” End of quote.
I could go on for hours regarding how I feel about your statement, Reverend, but I think I can sum it up (God willing) in a few paragraphs. And just so you don’t get the idea that I’m a non-believer I want you to know that I’m a Catholic and was educated in Catholic schools.
I don’t feel that one religion is better than another. I feel that faith, and God (which is salvation) is present in all our religions and churches whether they be Protestant, Jewish or Catholic.
But getting back to the statement you made about Elvis, I don’t think you had any right to slander someone you know nothing about. Especially when it’s detrimental not only to the individual, but to his family and friends as well. Even a Baptist preacher doesn’t know what Elvis Presley would say in such circumstance. How can you make a statement telling the entire world what Elvis Presley would say if he were offered his salvation? You’ve never even met Elvis!
I can tell you what he’d say Reverend, because I know him. I’ve lived with him and his family and I can safely say that salvation means more to him than selling records. He and his family believe in and love God, and were hurt very badly by the statement you so rashly made. If they didn’t have so strong a belief, they wouldn’t care what you said. But when Elvis read what you said about him, tears formed in his eyes and I think you hurt him worse than any other single statement made about him.
I think after you read this story you should make a public apology and hope that God is listening. While I’m on the subject, Reverend, how many young men in your congregation around the age of twenty-one do not drink or smoke, and how many love their mother and father so much that they work twenty hours a day, seven days a week, so that they can give their parents everything they’ve ever dreamed about?”
(End of excerpt)
I get a real dose of my father’s passion when I hear him defending Elvis. That’s my favorite thing about finding the manuscript. I get to hear firsthand what was happening right at the time. My father didn’t write this years later from memory. He was there in the moment. Many of the Elvis passages in the book are taken straight from recordings Nick and Elvis made. Roy Turner mentions in his introduction how the southern vernacular of the time is imbedded in the natural dialogue between Elvis and his homies.
Elaine Dundy’s magical essay about Elvis is a poetic portal into the Kings destiny.
During my trip to Memphis, I met a man who still had a teddy bear my Dad gave him when he was a little boy in ’56. And the memories continue…
Enjoy the ride.
Nick was treated like family by the Presley’s and enjoyed Gladys’ plentiful, southern home-cooking. Before cholesterol warnings and vegan doctrines, those two boys liked to chow down and Nick gives details.
(Excerpt from The Rebel and The King by Nick Adams)
The next morning Mrs. Presley came in and woke Elvis and myself and said, “Time for breakfast, son. You and Nick wash up and come on in and eat because I have everything just about ready. I’ve got eggs, ham, pork chops and bacon. Fried potatoes, and hot biscuits. Milk and coffee and sausage.” And Mrs. Presley went on and on and I never got ready so fast in the morning as I did that one.
After hearing that lineup of food, I couldn’t wait to finish showering and dressing. Elvis and I sat down to breakfast and it was the best breakfast I’ve ever had. I must have had about five helpings of everything and Mrs. Presley kept coming in from the kitchen with freshly cooked eggs and sausage and everything else.
In all my life I have never had such a wonderful and such a delicious breakfast. And Elvis kept saying, “Boy, there’s just no place like home.” And every time his mother would come in with something from the kitchen, Elvis would put his arms around her and kiss her on the cheek and say, “This sure is good Mamma.”
His mother makes the best southern cooking in the world and the greatest biscuits you ever tasted in your whole life.
I had never had a biscuit before going to Memphis, and for a long time I called them “those things.” Elvis’s mother and father got a big laugh whenever I would ask if there were any more of “those things” around. They’re a lovable, wonderful, sincere, honest people. I really love them and believe they love me too. Mrs. Presley really made me feel good when she said, “Nick, I wish I had another son just like you.” I know she meant it. She reminds me a great deal of my own mother.
Elvis with Catherine Adamshock
Daddy was a frequent visitor to Graceland, as well as to the earlier Presley home before the mansion was purchased in 1957. He brought my grandmother, Catherine Adamshock, there to meet Elvis’ parents. Grandma fixed Ukrainian dishes and hung laundry on a clothesline pictured in a casual family portrait with Gladys and Vernon Presley sitting in lawn chairs.
So much would happen so fast with Elvis’ meteoric celebrity and induction into the army, that the toll would weigh heavy on Gladys Presley. She would pass away in August of 1958. Daddy immediately flew to Memphis to be with his friend. Elvis was devastated by the death of his beloved mother, and Nick slept on the floor at Elvis’ bedside because the grieving star didn’t want to be alone.
That’s what friends are for.
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Stay tuned for more excerpts from The Rebel and The King!
Elvis Presley had just exploded on the American scene and was filming his first movie, Love Me Tender, when he introduced himself to Nick Adams on the backlot of 20th Century Fox. Nick was a struggling actor, part of the Rebel Without A Cause gang and showed Elvis the town, introducing him to Natalie Wood. Nick was famous for writing about his friends and now the POSTHUMOUS PUBLICATION of Nick Adams raw, unedited manuscript, The Rebel & The King, details his close friendship and whirlwind eight days in Memphis during the famous singer’s Tupelo Homecoming the summer of 56.
“This is one of the most honest, touching and truthful books I’ve read about Elvis. I had no idea the extent of Nick’s connection to Elvis’ family and hometown. We never hear much about his mother and father. Nick brings them to life. It’s fascinating stuff.”
Tom Brown, VP Turner Movie Classics, Original Programming
“Nobody knows Nick Adams better than me, and Nick was E.P.’s best friend in Hollywood.”
Robert Conrad, Emmy Winning Actor, National Radio Host
Nick Adams starred as Johnny Yuma in the western television series The Rebel in 1959-61 and was nominated for an Academy Award in 1964 for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Twilight of Honor with Richard Chamberlain and Joey Heatherton. Nick appeared in film classics as Rebel Without a Cause, Mister Roberts, Picnic, Pillow Talk and No Time for Sergeants, as well as Japanese Godzilla movies, Monster Zero, Frankenstein Meets the Outer Space Monster, and Boris Karloff’s horror movie, Die Monster Die. He died tragically of a mysterious overdose at 36.
Rebel’s never die. Nick Adams and Dennis Hopper at Warner Bros. 1956 hoping for that lucky break.