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 'The King' plans return to Austin

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Jaming With Elvis
Jaming With Elvis

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PostSubject: 'The King' plans return to Austin   Sat Dec 27, 2008 10:00 pm

Chatfield's Boice to perform on New Year's Eve
By Lee Bonorden (Contact) | Austin Daily Herald

Published Saturday, December 27, 2008

There will be more Elvis sightings New Year’s Eve Wednesday in Austin.

The Elvis Presley tribute artist and the D.C. Drifters will perform at 7:30 p.m. New Year’s Eve at the Paramount Theatre, Austin.

Boice has bumped and ground his way from obscurity to … well … being one of hundreds of Elvis tribute artists.

He has a distinctive business card that identifies him as “Brad Boice ETA.”

“This year will be 60 times that I have performed my Elvis tribute,” he said. “I still have to have a day job, working for the city of Eyota.”

Boice and his wife and their two teenage children live int Chatfield, Minn.

Elvis impersonator Brad Boice sings a quick tune at the Paramount Theatre early this year. Boice swings back through Austin for another show New Year's Eve.

He constantly works to keep his tribute fresh — that’s hard. The often imitated but never duplicated Elvis was too much of an original.

“My act is changing all the time. I put in new songs and try this and that,” he said. “I want it to be the best I can make it.”

Boice started his tribute to the legendary rock music icon by accident.

He and his wife, JulAnn, and friends, Myron and Kristi Allen, were attending a musical impersonator show.

After watching two Elvis impersonators, Kristi Allen told Boice, “Brad, you can sing Elvis better than that.”

Allen convinced the band to allow Brad to sing with them as the audience got ready to hear another Elvis impersonator.

Boice sang “Can’t Help Falling In Love With You.”

The audience loved it and another Elvis tribute artist was born.

That was 2005.

Boice has been a favorite at hundreds of private parties, corporate events, benefits, fundraisers and other appearances.

He has performed in nine Elvis competitions to date. One week after he made his inadvertent debut, Boice finished second in an Elvis impersonation contest.

Now, he has claimed four Elvis impersonation titles, including twice at LCO’s Casino, Hayward, Wis.

He placed second among 30 contestants in November 2006 at the “Elvis Extravaganza” in Las Vegas, facing Elvises from around the world.

He was second in March 2007 at the Mall of America’s “Contest of the Kings.”

Also that year, Boice received the “Spirit of Elvis” fan appreciation award at the “Elvis Explosion” at La Crosse, Wis.

Boice returned to the Mall of America last March to win the 2008 Contest of the Kings competition.

In September, Boice returned to the “Elvis Explosion” contest at La Crosse, Wis. and finished second.

Next month, he will be a featured performer on the Royal Caribbean cruise ship Independence of the Seas.

The fame hasn’t gone to his head; nor has it given him good-natured immunity from friends.

“Yeah, they still tease me at work,” he said. “Whenever I drive around town people holler at me ‘Hey, Elvis.’ It happens wherever I go.”

With so many Elvis tribute artists, it’s no wonder there are so many sightings.

Boice said he has not yet had a bad experience paying tribute to Elvis. “I’ve never had any hecklers,” he said, adding, “Knock on wood.”

He prefers “tribute artist” over “impersonator.” The former implying respect, the latter suggesting a less respectable copycat.

The Elvis whom Boice pays tribute to is vintage 1968-72.

He had made his famous NBC television appearance on a live show and sounded like the black velvet voice of the 1950s.

He would take the stage soon after in Las Vegas — sequined jumpsuits, neck scarves for female fans in the front row and excess of all kinds.

Boice said he prefers the Elvis of a more “pure” sound.

“If I could meet him,” Boice mused, “I guess I would like to hear him tell the stories he picked up along way during his career. There must have been a lot of them.”

And, perhaps, to sing along with the King.

Being a tribute artist is another example that “imitation is the highest form of flattery” … even when you’re singing “You Ain’t Nothin’ but a Hound Dog.”

Boice and the DC Drifters will entertain for one performance only New Year’s Eve.

Beer and wine will be catered by the B&J Bar and Grill for the Wednesday New Year’s Eve show at the Paramount Theatre.

Tickets are $15.

For more information, call the Paramount Theatre box office at 866-434-0934.

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