Max and his blue suede shoes are back ............
The King’s musical legacy lives thanks to shows such as Elvis to the Max, writes Kate Hickson
DETROIT Elvis impersonator Max Pellicano is rounding up his 10-piece band and crew to make his annual pilgrimage to Australia with his enduring tribute show, Elvis to the Max.
The tour, which plays Twin Towns next month, marks the 35th anniversary of the death of one of the most important figures of the 20th-century pop culture.
Pellicano says he loves returning to the stage at Twin Towns as part of his tours.
‘‘I used to come to Australia every two or three years, but now I come back every year,’’ he says.
‘‘Twin Towns in one of my favourite venues. Everyone seems to love the show there and I love performing there.
‘‘I try to do a lot of different songs, to mix it up for people who have seen it before. We get a lot of people coming back and I recognise them from previous shows. It’s good to see familiar faces of people who love the music.’’
Pellicano brought Elvis Presley to life on stage in a production of Bye Bye Birdie, in which he played Elvis-inspired lead character Conrad Birdie.
‘‘I was in a band straight out of college and we started playing Elvis songs as part of our set, and the crowds loved it,’’ he says. ‘‘I had a costume made and it kind of took off from there. I never made the conscious decision to impersonate Elvis. It just kind of followed me wherever I went and whatever I did.’’
Pellicano has spent many hours in front of the television watching Elvis movies and concerts to learn more about his idol and his signature style.
‘‘Getting into character came easy for me. I was a huge fan of his music growing up,’’ he says. ‘‘My brother had an Elvis record which he wore out because he played it so many times. When I heard it, I thought he was really cool, and it was my introduction to rock ’n’ roll.
‘‘Now I’ve been doing this tribute for more than 30 years, which is the longest out of any Elvis impersonator.’’
The costumes worn by Pellicano are exact replicas made by Elvis’s personal tailor, Bill Bellow, including a $10,000 recreation of the White Eagle costume worn by Elvis in 1972.
Max Pellicano as Elvis Presley in Elvis to the Max