IT was a simple twist of fate that took Garry Buckley from dedicated fan to the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.
His journey began as a 13-year-old when he first came across ifThat’s the way it isnf, Elvis’ first non-dramatic film that traced his life during the early 1970s.
From then on the Canberra boy was hooked.
‘‘I thought this is pretty cool,’’ he said.
‘‘I loved the costumes, the music, pretty much everything about him. The whole thing fascinates me.’’
The diehard fan first appeared as Elvis during a fundraising movie night for the Canberra Hospital burns unit in front of a crowd of 700.
‘‘I just sort of fell into it,’’ he said.
‘‘At the time I was president of the Canberra Elvis appreciation society so I had a few of the suits and they were looking for someone to get dressed up. Turns out they couldn’t find anyone to fit so they ended up coaxing me into it.
‘‘It was great. They had a limo come and pick me up. I wanted to stop around the corner so I could have a walk around before going in but they said, don’t worry there isn’t a lot of people there so don’t worry.
‘‘I turned up in the limo, opened the door and there was about 700 people.’’
That was 11 years ago. These days Buckley is more used to the crowds of screaming fans.
Following his first appearance he decided to turn his love for the King into a renowned stage show.
The ifOne Night With You Elvis tribute shownf has since raised thousands for charity.
He’s entertained US Ambassadors Robert McCallum and former Prime Minister Bob Hawke as well as countless appearances at hotels, clubs and functions across the region.
These days when he isn’t delivering milk across Queanbeyan for K & M Milk and Juice, Buckley dons one of his many sequin suits and offers a full stage impersonation of the man that captured his imagination.
Without any formal singing training Buckley admits his vocal ability comes from years spent in front of the record player.
His show also highlights the King at his best, during his Vegas era of the 1970s.
It was a time when Elvis had trimmed off the Hollywood fat and was looking slim, tanned and handsome.
‘‘The media focused very much on the fat Elvis just before his death,’’ Buckley said.
‘‘But what often isn’t focused on is all the good things he did. Elvis raised a lot of money for charity and a lot of other impersonators also do a lot of fundraising.’’ Buckley will bring his show to the Queanbeyan Kangaroos Club this weekend for one night only. Backed up by the talented Jules Brennand and Queanbeyan’s Impressions Dance Studio dancers the massive two hour show includes full make up, costume, wigs and glasses as well as all of Elvis’ hits from the 1970s.
Taking the moves and humour of the legend, Buckley’s performance includes all the big hits like the powerful ifAmerican Trilogynf and ifMy Way nf.
There are also several of the lesser known songs that didn’t make it in the top 10 list but that dedicated fans will know well: including ifThe Wind nfand if20 Days and 20 Nights.nf
Although he has a set line-up of songs Buckley won’t rule out coming back on for an encore with more of the audience’s favourite tunes.
All proceeds will support the Queanbeyan Lions Club.
The One Night With You Elvis tribute show
Saturday, March 31
Queanbeyan Kangaroos Club
Phone 6297 6222