Elvis never really left the building!

Mar 26, 2002 6:11 AM

A press release was sent over the newswires, out of ­­Memphis, Tenn., recently, proclaiming that 25 years after his death in 1977, Elvis is still everywhere.

Among other things, one of his records is in the Top 10 on a Billboard Magazine chart, his presence is in an upcoming Disney production, and a comprehensive release of Elvis material is due out from RCA Records. The piece said he continues to entertain with his career even reaching new heights.

Well, duh! In Las Vegas, we’ve known for years that he never really left the building, the city, the industry, or the planet.

Forget about the rest of the world”¦there have been thousands of Elvis sightings right here! Hundreds of Elvis impersonators have performed around town. Dozens of tribute shows have been staged. An Elvis clone convention is held here each year. People get married in Chapels that have Elvis ministers. We have an Elvis Museum. There’s a whole company of Elvi that parachute out of planes. There’s a show named “Viva Las Vegas.” Every other person you meet on the street has a personal artifact and story to go with it from when they met, worked or partied with the King. And clerks in every store show their appreciation with “thank you...ah, thank you very much.”

The best story about how “alive and well he is” may be the one reported in a national tabloid some years ago.

The tabloid published pictures of the late Dr. Elias Ghanem, supposedly walking with Elvis, behind the doc’s old clinic on Joe W. Brown Drive.

Despite it having been verified that the photo was of Ghanem and longtime Elvis impersonator Johnny Harra (the spittin’ image of “The Kang”), the paper published the photos anyway and claimed that Ghanem was “hiding” the real Elvis! (In his time, Dr. Ghanem probably prevented a few people from dying, but he never brought anyone back from the dead.)

One only had to take a look at the photos to figure out that either they were taken during the mid-70s, while “E” was still alive, or that they were of Ghanem and someone other than the real Elvis.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that Elvis couldn’t have stayed hidden for (at the time) 15 years, if he walked around wearing thick gold-rimmed glasses, long sideburns and high-collared shirts, as he did in the 70s. Yet, that’s exactly the way he (Harra) is decked out in the photos.

The funny thing was that apparently the photographer who took the photos never bothered to follow Elvis and Ghanem to find out just where the good doctor was supposedly hiding him!

There were photos of the two going into the clinic, but never any of them coming out!

There were no photos of the two at Burger King or at Ghanem’s pool or frying peanut butter and banana sandwiches in Ghanem’s kitchen.

The only photo the tabloid ever got was of them going into the clinic!

But then again, we could’ve told their photographer what all Las Vegans have been saying since 1977 ”” Elvis never left the building.