So it wasn’t at Graceland but at Canstatters in Northeast Philadelphia that I covered one of the more interesting events of my 2013 so far. Tipped off by a friend’s Facebook post, I set off to the 100-plus-year-old German club in search of a group of people that has always intrigued me: Elvis Impersonators.
I quickly learned they do not like to be called Impersonators; they are Elvis Tribute artists. As a group they take a bad rap in the press sometimes, but I found them all to be pretty OK! My favorite was this guy Gary Elvis from Florida. Just a real, hospitable guy that totally seemed to get what we were trying to do covering the Philly Elvis Fest for PHL17. But all the ones we talked to were just great fans of “The King” and great performers. We were there Sunday for the finals of the competition of 22– and they were all great singers. Here’s some photos of the Philly Elvis Fest. This day was much more about the video, so only a few photos.
You never know who you run into at an Elvis Fest either, as I happened upon none other than The Margera family of Jackass fame. (April Margera and Phil Margera.) As a bonus? Don Vito was also there! I am the biggest fan of Jackass and all the movies and shows that followed so this was a real treat. As such, I am particularly aware of the havoc that Don Vito can cause at a bar.
But apparently, the TV Don Vito and the real life Don Vito are miles apart as the Vito I met that day was the nicest guy in the world. He knew our station, was excited we were there and he even got Phil Margera to appear in our coverage! (He also bought rounds for just random people at the bar.) Good times all around. Thanks to Ryan and Sarah for covering with me. Thanks Elvis Fest. Thanks Margeras. Grazie Don Vito!