Joe Edwards stands on the street, guiding a massive limousine toward the curb. The door opens, and out step Gladys and Vernon, followed by Priscilla, Lisa Marie, Lisa Marie's ex-husbands Nicolas Cage and Michael Jackson, Colonel Tom Parker, the golden palomino Rising Sun and, finally, Elvis himself. He looks pretty good for being dead nearly three decades. His black jumpsuit glitters with a galaxy of rhinestones, the sideburns are low and tight, the sunglasses perfect. The outdoor diners on the other side of Delmar stand to see who's raising the ruckus, and some of them snicker and point. On this side of the street it's nothing but cheers and applause, and Elvis accepts it all with a killer grin and a gracious wave.
Technically, this Elvis is Steve Davis. He's here to perform his annual tribute to the King, commemorating his death for those of us who won't make it to Memphis. Many men have attempted to imitate Elvis' look, his movements, his swashbuckling machismo and his swaggering stage presence. Some of them can approximate a part of the myth; a few of them can capture a good deal of it. None of them hold a candle to Steve Davis. Edwards attempts to lead him inside, but Davis strides toward us and presses the flesh. It's the showmanship: Davis nails that down-South charm every time. No one else remembers the King's humility and genuine love for his subjects.
Edwards finally gets Elvis inside, and the whole family crowds into the display window. Elvis steps to the front, microphone in hand, and gives us a twenty minute taste. "Teddy Bear." "Suspicious Minds." Couples are dancing, with kids screaming every time He looks at them. Even over a backing tape and through glass, Elvis' charm is palpable. Then he drops the bomb, "Can't Help Falling in Love." An older woman puts her hand on the glass, and Elvis places his palm against hers. He's singing right to her, just Elvis and a woman who fell in love to the original single. That voice rings out, and we all fall in love again for the first time.