"Elvis is everywhere - he's in your cheeseburgers! Elvis is in Nutty Buddies!" - Mojo Nixon
We've all known this for some time, but it's only recently been okay to acknowledge this fact. CKX Inc. took control of Elvis Presley Enterprises last year, and Robert F.X. Sillerman wondered aloud in a recent interview with The New York Times if the company should do something about "unauthorized Elvis impersonators."
So just who is Robert F.X. Sillerman and why should he care who has a curling upper lip or a penchant for jumpsuits designed by Bob Mackie? Mr. Sillerman is the chancellor of Southampton College and serves as Mel Brooks’ unpaid real estate advisor for the East End of Long Island. He is also the founder and former executive chairman and controlling shareholder of SFX Entertainment, Inc., the world’s largest producer, promoter and presenter of live entertainment. His musing on a hypothetical question sent a ripple of fear through the Elvis Impersonator community.
Up until now, the business concerns of the Presley estate have been focused largely on the heart-shaped "Love Me Tender" pillows and "Fat Elvis/Skinny Elvis" stamp imbroglio. The "tribute artists" were, for the most part, left alone. "It's entertainment, which has traditionally been accorded a wide scope of protection," said Roberta Kwall, a DePaul University law professor and specialist on publicity rights.
Matt Lewis, an impersonator who has toured the world and now performs 12 times a week at the Imperial Palace casino in Las Vegas, says CKX would be hurting itself if it went after Elvis acts. "We get new fans all the time, which sells merchandise, sells CDs, which promotes Elvis' name. People don't go out and buy my T-shirt after the show — they get an Elvis T-shirt somewhere."
"If it comes down to somebody saying you can't wear that wig or you can't wear that shirt or you can't sing that song, that will upset a lot of people," Michael Hoover, a professional Elvis impersonator said. "You would see some really serious reaction from the impersonators."
"Elvis is a perfect being.We are all moving in perfect peace and harmony towards Elvisness
Soon all will become Elvis. Everything everywhere will be Elvis." - Mojo Nixon