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Elvis Presley Still Alive!?

Article published by Inside Newspaper, in June 2001

Am I in the center of Alverca? Maybe I am, because I see the Central Pharmacy over there and a café with a suggestive sign and, a little further ahead the sign indicating a sports area. I can’t help thinking about Mantorras (*), since lately all roads lead to Alverca, at least he is a true local idol in the press. I keep going and I’m about to meet a group of young people who are waiting for me to introduce myself to another idol, this one at an international level. It is a group of Elvis Presley admirers that I picture in my mind wearing clothes like the king of rock and fanatically square and radical. I couldn’t be more wrong. I’m met by two very nice people, Sandra and Carlos Santos, who “save” me from the center of Alverca and immediately take me to a room decorated with different items that relate to Elvis. In a nearby room Célia Carvalho and José Simões are waiting for us and they’re as nice as Sandra and Carlos. Together they form the board of directors of the Elvis 100% - Still Rockin’! Fan Club, officially created on the 21st January but matured in friendship and knowledge for ten years. This is a true love relationship, as I can testify. You shouldn’t think about a group of enthused fanatical people – this is an official fan club, classified among the 614 that exist in the world that dedicate to preserve Elvis memory and to perform charity actions to help those who are less fortunate.

Elvis 100% already has a bi-monthly publication, which is read by the almost 100 members who profit from this common taste. In the room of the provisory headquarters the environment is tranquil, we can see photos, many records, books, videos, guitars, autographs and many, many letters. We can also listen to background music, which reveals care and a special respect for the inspiring idol. Carlos is a musician and he plays regularly and, he takes the chance to stress out that they are not the blind fanatics that only watch and listen to Elvis. They’re open to other influences and references, Elvis is just a common one. What reinforces my impression of seriousness about this fan club is the fact that they know you can love passionately without losing your mind and use that as a good reason to live. Here is a group of young people that know everything about Elvis and about rock, who visit his hometown, who attend to concerts and meetings and who reveal themselves in an exuberant and organized way, at the same time having perfectly defined the goals they intend to reach. It is a lesson for those who are in the first row destructively criticizing on the attitude or lack of in young people. To me it seems that this is a fine example for other fan clubs to appear, from Bob Dylan to Amália (**), Zeca Afonso (***), who knows. Here, at this fan club, an intense friendship is revealed, the family type friendship which, through a connecting link, keeps united and also creates new branches. Their competence keeps them in constant contact with other associates (on the United Kingdom they’re around 40 thousand) and I come to know that they can also acquire and advise on what to buy concerning original Elvis Presley material. Hours go by and I even don’t notice. I learn a lot of things that I could tell you but I leave that for those who better know and here, at the Fan Club, they know for sure. I read here in the “bible” of rock that “for the public Elvis symbolized the complete advent of rock’n’roll”. Nothing is more fair than the tribute that, starting in Alverca, wants to congregate admirers in all the country. And even if this article may not help to attract more members to the Fan Club, I am certain that from now on, whoever may have doubts about people as individuals and the press, they already know where they can clarify them. Because it is enough to enjoy music to immediately feel integrated in the family. Please note:

Anote aí:
Clube Elvis 100%
Still Rockin’!
Apartado 930
2795-996 Queijas
(Carlos Gonçalves)

Note: This P.O. Box address, in force at the time this article was written, is no longer available. Please do not send correspondence to the given address.

(*) - Mantorras is a Portuguese football player
(**) - Amália Rodrigues is a Portuguese singer
(***) - Zeca Afonso is a Portuguese singer

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