ELVIS LIVES!

My wife – known as VampireLover in the blogosphere – is a hard person to know.

She refuses to wear her heart on her sleeve, preferring to keep her own counsel. To know her heart, you must win her respect. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t thank the good Lord above for giving me the opportunity to win her love.

She is, quite honestly, the best person I know.

My favorite person.

And so, when she informed me that she would be attending a little show called Return To Grace at our local casino for the fourth time, I couldn’t help but smile.

As many of you know, my wife’s world has been out of balance all year. Wrestling with one’s mortality can leave scars and while VanpireLover rarely breaks down, she has her moments of weakness, and those moments break my heart.

So I happily joined her in the front row of the Avalon Ballroom – seats five and six to be exact – and as the lights began to lower and the curtain rolled back, she was transformed from a domestic goddess to a squealing school girl with eyes set square on The King of Rock ‘n Roll.

And trust me, her eyes did not deviate from that stage – not for a second. To be honest, I can’t really blame her. Stephen Kabakos may be referred to as an Elvis impersonator, but that term really does the man a disservice.

From the moment the show’s narrator – dressed in period clothing, ‘natch – takes the stage and begins to discuss the King’s life, beginning, ironically, with his untimely death, the audience is pulled back in time.

The life and music of Elvis Presley means something different to everyone: to some he is a symbol of the purity of gospel music. To others, he embodies the sinful delights of rock music.

The point is, over the course of his life Elvis became much more than a man with incredibly flexible hips and an unforgettable voice, he became a Godlike figure people could turn to in their time of need.

I think its safe to say that he has never been needed more. Let’s face it, there simply isn’t a performer working today that can hold a candle to the King at the height of his career.

“He belonged to us.” is the exact line used several times throughout the show, and those words hold water even today. Elvis was a man of the people; he understood the heart and mind of the common man so well because that’s how he thought of himself. he was a god to his fans, but in his heart, he was still a shy, little boy with a head full of dreams and a heart full of the talent necessary to make them come true.

So the question is, was Kabakos able to succeed where so many others have failed, and actually bring the King back to life for an audience desperate to catch a glimpse of their messiah again, even if only for one night?

You tell me.  Click Here.

Let me tell you, ladies and gentlemen, as soon as his patent leather shoes touch the stage, Stephen Kabakos vanishes. In his place, Elvis Presley lives again to bring to life music that is a little rockabilly, a little gospel, a little… well, everything, to be exact.

My wife’s entire demeanor changed in an instant; her smile was bright enough to light the entire theater, her hands rarely stopped clapping, and her happiness radiated like a beacon of hope. She was a sight to see.

And she wasn’t alone.

After cycling through the King’s musical catalogue – including the early Sun Studio recordings, through to the army, movie, ’68 Comeback, and explosive concert years – with a vengeance, (including my favorite Elvis song of all time, If I Can Dream, a song that actually carries a timeless message, as opposed to the forgettable fluff songs of today.), Kabakos Elvis reached a point in his show that VampireLover has been referencing ever since the conclusion of the last show we saw last year.

“I want a scarf! We’re going to sit in the front and no matter what, I’m walking out of there with a scarf!”

And so after staring into the King’s eyes with longing – I honestly thought she was going to pounce when he sat down to perform a song on the front of the stage directly across from us – VampireLover waited for the appropriate moment and as soon as a scantily clad backup dancer appeared with an armful of scarves destined to be draped upon the waiting necks of a handful of chosen fans, she was gone.

Her seat popped up, a wisp of smoke was all that remained.

I cast my gaze to the end of the aisle and there she was, my radiant wife, standing at attention as Elvis wiped his glistening brow with a blue scarf before placing it around her neck. He then kissed her on the cheek (Did you hear it? His microphone caught the “MWAH” sound!), after which she eagerly returned the gesture.

I’m still not sure how I feel about watching my wife kiss another man, but it wasn’t about me, so who cares? her happiness was, and will always be, all that matters.

After she floated back to her seat, the wife and I looked on as all heck broke loose.

  • A little gray-haired old lady reached forward, grabbed the King by his collar, and pulled him from his kneeling position.
  • He lay on his front for a moment and then she flipped him over like a crocodile playing with his prey!
  • A group of ladies joined in and they pulled him closer, smothering him with kisses.
  • After what had to have been a few very tense moments, Elvis pulled himself away.
  • Flat on his back, the King declared, “I think I need a cigarette!”

And that, folks, is the litmus test for a truly gifted performer. Kabakos could have lost his connection to the King’s spirit, and no one would have blamed him. Instead, despite being mauled by several pairs of geriatric hands, he kept his cool.

The King couldn’t have done it better himself.

About The Hook

Husband. Father. Bellman. Author of The Bellman Chronicles. Reader of comic books and observer and chronicler of the human condition. And to my wife's eternal dismay, a mere mortal and non-vampire. I'm often told I look like your uncle, cousin, etc. If I wore a hat, I'd hang it on a hat rack in my home in Niagara Falls, Canada. You can call me The Hook, everyone else does.
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58 Responses to ELVIS LIVES!

