|There were two other places to search for Elvis and one had to
be the Santa Monica Pier. We walked its breadth and depth
looking for any sign of the King but all we found were surfers
and sunset. I could feel the despair JoJo was feeling. I made
her smile by telling her that tomorrow was Venice Beach and
nobody who could fake their death could resist it. Elvis would
have to be there.
Bright and early we were at Venice Beach. The Sisters posed
for an album cover and JoJo considered buying a new bong but
we really had no idea what Elvis would look like these days.
Here was a prospect and another but she quickly rejected them
as Elvis wannabes. For a moment she was convinced that this
man at Muscle Beach was him but then realized it wasn't.
While sitting on the park bench, I got a call from one of my
contacts who reported an Elvis sighting in the Superstition
Mountain area...just outside Phoenix! I told JoJo and the
girls to hit the beach now because we're going home!
"There's No Place Like Home." JoJo was so excited!
After a "Return to Sender" trip back to Phoenix and after a
restless night we drove to the Superstition Wilderness.
We stopped at the Museum to find out what we could and
it was like "Viva Las Vegas!" we hit it big. It just so
happens that Elvis had filmed the movie "Charro"
on location at the Apacheland Studios right here! We found
his photo amongst the stars that had filmed here also
(2nd Row - 3rd from Left). And to top that the Chapel that is
prominently featured in the film was right here! JoJo couldn't wait!
We entered the Chapel and it was a shrine to Elvis Presley!
JoJo was "Crying in the Chapel" (Charro Poster).
Of course he was somewhere in the Superstition Wilderness!
You can go in there and never be found. The Lost Dutchman's
Mine of Gold has never been found after the deaths of a hundred
people searching for it. If you want to fake your death and get
lost from society, this is the place. We enquired further at the
old ghost town, Goldfield. The old timers had heard rumors
that Elvis was camping out on the banks of the Canyon Lake
trying to relive his old western movie days.
We decided to check out the town of Tortilla Flat, (Pop. 6)
because it was the last outpost of humanity in the desert.
JoJo was so sure her quest had almost come to an end.
The excitement made her delirious!
The far reaches of Canyon Lake were only accessible by boat.
So we chartered the Dolly Steamboat and ventured out with
our binoculars and high hopes. We searched among the flora
and fauna, high and low and over and under the saguaros.
The amazing terrain of the area could hide a Mammoth.
JoJo was starting to get discouraged until I
spotted a camp...could it be?
As we were nearing the shore it occurred to me that if it hadn't
been for Elvis bringing the music of the African-Americans
to the mainstream, white people would have remained in the
world of waltzes, polka and country western. Elvis truly
did save our world! Elvis was a King! Now I fully understood
why her son had fallen into the world of Rap superstardom.
It was a pure extension of his Mother's love for Elvis!
We edged closer to the shore. Could it possibly be? Then
I heard JoJo scream, "Oh my "The Promised Land!""
There, perched under a tree, amongst the scrub of the desert,
was the King of Rock & Roll, Elvis Presley.
|Recently I had the special pleasure of escorting the charismatic
linchpin of the famed "Sisters of Stone" around for her second tour
of the Southwest, JoJo Starbux. The alto of the trio, she spends
her time now traveling around the world hoping to find Elvis Presley!
The Sisters of Stone are no longer touring due to Party Barbie's
quest to start a solo career in Florida. JoJo and Molly Mophead
still make rare appearances together playing small venues wherever
suits their fancy. They have had concerts together in such far-flung
places as Greece, Paris & Pittsburgh. The "Sisters" still enjoy a
large fan base and I orchestrated appearances at the Getty Center
in Los Angeles and Tortilla Flat in Arizona. This way they would
be able to experience a wide range of experiences in the Southwest
while JoJo could search all of the rumored hiding places of her hero, Elvis.
The SteelCactus Entertainment Group was engaged to see to all
of the arrangements. This entailed lodging, food, transportation and
entertainment. SteelCactus, the premiere touring host of the Southwest!
JoJo had brought her touring partner, Molly Mophead and her fantastically
gifted son, MC Joey P, the rap sensation.
I had dismissed her delusions of grandeur of seeing Elvis at first,
but it became painfully apparent that she was as serious as a coyote
with an Acme rocket strapped to its back. This would be no easy task.
Juggling the entertainment schedule of a Rap Superstar, an Elvis seeking
Grandma and the incomparable Molly Mophead would be akin to finding
the Man on the Moon...in a cave...without a match!
I decided to play along with her quest and convince her that the places that
we'd visit there would be a remote possibility that Elvis could, maybe, found there.
She was skeptical of my intentions when the first thing I suggested was a
spring training baseball game. "Elvis didn't play baseball?!" I countered with,
"Well Elvis did live in Memphis and Memphis is in Tennessee and the Chicago
Cubs have a minor league there! Besides, there is always a chance he'll sing
the National Anthem." The smirk on her face told me she wasn't buying it but
she knew Joey would like it so off we went. Ahh, it was a beautiful day
for the ballgame! An exciting Cubs vs. Padres game, the Budweiser Clydesdales
were there and a player threw a ball up to the girls to have them sign it.
Needless to say, no Elvis.
After the game we went to WestGate for a bite to eat. I took
JoJo to Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville hoping this would ameliorate
the sting of not seeing Elvis at the ballgame. But she was no Parrothead.
We moseyed over to the Saddle Ranch for a bite to eat and came
across a bad Elvis imitator. He sang "Hound Dog" for us but didn't
even know all the words to "Suspicious Minds." She was getting
frustrated but I reminded her that people have been looking for Elvis for
decades with no luck. We went and saw the Dueling Piano guys but they
only knew how to play Jerry Lee Lewis.
