Gold Coast impersonator’s ultimate tribute to Elvis
ELVIS impersonator Pete Memphis has just come back to the Gold Coast from a place that’s dear to his heart – the King’s own home, Graceland.
His trip was a prize won on Channel Nine’s Today show.
As VIP guests, Pete and his wife Lyn had Graceland to themselves at times, minus the many tourists.
They stayed at the Heartbreak Hotel close-by.
A highlight of the trip was meeting Elvis’s stepbrother, Billy Stanley, who lived at Graceland for 17 years.
"We had dinner and drinks with him," Pete said.
"I asked him lots of questions.
"I wanted to know, on a normal day, what Elvis wore.
"He said, Elvis always dressed up. He never dressed plainly."
Plain dressing is not the norm for Elvis impersonators either, and costumes aren’t cheap.
Pete is one of 20 impersonators competing in the Viva Surfers Paradise tribute this month.
In 2013, he made it to the finals.
"I would be one of the more experienced and wiser Elvis tribute artists in the competition," he said.
"It is difficult to describe a feeling but the entire atmosphere of the event is somewhat of a high - you are around like-minded artists with the same goal in mind, all chatting about Elvis and their experiences.
"The general public create a great feeling and want to talk with you and have photos as though we are all the real Elvis."
Pete’s fans are mainly aged in their 60s, although he has performed at a birthday party for a four-year-old girl.
"We do a lot for the aged care because those people can’t get out," he said.
"We do that for next to nothing … they can’t get down to the local club.
"Some rooms are totally decked out with Elvis.
"The way things are going, he’s never going to be forgotten.
"They love Elvis, people just want to hear Elvis."
Pete will perform in the Viva Surfers Paradise Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest competition on July 16 and 17.
With his band, he’ll be on stage on Tuesday, July 12, at the Surf Club, Surfers Paradise, from 7-10pm. Tickets via the surf club or online http://www.ticketebo.
Surfers Paradise set to rock
THOUSANDS of fans of the golden age of rock and roll will dust off their blue suede shoes at Viva Surfers Paradise in July, with 10 days of free live entertainment and shows by some of the world’s best tribute artists.
The popular event honours mega-icons like Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, ABBA and Queen.
Viva Surfers Paradise will see more than 60,000 visitors gather in celebration of the roots of modern rock in the 1950s and 60s, as retro fever ignites the foreshore and surrounds with non-stop live music, displays of rock ’n’ roll dancing, vintage cars and more.
Throughout the precinct, traders will join in on the fun, dressing in retro theme and decking out their restaurants and shopfronts in vintage memorabilia and 1950s kitsch, while classic tunes and DJ voiceovers will broadcast through street speakers, enhancing the party atmosphere.
To view the full program from July 8-17, visit surfersparadise.com.