The Colonel: The Extraordinary Story of Colonel Tom Parker and Elvis Presley
Multi Emmy award winning producer/director Binder, producer of the seminal Elvis Presley '68 Comeback Special, and Spencer, have acquired the exclusive rights to produce media based upon the best selling book by Alanna Nash on the dean of music management, Elvis' Colonel Tom Parker - the ultimate unsavory character.
M17 and Binder will begin the Colonel Parker media odyssey with a definitive and award caliber indy feature, which they are planning to premiere at key film festivals in 2018. Tether Inc. founder Stanley Hainsworth (www.tetherinc.com), will serve as a Co-Producer of the film and marketing strategist on the entire project as well.
Proffer has made an arrangement with his friend, Academy Award and seven-time Emmy nominated filmmaker Joe Berlinger, to co-write the screenplay with Nash and direct the film. Joe's films include the landmark documentaries BROTHER'S KEEPER, the PARADISE LOST Trilogy and METALLICA: SOME KIND OF MONSTER, a film that redefined the rockumentary genre. CRUDE about oil pollution in the Amazon Rainforest, won 22 human rights, environmental and film festival awards and UNDER AFRICAN SKIES, about Paul Simon’s seminal album GRACELAND, was nominated for three primetime Emmy awards.
The M17 team, together with Berlinger and author Alanna Nash, plan to produce the indy feature film, with the unique method of Warren Beatty 'Reds' interview approaches. Many folks who can speak to Parker and his ways with Elvis and beyond, are alive, well and eager to share their stories.
Given the interest in sordid tales today (Scandal/House of Cards), an examination into the life of Col Parker, a classic character, should be on point.
Nash, our Co-EP, has clips, photos, and memorabilia on Parker that are unique and never have been seen.
OVERVIEW ON THE BOOK:
A meticulously researched biography, this story profiles "The Colonel" Tom Parker, the man behind Elvis Presley, in a compelling new light. Filled with startling material found in never-before-seen documents, including Parker's army records, psychiatric evaluations, and police reports, this investigation challenges even the most familiar aspects of the Presley saga. Parker, who handled every aspect of Elvis Presley's career and much in his personal life, is revealed as an overwhelmingly selfish man who sought to hide his own illegal alien status rather than further the art of a great musician. Astonishing and impeccably written, this entertaining book proves that the only figure in American popular culture as fascinating as Elvis Presley is Colonel Tom Parker, the man who shaped Elvis, and in turn shaped music history.
Almost the only indisputable fact about Colonel Tom Parker is that he was the manager of the greatest performer in popular music: Elvis Presley. His real name wasn’t Tom Parker – indeed, he wasn’t an American at all, but a Dutch immigrant called Andreas van Kujik. And he certainly wasn’t a proper military colonel: he purchased his title from a man in Louisiana. But while the Colonel has long been acknowledged as something of a charlatan, this book is the first to reveal the extraordinary extent of the secrets he concealed, and the consequences for the career, and ultimately the life, of the star he managed. As Alanna Nash’ prodigious research has discovered, the Colonel left Holland most probably because, at the age of twenty, he bludgeoned a woman to death. Entering the US illegally, he then enlisted in the army as ‘Tom Parker’. But, with supreme irony for someone later styling himself as Colonel, Parker’s military career ended in desertion, and discharge after a psychiatrist had certified him as a psychopath. He then became a fairground barker, working sideshows with a zeal for small-scale huckstering and the casual scam that never left him. And by the height of Elvis’s success, Parker had become a pathological gambler who, at the same time as he was taking, amazingly, a full 50% of Presley’s earnings, frittered away all his wealth in the casinos of Las Vegas.
As Nash shows, therefore, the often baffling trajectory of Elvis Presley’s career makes perfect sense once the secret imperatives of the Colonel’s life are known. Parker never booked Presley for a tour of Europe because of the dark secret that ensured he himself could never return there. Even at his most famous, Elvis was still being booked to play out-of-the-way towns in North Carolina – because the former fairground barker (who shamelessly negotiated as such even with top record company and film executives) knew them from his days on the circus circuit. And Elvis was trapped playing years of arduous seasons in Las Vegas – two shows nightly, seven days a week, until boredom and despair brought on the excessive drug use that killed him – because for Parker he was “an open chit” whose huge earnings prevented his manager’s losses at the gambling tables being called in.
