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Elvis in the Machine

by Andrea C. Basora, Newsweek Interactive
with Matt Slovick, washingtonpost.com


Ah, the ways of Elvis are truly mysterious. At last there is an answer to the ongoing debate, Elvis: Dead or Alive? He is alive and well -- and living on the Internet. Find out whether Elvis shot JFK, hire the Flying Elvi for a birthday bash, read The King's last will and testament, take a virtual tour of Graceland, or look up the cast of "Harum Scarum." Anything is possible with Elvis online and literally hundreds of sites in all shapes and sizes to choose from. Here is a round-up of some of the King's more worthy abodes:

The Basics:
--This year will bring the 20th anniversary of The King's death. Here is a copy of his last will and testament.

-- Elvis Presley's Graceland. "The official authorized website of Elvis Presley and Graceland," offers some basic information about the man, his music and his movies, but its real focus is tourist information on Graceland and special Elvis events. The best place to go if you're planning a pilgrimage to The King's Castle.

-- The Original (Unofficial) Elvis Home Page. Has the honor of having been sued by Elvis Presley Enterprises. Perhaps because it's a much more interesting site? Includes some useful basic information ... but the site's real attractions are a virtual tour of Graceland and the "Elvis Pen Pals" section, which hooks you up with fellow fans from Memphis to Malaysia.

--Elvis is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Here is his page on the RockHall.com site.

-- Elvis Lives in Evil Levis. One of the most complete and up-to-date personal Web tributes to Elvis. The site focuses on the 1950s Elvis and provides an impressive biography of the singer's early years -- complete with bibliography. Also, don't miss the "Cool Stuff" section, which is chock-full of Elvis trivia and the "Black Velvet Photo Gallery."

-- Pelvis. For a more academic view ... actually a rather dull site, but worthy of mention due to its place of origin, Princeton. The King is truly ominipresleyent.

-- The 3rd Annual International Conference on Elvis Presley. And speaking of academic ... this year's theme? "Elvis 20/20: Past & Future." Check out the schedule of events and be sure not to miss the panels on "Elvis Studies -- So Much White Noise?" or "2001: Elvis and the Apocalypse" before cruising over for the evening performance of El Vez and the Memphis Mariachis.

--Finally, from "The Late Show With David Letterman" on Jan. 9, 1995: "Things Overheard at Graceland on Elvis' 60th Birthday" and Aug. 16, 1996: "Things Elvis Would Say if He Came Back Today."

The Absurdists:
-- Gimme That Dang Pill. A shockwave game that provides an opportunity to help save Elvis from himself. Your task? To flush the pills down the toilet before Elvis can eat them. Your reward? A fried peanut butter sandwich.

-- Disgraceland -- Home of Tim-Elvis. A humorous site that is actually full of useful information. The "Big Elvis: A Thousand Points of Elvis" page is probably the most complete and well-organized list of Elvis links on the Web. But don't miss The Showroom which features photographs of Friz-Elvis the first known Budgie King, rightly billed as "the original Flying Elvis!!!"

-- The Strange Case of the Missing Elvis Diaries. A novel idea -- an on-line serialized mystery featuring reporter Jeff Parrish on the trail of Elvis Presley's legendary lost journals. A "tale of blue suede and bullets, greed and grease."

-- The Oracle of Elvis. By the creator of The Oracle of Bacon (more commonly known as Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon), the best way to ferret out those top secret relationships to The King.

The Truly Weird:
-- The Oracle of the Plywood Elvis. Unearthed near the quaint alpine village of Belgrade, Mont., the Plywood Elvis supposedly "provides guidance on topics of personal concern to those who seek its powers." Click on the Elvis image for useful advice along the lines of: "You are fluent in the language of futility" or "You can never have too many sweaters."

-- Elvis Ain't Dead... / The Elvis Spotter's Page. Contribute your own Elvis-sighting experience, or read through other people's visions of The King.

-- The First Church of Jesus Christ, Elvis. For the true Elvis worshippers, a place of worship. In case you had any doubt that Elvis represents the Second Coming, check out some of the Elvis as Jesus parallels, such as: Jesus said: "Love thy neighbor" (Matthew 22:39)/Elvis said: "Don't be cruel." (RCA, 1956); Jesus is the Lord's shepherd/Elvis dated Cybill Shepherd.

-- Americans for Cloning Elvis (ACE). Just like it sounds: a petition -- via e-mail -- for the cloning of The King.

-- Elvis Shot JFK. For the conspiracists out there.

-- Vote for Elvis. The site that asks: "Why settle for a Prime Minister when you can elect a King?" Of Canada, no less.

The Music, Movies and Memorabilia:
-- Down in the Alley. An impressive collection featuring the lyrics of 698 Elvis songs, all downloadable.

-- Elvis in Latin. Worthy of Ripley's Believe It or Not, "The Legend Lives Forever in Latin" is in fact an album of famous Elvis songs translated into Latin and sung by the Finnish Broadcast Corporation Choir. Compiled by Dr. Jukka Ammondt, the collection includes such classics as "It's Now or Never" ("Nunc hic aut numquam") and "Love Me Tender" ("Tenere me ama"). Ordering information is available on the site.

-- Elvis Women: Actresses in Elvis' Films. Ironically the best Elvis movie site focuses on his female co-stars. Here you can learn all about Delores Hart, who starred in "Loving You" and "King Creole" before going off to become a nun, or about Mary Tyler Moore who played a nun (looking only slightly less absurd than Elvis playing a doctor!) in "Change of Habit."

-- The Elvis Movie Guide. A complete list of the movies with the original U.S. posters as a nice added feature.

--The Doghaus Collection / The Hillbilly Cat and Me. Fun stuff for collectors. Everything from The Elvis Presley Board Game to Love Me Tender Conditioning Shampoo.

-- Elvis in the Machine. If you want to keep your Elvis collection virtual, this is the place to go for a singing Elvis stamp screen saver or an animated Elvis cursor. And for when all that memorabilia gets out of hand: The King's Companion, organizational software specifically designed for the Elvis collector.

The Impersonators:
-- The National Association of Amateur Elvis Impersonators. Features bios of over 40 impersonators, with audio clips in case you want an audition before hiring them for your next Elvis theme party -- or if you want a laugh. The site is set up by the "Nude Elvis" of San Francisco and his little photo gallery is worth a peek.

-- Melvis / Eilert Pilarm Two firsts, Melvis -- the first openly Jewish Elvis impersonator outside of Israel -- and Eilert Pilarm -- surely the first Swedish Elvis? -- both have personal Web pages with news of their latest and upcoming events. Will get you itching to hear "Blue Suede Jews" and make you wonder why the Mexican Elvis sensation -- El Vez -- has no home page of his own.

-- The Flying Elvi. Clearly Elvis comes in all shapes and sizes, and sometimes he even flies. The ten man skydiving team featured in the movie "Honeymoon In Vegas," The Flying Elvi -- all United States Parachute Association pro-rated skydivers -- are available to "make any occasion a spectacular happening!!!"

Copyright 1997 The Washington Post Co.

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