The Ultimate Elvis In Munich Book

Author: Andreas Roth

Publisher: Andreas Roth

ISBN: 3-00-014671-7 (Hardback, 115 pp.)


This is a great looking book, well bound and using excellent quality of paper. Already from the cover illustrations, it is clear that this is something special, for these are not the run-of-the-mill photos we are normally served up with. The front cover is adorned with a beautiful, informal portrait of an apparently very relaxed Elvis, while the back cover shows a strangely wide-eyed Elvis (the significance of which is explained in the book's text). The large-format book presents its text in both German and English, using two columns per page, the left for German and the right for English. Strangely, although it is a book prepared and published in the EU, the English translation uses American English spelling and date formats instead of European (i.e. UK) English.

Author Andreas Roth has tried valiently to unearth the truth of what happened during these brief periods of Elvis's life, when Elvis was in the army in Germany and he took leave, during which times he visited Munich. True, Roth has to admit that there are simply too many conflicting reports to be able to be certain of everything, but he still succeeds in presenting the evidence, accompanied by some excellent photos (many previously unseen) in a highly readable book.

In spite of the many difficulties involved in trying to accurately reconstruct events of almost fifty years ago, the author of "The Ultimate Elvis In Munich Book" has unearthed some fascinating facts about what Elvis did and where he went during his visits to Munich and especially about the time he spent together with attractive starlet Vera Tschechowa and with the girls of the Moulin Rouge. Roth has also discovered that Elvis made a previously unknown visit to another night-club in the city and provides four pages of excellent photos from that visit, very few of which have been previously published and none previously placed in their correct context. A perhaps less successful section of the book involves an attempt to identify the location, possibly in Munich, of the photo studio in which a number of photos of Elvis, used for record sleeves (e.g. "Elvis Is Back") were taken. No real conclusion is reached. though the most likely candidate to date, Paulini of Munich, is eliminated.

As well as his own basic text, Roth provides transcripts of interviews he held with eyewitnesses to the events and contemporary press articles, from both German and English-language publications. The book is excellently illustrated with photographs, but also with very interesting newspaper cuttings, magazine covers and even previously unpublished publicity shots, most in black-and-white, but some in stunning colour.

In some ways, "The Ultimate Elvis In Munich Book" can be compared to "Private Elvis" (1978), by Diego Cortez, which is illustrated with many of the same photos, but whose text is poorer and more superficial, giving it a much "seedier" overall impression. To a large extent, the books complement each other, with the advantage of research and style definitely leaning towards "The Ultimate Elvis In Munich Book" and producing a much classier result.

All in all, "The Ultimate Elvis In Munich Book" is a very well produced, interesting document, revealing a lot about a few brief periods of Elvis's life about which relatively little reliable information is otherwise available.

Further information about the book can be found at Elvis in Munich.


David Neale

copyright January 2005

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