I made an impulse buy of a $30 Elvis suit 3 weeks before leaving Australia in Jan 2008 to travel for a year.
It's crap....and now it's coming with me.
I don't sound like Elvis, look like Elvis, or sing like Elvis.
I am Crap Elvis.


World trip montage - Crap Elvis in 25 countries

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Crap Elvis on Easter Island: A very strange land

Actually in Paraguay now for reasons I´ll explain another time. Suffice to say that the only English speaking person we met when we arrived at the airport, was a United Nations worker here to help clear up chemicals, who just looked at us and said incredulously ¨What are you doing here?¨.

Anyway...just had an amazing few days on one of the world's most remote inhabited islands - Rapa Nui (Easter Island). Hooked up with heaps of great people from all over the world, and shared rented cars to see the tiny island. It doesn't take long to realise how different life is when you're cut off from civilisation - it may be the wild horses running down the main street (or tied up outside the island's nightclub/shed), it may be the dead dog outside the accommodation (when I complained about the smell, they assured me, they would sort it out. They did - a pile of sand now covers the dog...and the smell). Or maybe I realised when I went to rent a car and asked if insurance was included. I was told "we don't have insurance on the island, everybody is just careful". Love it - what a great attitude! Tell you what, let's phone Lloyds of London and tell them the game's up - from now on we´ll all just be careful.

Needless to say the islands main attractions didn't disappoint - the hundreds of mystical Moai (huge stone carved statues that people are still trying to figure out how were moved around), and the island's volcanos were fantastic to see close up.

And of course, Crap Elvis managed to spend some time wandering around.
But were other forces at work? Just minutes after the photos here were taken, I fell mysteriously ill. High fever, vomiting, aching, sudden tiredness. This lasted for 24 hours during which no matter how increasingly tired I felt, every time I shut my eyes to try and sleep, it was like a radio came on in my head pumping out bloody Elvis songs. Do you know what it´s like to hear the first line of ¨Heartbreak Hotel¨ for 8 hours straight?...well I do...and it´s not very nice. So was it the ancient Gods of Rapa Nui I´d offended, or was it the spirit of Elvis deciding that having already done spooky things to my knee before I left, more pain was necessary in a bid to stop my crap impersonation? Come to think of it now, it was probably the half-cooked fish I ate the night before.

Some video for you:

Met some great people including those in the photo below:Richelle(US) and Alejandro (Chile), and Jian and Nele from Belgium. At first glance, Jian just happens to be wearing a yellow top, but the story behind it proves that Mums around the world are all the same. Before he embarked on his world trip she wanted to buy him the national football shirt of Belgium to take with him. Unfortunately the shop was sold out.....so she bought him a referees shirt instead. Anyone who has a mum will understand.

I thought I might try this interesting dish for a starter, although it made the rest of the night a little awkward. Anyone else for double rape?

Crap Elvis in the media update:
Had a good chat the other day to Chris Costello at 4BC in Brisbane. Also have been told of a couple of TV spottings on the ABC and Channel 7 from when we were in Parkes.

Thanks to Cookey for a spot on his online scribblings http://www.theperthfiles.blogspot.com/

Thanks to Guy Wilkinson from Sydney´s Sun Herald paper for his bit which appeared this weekend in the Travel section, and can now be found online by clicking here
A small excerpt from that article below:

¨Not all impersonators are out to win karaoke competitions, though. Matt Hale, 37, originally from England but now residing in Perth, has his own unique mission. Before leaving for a year of travelling, Hale happened across a $30-Elvis suit. Unable to resist its allure, he splashed out for the costume and soon after, his alter ego was born - "Crap Elvis."

Hale's objective soon became clear - to tour the world performing in Elvis competitions, in order to lose. So far, while dressed in his already fraying suit, Hale has run with the bulls in Pamplona, posed with the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro and reaped the coveted last-place prize in the Parkes Elvis look-alike competition.

"I don't sound like Elvis, look like Elvis or sing like Elvis," Hale tells me over a beer. "I'm never going to be the best. There's no point just being in the middle there so you might as well be the worst," he says before taking to the stage.

His tub-thumping rendition of A Hunka Hunka Burning Toast has the pub roaring with laughter. Clearly, even diehard fans of the King are relieved to see a new slant on Elvis impersonating.¨

Alright. Time to head off down another Paraguay backstreet in search of something. Anything.

Monday, January 14, 2008

More Crap Elvis vids and pics from Sydney and Parkes Elvis Festival

Bit of Crappiness around Sydney today in the rain, but again met some great people.
On that subject, if anyone knows "Melissa and Greg" from Parkes who gave me the $30 to cover the cost of the suit after the mainstage performance, get them to contact me (crapelvis@gmail.com) as I'd like to give them my prize for Worst Elvis on the train which I can't use (2 first class rail tickets anywhere on the countrylink rail network - sounds lovely!).

