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It’s the week of “doing it right and doing it tight” for Elvis in Surfers Paradise.
This weekend, the Gold Coast plays host to a series of music legends who have passed from this mortal coil – John Lennon, Queen, Buddy Holly, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Jim Morrison and the Blues Brothers – as part of the Viva Surfers Paradise week.
But the main draw remains Elvis Presley, or rather the Elvis “tribute artists” who this week perform the magic of the man still regarded as the King of Rock and Roll.
The winners will travel to Memphis Tennessee for the 2017 world Elvis Tribute Week finals.
It is the real deal, presented by Elvis Presley Incorporated.
With help from Chuck Berry and Little Richard, Elvis Presley genuinely grabbed country and hillbilly music by the scruff of the throat in the mid 1950s and shook it until something new evolved.
That became known as rock and roll.
This week Viva Surfer’s Paradise saw 20 or so south-east Asian finalists, including Japan’s Tatsuro Ngata from the Elvis Presley Society of Japan performing.
Guests also were entertained by the Elvis tribute artist who won the competition in 2014, Jay Dupuis, a singer from Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Viva Surfers Paradise – mirroring, of course, the Elvis classic Viva Las Vegas – is unashamedly a business and entertainment mix, put together by the Surfers Paradise Alliance, a scaled-back localised Gold Coast Chamber of Commerce backed by the city council.
There’s cars, beaches, sand, rock and roll, nostalgia, music memorabilia and dreams.
It started last Friday and runs until this Sunday, July 17.
Surfers Paradise Alliance chief executive Mike Winlaw said it was time Australia tapped into its collective spirit of nostalgia.
“Since its inception six years ago, Viva has grown into the Asia-Pacific region’s biggest tribute artist festival,” he said.
“It has an amazing program of free live entertainment, as well as classic cars and plenty more where we celebrate timeless music and culture of years gone by.”
Viva Surfers Paradise will feature:
If Elvis still makes you feel all shook-up you can read about the weekend here at the Viva Surfers Paradise website.
The real Elvis Presley died on August 16, 1977, the year punk rock broke, from an overdose of prescription drugs that caused a heart attack.
DISCLOSURE: The reporter is a guest of Viva Surfers Paradise.
By Tony Moore