He's always on my mind
On the 30th anniversary of the King's death, city fans tell why they're all shook up over Elvis' legacy It is 30 years since the death of Elvis Presley at the untimely age of 42 and fans from all over the world are gathering for a candlelit vigil at his Memphis home in Graceland. Here four devoted Elvis fans from the Capital to find out why the man known the world over as the King remains so special to them
Carol and Peter Jones
CAROL had long been an admirer of Elvis Presley - that much was always clear from the Elvis mirror and record collection in her living room.
But when she married her husband Peter almost three weeks ago, Carol knew that Elvis was going to become a much bigger part of her life.
Peter, 54, has been a staunch Elvis fan for decades, travelling to Graceland twice and founding the local branch of the official Elvis fan club, the Memphis Mafia, back in 1973. So it was apt that when the pair, who have known each other since they were teenagers, finally got together it was to the music of the King.
Carol, 48, recalls: "It was at the Scots Guards Club in Haymarket three years ago, after Peter invited me and other work colleagues to an Elvis tribute night. It was my birthday and we danced to Elvis and have been together ever since."
Peter's love of Elvis Aaron Presley extends back more than 30 years and, in his younger days, he recalls spending many an evening sewing the King's name on to his clothes. "I used to embroider 'Elvis Presley' down the legs of my jeans when I was about 21," the dad-of-five recalls, breaking into a smile.
He even went to the extreme of naming his first-born son, who is now 28, Aaron Elvis. "I don't know if he has ever forgiven me," he says. "I didn't want to embarrass him by calling him Elvis as his first name. I wouldn't go that far," he insists.
The couple live in Leith and senior care assistant Carol says she has become accustomed to her husband's obsession with the King. "Elvis lives with us. He's not dead," she jests.
Peter, a chef, says his mum was also an Elvis fan and so he was introduced to his music early. "His music and his act are great and he never forgot his roots. I go to the fan club events every month and, if I'm working that night, I just go late."
He hopes to take Carol, a mum-of-three, to Graceland next year and says his wife, who now accompanies him to most Elvis-related events, was "a closet fan" before they began going out. "She's not as much of a fan as me but she's made a lot of friends through it."
Fittingly their first dance at their wedding reception at the Hibs Club on Sunnyside was to an Elvis song. Peter recalls fondly: "It was the first one we danced to that night in the Scots Guards Club - Let It Be Me."
MIKE was an impressionable young Elvis fan when he heard the King's personal hairdresser and friend was coming to town. Thrilled, he booked an appointment at the hair clinic in the Haymarket where Larry Geller, who began looking after the star's hair in 1964, was promoting products. He got chatting to the man he had seen appear in several Elvis films and was not disappointed by what he heard.
Now, a quarter of a century later, Mike, 44, recalls: "He told me I had the same hair colour as Elvis - black with a baby blue sheen. Years ago I had long black hair and the big sideburns. All my friends had a laugh when I told them and said my hair was nothing like that. It's certainly not anymore - what's left of it."
The trade centre manager and former president of Edinburgh fan club, the Memphis Mafia, Mike has been an Elvis fan since he was a teenager. An avid collector of Elvis memorabilia, Mike, from Drumbrae, has all the 800 or so songs the late performer ever recorded as well as a copy of his last concert programme. He keeps up to date with the latest news from the Elvis world by getting his copy of Essential Elvis magazine, which comes out every two months.
He has travelled as far as Antwerp to attend Elvis conventions and has even been known to dress up and perform as the great man in aid of charity.
Last November, Mike donned a replica of Elvis' famous white jumpsuit and a black wig to perform his hits at a hotel in Leith to raise money for a neighbour's child who has Down's Syndrome. "It was daunting," he admits, "I'd never done it before but people know I can sing and friends had asked me to do it for charity."
Even at his wedding to Veronica, 48, at the Carrick Knowe Parish Church, Elvis played a part.
"We came down the aisle to How Great Thou Art. My only regret is that we couldn't have Hawaiian Wedding Song because the organist couldn't play it." Luckily, Veronica, a housewife, is into Elvis as well and often accompanies Mike to fan club events. The dad-of-one is not one of those who clings to the belief that Elvis isn't dead. However Mike says everyone is due their opinion and at least it helps keep Elvis' memory alive.
To commemorate the 30th anniversary of Elvis' death, Mike has organised a live Elvis tribute entitled His Truth is Marching On at the Mayfair Hotel in Musselburgh on Saturday night. Proceeds will go to raise money for a genetic disorder charity, The Neurofibromatosis Association. A limited number of tickets are available from Mike by calling 0131 539 4678.
Helen King's King
HELEN KING, 54, from Lochend, has been an Elvis fan since hearing him on the radio at the age of five.
The retired care assistant has five Elvis tattoos on her arms and her house is a shrine to him, with an Elvis curtain and duvet cover and a cuckoo clock that plays Jailhouse Rock and Don't Be Cruel.
She says: "I saw him in the cinema as a child and it was instant love. I only got my first tattoo ten years ago because my ex-husband and my father hated women with tattoos but I had always wanted to."
Dotted around her home are framed montage pictures of Helen with Elvis, taken at Graceland, and her favourite is one of him looking lovingly into her eyes.
Helen, who is now remarried to Benny King, 61, a retired chauffeur, has been to Graceland three times.
"I think about Elvis every day of my life," she sighs. "It's tough for my husband but Elvis was in my life first."
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Tuesday 18 June 2013
Temperature: 10 C to 21 C
Wind Speed: 9 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 9 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 16 mph
Wind direction: West