The King: Come As You Are (1998)

 |   |  1 min read

The King: Come As You Are (1998)

Although there aren't Elvis sighting in gas stations and supermarkets any more -- Presley would be in his late 70s -- there is still no shortage of lookalikes and impersonators around.

While there seems no great call for Kurt Cobain and Mama Cass impersonators, those who swish their hair back and sneer a little seem to be always out there.

One week I interviewed two of them and within days I had forgotten which was which, because -- well, they weren't themselves anyway.

One of the best, on record at least, Elvis impersonators was (possibly still is) an Irishman from Belfast, Jim Brown, who went under the moniker "The King".

The former Post Office worker ("the Emerald Elvis") with five childen recorded the album Gravelands in '98 and the conceit was kinda fun: he covered songs by also-dead rock legends such as Cobain of Nirvana, Ian Curtis (Joy Division), Tim Buckley, Marvin Gaye, John Lennon and others.

It was eerie and not overstated. The album really worked.

He went on to record Return to Splendor in 2000 (classic songs by the Stones, Doors, Led Zeppelin, the Beach Boys and others) and then an album of originals and co-writes Any Way You Want Me in '05.

Frankly, the way most people wanted Jim Brown was as Elvis -- and his covers on Gravelands might just have been his highpoint. Her versions of Joy Division's Love Will Tear Us Apart, Buckley's Song to the Siren and Nirvana's Come As You Are still stand.

The King may be gone, but long live "The King". 

For more oddities, one-offs or songs with an interesting backstory use the RSS feed for daily updates, and check the massive back-catalogue at From the Vaults.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   From the Vaults articles index

Hallelujah Picassos: Perfect (1995)

Hallelujah Picassos: Perfect (1995)

Thanks to the enthusiasm of former member Peter McLennan, Auckland band Hallelujah Picassos -- once a fixture on the New Zealand music scene in the late Eighties to mid Nineties -- are being given... > Read more

Septimus; Here I Go Again (1987)

Septimus; Here I Go Again (1987)

Sounding a decade too late for the disco era, Septimus were a black outfit from Seattle built around singer/guitarist and producer Herman Brown who originally recorded a version of this song in '83... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Neil Young: Out to lunch

Neil Young: Out to lunch

Nothing showy here, but I've spoken to Neil Young three times. And the man was boring and awkward every time. But that's just my opinion. I've never understood why musicians -- especially those... > Read more

I'M YOUR MAN; THE LIFE OF LEONARD COHEN by SYLVIE SIMMONS

I'M YOUR MAN; THE LIFE OF LEONARD COHEN by SYLVIE SIMMONS

On the eve of his first tour as a musician in 1970 a nervous Leonard Cohen -- aged 34, an acclaimed poet and novelist itinerant between hometown Montreal, the Greek island of Hydra and New... > Read more