Anarachy in Graceland
The devolution from punk rock to Elvis is a weird sort of natural regression that only aging punkers can truly understand. Both a mockery and a celebration of the excesses of rock ’n’ roll, GG Elvis stitches remnant punk riffs into well-loved Elvis melodies then sets the whole thing on fire with a pit-worthy tempo and stage antics that could have the King squirming in his grave. Who knew “Six-Pack” by Black Flag could segue so well into “Viva Las Vegas?” Could anyone have foreseen a marriage between the Sex Pistols’ “Holiday in the Sun” and “Suspicious Minds?” For those who can’t make the connection between punk and Elvis, consider Presley’s departure: the King on his throne?
Brothers fromanother mother
While a case can easily be made for commonality between Elvis and his punk descendents, there are few dots connecting Elvis to G.G. Allin; a pathological need for attention, self-destructive tendencies, obsessed fans and clownish behavior (one unintentionally, the other quite deliberately). Elvis became a parody of himself and Allin’s notorious stage shenanigans parodied the bloat of celebrity that led to the King’s rather pitiful deterioration, but as bad as things got, it’s doubtful Elvis would ever resort to defecating onstage. Allin on the other hand stopped at absolutely nothing to get a rise, routinely abusing and defiling himself and his adoring, pathetic fans.
Devils in disguise
While professional impersonators are entertaining audiences with the “Three Faces of Elvis” production, G.G. Elvis ups the ante with four Elvis personas that are unlikely to win praise in Elvii circles. Eric Lara (Bad Samaritans) who moonlights as a hypnotherapist and a lighting tech in the porn industry, is frontman G.G. Elvis, the band’s resident deviant. While he draws the line at hurting himself or others, Lara has been known to disrobe, touch himself and “insert items in various places.”
He calls it “grotesque burlesque” but he doesn’t anticipate going to the extremes of one of his namesakes. For instance, he has yet to publicly poop. “That might just be ’cause I haven’t had to go,” he smirks. Drummer Larry White (Dr. Know, Aggression, Stalag 13) is Has-Been Elvis, the down-and-out, disheveled guy Elvis could have become had he lived longer. Guitarist Dave Casillas (Dr. Know, Aggression, NOFX) is Elvis Vicious. He wears leather but doesn’t have a skanky girlfriend named “Nancy.” Bassist George Snow (Bad Samaritans) is Elvis 56, representing Elvis at his coolest: the Jailhouse Rock period. “Little Sister” Sara Curran is the band’s part-time bouffant-sporting backup vocalist.
License to ill
Because so many different people wrote the songs that helped crown Elvis the King, permission to license his hit songs for their record Back From the Dead took a whole year to procure. Once the legalities were worked out last year, G.G. Elvis took off like a toupe in a wind storm. “Everything went bananas when the record came out,” says Lara. With one European tour under their sequined belts and another coming up, the band these nardcore veterans put together for fun, has become their bread and peanut butter. “We’re kind of surprised by the attention we’re getting,” says Lara. With the exception of NOFX, none of their respective bands have garnered as many kudos. Lara’s parents “hated” his other bands but they like G.G. Elvis. “I don’t know if that’s good or bad.”
G.G. Elvis will perform on Friday Jan. 23, at the Ventura Theater, 23 S. Chestnut St.. 639-3965, www.myspace.com/ggelvis.