Elvis has left the building, but he’s still in Hong Kong hearts, as fans pay tribute to icon

Singer’s legacy lives on in his diehard supporters, who gathered amid nostalgia to look back at the golden days of rock ‘n’ roll

PUBLISHED : Monday, 21 August, 2017, 10:48pm
UPDATED : Monday, 21 August, 2017, 11:32pm

More than 250 diehard fans in Hong Kong gathered last Saturday to reflect on their youth and take a musical trip down memory lane as they commemorated the death anniversary of their idol, “King of Rock ‘n’ Roll” Elvis Presley.

The meeting was initiated by the Hong Kong chapter of the International Elvis Presley Fan Club. The iconic American singer passed away in his Memphis home on August 16, 1977.

“Elvis was one of the few legends, like the Beatles and our own Bruce Lee. He was a trend-setter who made a global impact through his music and stage act,” Ricky Fung Tim-chee, lead guitarist from the Mystics, a top local band in the 1960s, told the Post.

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Fung was at the event with bandmates Norman Cheng and Frederick Chan to support tribute acts by other stars including local 60s English pop singer Joe Junior, veteran actor Philip Chan, and famed voice coach and producer Christine Samson.

“It was then the post-war era and the puritanical regarded him as devilish but young people emulated him as an act of rebellion. That I think kicked off a process of progress,” Fung said of his idol.

Former legislator Dr Edward Leong Che-hung, who became an Elvis fan after he fell in love with the hit song Love Me Tender, recalled how he was inspired more than half a century ago.

“Elvis came from a poor family and he worked his way up to become an icon,” he said.

“I think that is an important message for our young people nowadays: the opportunity is always there for them to grab; not by being confrontational, but more through a compromise, and I think that’s what Elvis is all about,” the 78-year-old Leong said.

“Uncle Ray” Cordeiro, who holds a Guinness World Record as the “Most Durable Radio DJ”, was sentimental when reflecting on the time he spun Elvis records in the 1950s and 1960s.

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“Elvis has brought happiness to us, and sorrow too, when he left us. He is the only man who could touch the hearts of millions of people around the world, and I’m honoured to have been involved in it,” the 92-year-old radio host said.

He was referring to the award he received in 2001 from Elvis Presley Enterprises Inc. in Graceland, Memphis, for his contributions to the Hong Kong fan club and the memory of the singer.

Helen Ma Oi-lung, one the club’s founders in 1968 and its president since 2013, looked at the legacy of Elvis as something beyond even the 700 songs under his belt.

“He’s a good son to his mother and gave to charities. All these still keep him very much alive to his diehard fans as we don’t have a wooden heart,” she said.