Big Elvis put out the call. He got a big response.
The longest-standing (well, sitting), consistently performing Elvis tribute artist in Las Vegas is making his Facebook premiere at 6 p.m. Saturday. Find him on the official Big Elvis Las Vegas Fan Page.
The performer whose legal name is Pete Vallee posted an open note on Facebook on Tuesday, asking friends, fans and followers if he should perform on FB live.
Thursday, Big Elvis announced his show.
“My friends list maxed out,” Vallee said Friday. “I had responses from England, across the country. I got tons of requests for songs.” Those with multiple sets are considered for the generous, 75-minute performance.
Typically Vallee’s weekly schedule for the past eight years at Harrah’s Piano Bar has been 2 p.m., 3:30 and 5 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The show’s last performance before the coronavirus halted the action was March 14.
“We got the note, and the music stopped,” the 54-year-old icon said. “We’re just sitting it out now.”
Vallee has been a Vegas institution practically since debuting at the now-closed Roadhouse on Boulder Highway in 1997. Station Casinos found him there, and hired him for regular gigs at Boulder Station, Sunset Station and Fiesta Rancho.
In 2002, Vallee moved to the lounge at then-Coast Casinos’ Barbary Coast, which then became Gamblin’ Hall & Saloon under Boyd Gaming, and is today the Caesars Entertainment-owned Cromwell. Caesars re-assigned Big Elvis to Harrah’s in 2012.
Over the past decade, Big Elvis has shed about half of his all-time high of 950 pounds.
“I went for a walk today, in fact,” he said. “Just got back.”
Vallee celebrates eight years at Harrah’s in May, provided he can return to action. At 6 p.m. April 3, Vallee is premiering the film, “The Big Elvis Files,” a comedy set in 1977 and includes other Vegas performers. Lounge Cook E. Jarr, for instance.
“We’re giving people something extra online, while this is going on,” Vallee said. He might perform routinely from his home studio in Pahrump. “If this goes on another couple of months, you’ll see more of Big Elvis.”
John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His PodKats podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.