Long Live the Kings

updated 07/27/1992 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/27/1992 01:00AM

HEIMO RÖCK, 30

Country: Austria

Years as Elvis: 6

Day job: Carpenter

Favorite Elvis: Circa 1968 NBC comeback variety special.

Goal: "To make people happy." Also to win the upcoming competition of impersonators sponsored by Elvis's veterinarian, to be held at Bad Bob's Vapors Supper Club in Memphis.

Psychic Connection to Elvis: "People often say to me that it was more than just a show; it was an experience."

JACOB TOBI, 41

Country: Israel

Years as Elvis: 15

Day Job: Renovation contractor

Goal: To afford costumes from the Elvis Presley outfit catalog. "The prices are too heavy for me."

Greatest Concert Moment: "When some Israeli Army officers whistled at me, pulled at my hair, tore my shirts."

Psychic Connection to Elvis: Has a controlling mother who accompanies him to photo shoots and tells him what to charge at weddings.

EL VEZ, 29

Country: U.S.

Real Name: Robert Lopez

Years as Elvis: 3

Mission: "I'm more of a translator than an impersonator. It's Elvis con salsa."

Best Gimmick: Patent-leather breakaway outfit reveals a gold lamé jumpsuit embroidered with the Virgin of Guadalupe. Best Song: "You Ain't Nothing but a Chihuahua."

Psychic Connection to Elvis: "Elvis's mother, Gladys, had relatives in Texas, so maybe she had a little Mexican in her."

MARIO SCARPARI, 28

Country: Germany

Years as Elvis: 10

Why He Loves Elvis: "Regardless of what mood I'm in, I can always choose an appropriate Elvis song."

How It Started: He'd do Elvis in nightclubs and get paid in Cokes.

Career Highlight: Three consecutive wins at Elvis impersonator contests in Holland.

Psychic Connection to Elvis: "The second I am onstage, I am Elvis Presley. And I am terribly happy."

RAFIK KASHAPOV, 35

Country: Russia

Years as Elvis: 3

Goal: To get a visa so he can visit Graceland. Biggest Obstacle: Not speaking English; he learned the songs phonetically.

Greatest Concert Moment: When his Las Vegas-style revue in Leningrad, Presleystroika, was stopped mid-show by an army commander during the military coup.

Cultural Contribution: "Most people had only heard the rock-and-roll Elvis, so they were surprised that the show had beautiful ballads and slow songs. Now this period of Elvis is getting wider recognition here."

Psychic Connection to Elvis: Born on Jan. 9 (Elvis was born Jan. 8).

JOHNNY EARL, 27

Country: England

Years as Elvis: 8

Why He Loves Elvis: "The day Elvis died was the first time I ever saw my dad shed a tear. I thought, to have that emphasis over people as an entertainer is unbelievable."

Greatest Concert Moment: "I remember a show where I was given so many Hawaiian leis you couldn't see my head."

Psychic Connection to Elvis: Reportedly called Mr. Rock and Roll by Lisa Marie Presley.

PAUL CHAN, 43

Country: Hong Kong

Years as Elvis: 6

Occupation: Sings in his own chain of Elvis theme restaurants in southeast England. "If people don't fancy Elvis, we still have good food and service for the customers."

Why He Loves Elvis: "When I wear a jumpsuit. I feel powerful."

Psychic Connection to Elvis: "I had a beautiful wife once, like Priscilla, but I'm quite happy by myself now."

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