Okay, it's been 5 years since you slipped the blue suede shoes back on. Any regrets?
To be honest, I'm still having a lot of fun.
There are still a lot of Elvis fans out there. In 2007, I added Johnny Cash to the act, and that's just getter bigger all the time. Then last year, I started performing as Paul McCartney.
Do you ever have shows when you forget who you are?
I think that 3 (characters Jed pays tribute to) is the limit, and even that's pushing it a bit. But Elvis is a very active performer, and though I have no problems with the movements now, one day I may have to pass the torch to the thousands of younger guys performing as Elvis. I just might not be ready to quit completely.
What got you into this?
Girls. When I was 13 or 14, an Elvis impersonator came to our school, and the girls just went insane. I remember saying to myself, "I could do that".
When was your first time on-stage?
A couple of years later. I sung "Love Me", accompanied by a backing vocalist and a drumset in the school talent show. There were about 10 or 12 acts--I think I came in 10th place.
But I was undeterred--a year later, when I was in the Army, I entered another talent show. I won that one.
What was your most unusual show?
Probably August, 1987, on the 10th anniversary of Elvis's death. I performed in the shop window of Patricia Field's boutique on 8th Street in New York. (Pat went on to become the Costume Director for "Sex And The City"). There were a few celebrities who stayed and watched--mostly soap stars.
What goes through your mind when performing?
Well, I'd like to be able to remember the words! But mostly, I want to entertain the folks. On the fast ones, I'm always moving around, trying to pump some energy into the crowd. I guess I'm doing some moving on the slow ones, as well.
Do you have a favorite Elvis song?
I've always been partial to the Sun Sessions. I bought that album when I was 16; it just felt like it was playing in my soul.
Besides Elvis, what are your influences?
The music I grew up with had a big influence on what I like today. My dad loves Hank Williams, Jimmy Rodgers, Flatt and Scruggs, George Jones, Bill Monroe--music that used to be called "hillbilly". On the other hand, my mom listens to classical, show tunes and popular vocalists. I grew up in the Disco era, but I liked the Beatles.
It's rumored that you were in a car accident on the way to a show, and you stopped performing for 10 years. True or false?
False, but not completely. I was on the way to a performance in 1995, and while traveling in a snowstorm, I was involved in an accident. It's true that I didn't do another performance for over a decade, but it's just a coincidence--I just had minor injuries in the accident.
I got married in 1996, and became an "instant parent" to two great kids. As a lot of parents will tell you, it's a full time job. I just didn't have the time to perform. That's why I stopped after 1995. Now that the kids are grown, though, I have a lot more time on my hands.
Speaking of which, you're not exactly a spring chicken. Why do you still perform as a "Young Elvis"?
Because it's fun.
What would you like your tombstone to say?
"Return To Sender."
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