Alanna Nash knew Parker towards the end of his life, and has now uncovered the whole story, improbable, shocking, and never less than compelling, of how this larger-than-life man made, and then unmade, popular music’s first and greatest superstar.
WHAT THE PRESS SAYS ABOUT THE COLONEL...
"For all Presley's talent, The Colonel successfully makes a case that Presley would not have become an icon of American popular culture without Parker's machinations; he was the key architect of Presley's career-for both good and bad." -Fred Goodman, The New York Times
"Addictively readable. . . . A riveting rock and roll mystery." –People Magazine
"Ranks alongside Fred Goodman's The Mansion on the Hill and Frederic Dannen's Hitmen as a classic of music industry reporting." -Billboard
"The most incisive and comprehensive look at the life of the elusive Colonel available." -Mojo
"Authoritative . . . a celebration of a gargantuan character, a man who toggled to such extremes of cruelty and charm that he seems more fiction than flesh. . . . Nash is a fine guide to this supersized personality. During his life, the Colonel worked hard to cover his early tracks or obscure them in mythology, and the author clears the brush better and more thoroughly than it has ever been cleared before. She spent hours with Parker late in his life and empathizes enough with the rascally codger to capture his ample charms." –The Washington Post
"Splendid. . . . Though the relationship between Elvis and his crooked manager has been examined so many times it is a familiar story, Nash constructs it so well it reads like a freshly conjured thriller. . . . Though The Colonel is a biography of Parker, it is also essential reading for Elvis fans, because it provides the first clear and accurate portrait of the neuroses that kept Presley under Parker's thumb." -Charles R. Cross, Seattle Times
"Using the cunning of a detective and the straightforward prose of a journalist, Nash, to the delight of Elvis lovers everywhere, answers some lingering questions while posing a few new ones about the man who made the King and then stole his crown." -Publishers Weekly
"A commendably temperate and serious treatment of a story that could have tempted a lesser writer to sensationalism. . . . Nash tells in unprecedented and meticulous detail the full story of Parker's real history and his audacious posing." -David Hajdu, The New York Review of Books
"Nash doesn't ask us to forgive Parker, or even like the man, but rather to understand him as a hopeless emotional f**k-up, not the one-dimensional monster most Elvis storytellers resort to. She succeeds, brilliantly. . . . Bloody good read." Five stars. -Uncut
"Nash makes a convincing case for a very different Colonel Parker, a shadowy, deeply troubled figure whose lust for money and power fueled Elvis's phenomenal career as surely as the King's exceptional talents did. . . . A compelling look at an amazing American saga." –The Fort Worth Star Telegram
"Nash pursues her quarry relentlessly from his erratic youth in Holland through his spectacular rise to power and wealth in the United States to his death and cremation. . . . No one knows American country music better than Alanna Nash. No one is such an indefatigable researcher and writer." –Louisville Courier-Journal
"A detailed, extensively researched portrait of the person who's quite possibly the most influential manager in entertainment history." –Nashville City Paper
"The Colonel steps boldly forth in Nash's big book, larger than most lives and one of the most innovative figures in entertainment history. Exactly who was Colonel Parker? We may never know, but Nash seems to know more about him than anyone else. . . . With a mountain of evidence amassed from hundreds of sources-ranging from interviews with Parker, his family, business associates, friends, enemies and numerous country musicians to legal documents and printed information-she has pieced together a mosaic of a self-invented man driven to make money any way he could. She has ferreted out the secrets and filled in most of the blanks in Parker's truly checkered life, from his asexual marriage to his obscure origins. . . . This book's highly readable storyline is enhanced by Nash's lean, crisp style-heightened by occasional rhetorical flourishes-and the narrative flows as smoothly as one of Elvis's mellow songs. Even when covering familiar ground, especially in the much-plowed field of Elvis studies, she does so with increased depth and richness, often with new information and insights." -Louisville Courier-Journal