It was after he met a Los Vegas Elvis impersonator — he looked more Barry Manilow than the black-haired king — that Thane Dunn started down the road of sideburns and hair dye.
“He was supposed to be the very best in the whole wide world,” says the Moncton resident.
“He had a great singing voice but didn’t sound like Elvis.
“I met him backstage and was hanging out with him, and the guy said ‘Can you sing?’ I said ‘The only thing I can sing is the same thing you do,’” Dunn says.
“I’ve always loved Elvis since I was a little kid. I never thought I would be doing this as a full time job.”
It took a few years, but Dunn is now making a living doing impressions of the Tennessee-born rock ’n’ roll legend. He is bringing his Elvis: Aloha From Hawaii show to the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium this Saturday.
The performance — proceeds from which go to the IWK Health Centre Foundation — recreates The King’s satellite telecast that took place 35 years ago.
It starts with his “2001 A Space Odyssey” entrance, and ends with Can’t Help Falling In Love.
Dunn’s interest in Elvis started while he was a kid growing up in New Brunswick.
His father bought a Pontiac in 1974 and inherited and eight track of Elvis: Live In Memphis jammed in the player.
“My grandparents lived in Nova Scotia, and we used to visit them every weekend. By the second trip I knew all the songs,” he says.
“I would stand up in the back seat and sing and stuff.”
He said it was Presley’s charisma that appealed to him. He liked the energy and the stage presence the singer had.
“I am stuck with the black hair and sideburns,” said Dunn, who adds he has to keep dying his hair with L’Oreal Blue Black No. 9, the same Presley used. “It used to drive me crazy, but I think I have the best job in the world.”