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Elvis statue.

Elvis Statue Unveiled

If you could map a flat, really wide triangle of the key places in Elvis Presley's career, Las Vegas would be its apex, Memphis would be at the right corner, and way off to the left would be Honolulu. Shrines to the King exist (or have existed) in the first two, but Hawaii has been conspicuously devoid of Elvis tributes. Until now.

On July 26, 2007, TV Land, which is a division of MTV Networks, which is a unit of Viacom, which is a tentacle of the invisible octopus that controls the world, unveiled a life-size outdoor bronze sculpture of Elvis. He is portrayed as he appeared on his 1973 "Elvis: Aloha From Hawaii" TV special. TV Land implied that the unveiling coincided with the anniversary of the Elvis broadcast (it didn't) and of Elvis's death (it doesn't). Instead, it coincides with the launching of "Elvis Month" on the network. But, hey, the statue will be around for a long time.

In addition to his TV special -- which is remembered less for its music than it is for being the first concert broadcast by satellite -- Elvis starred in three movies that were set in Hawaii. He was reported to love peanut butter and banana sandwiches, and banana-ripe Hawaii used to be known as The Sandwich Islands, so there's another possible reason why a statue of Elvis is here.

Elvis is the latest bronze "TV Land Landmark" statue erected by the network, joining the ranks of 1950s-1970s television characters such as Ralph Kramden and Samantha Stevens (Those are fictional characters, however. Elvis was a real person, kids!).

Crowd behavior at the statue dedication ceremony suggests that the proper method of human interaction with Elvis will be to place maile leis around his neck or his outstretched left arm. But once the crowds die down, playful burnishings of certain parts of his snug jumpsuit seem likely.


Neal Blaisdell Center

777 Ward Ave., Honolulu, Oahu, HI
I-1 exit 22, then south on Ward Ave. for five blocks. On the east side, next to the box office in front of the Neal Blaisdell Center.
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