The F Word: Grandpa Presley


Even as I celebrated what would have been Elvis Presley’s 85th birthday this past week at Record Archive, it was getting harder and harder to keep up his legacy amid the fried banana and peanut butter sandwiches, and virtually everything from his square movie catalogue (except “Pocket Full of Rainbows”).

But if you’re like me and Albany’s The Lustre Kings, you still indulge in the music, the voice, and even some of the stuff from Elvis’s “Hollywood” period. The Kings rocked the joint as the scent of peanut butter and bacon wafted out from the door.

And hey, here’s another way I put Elvis in perspective: He was a grandpa. Allow me to elucidate with a quick anecdote.

I was backstage at a Chris Isaak concert in Pittsburgh a while back. Elvis’s daughter, Lisa Marie, was opening the show. At one point she introduced her two young children, and I, slicker than snot, burst out with “Wow, your grandpa is Elvis.”

Tammi Savoy and Chris Casello rocked the Abilene foundation a little looser than their debut there in autumn. I think you can blame that on the fact that the audience knew what to expect a little bit more, and weren’t wrapped up in “Holy shit, what’re they doing up there?” And man you just gotta hear Casello play the super-vibrato of The Viscounts’ “Harlem Nocturne.” The spirit of Grandpa Presley rocked among us.

Frank De Blase is CITY’s music writer. He can be reached at