The Return of The King

Ever wonder what it would be like if Elvis, in his latter years, had turned to hard rock instead of Hawaii and hamburgers? A world in which Enter Sandman is paired with Suspicious Minds, where Elvis croons and throws kung-fu shapes as the riff to Paranoid blasts? Chance Tinder has.

An Elvis impersonator of some twenty years experience, 2015 finds Chance fronting Rock The King (formerly Metal Elvis), a tribute act who combine the voice of The King with the Hair Metal sounds of the 1980s.

“After 15 years as a traditional Elvis impersonator, I felt enough time had passed to play with Elvis’s persona a little,” says Chance. “I always wondered what it would’ve been like had Elvis lived, stayed healthy and good looking, and floated into the 80s as a rocker.

“I thought I’d dabble in the fantasy of Elvis ditching his Vegas band for some of the rockers from Hollywood’s Sunset Strip. During a rehearsal, my guitarist and I sat down and thought about how Elvis would have sang Welcome To The Jungle. I began goofing off and started singing That’s Alright Mama OVER the guitar licks of Welcome. Surprisingly — because they were both in the same musical key — it worked! We just knew it would be fun to do, people would like it, and most importantly… I was ready to journey down a new musical path in the world of Elvis entertaining!”

With a band that includes a familiar-looking, top-hatted, curly-haired guitarist who goes by the name of Slushy, the band have built up quite a repertoire. Motley Crue’s Live Wire morphs seamlessly into Elvis’s 1957 hit (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear, Ozzy Osbourne’s Crazy Train somehow turns into Viva Las Vegas, and Poison’s Talk Dirty To Me finds unexpected new life as Can’t Help Falling In Love. You get the picture.

It might not be the cleverest idea in the history of rock (let’s be honest, it’s one of the silliest), but it’s a whole stack of fun. “Our audience are CRAZY, CRAZY, CRAZY!” says Chance. “There are more closet Elvis fans out there than you’d ever guess, and when you mash-up Elvis with classic rock and metal, people feel comfortable enough to let their inner Elvis out.”

And what would Elvis have made of the tribute? “I think he would have gotten a big laugh out of it and really enjoyed it,” says Chance. “Little be it known, but Elvis was also a Led Zeppelin fan. In fact, they shared the same promoter, Jerry Weintraub. But Elvis also enjoyed (and covered) many other ‘70s rockers of the day, from Three Dog Night (Never Been To Spain) to Creedence Clearwater (Proud Mary), and others. So I’d say, he’d love us and would probably give us his seal of approval.

“Elvis was a pioneer, and so was his singing, music and style. So much so it turned the world on it’s ear. Unfortunately we don’t much of that legendary kind of talent anymore, yet with today’s Metal you can still feel and understand what Elvis was trying to do and relate for his generation.”

Rock The King can be booked via their website.

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.