Elvis has left the building.

Aug 16, 2010 by

I hope I didn’t bore you too much with my life story.

Monkeys love the king!!!

That’s a quote from Elvis Presley. Elvis died on this day in 1977. I admit, my knowledge of Elvis isn’t all that extensive. In fact most of what I know of Elvis I’ve learned in the last few year. See, for the last few years I’ve been a member of the Krewe of the Rolling Elvi. If you live in New Orleans, you’ll recognize that krewe as the guys riding around town on scooters dressed like Elvis. It has been a truly amazing experience and has forged memories I’ll be telling people about for the rest of my life.

One of the more interesting things I’ve learned from rolling with the Elvi is a little unexpected. There’s an almost universal love of Elvis, and when you dress like him and run around town you get to experience a small piece of that universal love. And you feel an obligation to behave in a way that nurtures that love. Not overly cautious, but it does sort of drive your behavior. Its not as difficult as it might sound. I mean, its easy to be nice and friendly when people approach you with both curiosity and excitement.

And it takes a surprising amount of courage to put on a not-very-believable wig, sunglasses, and a polyester jumpsuit. Elvis was not a modest man, at least in his choice of attire. A jumpsuit, in most instances, bedazzled all the hell or not, is not a flattering outfit and is fraught with peril. I believe there is even a yoga position based on the technique of going to the restroom in a jumpsuit. And in no small way, you’re sort of taking your life in your hands by walking into a bathroom dressed like Elvis, after all, that’s where he died.

The Rolling Elvi start their season on his birthday with a birthday party in January and end it with a party on the anniversary of his death. The latter party happened this past Saturday at the Kingpin bar. Clockwork Elvis were amazing as always. And the crowd was vast. During the season, the Rolling Elvi ride in Muses, work with Tipitina’s Foundation, have a kickball team (the Memphis Mafia), a bicycle team that ride to raise money for MS, have a dart team (the Throwing Elvi), make an appearance at the Running of the Bulls, make appearances at Big Easy Roller Girl bouts, and the list goes on and on.

Every couple of years, a small group of Elvi and their Priscillas travel to Graceland, in costume, and tour the place. I was lucky enough to attend the last trip. I had never been to Graceland and when the opportunity to go with the krewe came up I couldn’t resist. I would guess that literally hundreds of pictures were taken of us just that one day. And true to form, we would stop at every request to pose for pictures.

Saturday was my last Elvi event, so I’m donating my scooter, and hanging up the jumpsuit for now. But I wanted to thank the Elvi for the chance to ride with them, hang out with them, and for the warm way I was brought into the fold. They are an amazing, and diverse group of people. It has been an honor. And maybe I’ll rejoin them later cause after all…like they said in M.I.B.:

Elvis didn’t die, he just went home


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