I got her to cheer up by buying her Coldstone Ice Cream but I knew
tomorrow we better be hot on the trail of Elvis, or she would really
be giving the SteelCactus Entertainment Group a bad name. All night
I fretted on what could be done and needless to say. I was "All Shook Up."
That night after a lot of tossin' and turnin' with my "Teddy Bear"
I realized that I might be able to prove that Elvis went to China with
Richard Nixon and returned there after his "death." So we
ventured down to the Chinese Culture Center in downtown
Phoenix and inquired with some of the old timers there. We
spoke with one old-timer who did remember Elvis being there with
Nixon but stated that Elvis had left China with the words, "I'm So
Lonesome I Could Cry." So we toured the gardens and bought
tasty pastries. This was becoming "The Impossible Dream!"
There was only one other place in the Phoenix area that
Elvis might have been found, Scottsdale. Scottsdale was a hub for
the celebrity jet setters and people who like to get lost. We poked
around the Arts Festival, shopped at Mexican import stores, found
some "Burnin' Love," met the bag ladies and rode on a wagon train.
For a second JoJo thought she saw someone who could have been
Elvis but it was just some idiot with a surfboard in the desert.
That night we dined at "Divine Diane's Ristorante." After
a magnificent meal we caught up on old times and were entertained
by Layla. She sang, "Hound Dog." JoJo had something else on
her mind though, "A Little Less Conversation!" Where are we
going to find Elvis?" "Okay, Okay JoJo, "Don't Be Cruel." I know
where to go...Los Angeles!" If Elvis is still around he's got to be there!"
The next day we were packed and on our way to LaLa Land
and Hollywood. I had barely left their resort when I was nabbed
by a speed camera! The Boss wasn't going to like this! If I don't
pay the $181 fine I'll be doing the "Jailhouse Rock." However,
I'm still considering a fight with Big Brother.
|The uneventful 5.5 hour drive to Los Angeles is broken up by the
amazing sight of the Indio Windmills. No photo or video can capture
the amazing scope of the literally thousands of windmills that line the
road for miles on end. It is an environmentalist's dream and possibly a
look into the future of sustainable energy. One day, you will have to
see it because I have no pictures.
After dipping through the south end of Death Valley you start to see
the farms of California followed soon by the traffic and too soon
after that, graffiti. They have barbed wire the road signs to keep
the graffiti artists at bay...to no avail. The Garmin tells us to take
another road other than I-10 which stretches from Jacksonville,
Florida to L.A. and on Route 60 you wend your way through the
hills of paradise that beckon people to California.
But soon you are on the 101 and passing the Hollywood sign,
Ventura Highway, Sunset Strip and reaching our first destination,
Hollywood has had a bit of a resurrection since the new Kodak
Theater where they hold the Academy Awards. Oh sure,
Hollywood still has its share of weirdness and strangely talented
individuals walking around but you can always find a minor
celebrity hanging around and maybe even a major one.
But it is Elvis that we are in search of and we begin our search
at the World Famous Mann's Chinese Theater. Here are the
hand and footprints of the most famous people who ever
walked the earth. Elvis must surely be here! An imprint of
Elvis' "Blue Suede Shoes" would surely bring a smile to JoJo
after our grueling trip. We find George Burns, Jim Carrey,
Danny Kaye and believe it or not Colleen Moore! But there
is no Elvis! At this point, not even Mickey Mouse can cheer
We decide to peruse the boulevard looking for Elvis' star on
the Hollywood Walk of Fame. We actually found it! It mocks
us as the points all point to all corners of the Earth. Elvis could be
anywhere! I try to cheer JoJo up by taking her to the Hollywood
Souvenir store and buying her a shirt. Unfortunately, their Celebrity
Wall does not even have a picture of him! As I was deciding to
buy the shotglass or the kitchen magnet, I heard JoJo scream in
delight. I ran over to find her and Molly molesting a larger than
life plaster Elvis and singing the Elvis classic "I Want You, I
Need You, I Love You." Oh boy! This delirious quest took on
a whole new dimension. I had tripped over the threshold of the
Obviously the long drive had gotten to her. We needed a break
so I suggested that we all relax with a bite to eat at the World
Famous Mel's Diner. Sitting in the same diner where "American
Graffiti" was filmed we had malts and burgers to the tunes of Elvis.
The nostalgia was pungent and JoJo was digging for jukebox
money. Amongst the photos of Sinatra, Bogie and Chico Marx
we found a photo of JoJo in her youth with her floozy girlfriend.
After a trip of browsing the 3rd Street Promenade it was off to
the "Heartbreak Hotel" for a restful night of shuteye and
please...only "If I Can Dream."
I figured if Elvis is still alive he still had money so we headed to
Rodeo Drive. We searched all the stores; Chanel, Hermes,
Valentino but still no Elvis. This lady said she had seen Elvis
recently at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, where they filmed "Pretty
Woman." JoJo stopped for a photo opportunity but the staff
had reported that "Elvis has left the building!"
After a failed attempt to buy Elvis memorabilia at a yard sale in
Beverly Hills it was time for the Sisters performance at the
Getty Center (Another Shot). After a show stopping show in
which the Sisters sang their ethereal smash hit, "Yinz Warshed
My Babushka!" JoJo gazed forlornly over the panoramic view
of Los Angeles and cried, "If we don't find Elvis, he'll never be
found!" MC Joey D put his arm around her and told her,
"Don't worry Ma, I've got a map!"
The gathering storm clouds told us it was time to go and I was
starting to feel as if this was "The Impossible Dream." But as
we drove to Malibu I had a brainstorm. Elvis' best movie was
"Blue Hawaii." He most certainly had to eat at Duke's! Duke's
Hawaiian Eatery was a landmark, they must have a clue there!
Nope, we found menus, rocky beaches, whales and great food...no Elvis.