Tribute to the king
Randy ‘Elvis’ Friskie pays tribute to the King of Rock ’n’ Roll.
People tell him he bears an uncanny resemblance to Elvis in both mannerisms and looks. One fan told him after a concert ‘when I saw you it’s kind of like his and your spirits were amalgamated.
But Friskie doesn’t intend to impersonate the King onstage, but rather pays tribute to a man he respects and admires.
“Nobody sounds exactly the same as someone else,” said Friskie. “You’ve got to have a bit of yourself in there to keep it real.”
He also doesn’t perform to queues. Friskie said some people wait for specific spot, but he feels free to just perform.
“I feel the music. You won’t see me wait for a programmed spot,” said Friskie.
Friskie also steps out of character when he’s offstage and speaks to people as himself, something many Elvis performers don’t do, he said. Randy Elvis Friskie and his Las Vegas Show Band perform two shows at the Port Theatre Saturday (Jan. 26).
Friskie’s introduction to Elvis started when he was in Grade 1. He saw an Elvis movie and then for a school show and tell sang Elvis’ Blue Suede Shoes.
“I really like the way the guy carried himself. He seemed personable. He just wanted to entertain and that is all I ever wanted to do,” said Friskie. “He would bring you into his story and he would put everything on the line. He would take you with him.”
Friskie grew up in a musical family. His father was a singer. He got his first taste of performing as the King at 14. There was an Elvis impersonator, one of the best in North America.
“The guy went up and sand and when he got off stage he had the worst attitude,” recalled Friskie.
His father convinced him to perform.
“I did really well and people went nuts,” he said.
That experience started his journey to paying tribute to Elvis as a career. He then went to the Elvis Elvis Elvis Show and eventually stated to perform in Las Vegas, even though he was underage at the time. But Friskie got tired of the Las Vegas format because it was the same two shows every night and he wanted to mix it up.
He said Elvis had more than 400 hits and he had to do the same seven each night.
He’s looking forward to performing in Nanaimo’s Port Theatre. The last time he did his show in the community he was onstage with his father and daughter. His father has passed away since then and he said the Port holds a special soft spot in his heart. This time his daughter Cassandra will join him onstage for a duet.
The fans fuel his commitment to having a great show every night.
“You are out there for them … without them you are nothing.” He said.
Randy Elvis Friskie’s shows at the Port Theatre Saturday are 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $39.50 and are available by calling 250-754-8550, www.porttheatre.com or the box office, located at 125 Front St.