At the purple-black decorated desk in the New Daisy Theatre on famous Beale Street in downtown Memphis I sit working – and, waiting for all the fans to finally get their autographs and take their photos of themselves together with Elvis-Impersonator Ben Portsmouth, who just minutes ago was sitting right there on a white wooden folding chair performing his acoustic concert. It’s Elvis Week 2015 and the city is crowded with men, women and even children who look astonishingly similar to Elvis Presley. Ben Portsmouth though is looking rather casual right now with his plain white T-shirt and fawn-colored trousers as he welcomes his fans with an excessively charismatic smile. At long last – after all the fans have had their chance to shake hands with him – Ben appears with a stack of New Zealand chocolate, a much appreciated gift from his fans. Ben directs his eyes to me as if to acknowledge what we both know – we’re starving – and so Ben proposes we go out to lunch.
It’s a sunny morning in Blackpool, England. The nights during the Elvis Festival “Europe’s Tribute to Elvis” have been far too short, and so I am happy to spend my time waiting in a comfortable brown leather chair in the luxurious hotel lobby. Suddenly, Dean Zeligman, more commonly known to his fans as “Dean Z”, shows up good-tempered, casually dressed – and late. Being late is one of the things he hates about himself, but especially due to the short nights, this is nothing that bothers me. Dean also seems a tad bit tired and a shade groggy in his pale-blue denim shirt and his blue jeans. It was only two days ago that he flew in from Las Vegas and his schedule in England wouldn’t cooperate with the understandable jet lag fatigue. However, it did not affect his positive mood in any way. The plan was to talk about travel, but that turns out to be more difficult than expected: As Elvis was said to be, Dean is congenial, and likeable, and thanks to his humor and naturalness talking to him as well deviating from the subject is quite easy…