My husband Andy and my daughter Imogen both have singing lessons on Saturday mornings. Andy has the first lesson, and while he is busy, Imogen sits in the car, drinks coffee, and works on her computer until it’s time for her own lesson. But yesterday, Imogen did something different: She recorded a vlog for her Facebook page.
A few years ago, my husband Andy dressed up as Elvis and sang Blue Suede Shoes in a school concert. And the crowd – his students – went wild. I wrote a story about Andy Elvis Presley. Would you like to hear it?
Andy is busy with an after-school sports session, so he misses the meeting. The next day, the other teachers can’t wait to tell him about the plan.
“Andy, you’re just going to love the idea we came up with.” Mrs W stops to stifle a giggle. “We thought we could have…. “ She giggles again. “… Andy Elvis singing Elvis!” She collapses into a fit of laughter but manages a few last words: “What do you think?”
Andy Elvis singing Elvis? Andy doesn’t hesitate. “OK,” he says.
“OK? What? You mean you’ll do it?”
So Andy comes home and announces the news to us. “I’m going to wear an Elvis costume and I’ll sing Blue Suede Shoes. The other (female) teachers will dance in the background wearing brightly coloured swirling skirts. I’ll have my very own backing group.”
“Wow! You’ll be a superstar, Dad!”
Andy searches the Internet for a backing track to Blue Suede Shoes, and before very long, he has the words memorised. He treats us to a preview and we are suitably impressed.
Then one day at school…
Andy announces, “I’ve been practising singing the Elvis song.”
“Singing? You’re going to sing. We only expected you to mime along with a recording…” The other teachers are surprised.
Andy looks scornful. “Mime? No. If I going to be Elvis, I’m going to do it properly. I‘m going to sing.”
“You can sing?”
“Can you sing a verse for us?”
“What? Here? Now?”
So Andy stands in the doorway of the classroom, grabs his imaginary microphone, curls his lip and opens his mouth: “One for the money, two for the show…” Mouths drop open in astonishment.
“You can sing!” Of course, he can.
“You sound like Elvis.” Of course, he does.
Andy grins. He has amazed everyone.
A few days later, Andy drives to the hire shop to pick up his costume. He is given a voluminous sapphire-blue shirt, studded with fake jewels. It has a zippered opening. Will it cover his chest? There are huge matching blue flared trousers. Will they stay up? He has a wide leather belt, dripping with chains. It looks like he won’t need the belt extension! There is a chunky gold chain to wear around his neck, and massive dark sunglasses to hide behind. No one will even know it’s him. Finally, a black wig complete with sideburns. He’ll have hair for the first time in years! All Andy needs is a pair of blue suede shoes.
The shop assistant looks at her paperwork. “We have your name down as Andy but we need your surname too.”
“Elvis? No. We need your real surname.”
“My real surname is Elvis.”
“Really? No!” The woman raises her eyebrows in disbelief. “ I’m afraid I’ll need to see your driver’s licence.” Andy hands it over. The shop assistant glances at it and then cries, “Wow! You are Elvis! I am soooo excited. Wait till I tell my daughter we had Elvis in the store today! Wow! This will make a good story. She’ll never believe me!”
So Andy returns home with his costume and of course, we insist he tries everything on and parade for us. Andy Elvis disappears into the bedroom and Elvis Presley returns. The girls’ eyes open wide. Is this strange, hairy, sun-glassed, blue-clad vision their father? For a moment, they are too stunned to speak. Then…
“Make sure you don’t lift up your arms too high, Dad, otherwise your tummy will show.”
“Your trousers are slipping down.”
“Does that zipper come up any higher? We don’t want to see your chest.”
“Can you see through those glasses? They’re very dark.”
“You’ve got hair! Lots of it!”
Andy looks at himself in the mirror and sighs. “I’m obviously Elvis Presley in his older, fatter days.”
No one has any idea what Elvis Presley looked like in his younger or older days. “You look great Dad!”
“Will you sing Blue Suede Shoes for us, Dad… pleeease?”
“Let’s get the camcorder out and record Dad singing.”
“And we must take some photos.”
So Andy poses. He curls his lip and tries to look hot… or should that be cool? He can’t help smiling. We laugh as we snap away, capturing memories for the album.
Then Andy sings as he swivels his hips and points his finger to the sky. Put your arms down, Dad! Your tummy’s showing! He quickly pulls down his shirt. Now he’s looking cool again… or maybe just strange. But he sounds magnificent. He is Andy Elvis no longer. He’s Elvis Presley.
The girls go wild. “Dad! You’re fantastic.”
I have to agree. Who else would dress up in such a ridiculous costume? Who else is so much fun?
Later, I have an idea… Will Andy…? Can I… ? Oh, it is such a wonderful idea but will Andy think so too?
“Andy… how would you feel if I wrote a blog post called Andy Elvis Presley? I could add some photos of you in your costume. It would be soooo amazing. What do you think? Pleeease!!”
Andy doesn’t hesitate. He’s used to me. “OK.”
“Ok? You don’t mind?”
Andy is a true blogger’s husband.
After the mid-year school concert…
“Wow! Mr Elvis, I didn’t know you could sing! You sounded just like Elvis.”
“Mr Elvis, you looked just like Elvis!”
“You looked magnificent!”
“My mum likes Elvis.”
“Look there’s Mr Elvis! He’s a superstar.”
Yes, Elvis is a superstar and I’m married to him. Andy Elvis, that is. Aren’t I a lucky woman?
Andy sings in a couple of choirs with our children, and you probably know that he has also sung in several of Imogen’s music videos. My favourite is Loch Lomond. Perhaps sharing passions helps parents and children bond together. I can certainly see Imogen and Andy’s strong relationship when I watch them singing together.
So do your children share a passion with you? And what do you think of the photos of Andy Elvis Presley? Doesn’t he look like a superstar?!