The TCB Band & Mick Gerace back in Australia

After the fabulous success of last year's Australian concerts, it's great news that Elvis' original TCB Band & Myrna Smith are returning once again to perform with Mick Gerace.

The new show celebrates Elvis' life & music with a specially-themed "50th Anniversary Concert." If you have never seen the TCB Band perform, here is the chance to find out why they are rated as one of the world's best groups.

Australian front man Mick Gerace is impressive in the way that he interacts with this legendary band showing just the right amount of humility and a great sense of humour.

In the 2003 concerts the TCB Band obviously enjoyed working with him too, and there was a noticeable special rapport between them on-stage.

As guitarist & band leader James Burton told EIN, "The regular Elvis impersonators just don't have it. But someone like Mick Gerace who has a great voice and can just be a normal performer and sing all those great songs is fine by me. We all had the best time playing with him on stage."

This year's concerts offer something new as Mick and The TCB Band also celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Birth of Rock 'n' Roll and the release of Elvis' very first recording "That's All Right." Elvis & James Burton EIN talked with Mick Gerace to find out what excitements are planned this year.

EIN - What is going to be different about the shows this year compared with last year's concerts?

MG - We want to recapture the importance of all of Elvis' music, and being the 50th Anniversary of Elvis' first recording, we are going to feature a special segment on his earlier classic songs. There's going to be a special sit-down jam session, a little like the 68 Comeback Special, where the TCB guys & I will play and also talk about Elvis' earlier songs. It is also the 35th anniversary of when the TCB band started playing with Elvis in Las Vegas and so we'll probably celebrate that by kicking off with a few dynamic Vegas type songs. We've also been talking about ending the first half of the show with 'If I Can Dream' which will be a real buzz.

EIN - I really enjoyed it last year when you played some of Elvis' rarer live songs like 'My Boy' & 'Don't Cry Daddy'.

MG - The boys really enjoyed those kind of songs because they hadn't played them in a long time. It was funny at rehearsals with James Burton sitting on a chair and really wanting to get a feel for the songs. He asked me to repeat verses a few times just so he could understand the emotion of the songs, and that is what makes his playing so extraordinary. I also have plans to do 'Reconsider Baby' and give James a chance to really let rip and play a huge solo. It's a song that Elvis often returned to, out of the blue. I just love his version from the Madison Square Garden afternoon concert, it's so great. EIN - Have you been in contact with the band & Myrna recently and are they looking forward to returning to Australia? MG - I've been talking with Glenn & James very recently. I also spoke to Ronnie Tutt too who said how disappointed he was that he couldn't make this tour because of his other commitments. But Ronnie did say how he looks forward to doing something again with us in the near future, which was really nice of him. All of them said how much they really enjoyed Australia and can't wait to come back here. They had a great time last year & everyone "clicked" really well with the rest of the band. I've spoken to Myrna Smith too, who I originally met when I was touring in Hong Kong - she's a truly marvellous person and such fun.

EIN - How are the tickets selling and are there anymore VIP tickets left for meeting the band?

MG - They have been selling very well, especially for the Saturday concert. If people want VIP tickets and to meet the band, then we do have a few left for Friday night. The VIPs for Saturday night are pretty well sold out,

EIN - I have heard rumours that you have been writing a special song for the concert, is that true?

MG - You're right and it will be a real surprise for everyone. I have written a song about Elvis and his life, which looks at it through a story and through my own thoughts. My daughter has helped me write the lyrics and helped capture my real emotions. She is very talented and has written 20 songs of her own. I think it's a beautiful song and it should work really well within the show.

EIN - I see that you will be performing a few "Hollywood movie songs" on stage, now some of those songs were not Elvis' best!

MG - You are right, however we will be playing just a few classics that we have had a lot of requests for like 'Viva Las Vegas' and of course 'Rubberneckin' was a movie song too! Another one is 'Hawaiian Wedding Song' which is a favourite of mine and one that Elvis loved performing in his later concerts.

EIN - Are you using the same extra backing section as last year?

MG - This time we've expanded the brass section with extra sax players and the pianist Glenn from my band will also be working on string arrangements which will make is a really big sound, even better than last year.

EIN - Thanks for all the info Mick, I'm looking forward to a sensational night.

MG - We still have some extra surprises planned, so make sure you don't miss it!

Keep an eye on the EIN Website for more updates soon.

Mick Gerace talked with EIN's Piers Beagley on 20 Sep 2004

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