Anyway, have cut up some more video. These first 2 are the songs I did on the mainstage for the Elvis soundalike comp in Parkes. I thought that all the Elvis' would get to do a couple of lines of the same song each - so imagine my glee (there was a lot of it) when I was asked at registration what TWO SONGS I would like the band to back me with! What! Are they mental?!!!! Anyway, they had Teddy Bear, but not Trouble (which I'd also penned an alternative version), so I opted for a hastily re-written version of Burnin' Love. Of course, I didn't tell the organisers or the band I would be using different words, so when I took to the stage (as first perfomer) in front of a couple of thousand people expecting to see Australia's best Elvis impersonators, I think they were surprised. A few mic problems on the second song, but just know that I'm happy I got to instruct all those people to "wave their toast in the air". Yes...it's a milestone.

Also here's some stuff from the Elvis Express that took us from Sydney to the festival.

Also thanks to Lindsay for sending in this pic of us and her travelling bear from the Parkes Hotel karaoke. I'll keep trying to post up any others that people send in. (crapelvis@gmail.com).

And today's media round-up: great chat with Rod and The Flack on 96fm's Breakfast Show in Perth (www.96fm.com.au) this morning, and a nice chat to Jess Perriam from the ABC for their brekky show is up with audio online and a good story at http://www.abc.net.au/centralwest/stories/s2138097.htm (text from the article below):

Crap Elvis: "Hunka hunka burning toast"
The Elvis Express passenger who received the most media attention across the festival was Matt Hale, a Perth radio producer who labelled himself Crap Elvis. And he was just that.

The story of Crap Elvis began with impluse buy of a cheap Elvis suit for a fancy dress party. It would have been all well and good to have bought the suit, except Mr Hale had nowhere to store the suit; he was going on a year-long backpacking adventure in three weeks' time.

Much to the dispair of his girlfriend Kathryn Preston, he decided the trip just wouldn't be complete without an Elvis suit to spice it up a little. Mr Hale pushed some of Ms Preston's toiletries aside to fit the Elvis suit in - after all, who needs perfume when you're backpacking?

The couple were meant to be en route to South America while the festival was on, but they delayed their journey just to squeeze in the chance to be the worst Elvis at the festival.

"I don't sound like Elvis, I don't look like Elvis and I can't sing like Elvis so I've pretty much nailed every aspect there. I just think I'm a man with a bad Elvis suit so people should just have very low expectation because I feel I can acheive those expectations."

Mr Hale has achieved those expectations in a stunning trifecta - The worst dressed on the Elvis Express, the worst Elvis lookalike and the worst Elvis soundalike. During the soundalike competition he put a new spin on some old Elvis classics, performing Won't You be my Terrorist and Hunka Hunka Burning Toast.

Mr Hale is confident that although the Elvis suit is very flimsy indeed, Crap Elvis will be dancing at Carnivale in Brazil, running away from bulls in Pamplona, and enjoying a cappucino in Rome.

Jess Perriam talks to Matt Hale as Crap Elvis
Matt Hale's come all the way from Perth to Parkes to be the worst Elvis ever. Find out why. | Jess Perriam
RealMedia 28k+ WinMedia 28k+

Ouch...now my typing fingers hurt. Off for a meal, beer, bed, then on a plane to Easter Island for the first stop of our South American leg.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

I went to the Parkes Elvis Festival...and was Crap

Too much to cover in this quick post from the past couple of days, but it was AMAZING!
One of the most surreal weekends ever. Few immediate highlights spring to mind...

A heros welcome by the town of Parkes as the Elvis Express train arrived.

The Trifecta of Winning Worst Dressed Elvis on the train, last place in the Elvis lookalike competition, last place in the soundalike competition

Performing my own version of Let Me Be Your Teddy Bear (renamed Let Me Be Your Terrorist) in front of a couple of thousand people expecting to see some of Australia's best Elvis impersonators in the soundalike competition.

A group of drunk elvis' doing tequila shots at the bar.

The same group attacking a mate who wasn't elvised up, and wedgying his undies until they ripped them out of his shorts.

A packed Parkes pub chanting "we want Crap, we want Crap" until I returned to the stage to perform "A Hunka Hunka Burning Toast"

A couple called Greg and Melissa forcing $30 into my hand after the soundalike competition to cover the cost of the suit - a gesture far from Crap

Meeting Elvis' (Elvii?) of all ages, shapes and sizes.

The hospitality of the people of Parkes.

