Happy Elvis Day in Spokane

(Spokesman Review)  (excerpted)Spokane’s own Ben Klein, one of the world’s foremost Elvis tribute artists, gets immersed into Elvisin a soft drawl and affecting the requisite lip curl.

“Thenkya vurry much.”

Three  years ago  Klein’s Elvis Presley Enterprises-sponsored bus tour with a grueling schedule of 29 shows in just 35 days.

That’s a lot of pelvis grind.

Klein not only survived but learned many subtle tricks that come with his offbeat trade.

Kissing, for example.

Once while singing, Klein said he extended an offhand invitation for women in the audience to come up for a kiss.

A daunting line began to form. Klein’s lips were all but numb by the time the impromptu smooch-a-thon finished.

Klein also learned about the care and maintenance of tight leather pants.

Portraying the ’68 Comeback Special Elvis meant Klein had to wear those iconic black leather togs.

Which are way cool, of course.

But nobody ever stops to consider all the hunka-hunka burnin’ funk generated by such thigh friction that, if properly harnessed, could light up Cleveland.

“It’s like a sauna in there,” Klein said of his pants.

I’d need several jugs just to summon up the courage to attempt the leather pants look.

“You have to be in a certain physical place to wear it,” agreed Klein.

During one of his shows, for example, Klein said he cracked a joke about splitting his leather pants.

Then Klein launched into “Jailhouse Rock.”

Any guesses about what happened?

Yep. “A 3-inch hole in my crotch,” he said, laughing.


Doug Clark can be reached at (509) 459-5432 or

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