In nearly thirty movies during the ‘Hollywood years’ Elvis Presley always ended the film ‘with the girl’. Some might then reason with all the plots and uneven odds he faced that the pandemic should not now slow down love, romance, and marriages. Throw in a glitzy city that reeks of up-ended marriages, along with ‘The King” being involved with the vow-making, and what do we have?
Do not get me wrong. Vegas has a lot to offer for a fast weekend and a few shows. But to get married there is just not what I sense is the start of a serious lifetime together. But if you really need to cheapen the vows by taking them in such a place, at least make it better by adding some of the King’s music. Steve Connolly, who’s donned the King’s jumpsuit for 25 years, is just the person to see if this is truly what you desire in starting a life together.
I was reading GQ this weekend and stumbled upon this way to wed during COVID in Vegas.
You can’t come into the chapel without a mask. I have to be performing while you’re six feet away. We’re conforming to that, and thankfully we haven’t had anybody come down with COVID. This year, everybody’s wearing masks in their wedding album. Most of the weddings we’re doing tend to be Southern states or states that are right next to us: Colorado, Arizona, California. And I just married a crazy, drunken group from Florida. The couple was talking about how they’ve been married before, with these huge weddings, and they got divorced and here they are.
The Elvis thing started as a fluke. I was in a band in Boston. I always did a couple of Elvis songs because my mother always said, “You got to do an Elvis song.” A guy who saw that said, “You do Elvis better than anything else. Just do Elvis.” That particular guy did produce six shows for me; then he got arrested for forgery. I took on the show and went to Vegas, where I started doing weddings back in 1996.
My last nightly show was on March 14. Plenty of times I said I could quit working and just make a living doing weddings 100%. I was in a good mood. Then the next day, boom, no weddings. When the pandemic hit in March, I lost 37 weddings. The chapel stayed shut down until June 1. It was devastating for me. Without my show, the only thing I have is being an officiant.
I do place Elvis at the top of the entertainment world. As such, I just am not so sure this is what he would want his name attached to in Vegas. Colonel Tom Parker, however, would be hustling merchandise and finding new ways to profit from such marriages. But then again, it was Parker who torpedoed Elvis’ musical career in the 1960s to make a seemingly endless stream of sub-par movies–simply because they always made money.
And so it goes.