Who was/is El Vez ? - CDs, Vinyl LPs, DVD and more
Elvis impersonator. Although he is frequently characterised as an "Elvis impersonator," performance artist Robert Lopez goes a great deal further than any of the overweight guys who make a living or gratify a need for atten-tion by dressing up in jumpsuit, sideburns, and sunglasses. El Vez is a bizarre and inspired creation in which Elvis has become a kitsch-crazed Latino performing songs like "Huaraches Azul," "En El Barrio," and "Viva Le Raza" backed by the Memphis Mariachi Band and girl singers, the Elvettes. His extensive and flamboyant wardrobe includes a white, double-knit polyester jumpsuit with red, white, and green rhinestones and a sequinned Virgin of Guadalupe on the back.
Originally the curator of an avant garde Los Angeles art gallery, Lopez con-ceived the El Vez concept as a part of a 1988 exhibition of Elvis "overkill." Subsequently, El Vez took his show to that year's Elvis Tribute Week in Memphis, where he performed both in front of Graceland and at Bad Bob's nightclub.
Traditionalist Elvis fans were far from amused, and Lopez barely escaped with his life. Undeterred, however, El Vez continues to this day, weirdly bridging the gap between the art world and Elvis fans. On January 8, 1993, he contributed to the celebrations that marked the issue of the Elvis postage stamp by performing at the main Hollywood Post Office on Wilcox Avenue.
When asked by a TV reporter how long this "Elvis thing" was going to go on, El Vez simply replied "Better get used to it, Paco. It's going to go on to infinity."
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