Deinl In disguise It’s not just the Japanese who are obsessed with impersonating the King. Lisping celebs, women and Fifers are at it, too.

Words: Brian Donaldson

Stewart Duff This year's WIltltOl‘ of Stars rn their Eves wooed the nation wah hrs v >r8r0n of ‘Are

yOu Lonesome Tonight"? Ai_)i_)arently. the File lad's wrle (:onvrneed him that entering the contest was a err/ard idea. We can only agree: he stopped a bloody Tina Turner impersonator from ‘.'.'lltlt|ltg.

Shafleen Spiteri the Texas girl obviously thought she

.. had some drvrne right to mrmre Elvis. v-rhreh she did in the l.’l(i(}() for ‘Inner Smile'. Better than Britney in a gumpsurt. mind.

El Vez lhe self-styled King of Hybrids. El Ve/ treal name Robert Lope/r

l a made his first impersonating appearance during the annual Memphis trrhute to Presley (:alled Weep Week. Plus. he's hig huddres Wltit the tee skater Elvis Stoiok.

Jonathan Ross We reekon Jonny is Irving out the |(}g)(}ll(l (t l)rt t()(> mueh. Have you seen the big suits and even bigger \‘JéilStilltG he's carrying these days?

Nicolas Cage Franers Coppola's nephew IS such an Elvrs fan that he went through the whole of Wild at Heart talking like him and wore a white jtllllt')8tllt during l-lonevmoon l/l Vegt’rs. And now he's dating Lisa Marie. That's JUST too werrd.

The move to R(‘:\ led to (‘ol Tom Parker taking control ol’ Presley’s career. Parker. a short. belligerent. illegal Dutch imtnigrant came recommended by country singer Hank Snow. Iilvis. ever respectful ol his peers and elders. thought it would be a good idea to place his care totally in the hands ol the colonel. It was the worst mistake he ever made.

R(':\ gave Presley national promotion on networked TV shows and he immediately attracted attention l‘or his pelvic gyrations on stage. The hits came. like ‘Tutti lirutti‘ and ‘.\Ione_v lloney'. Then later in l‘)5(i he got his lirst no t: ‘[ leartbreak Hotel'. Written by Mac Boren .-\.\ton. it was a hyperbolic expression (ti. adolescent heartache. (‘aret‘ully engineered by Parker and R(':\. the song showed that he was the consummate rockabilly artist and that. though his voice was influenced by the great black singers. his inusic was squarely aimed at a white audience. it sent him supersonic. lilvis knew the nest step was an international tour.

Parker was unable to lind a valid passport. but he was able to lay his hands very easily on Presley‘s dral’t papers. lilvis was ol'l‘ered exemption on corps entertainment grounds. but Parker never told him. In IUSb’ lilvis walked the gang plank. serial ntunber 53 .‘tlll 70. During his basic training at Fort Hood his mother died. Distraught. lilvis turned to his singer—girllricnd Anita Wood l‘or

A life derailed by fools and alchemists

support. but the ('olonel already had her cards marked. Rumours oT

their impending marriage were getting ottt oi hand and were al'l‘ecling sales. In September Wib’. |il\is lel‘t l'or Berlin l‘or his military service. When he returned he would no longer have a liancee

Parker saw to that and he would tune a burgeoning drug addiction to uppers and dow ners the army saw to that.

()n his return in Not). Parker advised the king to pick up his lilm career that had got oil. to a good start with Love tic 7i'llr/(‘l‘ and lying (Tm/c. lilvis began a long line ol‘e\ccrab|e mov ies that tied him to the west coast ol'.'\merica. While he had been away. he had developed a husky vibrato to his voice which served songs such us ‘It‘s .\'ow or Never". ‘.-\re you Lonesome Tonight I" and ‘('an‘t Help Falling in Love with You'.

The hits rolled out. bttt i’ilm lilvis was made an irrelevance by the Beatles. .v\nore.\ia and a leather suit propped up his career with the sell-eulogising neon ol the Web’ special. but the glory was short lived. By l‘)72 lilvis was lighting a losing battle with his body. his addictions. his young bride and his pet'lot‘tttattces. He had become a cabaret singer to the tnoneyed Vegas crowd. His voice was still strong. but his will was weak. He forgot lines ol songs he had been singing lor twenty years. Withdrawing trom the world with a bunch of sell-serving bodyguards. he grieved l‘or his mother and the trust he placed in management early on.

011 lb Augtist l‘)77. he died ol' heart l‘ailure alone a levy weeks alter the lust of what would become a series ol‘ exposes ol his private me had been published. Betrayed and unloved. it must have been something ill a relief. The tnost gil‘ted singer oi his generation was destroyed by the little men ol‘ consummate greed.

When you burn a candle tor the king on the lbth. don't laugh and deride whole portions ol' the man‘s career. His was a tile derailed by Tools and alchemists; four sections oi one lil‘etime. each more precious to his l‘ans than anyone would ever believe. More precious than a rusty old badge on a night table.

Suspicious minds Elvis Presley wasn’t just the King of

Rock’n’Roll, he reigned supreme in the rumour mill. Here is a sample from

planet paranoia. ‘.'.':;v

0 Elvis had Paul McCartney assassinated

lea“... that 'us nut:

"£:;‘.'ii"(3it.‘ tt‘ s 1 ill itit t’des

T u > IT 'ifi M ore "a

ar'.‘ (Lgtrf‘rupe‘i. ‘.'."\<"‘ "nattt expla n “The F “:21: (lt‘o'us'. 0 Elvis is alive T.'.'<: nous a‘te" the K nos .rltzrtrate toilet stop a 'na" ooksng

'e‘ arkah, llk(:

Presley. bought ar‘» arr

teke'. to Bueaos Ares. l"e mar: .'.'as ;:a"ed .Johr‘ Burro'sxs. the pseudonym t'reduentl‘, adopted l)", t s.

0 Elvis is half- alive The Nex'.‘

‘\.'.’:)r (l ()rder haze

E"a:l l lurs

0 To mark the 25th anniversary of Elvis’ death on 16 August, the Odeon Wester Hailes is screening the re- edited version of Elvis, That’s the Way it Is on 15 August. This special-edition movie was re-edited to portray

Elvis as a working musician and dedicated showman.

We are offering five readers the opportunity to win the Quad 30in x 40in poster of the film and a copy of

Elvis Presley The Live Greatest Hits. Five runners—up will receive the Quad movie poster. To enter, just send us an email marked ‘ELVIS’ to or a postcard to The List, 14 High

St, Edinburgh, EH1 1TE. Deadline is 15 August and the first ten names out the hat win. Odeon Wester Hailes, Wester Hailes Road, tel 0131 442 2200.


:is: Brian Donaldson

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0 Elvis is an alien the Ilia" .'.h<> :thdtouraphed footage of the alien autopsy at Hos-.‘xelt. a Jack Barrett ror Harriett also snapped an .ll‘ts'ti)‘.'.'l‘. Presley :h tl‘e earl‘,’ oil's. Irret'utalfle evide'tee that ET stands for .lvrs terrestrial.

0 Elvis was killed by burger companies \."‘."()t'rlt}(i that the usage of Presley "s ever- expandrno hell, would hamper ‘.'.'orld‘.'r.rr<le sales of (:lxeeseliurgiers. the fast food grants "rerded to bump hint