My Night With Elvis: Clamfake?

The Tender Continuation From My Night With Elvis: Kitten With a Dip

ATLANTA, GA -- During the Elvis Presley Mondo Movie Night pre-show, our spur-of-the-moment, all-old Passion Fest in Songs and Hips was halted abruptly. Donna and I stopped the "Blue Hawaii" pineapple number mid-bump under outdoor Screen #2. We were dazed and without a paddle.

The Starlight Drive-in Theatre's management, it seems, had scheduled another "Tribute to Elvis!" Imagine such a thing. We were out of business, as the audience stampeded to the Snack Bar patio, where a band, Clambake, was tuning up.

I was a bit disappointed and bravely admit my pinched emotions at this juncture, but mostly I mourned for my partner in taps. She was crushed and sobby as she blotted dollops of facial cream to remove her specialty Arthur O'Connell stage makeup. She had been prepared to break in an all-new "Pappy Tatum" homage derived from "Kissin' Cousins" (1964).

We used to do a routine with Donna as Arthur O'Connell in "Follow That Dream" (1962). Her "Pop Kwimper" soliloquy kills with fanciful observations on homesteader spunkiness -- and assorted Kwimpers -- but, alas, she yearned to do something more recent for the young fry. Hipper, if I may.

Clambake, the Elvis band, performs at Mondo Movie Night. Photo copyright 2004 Mike Durrett, all rights reserved.

I had suspicions about those Clambake people. My expectations were lowered to my basement and subterranean fallout shelter when I learned there would be no Young Shelley Fabares impersonator during their concert.

Heretics. Had they even seen "Clambake"?

The real Elvis sings with the Clambake band. Photo copyright 2004 Mike Durrett, all rights reserved.They did have an Elvis front man who claimed to be the actual Elvis. I had doubts. He sounded like Mr. Presley, for sure, and had the primo moves to punctuate. The jet black pompadour and the gray beard seemed right, blending seamlessly with panache, suitable accoutrement toppers for his jewel-encrusted belt buckle.

All the members of the band sported the exact same haircut and sunglasses. The kindly, real Elvis I know would be the type to recommend a good stylist and optometrist.

I was worried by what appeared to be a pillow or padding inside Elvis' white, high-collared, bell-bottom jumpsuit. It had sunk to his crotch, far below what looked to be jet black chest fur. It was a bit of showbiz trickery to create Vegas pudge.

Eat some chicken, man. Grow it back, King.

The merry men were very entertaining, I do admit, a polished ensemble. And it wouldn't take much to convince me that was the real Elvis at the microphone. After all, he did have "ELVIS" spelled in drums and he rambled touchingly and somewhat incoherently about Priscilla, dear ol' 'Cilla.

By the time he finished, I had a tear in my eye, which went away when I removed the pebble I had somehow acquired in my shoe.

I'll sign off on him being Elvis as soon as I have his sideburns carbon dated. It troubles me that one of them waved in the breeze like a dopey flap on Elmer Fudd's hunting hat.

I was about to shout, "Do Pop Kwimper!" when, suddenly--

Next: My Night With Elvis: Swallow That Dream | My Night With Elvis: Paradise, Drive-In Style
Rewind: My Night With Elvis: Kitten With a Dip
Photos copyright ©2004 Mike Durrett. All rights reserved.

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