Elvis To The Max

Elvis To The Max

Max Pellicano is sitting in his hotel room at the Holiday Inn at Potts Point when I am connected to his hotel room’s phone. Having landed in Australia early last week and starting his tour at the one and only Rooty Hill RSL last Friday, Pellicano is exceptionally excited as he begins to chat with Forte magazine.

“From my window man, I have a lovely view of Sydney Harbour. I can see the Bridge and the Opera House and the sun is shining. I gotta tell you, it is excellent to be back in Australia once again. I’ve been here so many times, and every time just trumps the last tour. Rooty Hill was a great show, and everyone was so enthused and into it. They were both sold out and pretty amazing. I’ve got so many people coming to the shows saying they saw me 25 years ago on the first Australian tour.”

There is a reason many people go back to see Elvis To The Max on successive tours, and for Max, it goes beyond just getting into the zone and singing on stage every night. Like The Beatles and Michael Jackson, we still talk about ‘The King’ in day to day life, and this week marked 37 years since he ‘left the building’.

“Elvis is still as popular as when he was alive. A few years ago, A Little Less Conversation was remixed and that did fantastic commercially. It was number one on the charts in England, and number two on the charts in the US and Australia. After being gone for so long, to have the legacy that he has and the longevity of being able to still achieve these things is astonishing. To be able to go out on stage and play these songs for fans all around the world, I have the best job ever.”

Like many others around at the time, Max Pellicano remembers exactly where we was the moment the news broke. Having recently completed his studies at the University of California, he was just coming home from a job interview for a ‘9 to 5 desk job’ when he heard.

“My father didn’t really approve of my job choice of working with a rock band and so he lined up an interview for me. I was driving home over the Bay Bridge in San Francisco when I heard over the radio. The phone was running hot from my band mates later that day and from then on, we decided to make it a tribute to the man. I went to Hawaii for a couple of weeks and ended up staying three years. The show has built up over the years and I’ve been lucky enough to record and perform with symphony orchestras. You just can’t beat it with a mass string section behind you.”

With a live album on the way comprised of recordings of Australian shows from all of his tours, Pellicano is a busy man. Before jetting off around the world though (next up is Malaysia) he is coming to play at GPAC. “I remember when I first played in Geelong it was at the basketball stadium (most likely The Arena). There was 2,500 people there, it felt more like a sporting event than a concert. Come out Forte and I hope you come up and say hey afterwards.”

Written by Tex Miller

When & Where: GPAC, Geelong – August 31