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Initiative. Aníbal Simão has transformed the barbershop in a museum that evoques the Memphis singer. On Sunday, an event gathering a hundred fans will take place at "Rei Dom Pipas".
- Alberto Oliveira e Silva.

Next Sunday, from 01:00 p.m. till 06:00 p.m., the "Rei Dom Pipas" restaurant, in Oliveira de Azeméis, will be "stage" of a "Inedit Celebration in Portugal of the Life of Elvis Presley", who, this year, would have already celebrated his 79th birthday if he was alive.

The event came to life from the passion of the natural of Oliveira de Azeméis, Aníbal Simão, a big fan of the King of Rock since he was 12 years old - he is 63 today - and also from the involvement of the "Elvis 100%" magazine, edited by Célia Carvalho.

The several wills for this to happen came together, as well as the availability of Francisco Peças and António Carlos Coimbra, two artists that have been considered the best Elvis Presley tribute artists in competitions that took place in Portugal and Las Vegas (United States), respectively, and the scenery is set for a lunch that will be marked by music and revivalis. Please note that the foreseen capacity of the restaurant - 120 seats - is already sold out.

Being a barber by profession, Aníbal Simão started to transform his working place, located in the center of Oliveira de Azeméis, in a museum that pays tribute to Elvis Presley and his passion for the mythic singer.

The day of the event will start with a visit to the barbershop-museum, where everyone present will find, besides the music of the man from Memphis, all kinds of articles and objects - photos, posters, records, newspaper articles, flags, watches, mugs, among others, even an canary named Elvis -, that remind the singer and are proof of the passion of this "Elvis from Oliveira de Azeméis", as he is many times called in the lands of La Salette, something that, he confesses, pleases him.

Aníbal Simão says that many are the persons who visit his working place just to enjoy the number of objects it contains. "People from abroad come to visit, even from countries as Germany, Russia and Venezuela," he told Diário de Aveiro.

He added that he still receives - almost daily - items for the barbershop-museum, which is at risk of seeing its ceiling taken.

"It was a dream of mine to do something here that would pay tribute to Elvis," he underlined, refering to an event in his hometown. He even had told Lusa Agency that he regretted the fact that in Portugal people don't pay the mythic rocker "as much attention as abroad."

In 2002, Aníbal Simão was in Memphis, in the state of Tennessee, where he visited Graceland, the estate with a mansion, that belonged to Elvis Presley, and which evoques his life and legacy. "It was one of the most wonderful moments of my life," he said, revealing the wish of going back.

It's not possible not to note an almost mystical fervor when he is speaking about his idol and the small museum he created for him. He stressed that his grand daughters - Sofia, 8 years old, and Filipa, 4 years old - are already members of the Elvis Fan Club in Portugal and he ensured that, many times, important events in his life seemed to be coincidentical with marking episodes of the life of the King of Rock.

CULT TO AN IDOL

In declarations to Lusa Agency, Francisco Peças and António Carlos Coimbra have said that the due cult paid to the life and legacy of Elvis Presley isn't still a reality.

"Abroad, people are more passionate about Elvis than we are about Amália," António Carlos Coimbra said. And Francisco Peças warned that the Portuguese, in general, "don't even know that these shows are available."

"Talent" and "humility" were qualities that, according to Francisco Peças, ensured imortality to the singer.

António Carlos Coimbra considered Elvis Presley "a good rebel", who has "inovated through his music."

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