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Regular Guy

Regular Guy

Who: Elvis to the Max
Where: Central Coast Leagues Club
When: Friday July 16, 1999

Performing this Friday, July 16, at the Central Coast Leagues Club, Pellicano spoke to TE recently about life as an Elvis.

The interview is published in full this week at our web site at www.nnp.com.au

But here's the joke:

'This guy once said to me, You know out of all the Elvis impersonators I've seen", he goes, You're one of them",' Pellicano says with a laugh.

ELVIS TO THE MAX features a 12-piece band, including four backing vocalists, a four-piece horn section and keyboards, drums, bass and guitar.

Pellicano was plucked from obscurity in 1976 while performing an Elvis-type character in a stage version of the musical BYE BYE BIRDIE. He played Elvis in a stage show in Hawaii for two years before taking the show on the road, where he has remained ever since.

Max continues with the story.

MP: A producer saw me in the show, he was from Hawaii, and he had me come and do an Elvis show in Honolulu, and it ended up I turned out staying there about two years, doing an Elvis show, so all my dreams of becoming an actor went down the tubes (laughs) because I kind of kept doing it, it was really popular, so it was like, well. . .

TE: And presumably you were getting a lot of work too?

MP: For me I loved the music, but at that time, if you're an actor, let's face it, on the Broadway stage, unless you're a huge name, you don't do very well as far as financially, but what had happened to me is once I got into the show I started enjoying the music.

It was kind of a chance of being a rock star, you know, it was great, you're on stage doing this rock and roll stuff, it was fantastic.

The funny thing is the more I study about the guy, he was just a regular guy and of course, you know the way the media just blows up everything he did, that's what it's all about.

That's what you do as an actor, you have to exaggerate some of the stuff to make him look a little bigger than life.

To most people he was bigger than life, and to most people who come and see the show, they're waiting for this humungous boom, I don't know, it's definitely a hard character to portray on stage because of the fact of what people expect.

TE: Why is he still so big?

MP: I think that the music will always hold up. You listen to the music and that's really what it's all about, his music, and being he was the catalyst for rock and roll.

Without Elvis there probably would've been rock and roll, definitely, but I don't think it would have taken off the way that it did after he came out with a couple of hits.

He had it all together, he could do movies, he was a nice-looking guy, he had a good voice, he had the whole package, and it was perfect to produce a megastar.

TE: Elvis to the Max performs with a 12-piece band, of four-piece horn section, bass, drums, keyboards, guitar and four backing vocalists. That's pretty big.

MP: We don't like to skimp on the show. We do the show the way it's got to be done.

TE: And costumes?

MP: We've got authentic costumes. My guitar player bought Elvis's guitar player's guitar, and my costumes are made by the guy who made Elvis's stuff, so basically we've got the show as authentic as we're going to get it,

TE: Which Elvises do you do on stage?

MP: I do three costume changes. I do a little bit of the '50s and then I do the 1968 Comeback Special, with the black leather suit, and the last one I do is the Eagle Suit, but I've got eight different jumpsuits that I alternate.

It's a fun show. I've heard people tell me we wouldn't want to go and see an Elvis show, but what we've got is a fun show. It isn't like a parody of the thing. We try to recreate it pretty much like he did his concerts, so it's a fun thing.

TE has a double pass to ELVIS TO THE MAX to give away.

To go in the draw mail an envelope, with your name, address and telephone number on the back, to ELVIS TO THE MAX GIVEAWAY, PO Box 200, Newcastle, 2300.

Or enter on-line at www.nnp.com.au, via the Backstage Pass section. TE

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