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 Arcata's Tim Breed does Elvis proud (with video)

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PostSubject: Arcata's Tim Breed does Elvis proud (with video)   Tue Jul 08, 2008 4:04 am

Jessie Faulkner/The Times-Standard
Article Launched: 07/06/2008 01:31:38 AM PDT


He's got the swagger, the lip curl, the hip-action, the turned-up collar and a pretty darn close approximation of that swoon-heavy voice.

Link to video http://medianewsgroup.a.mms.mavenapps.net/mms/rt/1/site/medianewsgroup-norcal-eureka-pub01-live/current/launch.html?maven_playerId=player2&maven_referralObject=96af44e3-a47c-406c-9177-e6721feb12f7

As Humboldt County's only paid Elvis Presley impersonator, Tim Breed, 27, of Arcata has the enviable power of sparking smiles just by appearing in a wide-lapeled three-piece white suit, big red-tinted gold-framed sunglasses, mid-cheek sideburns and a guitar.

The transformation of the relatively slight, deep-voiced Humboldt State University music graduate wasn't the fulfillment of a lifelong dream, an obsession with the King of Rock 'n' Roll or even a grudging admiration for the well-known singer's magnetism.
It all started with his older brother Dan.

It might have been the time his brother superimposed an image of Elvis' face on a religious candle and rewrote the prayer to reflect a plea to “keep rockin.” Or it might simply have been his brother's long-held admiration for the late singer's tunes.

”On some levels,” Breed said, “Elvis was in my consciousness.”

That subconsciousness came to the surface last summer when Breed's older brother gave him a three-piece suit as a gift. It wasn't exactly his everyday style, so he began pondering the attire's possibilities.

By the time Halloween rolled around, Breed had hit upon using the gift threads to resurrect Elvis. He said he rounded up some sunglasses and attempted to take on the persona of the famous one.

”I really got into it,” he recalled.

At one point in the evening, a friend pleaded with him to talk like himself -- not Elvis. He just couldn't do it.

By November, Breed was working up an act to perform at his family's Christmas talent show in Fort Bragg, where he debuted his versions of “That's All Right Mama” and “Heartbreak Hotel.”

It wasn't long before he was singing at a birthday party and beginning to take this Elvis business a little more seriously. He admits Elvis wasn't his hero, but the late rock 'n' roller certainly is now.

And, while there's more than a little campy kitsch to this business, Breed has developed a healthy respect for the owner of Graceland's capabilities.

”His voice has subtleties I never picked up on,” he said, noting Elvis' range from opera to blues to lounge singing to rock. Since delving into the world of Presley, Breed said his own singing voice has drastically improved.

Response among the singer's 20-something friends has been overwhelmingly positive with the exception of one who, Breed recounted, thinks it's ludicrous and his time would be better spent promoting his owns songs and musical talents.

Breed will become Elvis for a southern-style cuisine dinner at the Beachcomber Cafe in Trinidad from 6 to 9 p.m. on Aug. 17 -- 31 years and one day after Elvis died in his Memphis mansion. Breed's Elvis, complete with backup singers, will be performing “Suspicious Minds.”

The 27-year-old took the gig a little bit further just recently after being ordained. That's right, forget Vegas, Elvis can marry you and yours right here in Humboldt County. Legally.

Those who aren't quite ready for marriage, let alone marriage by Elvis, can still get a glimpse of Breed's rendition by calling 707-826-1194. Bookings begin at a minimum of $75 but $100 brings a 45-minute performance.

The fun tends to happen on both sides of the stage.

”I like seeing the reaction,” he said. “I like to see people laugh. It's not a serious thing. It's just fun, and people respond to that.”

Of course, Breed's brother is among the biggest fans of the unusual business. He may even join in as the older Elvis -- they're 12 years apart -- offering a little humor to the performances. So far, he's got the rhinestone setter necessary to put together a costume, a little bit of a belly and a good comedic sense.

Based on the Elvis interviews Breed has heard, it's clear to him that Elvis was a very funny guy.

While the performer said it's best to give him a week's advance notice when the King's presence is desired, he noted he was open to Elvis emergencies. And he hasn't ruled out pursuing the business on a more full-time basis -- if that opportunity presents itself.

”I'm serious about the craft of it,” Breed said. “When it comes to showtime, it's definitely about having fun.”



http://www.times-standard.com/localnews/ci_9800235
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