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Elvis to the Max


Elvis to the Max

Described as the most accurate Elvis impersonator in the world, Max Pellicano is as close as you'll ever get to the King of Rock 'n' Roll and he's headed for New Zealand.

Some say Elvis should have impersonated him ... he's that good. Direct from America, Max will perform in Hamilton, Tauranga, Christchurch, Auckland and Rotorua in August and September.

Born in Monte Carlo, of French and Italian parents, Max Pellicano spent most of his childhood in New York before moving to San Francisco at the age of 14. Today, Max is based in Detroit. He has been a professional actor and entertainer since 1974 when he graduated from the California State University with a degree in Dramatic Arts.

Max first brought Elvis impersonation to life on stage in a production of Bye Bye Birdie.

"I was doing musicials and theatre and had to study Jailhouse Rock for my role as the Elvis-type character, Conrad Birdie. I studied the way he walked, the way he talked and the way he moved for months. I guess you could say I got into impersonating Elvis in a kind of round-about way." he said.

His performance led to an Elvis tribute show and the rest is history. "I learned long ago that the fans don't want the legend to die. They want to keep the memory going." Max said. He still spends many hours in front of the television and listening to records. "I watch a lot of old live concerts and it's actually kind of easy to study Elvis because I really enjoy watching his shows." says Max.

Max stresses that his is an actor recreating a character and it is an illusion. Some see it differently though - one of Max's strangest requests was when a couple in Los Angeles asked him to bless their child.

Max portrays the earlier years of Elvis' career, ignoring the time he put on weight. "That stage of his career was only a small part and I don't feel that it's fair to concentrate on it. I want to do Elvis when he was at his very best. My favourite era is about 1960 to '62 and Burnin' Love is probably my favorite song of all...but, then again......!" he said.

According to "I am Elvis", there are more than 6,000 professional Elvis impersonators in the world and countless amateurs. "It's hard to copy the original, but what we try and do is recreate the Elvis concert and give people a chance to see what it might have been like to see Elvis perform live."

After viewing some footage of Max, JD Summer, one of Elvis' backing singers from 1969 to 1977, said he thought that it was indeed footage of the late king. Elvis Lives on!

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