Ecstatic producer of the Elvis tribute show, Raell Padamsee cheers, “Super excited… here we come with some burning love… Elvis Rocks…Long Live the King!” She’s got that right, alright. Forty years after he passed away, Elvis remains the most awarded artist in pop music history, with 197 gold, multi-platinum and diamond certification awards. More hearteningly, the charisma of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll continues to endure. Elvis ranks among the top 200 artists of all time on YouTube, leaving behind hit-makers like Kanye West, Whitney Houston and Lana Del Rey, with more than 2.8 billion views. The Rolling Stone encyclopedia of Rock and Roll describes Presley as “an American music giant of the 20th century who single-handedly changed the course of music and culture in the mid-1950s.”
Rising from humble origins in Tupelo, Mississippi, to quickly become an international superstar of fabulous wealth, Elvis’s name, face, and voice are still instantly recognisable. His cultural impact was equally enormous, also influencing style trends across the world.
From classic Fifties’ tailoring to rhinestone-studded jumpsuits and over-sized collars, Elvis flaunted it all over the course of his dazzling career. Back in the ’50s, his style was all about high-waist trousers, penny loafers and Cuban collar shirts. He started the trend of Hawaiian print shirts with Blue Hawaii and followed it up with his classic Jailhouse Rock look, which was meant to ape a prison uniform. The raw denim jeans, striped polo shirt and workman’s denim jacket combined to create a trend, variations of which are still seen today. In the Sixties, at the peak of his career, he was all about classic tailoring and sharp lines paired with slicked back hair and button down shirts. And then the Seventies arrived and unleashed the sparkling jumpsuits, which he sported with trademark thick sideburns and yep, those blue suede shoes.
Tribute to the King
Mumbai gets an an eyeful of that quintessential style, as Siddharth Meghani brings the King alive on stage in ACE Productions’ ‘Elvis – Long Live the King!’. India’s first tribute show, it is thrilling fans of all ages with Elvis’s greatest hits – Jailhouse Rock, Hound Dog, Love Me Tender and many more. It takes the audience through a journey in the life of Elvis via stunning visuals on LED screens, backing vocalists and the glitzy rhinestone costumes to recreate an authentic Las Vegas experience
Bringing Elvis alive, along with his live band, leading man Siddharth is well aware of the responsibility that comes with channelling the King. He maintains, “As someone said, if all the world’s best Elvis impersonators were on stage at the same time it could still not be compared to one single Elvis performance!”
A die-hard fan, Siddharth tries putting Elvis’s charisma into words… “Elvis had it all, the good looks, the voice and he was the perfect southern gentleman. He had the ability to make everyone in the audience feel like he was particularly singing to them and he lit up the room where ever he went with his amazing energy and lively personality.”
If Elvis is still relevant after all these decades, Siddharth believes is is because his music will always be iconic. “It makes you tap your feet if it was an upbeat song or a hopeless romantic if you were in love.”
Coming to Elvis’s fashion sense, Siddharth opines, “Elvis always wore bright colours and he didn’t care what you thought. He would wear a peach colour shirt in the early ’50s and pull it off. His famous jumpsuit with precious stones and gold work could not be worn on anyone at that time and be spared mocking but still that became his trademark!” Siddharth’s fave costume is the American eagle suit. A gorgeous white jumpsuit with the American Eagle design embroidered on the front and back, the suit had made its debut in 1974. The King didn’t deserve anything less!
(Catch ‘Elvis – Long Live the King’ on Sunday, August 5, at 7 pm, St. Andrew’s auditorium, Bandra)