  1. djmatticus says:

    While I cannot claim to be an Elvis fan (and bristled that you think no performer has ever matched his importance to his adoring fans *ahem* springsteen? johnny cash?*), you have written this so well that you pulled me into this world anyway. Your love for your wife shines through in every word, and the music, the message, the community, the passion that Elvis embodied is crystal clear. Nicely done. I might have to listen to Jailhouse Rock and Blue Suede Shoes tonight in honor of your writing.

  2. Jennifer says:

    Your love for your wife is an inspiration and so beautifully written. You bought a tear to my eyes and laugh for a quick thinking Elvis.

  3. renxkyoko says:

    No way ! he looks and sounds like The Pelvis ! LOL

    Hey, guess what, my parents are gonna watch The Beatles look- alike concert in December. The Fab Five ! ! Pity I can’t go,. My parents didn’t ask me if I wanted to go before they bought the tickets. ( $120 per ). It’s sold out.

  4. Carrie Rubin says:

    Sounds like a terrific show. I’m always up for a good impersonation. Glad you had a great time!

  5. Daile says:

    Awww what a great post! Glad VampireLover and you had a good time, you guys sound like you needed a fun night out.

  6. Never mess with a determined woman! She said she was getting a scarf and kudos to her for a mission accomplished. Sounds like you had a wonderful night….the King will always live on!

  7. Chicken says:

    I love Elvis and most of those other guys, too. But I think I like your writing better.

  8. 1jaded1 says:

    I’m so glad you and your wife had a wonderful evening. Thank you for sharing it so eloquently.

  9. It sounds magical, her fun and you watching her have fun, thank ya thank ya very much…

  10. I love this so much!! I love your wife’s love for Elvis, but even more I love the fact that you refer to her as your favorite person. That just made my day so much better. 🙂

  11. mindslam says:

    He was really talented, but had you grown up in Memphis like me…you would have gotten tired of him a long ago. Speaking of him, his daughter is playing a small venue in Memphis tomorrow night.

  12. What a lovely post. Really made me smile and your love for your wife radiated through. Beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Lovely! I had a similar experience seeing Beatle-mania. I thought for sure it’d be semi-cheesy, but I was fully blown away.

  14. mairedubhtx says:

    You are a great husband, Robert.

  15. amandalannon says:

    Love the love. 😉 Great story too and I agree with the first three replies.

  16. I can imagine the expression on your face when she got the kiss!!
    Kabakos sounds like a real pro btw!
    Wouldn’t it be nice to have the real thing though?!! To watch the king live?!
    A great weekend to you! 🙂

  17. Cameron says:

    Hook, that was one of your best. Hilarious and gorgeous. And good on both your wife and the geriatric hoard. Love it!

  18. Oh MR. HOOK you have done it AGAIN….A Fantastic Post with NO BOOBS!! (BUT MY Hubby is a Wee Bit disappointed!)…LOL….I think that’s why I Nominated you for *THE LIEBSTER AWARD*….You sure Inspire many with your words and writing style!! SO get that NEXT BOOK DONE!….LOL…SO, if you want to pass on the LUV…or not, all the simple details are on my Todays blog post, *ANOTHER FAB BLOG AWARD?* CONGRATS for keeping them coming!!
    http://CatherineLyonAddictedToDimes.wordpress.com xxoo *Catherine* Your Biggest FAN!

  19. I Am Jasmine Kyle says:

    I would have paid GOOD MONEY to see those old ladies treat ol elvis like a stripper! NO TOUCHING the talent LOL! You need bouncers to protect elvis from the leathery old girls who are trying there best to get a moment with the king. Glad you and Vampirelover had a good time! MWAH to her health!

  20. I definitely didn’t understand the appeal of Elvis until I saw a really good impersonator in Vegas. There’s just something about him…the hair? The silky voice? I don’t know, but I agree with your wife, he is the best!

  21. Never let it be said that even in your most poignant pieces that something whacky doesn’t happen! At least she got her scarf before hand. Your post made me grin from ear to ear. You and your Vampire Lover are very lucky to have one another.

  22. Katie says:

    This is very sweet. My boyfriend is a big Elvis fan, but his fandom manifests itself by hanging a giant tapstry of Elvis over the toilet in the bathroom, which I could do without.

  23. Pingback: ELVIS LIVES – AGAIN! | You've Been Hooked!

  24. Well, if you write all this stuff – One of you has to be the strong silent type…most of the time. Glad she got wrapped and scarf-ed.
    Enjoyed the story

  25. What a treat for your lovely bride….you are a good hubby~ 🙂
    I had the privilege of seeing the real deal the year before he was taken so young. It was indeed a sad day…..and the day before my birthday no less *sigh*. It’s one of those occasions…..”Where were YOU when Elvis died?” I remember distinctly!
    ps Is Black Velvet one of your wife’s fav songs?? It’s about the King you know?

  26. …..I’m sure you do sweety….I’m sure you do! 🙂

  27. Jo Bryant says:

    I am a complete and utter ELVIS nutter. The man makes me twitch just hearing about him. And he’s not dead you know…just ask Sookie Stackhouse…he’s a vamp !! Yep sir…did VL know that fact ???

  28. girlseule says:

    It’s so beautiful how much you love your wife
    “She is, quite honestly, the best person I know. My favorite person.” What a wonderful way to feel about someone. I loved the bit with the old ladies at the end. Really enjoyed this post.

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