FIKE (Associated Press)
Lamar Fike, 75; jetted to top of music business as Elvis sidekick
DALLAS — Lamar Fike, a member of Elvis Presley’s famed inner circle called the “Memphis Mafia’’ who had a long career in the music industry, has died. He was 75.
Mr. Fike, who was suffering from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, died Jan. 21 at a hospital in the Dallas suburb of Arlington, said his son, James Fike of Atlanta.
“He did everything first-class,’’ said David Stanley, Presley’s stepbrother who first met Fike as a toddler. “He was very brilliant. He had a tremendous presence. When he walked in a room, he lit it up.’’
“He taught me so much about music, about life, about living life to the fullest,’’ he said.
James Fike said his father held various roles with Presley, including as a lighting director, bodyguard, and managing Presley’s music publishing group. After Presley’s death in 1977, James Fike said that his father continued to work as an entrepreneur in the music business in Nashville, in music publishing, as a manager of artists, and as a broker of music and memorabilia deals.
He said his father moved in 2006 to Texas, where he had relatives.
James Fike said that his father, a great storyteller, would recall when Presley and the “Memphis Mafia’’ would hop on their plane and travel to whatever city they chose when they decided they needed a cheeseburger.
“He was a character. He always had these stories,’’ James Fike said.
Stanley said that Lamar Fike was “like a father figure to me.’’
“Him and Elvis were the best of friends, so obviously he was part of the family,’’ Stanley said.
Stanley said that Mr. Fike, who had been working on a memoir of his time with Presley, and on a screenplay, would call him and ask him to meet him in a city just to spend time in the best hotels and eat at the best restaurants.
Mr. Fike was among five members of the group dubbed the “Memphis Mafia’’ who incorporated the name in the early 1990s.
Mr. Fike was born in Cleveland, Miss. He was preceded in death by a daughter, Joan. In addition to James Fike, he leaves another son, John of Nashville.