Earlier this week I spotted an ad in the newspaper, promoting an Elvis theme aboard the ferry Stena Danica that operates the route between my hometown Gothenburg and Frederikshavn in Denmark. I can actually see the ferry terminal from my apartment, but it was a case of "So close, yet so far" as I wasn't able to make any of the four crossings that offered Elvis entertainment aboard, such as Elvis music, Elvis-quiz and Elvis style food.
But reading the ad made me think of the time I held a lecture about Elvis aboard another ferry, about six years ago. This was a couple of months after I produced a one hour radio program called Rock me Lord dedicated to Elvis religious songs that was broadcast on Easter. The guy responsible for the entertainment aboard the ferry Stena Nautica had listened to the program, and gave me a call, asking me if I was interested in holding a lecture about Elvis on one of their crossings between Varberg (a bit south of Gothenburg) and Grenå i Denmark. Of course I was.
I decided to cover some episodes in Elvis life, and illustrate them with music as well as video clips. As I embarked aboard the ferry on October 18, 2006, I was a bit nervous. What if nobody showed up? But as it turned out, I needn't have worried.
The big room where I was going to give the lecture quickly filled to the last seat, and I soon found myself talking about things like Elvis' recording his first song (and playing "My Happiness"), his early TV appearances (then showing a clip of Elvis singing "Hound Dog" on The Milton Berle Show), his movie career (evoking laughter by playing "Beach Shack" that has Elvis breaking up) and the Comeback in 1968 (illustrated by "Guitar Man" and All Shook Up").
But the highlight for me was near the end, where I showed the audience a clip of "An American Trilogy" after telling them about the Aloha From Hawaii Via Satellite television special. At the song's finale, the whole room erupted with cheers and applause. At that moment, I realized that the lecture had gone really well. Mainly thanks to Elvis, but I was proud in having played a part in it too.