SANDI PICHON INTERVIEW APRIL 16 2005

 

My dear friend Sandi Pichon,Author and Fan Club President "TCB ELVIS STYLE" This book is highly recommended by me, and not because of my friendship with the author. This book is about her growing up in Memphis with a very famous singer living close by. She describes how she felt and the crowds reaction during the many concerts she attended. She also talks about visiting the Presley's when she was 12. Talking with Vernon and Gladys. Its incredible how close this young lady got. This book is like being there.  GET THIS BOOK. Its a keeper! Here is her email address. tell her Joey sent ya!

spichon1@bellsouth.net

 

 

Joe Krein:

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

         

 Sandi: I was born in Memphis but then we moved to a small town in the NW corner of TN near Reelfoot Lake; Tiptonville TN where my daddy was the Lake County Sheriff for 2 terms. I lived there until the 3rd grade when we moved to a farm Gleason TN, then back to Memphis in 1955.

 

:Were you always an Elvis fan?

 As soon as I heard the first Elvis song, I was hooked.

 

When did you first meet Elvis?

I first met him at his home on Audubon Drive in Oct. 1956

 

What are you doing now?

           

 I write for the Times Picayune newspaper and am promoting my first book, and working on a photo book.

   

 

What kind of person was Elvis?

Elvis was funny, witty, quick-tempered at times, loving, generous, humble, kind - I could go on and on.

 

Would you tell us your favorite Elvis story?

 There are so many Elvis stories; my favorite doesn't involve me, but it is about a poor black family Elvis read about in the Memphis paper at Christmas time. The lady had no legs and couldn't afford a wheelchair. He called all the guys in and they went out and bought a top-of-the-line electric wheelchair as well as other gifts. Then drove out to her little house, which was immaculate. When her husband called her to come in there, she was on a board with wheels, pulling herself along on the floor. She couldn't believe that Elvis Presley and his men were standing in her living room with a brand new electric wheelchair for her. Elvis explained to her that he didn't know how to operate it but a man would come out and explain it to her. There wasn't a dry eye among them when they left. Elvis told his guys "That's what having money is all about. Helping others." And that is what Elvis was about; doing for others. That's the way I would like people to remember him.

(note the above story is from SONNY WEST)

 

SANDI ,ME, CHARLES STONE

It was Dec, 1973, and my friend Joyce Biddie had gone to Memphis with the hopes of seeing Elvis. When we got to Graceland, his cousin Harold LLoyd was at the gate and told us Elvis was recording over at Stax. It had started to snow and was really cold. When we got there, I boldly walked up to the door,but it was locked. We could see Elvis' white Stutz with the mink seats in the parking lot, and the sound truck was playing songs he had recorded earlier in the week. We shivered in the cold for about 15 minutes when a security guard from Stax walked out. He had two cups in his hand and stopped beside Joyce's Thunderbird.  I rolled down the window and he handed in the cups containing hot chocolate and said ,"The man inside thought you might be cold." We thanked him and he walked back into Stax. THE MAN INSIDE??? We mused about that comment, gratefully drank the hot chocolate and continued to sit in the cold. A few minutes later, the guard came back. I was sure he was going to ask us to leave. Instead, he invited us inside with strict instructions : No cameras, no talking, no questions. NO PROBLEM!  I nearly knocked the poor guy down getting out of the car. (I have always been enthusiastic LOL). Elvis was wearing a burgundy corduroy shirt with a short cape, black pants and black boots. His hear was a little long and man did he look good! We heard him do "Lovin Arms" which is sone of my favorites. He was very much a perfectionist, changing keys, endings, starting over - and over - and over. His eye contact with Kathy Westmoreland brought about smiles, winks and obviously personal moments between just the two of them.  At 3 am we were asked to leave as Sonny went out to warm up the Stutz.  We thanked the guard profusely, as he is the only one who ever talked to us, and drove back to Howard Johnson's where we were staying. Imagine our surprise when we looked up a few minutes later to see Sonny and Elvis waking Kathy to her room. We waited in the hallway and he smiled and said "Don't you girls every sleep?" We laughed in reply saying "Not when you're around".   He asked how we liked what we heard tonight, so he knew we were in the studio. We thanked him for allowing us that privilege and then  asked him if he had time time to sign a picture for us. Naturally the pen woudn't write when he was signing mine. It skipped and so he asked for another pen and turned the picture over. I think he might have started to write "Sharon" instead of "Sandra" (I wasn't Sandi yet; Sonny changed my name the next year)because it looks like SH and then Sa - anyway I have this very unique photo, signed front and back. We thanked him again profusely and calmly walked away congratulating each other for once again not having made fools of ourselves. Now remember the hour and that he had been singing for hours. He must have been tired, but not too tired to be nice to two fans. And that is how he always was - kind, considerate, thoughtful. An entertainer, a man and a friend.

 After 28 years, how do you feel about the book you wrote?

I wrote my book because it was from a different perspective; not a close friend, not a lover, but a fan who was lucky enough, and trusted enough, to be admitted into the inner circle of the world's greatest entertainer. Certainly not to make any money, but to tell people what a wonderful man he was through my eyes.

Would you write it again?

Absolutely

Why or why not?

Because it shows those who were never able to see him what the magic of Elvis was like.

 

  After 28 years, why would you write a book now?

     

 How did you feel about the Colonel?

I respected and admired Col.

Would you tell us your favorite Colonel story?

 I don't really have a col story other than he would poke you with his cane and laugh.

 

 The fans on my site would like to know where were you and what you were

you and what were doing when you heard of Elvis' death?

I was working in my boutique in Metairie when a friend called who had heard it on the radio.

     

Looking back on Elvis' legacy, how do you see his impact on the world

today?

 He had a profound impact on the world, and not just in the revolution of music. He was the perfect American dream-come-true, his generosity was legend, his musical talent untouchable, his charm and charisma unequalled. His majestic presence made you feel in awe, and really he was just a country boy at heart. He will long be remembered as the world's greatest entertainer.