There’s a stupid TV commercial where the woman bounces around saying, “I’m cleaning the litter box.” I’m like that now, except that it’s, “I’m going to Elvis Week.” I’d better cut it out, or my wife is going to get mad. Being gone for four days is problematic enough, so there is no point in broadcasting how much fun I’m going to have.
This will be my fourth Elvis Week, and it may be a while until I take in another. After this year, there won’t be any more “Good Rockin’ Tonight” concerts from Darwin Lamm, Editor of Elvis… The Magazine. That’s been the connection that brought me to Memphis each time, but he says this is it. He has been host to concerts in most years from 1992 on, but 2007 will be the last in a run of great Elvis Week shows for Darwin Lamm.
Elvis fans from all over the world have regularly supported his concerts, and they’ll be glad they made the trip this year. For his grand finale, Darwin is presenting a incredible six shows. I’m excited; being a ‘gofer’ backstage is a great job.
I also have a sad, personal story about this Elvis Week. Five months ago, I bought a bunch of albums and 45s from an old guy, and it included a near-mint copy of Boots Randolph’s Christmas promo release “Sleigh Ride/White Christmas.” I was planning on taking it to Memphis and getting Boots to autograph it. That won’t happen now. We’ll miss you, Boots. But, we’ll carry on.
I recently sent e-mails to eight people I expect to see during Elvis Week. One of them is a musician coming in from Nashville to perform during the festivities. The thing that struck me was his enthusiasm. He is as excited as a fan.
Who wouldn’t be, in his situation? Check this: “It will be nice to see many old friends, including many of Elvis’ friends we have become close to over the years.”
How would you like to have that going for you next week? The quote comes from Steve Shepherd, who will be playing keyboard at two Scotty Moore tribute concerts. The last time I saw Steve play behind Scotty, Steve also served as stage manager and ran rehearsals, so he will probably do that again this year.
The concerts where Steve will appear are called Scotty Moore: The Last Man Standing. There’s a code word in the title. If you can find a Las Vegas bookie who will give you odds that this will not be the last time Scotty Moore is up on stage, it might be smart to put a little money on the bet.
I know another person who is going to Elvis Week and is super happy about it. She gets to celebrate her 50th birthday in a bar across the street from the Peabody Hotel. Kathy DeNike booked the “Big Foot Lodge” for the blast, and it is shaping up to be great fun. I’m going with two lovely ladies, Judy and Shirley, wonderful friends from near Toronto.
Kathy DeNike is a talent manager for a gang of Elvis Tribute Artists, and several will perform in Memphis. She has a huge e-mail list of contacts and Elvis fans, so it must have been a chore to pare it down to the short list of the people who got invitations. The invitations were e-mailed, and must be printed out and presented at the door. What a great touch. It will be fun to come up to the door with my invitation clutched tightly in my hand. I even printed it in color.
For a lot of reasons, I’m pumped to be going to this Elvis Week. I’m prepared to experience some bittersweet moments as I get an up-close view of aging artists performing. Maybe, that will make it more special.
Any way, “I’m Going To Elvis Week. I’m Going To Elvis Week.”
© 2007 Philip R Arnold All Rights Reserved www.elvisblog.net