We are exactly one year away from the 20th anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death. The latest sign that the King still lives comes from a new recording by Professor Backwoods and His Backwards Band, Hey, Elvis! Your Pizza Is Here! Along with the loping title tune are such basic invocations to the divine as “Jesus, Elvis, and Coke,” “Wake Up World (Elvis Is Coming),” “I Had a Dream About Elvis, Jimi, Otis, and John,” “Elvis 66 (The King Motors West),” as well as the out-of-place “Roll Over Chuck Berry (Dig This Symphony),” and the obvious “I Just Want to Sing About Elvis.”
The “Professor” is a tenured fellow on the local music scene—he’s been around since before Elvis’ first comeback, and can currently be found in various piano bars. He prefers to remain mysterious. The big mystery of course is: Why Elvis? Why now?
“Because he’s there,” the Prof mildly explains, to polite protests to the contrary. “He is for a lot of people,” Backwoods insists. Describing his music as “tongue-in-cheek,” Backwoods expresses worries that “thoroughbred Elvis fans” might be insulted. His album is intended for “the borderline, quirky Elvis fan.”
“Hey, Elvis!” has been getting airplay on WRNR, WHFS, and, fittingly, the Dr. Demento Show. For promotion, Backwoods has been making the rounds of cable-access shows—as a solo; the band was left in the studio.
“I would put something together if something happens,” says Backwoods, somewhat sadly, adding, “I’ve been in a lot of bands. I’m pretty sick of it. You just don’t get back what you put into it.” Before the mood deteriorates, the Professor announces, “I like recording. I like working in the studio.”
So the band should hang on to its charts. “I’m gonna work it for a year,” Professor Backwoods says. “Up to the 20th anniversary.”—Dave Nuttycombe
Hey Elvis! is available at Joe’s Records, Borders, Tower, or for $8 from Reverse Records, P.O. Box 181, Garrett Park, MD 20896.