I remember standing on my chair in class at my junior school trying to sing Jailhouse Rock. I was an Elvis fan from a very early age. This would have been about 1968. The year of Elvis’s 68 Comeback Special. I clearly remember watching this on TV and thinking that Elvis was the coolest dude on the planet.
By this time Elvis had made over 29 movies. I was a big fan. I asked my Dad why we didn’t live in Hawaii? Elvis surrounded by beautiful girls, flying helicopters, beautiful blue skies and sea, fabulous singing and brilliant Elvis hair! I have always had a major love affair with Elvis’s hair and wonderful cool sideboards!! I decided I wanted to be a pearl fisherman living in the Bahamas. Tanned and living my life like Elvis in the films.
At the school disco when I was about 14 my mates were dancing to Hi Ho Silver Lining. In my mind, I was doing an Elvis dance to “I Just Can’t Help Believin”. I tried to look as if I had sideboards, but it was just my hair dangling in front of my ears!! That wonderful era of Elvis songs in my early teenage days…In the Ghetto, Suspicious Minds, The Wonder of You, Always on my Mind, An American Trilogy and so many more. Later on, in 1976 I remember watching Pans People dance on top of The Pops to Way Down. My hero.
During my later teen years and Uni, I became a “Progressive Rock” fan. Early Genesis, ELP, Sabbath, Jethro Tull, Mountain but also, I was a huge fan of Bryan Ferry and Roxy Music. I started smoking because Bryan Ferry smoked. Elvis was always in the background though.
“When I hit about 38, I suddenly had a massive urge to get back into Elvis.”
Seriously get back into him. I learned most of his songs on the guitar. I bought every book on him I could find. I turned my study into an Elvis Room. I bought every CD and Elvis music book. I bought a handmade Elvis suit. An exact copy of the one he wears when singing “If I Can Dream” in front of the iconic Red Elvis sign. I rehearsed an Elvis Set with a Band (Good mates of mine. Martin Ratcliffe mastered some great Elvis songs. Big Boss Man, King Creole, I Want you I Need You I Love You and many more). We did a surprise Elvis gig at my 40th Birthday. Loved it.
Then during the next 10 years or so I did a lot of Elvis shows. I had the 1973 Elvis Eagle Suit made for me in America. Hand made Elvis boots from Mexico. I sang in Vegas at The Little White Wedding Chapel and on the strip with Trent Carlini (as a guest on stage one evening). I sang at The Aladdin Hotel and The Terrace Lounge in Phoenix Arizona. What great experiences and something I would not have been able to do with Elvis. It has never been an ego thing with me. I have never tried to be Elvis. I am just a huge fan loving his style and music. Incidentally, I remember watching Elvis’s Aloha from Hawaii via satellite on TV in 1973. His voice is on top form although health wise 1973 wasn’t a great year for Elvis.
I sang Elvis at my Greek mate’s wedding in Corfu after being a regular singer in his bar Cocktails and Dreams. Very happy days and lots of other Weddings, Birthdays, Parties, Company events. What an absolute privilege to be part of such special occasions. All because of Elvis. I couldn’t think of a life without him.
“So, I never ended up living in Hawaii and I am now an Insurance Broker. Broker Man!”
Could Elvis have been a successful Insurance broker….of course he could !!! He would have been brilliant.
Sing the song baby.