Recently, Elvis Presley Enterprises and Graceland took a short-lived stand against supporting any event that included Elvis Impersonators including "Elvis" festivals. The original stance was basically that EPE would not allow or condone the use of Elvis' name to be associated with any event that included the use of the jump-suited impersonators. Many of us who have long complained to Graceland about these guys being permitted to prance right through Elvis' own home dressed in jumpsuits and sunglasses gave a round of long-overdue applause to EPE, Inc.
Now, we find that after receiving all of 30 (yes I said thirty) letters from these festival promoters, EPE has suddenly had a change of heart and have agreed to let the mockery continue! What the hell is that all about?? I mean, they (EPE) have done so much to try and preserve and improve the image of Elvis over the past 20 years by trying to show the younger, more provocative Elvis and have even denied fans the CBS last concert because they felt it made Elvis look bad. It shocks me that after just 30 letters, they turn around and have Jack Soden say, "Let's forget about the hassles. This is something, frankly, we need to support! "
When was the last time anyone at Graceland took a walk across the street and saw some of these creepy-looking guys in home-made costumes? GOD! This past August, I was almost ashamed to be seen near Graceland while the news media was rolling cameras on these characters. Talk about embarrassment... yet these clowns claim that they are only trying to "pay tribute" to Elvis... BULL! It's a self-praising ego thing that is going on inside their Black Velvet Dyed brains... nothing more. "Paying Tribute" my fanny. These guys are all impersonators... not Tribute Artists. The term "Tribute Artist" has been around for a long time and it was not intended for impersonators. The only reason why the EP Impersonators grabbed onto "Tribute Artist" is because of the terrible stigma that became attached to the many laughable impersonators...no one wanted to be associated with "Elvis Impersonators" anymore.
Yes, I know a few good impersonators out there, very few... but there are far more that do only harm to the image and the positive promotion that EPE claims they are trying to protect. These guys (and some gals?) are short, fat, tall, skinny, bald, black, white, Asian, blind, smelly... whatever... I have seen every size and shape Elvis strolling around as if they were an actual clone of the king. They are embarrassing! I have to wonder what is wrong with these so-called Elvis fans that chase after these "imposters" and have their pictures taken with them. It's bizarre! And what is most disturbing is when they open their mouths to sing...it is then I find myself running for the hills because Elvis does NOT deserve to have his music treated this way.
It is my humble opinion that when EPE made an about-face and gave the go-ahead nod to the impersonator promotions, they turned their back on all of the work they have done to promote Elvis positively. People will always look at Elvis without the respect he deserves as long as these foolish, egotistical, un-talented, spotlight-grabbing clowns are allowed to walk and try to talk as though they were Elvis-himselvis!
If you agree with me on this subject ... please ... drop Graceland an email and show them that there are more than just 30 fans out here who deserve to be listened to!