30 years after Elvis' death, the homages remain a hunka hunka burnin' love.
By Margaret Moser,
2:29PM, Fri. Aug. 17, 2007
Many years ago, I made a trip to Graceland with the Joe Ely Band. It was before Graceland was open to the public so we stood around the graves, chatted up Uncle Vester Presley at the front gates, and wasted money on Elvis hotdogs at the Elvis Presley Eternal Flame souvenir shop across Elvis Presley Boulevard. TCB, baby!
Not long after, I tagged behind the Ely band to a gig in Corpus Christi. We stopped at a convenience store in Mathis, Texas on the way back and a poster caught my eye. “Duke Presley,” it read. A cousin of Elvis’, the poster boasted, along with a few other gassy claims. I stole the poster and when I got back to the Chronicle, shared it with Carolyn Phillips in our sales department. She shared it with Ted Roddy for the first Elvis show and he used that same poster – with a few changes – for his original Graceland Revue shows.
I’ve sat through more than a few of Roddy’s Elvis tributes at the Continental (one of which takes place Saturday). I’ve hoisted many a beer during “Viva Las Vegas” and coughed through the now-defunct Totally Smokin’ shows. I’ve oohed and aahed to Shaun Young’s Blue Moon Boys, swooned to Roddy’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” entrance, and sung loudly to “Suspicious Minds.” I’ve also seen Elvis tribute bands and imitators in places as far away as Hawaii and there’s no question that Ted Roddy is one of the best. His rich baritone is Elvis-like but he doesn’t seek to slavishly ape the King, just pay serious homage. And that’s good enough for me.