What Elvis Presley Would Look Like If He Were Still Playing Las Vegas

Wherever else some performers might have played, they’ll forever be associated with Las Vegas. The Rat Pack. Liberace. Phyllis Diller and Don Rickles. Wayne Newton.

Sadly, one of those performers left the building too soon, Elvis Presley. Who knows what might have been. Had Elvis lived, he could still be packing them in on the Las Vegas Strip. Here’s what Elvis might look like today.

Taking care of business, and naps.

Taking care of business, and naps.

Check out a cool gallery of rock and roll superstars as they’d look today. And Las Vegas Weekly did a great article about the 25 Greatest Headliners in Las Vegas History that’s worth a look.

We’ll say it. Like many legends, Elvis’ legacy actually benefits from having passed when he did (1977).

If Elvis were playing Las Vegas now, he’d be taking hits for trying to reclaim his former glory without the voice to back it up. Audiences would wonder if he’s doing his own singing or lip-syncing. (He’d be lip-syncing, or at least be using vocal backing tracks, because just about every big star in Las Vegas does, even the great singers like Celine.)

His show would be an over-the-top spectacle, though, with an ample supply of showgirls and visual references to his amazing music and movie career. Mostly the music part.

People would note what an amazing head of hair The King still has.

Elvis would be rolled out for public appearances around Las Vegas. He’d tap a keg at HofbrÀuhaus during Oktoberfest and make the rounds at red carpets whenever a new show opened on The Strip, pretending to know who “Murray the Celebrity Magician” is. He’d get a Proclamation from the mayor every time his show hit an anniversary year with a “5” or “0” at the end.

Even when Elvis was killing it, it was already getting a little awkward.

His Las Vegas show would open and close with “Viva Las Vegas” today, of course, and that would’ve been a genuine thrill.

Agree? We’d love to hear what you think Elvis would be doing in Vegas were he still alive. Would there be tours of Graceland Las Vegas? Would there be an Elvis-themed Heartbreak Hotel, in his honor? Would there be more Elvis impersonators in Las Vegas, or fewer?

We can almost hear him saying what he said at a news conference in 1972, “Man, I was tame compared to what they do now. Are you kidding? I didn’t do anything but just jiggle.”

Share some Vegas. Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on RedditShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someone

4 thoughts on “What Elvis Presley Would Look Like If He Were Still Playing Las Vegas

  1. Steven Brown

    I’m thinking that if Elvis were alive today and still doing shows in Vegas, he’s probably still be headlining shows at the Las Vegas Hilton (Elvis probably would have kept the place viable and the Hilton folks never would have canceled their deal.), as no matter who owned it, they would try their hardest to keep him there (He would be the highest paid entertainer in Vegas even in this day in age.). Just as Sinatra’s name was synonymous with the Sands and Caesars Palace, Elvis is forever linked to the Las Vegas Hilton.

    Reply
  2. Hundley Fan

    In this age of plastic surgery, Botox, Restylane, Juvederm, etc., there is *no way* Elvis would let himself age naturally. Sadly, he probably would have had as much “dental work” done as Wayne Newton, Carrot Top, or Bruce Jenner.

    Reply
  3. DrBrodski786

    There’s a couple of things wrong with that hypothesis. Firstly, Elvis was strictly old school, so he would never resort to lip-synching or back tracks. If he grew unfit to sing for real, he would sooner take it as a sign that it was time to retire. Lip synching might work for singers other genres, but not for showmen belting out power ballads like How Great Thou Art.

    Elvis was the kind to set the standard. He dressed unlike any other and worked that way too. It wasn’t in his blood to follow fashions and do what was popular. So he wouldn’t feel comfortable engaging in vocal fakery just because everyone else in Vegas was doing it.

    He would still experiment with new material and do cover versions of other artist’s stuff when he heard something that he liked. As you say, his show would continue to be an over-the-top spectacle. But he would stick to the formula that made him a legend, so there would be no showgirls or other distractions. His concerts always focused on him with only his fellow musicians and backing singers there to provide some additional fun. That was the way things had developed under the management of Colonel Tom Parker. Parker believed in keeping things stripped back with Elvis taking the spotlight. Parker also kept interest in Elvis high by limiting the number of interviews and press conferences.

    Following Parker’s death in 1997, Elvis would have finally got himself the kind of new manager with fresh ideas that he should have had since the sixties. By then Elvis would have been firmly set in his ways. He would be willing to experiment with new material (maybe a duet with Katy Perry or someone) but the core aspects of his live performance would remain unchanged.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *