"Elvis Presley is the greatest cultural force in the 20th century."

(Leonard Bernstein)


"If you're an Elvis fan, no explanation is necessary; If you're not an Elvis fan, no explanation is possible."

(George Klein)


"For a dead man, Elvis Presley is awfully noisy."

(Professor Gilbert B. Rodman)


"History has him as this good old country boy, Elvis is about as country as Bono!"

(Jerry Schilling)






'Elvis' monitors Jackson trial

Published: March 4, 2005 By Mike Morris, UnionDemocrat.com

Dressed as Elvis, part-time foothill resident Matthew Tuttle held a sign reading "Jailhouse Rock Michael" as he stood outside the courthouse in Santa Maria on the opening day of Michael Jackson's child molestation trial.

On Wednesday, the self-described "King" was chosen by lottery to sit inside the courtroom behind "The King of Pop" and hear trial testimony.

"I just thought it would be kind of a funny thing to do, something to tell my grandkids," Tuttle said yesterday from Santa Maria, where he's been staying in a motel room since Monday.

As an Elvis impersonator, Tuttle said he also went because Jackson was briefly married to Elvis' only child, Lisa Marie Presley, in the mid 1990s. Tuttle, 30, divides his time between a home in Sonora and working in Las Vegas as an "Elvis tribute artist." He doesn't like the word "impersonator" because he said there is a "bad stigma" associated with it.

In Las Vegas, Tuttle is booked mainly for conventions and trade shows, he said. Tuttle left Nevada for Santa Maria on Monday and within the week he plans to return to Sonora. But for now, he's enjoying the madness of Jackson's trial.

"It's like a media circus," he said. "There's definitely a party atmosphere, like Mardi Gras. And there's a bunch of religious wackos, too. It's like a mecca, a pilgrimage, for all of his fans." Tuttle said people from countries as far away as Japan and Spain gather outside the courthouse and sing Jackson's hit songs, including "Thriller," "Beat It" and "We Are the World." He also said several other tribute artists gather outside to do the moon walk and Jackson's signature crotch grab.

"There's a female that's pretty good. That's the thing, you can be a man or a woman and be a good Michael Jackson it doesn't really matter," Tuttle said.

"It's kind of funny to watch the spectacle." Tuttle said Gary Coleman, who he describes as "the 4-foot man-child," interviewed him for a comedy radio show. Because most people outside of the courthouse are Jackson supporters, Tuttle said he wanted to stir some controversy so he carried the "Jailhouse Rock Michael" sign Monday.

"His fans talked a lot of trash to me. I think they wanted to start a fight," he said, noting the area was filled with police officers to guard against such a conflict.

People aren't allowed to wear costumes in the courtroom, so Tuttle only dressed up Monday because he wanted a shot at seeing the trial firsthand. On Wednesday, Tuttle was picked to sit in the audience. Audience members were picked by lottery because so many people want inside the courtroom.

"He was like a little kid eating candy, stretching. He couldn't sit still," Tuttle said of Jackson. "He's very shy in person. I thought he'd be more charismatic, but he's like a shy little girl."

Tuttle heard testimony from a woman hired in 2003 to help rehabilitate Jackson's image after the airing of a damaging documentary. She testified that Jackson's associates hoped to portray his accuser's mother as a "crack whore." Jackson, 46, is accused of molesting a 13-year-old cancer survivor at his Neverland Ranch in 2003, allegedly giving him alcohol and conspiring to hold the boy's family captive after the documentary aired.

"I think it would be kind of a shame to see someone that makes so many people in the world happy just rot in jail," said Tuttle, who calls Jackson his generation's Elvis.

A Fresno native, Tuttle attended the University of California, Berkeley, before going to law school at the University of California, Davis. He became a criminal defense lawyer in Merced, where at times he handled child molestation cases. Tuttle, who comes from a family of attorneys, no longer practices law. He said he was always upset and stressed as a lawyer so he sought a happier life portraying his hero, Elvis.

He moved to Sonora in 2003, after leaving behind both the law business and his wife, whom he said looks like Priscilla Presley.

FTD: Kid Galahad
Love, Elvis
CD: Dirty Laundry
FTD: Follow That Dream
CD: We Have Not Rehearsed Them
Book: The Presley Arrangement
Book: Rough Guide to Elvis
CD: Continuing Story of Memory Records
FTD: On Tour Rehearsals
Book: The Elvis Album
CD: Christmas Peace
Book: The Memphis Lullaby
DVD: '68 Comeback Special
DVD: Elvis In Concert (3 hour version)
DVD: This Is Elvis
Hugh Jarrett (Jordanaires)
Elvis vs. wrestler Jerry Lawler!
It's time for an "Elvis' Greatest Hits" DVD!
SFX filing to buy EPE
Thank God 1981 sale of EPE didn't happen
Sale of EPE - good or bad?
Bridge over troubled water
New owner of EPE
Elvis Fans - The Following
Redefining Elvis
How did Elvis die?
Elvis Film Bio
500 million fans can't be wrong?
Bill Burk
Lisa Presley on EPE sale
Larry King transcipt
Red & Sonny West
Paul Simpson
Ed Bonja (Part 2)
Ernst Jorgensen
Phil Aitcheson (Presley Commission)
Did you miss?
Online Elvis Symposium
Exclusive excerpts from "The King Is Dead"
All about Lisa Presley
All about Graceland
FTD review- Elvis: New Year's Eve
DVD Review: Elvis Presley The Last 24 Hours
Elvis vs. Bing: who really was The King?


Elvis Odd Spot (updated 31 Dec 2004)