Every fan has his of hers own story. The ultimate memory of how one became an Elvis fan. For a lot of people it was a family thing. Maybe the parents, brother or sisters listened to Elvis music, so there was no escape possible: one had to give in, or find somewhere else to live. Some of us just ran into a movie back in the sixties and got hooked. For others the 68 comeback special did the trick. For me it was the Aloha adventure. With the whole family we were in front of the TV. All adults, and one kid, me! Only 12 years old, and I remember I hadn’t seen somebody like Elvis ever before.
All my life I had heard his music but I had never seen him on TV or in the movies. The impact he had on me was enormous. I remember all the adults laughing and singing in the room, but I just sat in front of the television, wondering about that man, that voice and all the glamour shining on the stage. His voice went right through my ears to my heart and soul and has never left it since. The whole family was talking about going to an Elvis concert some time. They were making plans to go any place in Europe, if Elvis would ever come over here. I just asked if I could come too, and they only laughed, like they would always do, when “little sister” was talking.
Time went by and by and it became 1977. I was shocked to the bone when I heard the news about his death. My brother and sister were on the phone crying, and didn’t think about me. I just sat in my room, alone, for hours and hours. Wondering about what went wrong with Elvis, wondering what could have made the difference for him. Certainly not this little girl, who was in love with his voice all her life, just like million others. From that day on, I spent every dime I had buying his music. For 4 years there was nothing more in my life than Elvis. Finally I got married, to a non Elvis fan. In fact, I didn’t have the chance anymore to buy his music, or books. There was no money for that kind of nonsense, I was told.
But the love for Elvis’ music stayed. It was my secret, my way of living and I cherished my lp’s and tapes. His voice still consoled me when I was sad and lonely in an unhappy marriage. In times of trouble and sadness there were the ballads and gospels, his music always comforted me. Slowly but surely I taped some of his movies from the television and watched them over and over again, when I was alone. I bought a discman and listened to the few cd’s I did have at night.
After a whole lot of years I got a phone call from my brother. He had great news, he said. He had tickets for an Elvis concert. I couldn’t believe my ears. I started to cry and told my brother that this could better not be a joke. He assured me it was genuine, and I stood before a difficult task: convincing my husband to let me go to the concert! I succeeded and went to the concert, with a lot of the bunch with whom I had seen the Aloha Concert. It was marvellous. It was the event of my life! I cried my eyes out and from that day I started to collect his music again, no matter what my husband told me.
But the urge to meet other fans stayed, the will to enjoy Elvis’ legacy with others became stronger and stronger.
So I got a computer and went online; searching the internet over and over again for news, lyrics, pictures and people. And even while I was in my late 30’s, I went to chat rooms and newsgroups discussing Elvis. Through the internet I was able to find even more music of Elvis I never ever had heard before. I found some really good friends and very nice people.
One guy I knew from a chat room had been to Graceland and to the concert in Memphis. He knew about my preference for Ronnie Tutt. We talked about Tutt many times on the chat and some time later the postman brought me a letter with 2 pics of Ronnie Tutt, at the concert in Memphis, including his signature. I was so happy! Not only with the autograph, but maybe even more with the knowledge that someone had actually thought of me while being at a concert!
Finally I found some news about a meeting not far from my hometown. We started to talk about going there with a couple of people from the chat room. I had a very hard time convincing the hubby to come with me, because I knew I wasn’t allowed to go by myself. The TCB band would be there too, and I could not let that happen without me! A few days before the meeting, we exchanged phone numbers on the chat and promised each other to call one and other at the meeting.
Just a minute after I arrived I got a phone call: the man from the Ronnie Tutt signature was there and we went looking for each other. I remember it so well. He was standing in the hall way with all those people around him and he was talking to me on the phone, with his head bending down ... It was love at first sight for me! I kissed him immediately to thank him for the pics and autograph, and I asked him to come with me to the rest of the bunch. He never left my side, the whole day and we talked and laughed for hours and it felt like I had known him forever.
Three months later I left my husband in the middle of the night and I went to my brother. I was in love with this man from the chat room, who shared my love for Elvis. I left my home, my work, my town, with only my clothes and Elvis’ stuff. Now, again three months later, we are living together, and with Christmas we will move to a house of our own. We are gonna get married real soon. I am truly happy for the first time of my life: my love for Elvis has provided me with the ultimate gift: a soul mate!