Will post proper footage up soon once I get chance to edit it, but here's a rough bit of an intimate first performance!!!!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Crap Elvis suit already paid for itself

Just a quick update (more photos/vids tomorrow) - crazy day on the elvis express from Sydney to Parkes for the festival. And I won the "worst dressed on the train". It's a big win, and one I was confident of taking off. Prize was 2 first class tickets anywhere on the train's network in the next year....which we'll be away for. Bitter sweet victory. The town's reception in Parkes was amazing - seemed like everyone had turned up to welcome the train. Gonna be a strange couple of days.

Anyway, few more interviews - good fun one with the 6pr brekky show in Perth (will pop online tomorrow), another with ABC Central West, and one with Sydneys' Sun Herald paper. Plus another story on the ABC website


Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Elvis has left the beach...

All going a bit mental really! More radio interviews today with the ABC in NSW (also going to meet a journo from the ABC on the Elvis Express train on Friday for a chat and photos). Also lined up to chat to the 6pr brekky show live from the Elvis train on Friday, and a weekend festival wrap-up with Rod and the Flack on the 96fm brekky show on Monday.

Plus sightings of the AAP story on the Sydney Morning Herald website www.smh.com.au/news/news/crap-elvis-wants-to-sing-the-classics/2008/01/09/1199554701146.html

and very proudly on the Crikey website (top site...well worth a regular browse) www.crikey.com.au/Crikey-Says/20080109-Crikey-Says.html

Anyway - leaving home behind in the morning so one last pensive glance out at the local beach (Scarborough, Western Australia). Got to kiss some babies, and make some new friends....(although kissing some new friends and making some babies would have been equally interesting).

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Whose birthday? Oh, yeah right, I knew that...

Hmmm...bit of media interest in Crap Elvis today. Apparently it's the old dead guy's birthday!

Had a nice chat on air with Tod Johnston on talk radio station 6pr (www.6pr.com.au) in Perth, Western Australia.

Plus a guy from the AAP news service got in touch and has put a piece together which is on the perthnow website

(story pasted below here)

Matt Hale's Crap Elvis round the world adventure

Article from: AAP

Julian Drape

January 08, 2008 04:23pm

OVER the next 12 months, Crap Elvis will party at Brazil's Carnaval, run with the bulls in Spain and pose next to the statues of Chile's Easter Island.

But first, Crap Elvis will spend five days at Parkes in central-western NSW, entering look-alike, sound-alike and move-alike competitions with a single aim - to come last.

Crap Elvis is the creation of Perth radio producer Matt Hale.

He's about to embark on a year-long, around-the-world trip with his girlfriend, Kathryn Preston, and a $30 Elvis costume.

The couple fly out of Australia in less than a week, but tomorrow morning in Sydney they'll climb aboard a special event train, the Elvis Express, bound for Parkes and its 16th annual Elvis Festival.

"It's probably not the best Elvis suit. In fact, I'm quite sure it's one of the worst,'' Mr Hale says of his outfit.

Crap Elvis can't sing and his stated ambition for Parkes is "a bottom placing at the karaoke''.

Crap Elvis loves the King, whose birthday is today, and wants to pay homage around the globe.

"Any major event where you shouldn't see Elvis, I'm hoping to add Crap Elvis,'' he told AAP today.
When asked if her boyfriend was a good singer, Ms Preston replied: "He's a good karaoke performer. He's always entertaining.''

The couple will be among an expected 7,000 Elvis fans who will almost double Parkes' population during the five-day festival.

Parkes' tourism manager Kelly Hendry said a shortage of accommodation meant a tent city - Graceland on the Green - had again been constructed on a local sports ground.

Ms Hendry said most visitors were from NSW, but the festival also attracted many people from around the world.

One of them, Paul Gilbert, from England, entered a painting in the Elvis art show and wanted to deliver it himself, Ms Hendry said.

His work is called Long Legged Girl in the Short Dress.

Highlights of this year's festival include a Priscilla hair competition, an Elvis street parade and a themed gospel church service.

About 30 couples will renew their marriage vows under the Love Me Tender Archway.

Celebrant Andrew Appleby will, of course, be dressed as Elvis.

"People feel that it's a way they can recommit to each other but also show their commitment to Elvis and their enjoyment of Elvis,'' Ms Hendry said.

Apart from the numerous professional impersonators performing there will be public look-alike, sound-alike and move-alike competitions.

Ms Hendry says the move-alike contest is based purely on "pelvis swivelling'' and dance moves.

"It's quite an art in itself,'' she said. "You've got to be limber.''

The tourism manager says the people of Parkes have come to love the media attention the festival brings - and the money it generates.

"Everyone's very aware that it's great for the town in terms of its economic contribution and also the national and international media interest it generates.''

It's been 31 years since Elvis left the building, and Mr Hale and Ms Preston plan to visit Graceland, his home in Memphis, Tennessee, to pay their respects later this year.