A new item in our weekly magazine. Regularly we will take an interview by e-mail with lots of different people: webmasters, fanclub-presidents, just fans and hopefully in the near feature also people related to Elvis otherwise. First person we asked is Lex Raaphorst, mainly because you’re always bumping into him on the Internet. Obviously he spends a lot of time on Elvis and the Internet.
Can you share a little about yourself with us?
Yeah, of course.
(One e-mail later:) We already noticed you’re a man of few words sometimes, but can it be a little longer?
It’s all on my homepage. Sorry, couldn’t stand it. Without kidding, I live (all 35 years of my life) in The Hague, The Netherlands. I work for Statistics Netherlands (CBS, Central Bureau for Statistics), officially as statistician, but the main part of my work is made up by "computer-work". I have two sons: Jesse (9) and Brian (almost 6).
How did you became an Elvis-fan?
Ever since I remember I loved rock’n’roll in general. Don’t tell anybody, but my first own LP was a present from Sinterklaas (an uncle of Santa :-)). It was a collection of the Osmond Brothers. I also had a live album which I really loved (and still do), with a few songs by Chuck Berry, Fats Domino and Jerry Lee Lewis. And suddenly there was Elvis… according to the books it must have been 1974, when Jailhouse Rock was re-released and became a big hit again in The Netherlands. That powerful b/w clip really got me. Since then my main idol is Elvis, although I’ve always bought a lot of other artists too.
What’s, in general, your favourite Elvis-stuff?
Depends on my mood. But overall you can say anything he recorded between 1968 and 1972, especially the 69-sessions and the live stuff. Also love to listen to the Sun-recordings. And sometimes I play the honeysweet 60’s stuff for days…
Name your favourite Elvis-song, -movie and -album.
I was afraid of that. Hard question. I can’t name one song, but I’ll try… uh…. Baby Let’s Play House at the moment, or is it Down in the Alley? :-) Movie is less difficult, disregarding the two documentaries, definitely King Creole (otherwise it would be That’s The Way It Is). My favourite album is, since earlier this year, Suspicious Minds (instead of From Elvis in Memphis).
We already noticed you put a lot of time in the Internet, where do you get the time?
It’s just the combination of my two biggest hobbies: Elvis and computers. Of course the satisfaction - when people show my efforts are appreciated – is a big influence too. It makes me want to go on. But most of all I enjoy the contacts I got with all people, I knew some of them only from books, pictures and so on. I could only dream of actually "talking" to them... Also my hunger for facts helps. I always thought I knew much about Elvis, but there are so many people that know more than I do… I love to swallow their knowledge.
What is your own favourite project?
Mmmm… I guess it must be the Encyclopaedia, my little facts database. It was a terrible amount of work, and I think it’s a pity it seems hard to find , so if anybody want to place a link….
But I also enjoy the lists I’m doing, the Import Top 40, and Elvis Scores. Those are my favourites because I wrote software to compile them and it's working great :-).
What is your favourite Elvis site?
My own… because I enjoy making it :-) . But I guess you didn’t mean that… let’s see. It must be "For CD Collectors" by my friend Willem. It’s one of the few I try to visit (at least) once a day, but I also enjoy "Elvis Information Network" very much. But hey, there are so many good sites, I try to keep an eye on them as much as possible.
Do you use the Internet for other things?
Every now and then when I have to search something. When it’s Dutch I mostly go to "Startpagina", which is a great entrance to anything you might need. There are links to same kind of pages in other languages too. And of course I have to handle a lot of e-mail, follow alt.elvis.king as much as possible and try to visit the elvispresley group at Talkcity regularly. And of course I visit the hardware sites regularly for updates. I used to play a lot of games, but lately I have less and less time for that, but I try to keep in touch with my favourites J ., at the moment my favourite games are Age of Empires and Baldur’s Gate.
You started the first Elvis-webring, the "Won’t You Wear My TCB-ring"-webring. If we may have a little comment about it, why did you call it that way? You see, fans will see the connection, but other people, just on the look for Elvis-stuff might not.
Good question! You know, starting the thing was one of my first projects on the Net. I was a little afraid of using an Elvis picture, even his name, because of all the trademark-stories. The wildest stories went on then, about EPE being very difficult, lawsuits and so on. Anyway, it grew pretty fast and I think it’s settled by know and it will be a pain in the @ss for all the webmasters to change things. But maybe we should think about it…
Talking about the ring, lately other Elvis-webrings are started. What’s your opinion?
Don’t really have one. I think it’s a pity on one side, because all good (at least normal) Elvis pages should be joined together. Some are useful, like the spin-off I made myself for impersonators. There were complaints of having too much of them in the TCB-ring. Also the fanclub-ring is a useful one, it has a special Elvis-subject, which remembers me I have to add the It’s Elvis Time page to it :-) . And one is just funny, because in the ringdescription the ringmaster shows how immature he is .
Is it okay to place your picture with this article?
I don’t mind but I doubt if anyone is waiting for it… Maybe it’s nice when you put a rare one of Elvis, and certainly one of my favourites with it. I just got it from Sandi for my "Sandi’s Candids"-page.
Is there anything you want to get rid of?
Not really, I have enjoyed your initiative and I’m looking forward to the result. Also I want to wish your luck with your nice pages, which will be one to check out regularly! And thanks for choosing our webring .
We want to ask all people we interview by e-mail who they would like to see interviewed in future editions of the Elvis Telegraph.
Lex, who do you think we should interview, why, and which question should we certainly ask ?
Well that's such an easy question :-) her name has been mentioned in this interview, Sandi of course, because she has really great stories to tell. You should ask her to share one of them with your readers. I'll get in touch with Sandi and ask her if she'd be willing to give the Elvis Telegraph an interview.
Editors: Yes please !
O.K. really the last question :-) is it okay when we use your Elvis Scores-list weekly?
It's fine with me, but I can't promise I will update them in time.... :-)
note editors: We'd like to thank Lex Raaphorst for his full co-operation and the effort he took to answer our e-mail(s), including all links he provided, and not to forget Sandi's picture. Sandi, thanks for making it!