If there is one thing that race fans understand, it's the culture of fanaticism. People are willing to stand outside in the freezing cold or the pouring rain to get a glimpse of their favorite driver, and hope to have them stop and sign their name, or possibly even shake their hand. The only other fans who are this devoted are fans of rock and roll music!
Throughout it's history, auto racing has attempted to align their destiny with professional music, including concerts and VIP guests in many of the events in one way or another. Since the time of the original "King," Elvis Presley, racing and music have attempted to inhabit the same space, with varying levels of success. Now, fans of racing and Elvis have a chance to go on a journey of "what if" and let their imaginations see what might happen if he was given a second chance at life.
In "Saving the King," Elvis Presley saves a young boy from a menacing stranger after a performance in 1956, setting up a chain of events that ultimately leads to a mystical encounter with an angel who sends Elvis on a journey that changes his destiny. The young boy grows up into a rich and powerful man who forces Elvis to confront the demons of his addictions. There are many threads to this story, such as the involvement of Johnny Cash to help orchestrate the plan while a down-and-out reporter investigates the mystery of Elvis' death, getting too close to the truth. As the tale unfolds, the reader will be pulled back to the days when the King of Rock ’n’ Roll held court upon his throne.
Written by George and Christine Gomez, the book takes a different look at the King from the eyes of a devoted fan. It evolved from the dreams of a young man who felt that listening to Elvis was as natural as drinking water, and his wife who has developed a love of Elvis Presley and an appreciation for his great musical talent and generous spirit.
Recently, the West Palm Beach Motorsports Examiner sat down with the authors to get a sense of where they came from, and how the book finally came to fruition.
1) If Elvis were alive today, who would be his favorite NASCAR driver?
George: I believe Danica Patrick would have stolen his heart. He loved strong, beautiful, smart, and fast women.
Christine: I'd have to agree with George on this one. Danica Patrick is the obvious choice.
2) Why did you decide to write this book?
George: The story was conceived right after Elvis' death when I began to fantasize about a different ending to this great man's life. He left us so young and so fast at the age of forty two when he died of a heart attack. I felt cheated, as did millions of other fans, when this great talent was no longer around. It left a huge void in our lives, and I wanted to bring closure to his short life.
Christine: It wasn't long after I met and married George seven years ago that he pulled me into his vision. His passion for this story and his love of Elvis were infectious. So when our publisher, Barbara Terry, approached us to write a book based on the concept, we decided it was time to bring Elvis back to life within the pages of a book.
3) What did you learn during your research that you didn't expect?
His charity, his giving to others, was much more than we ever imagined. He bought homes, cars, paid medical bills anonymously, and was even known to give perfect strangers the very shirt off his back.
4) What role did Johnny Cash play in Elvis' life?
In real life, Johnny and Elvis met each other during Elvis' early career and before Johnny had struck it big. They were both artists for Sun Records, and together with Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins, they would later be dubbed "the million dollar quartet" for a recording session they did together for the label. They all toured together briefly, and in his autobiography, Johnny remembered that Elvis had so many girls after him that whenever he was working with them, there were always plenty left over. He reminisced that they had a lot of fun together. In our book, "Saving the King," Johnny is instrumental in orchestrating a plan to help save Elvis' life. We wanted to play on their friendship that was started during those early years. In real life, though they grew apart in later years, there were reports that they dined together from time to time and maintained a fondness for one another.
5) How do you feel about the theory brought up in Men In Black, and espoused by some of his fans, that Elvis is an alien?
His voice was other-worldly, he had the looks of a god, and the way he shook things up down here was out of this world, so who are we to say...maybe he was.
"Saving the King" was released on March 3, and is available at your favorite bookseller. George & Christine are donating 5% of sales to the Elvis Presley Charitable Foundation. Be the fifth person to RT the following, and win your own copy of this new book.
"Follow @faborplumbs for the latest in racing news, travel, politics, and more, and be sure to read @savingtheking for a unique take on Elvis!"
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