You would think that being laid to rest at Graceland in 1977 would have slowed Elvis Presley down a bit, but the cult of the king keeps on growing. The truck driver’s son from Tupelo would have celebrated his 81st birthday this Friday and there is a way to celebrate every night this week. Here are some of the best.
Monday, January 4
A dozen bands, ranging from folk to surf to “cirque rock,” take the stage at the Echoplex tonight for the Elvis Presley Tribute Show
Tuesday, January 5
The Grammy Museum has updated their pop music pod for the occasion with performance photos from the 1960s and 70s and an authentic Elvis shirt.
Wednesday January 6
The confectioners at Salt & Straw have Elvis-ized their banana pudding ice cream with peanut butter, bacon, and Oreos to commemorate that famous sandwich. An impersonator will be on hand Friday evening to sing for guests waiting in line.
Thursday, January 7
Arclight Hollywood presents the 1970 live concert film Elvis: That’s the Way It Is while Joe’s Bar in Burbank presents drummer Bernie Dresel and bassist Johnny “Spazz” Hatton at their Elvis Presley’s 81st birthday party
Friday, January 8
George Thomas performed as Elvis for the president of Russia and now he’s taking his act to Lancaster! In Elvis Through the Years he transforms from black-and-white triumphs to jumpsuit tears. Tiki No in NoHo will present special cocktails featuring (you guessed it) bananas and peanut butter and the 12-piece big band Graceband recreates the full-blown 1970s Vegas experience at Standing Room in Hermosa Beach.
Saturday, January 9
The most personal and intimate connection with EP is an afternoon with friends and collaborators (meet hairdresser Larry Geller!) at the “Elvis Honeymoon Hideaway” house in Palm Springs. Closer to home, the Coffee Gallery in Altadena is hosting a meetup of Elvis-minded ukulele players. That’s going to be a sight.
Sunday, January 10
The final night of Elvis week can be spent at the biggest event: Art Fein’s long-running Elvis Birthday Bash at the Pickwick Gardens in Burbank, which always draws top-notch bands inspired by artists of Sun Records. You could also head down to Azteca in Santa Ana, a bizarre Mexican restaurant decorated with Presley bric-a-brac, where it’s Elvis week year-round. Impersonator Sean Martin takes the stage at 8. When you get home, tune into Rodney on the Roq and hear Mr. Bingenheimer’s salute to Mr. Presley and his birthday soulmate, David Bowie, on KROQ 106.7.