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

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - CONTENTS - Elvis To The Max at Twin Towns on Au­gust 10.

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

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