Esquimalt 'Elvis' grateful for unanticipated performing career
VICTORIA -- Although he's wearing grey suede shoes instead of blue, Scott is regularly questioned about being 'The King of Rock N' Roll'. "Little kids in the grocery store say, 'Excuse me, sir, are you Elvis?" John recalls with a smile, before revealing his answer. "Don't tell anyone you saw me!"
When adults in the aisles see Scott's hair – styled into a jet-black pompadour with large sideburns – he says they usually ask for him to sing a Presley song. Scott usually replies with only a couple iconic notes, before smiling: "That's what you get for free!"
Scott is a professional Elvis tribute artist. He was first compared to The King in Ontario, when he was an eight-year-old choir boy. "[The choirmaster] used to tell me, 'Take the Elvis out of it,'" Scott recalls with a laugh. "I didn't know what they were talking about!"
While Scott has always sung with a King-like quiver, he never considered performing Presley. But, then he joined 1.4 billion other people around the world – and watched Elvis' iconic satellite TV special.
Scott was so moved, he says he re-watched his recording of the concert more than 500 times that year – much to his friends dismay.
"'We'll come over, but please don't play Elvis!'" Scott recalls them saying. Although he would agree, he'd inevitably try to show them something about Presley he found impressive.
Scott also started singing Elvis songs to himself daily. "Sometimes I would hold my tube of toothpaste [like a microphone], doing the moves in front of the TV," he remembers. "Then, my neighbour knocked on the apartment door. 'Hey, man! You sound really good!'"
Scott says he felt embarrassed that somebody was listening and that he's always been sort of shy and never sought attention.
"I didn't decide to be an Elvis impersonator," Scott explains. "I thought that was a ridiculous occupation. I really did."
Yet, he felt compelled to do it and faced his fears. Scott ended up doing so well, he's spent the past 27 years working across the country as Virtual Elvis. Now, he performs with a live band, The Tupelo Katz.
"I came out [to Vancouver Island] to do a show and fell in love with the place and stayed," Scott says. "Everybody I know – all my friends and family out here – are because of Elvis."
Scott met his wife 18 years ago while performing Presley, which is why everyday Scott says – in his best Elvis voice – "Thank you. Thank you very much."