By: John Michael Bennett
“Graceland,” said Dunn as he answered the call for our interview to discuss his upcoming Elvis tribute shows in Newfoundland.
He then chuckled and said he doesn’t really answer the phone that way.
“When I’m off stage I’m Thane Dunn, not Elvis,” said Dunn. “But when I hop on stage there’s almost like there’s Elvis cruise control.”
Cruise control is the best way to describe what Dunn does. In 2009, he won a worldwide Elvis tribute competition and since then has been performing professional as the king of rock. However, Dunn’s love affair with Presley goes back much farther than that.
“I’ve been doing this since I was born. I can’t remember a time in my life where I didn’t know who Elvis was or I wasn’t singing his songs,” said Dunn. “I am an Elvis fan first. When the day happens when I hang up my jumpsuits I will still be an Elvis Presley fan. I think that’s one of the things people appreciate about our show. It’s different from what of most people see.”
Thane Dunn is the real deal, with many elements of his show ensuring he captures the real Elvis. Over the last seven years, he has built up a great show and reputation. Many of the costumes are so authentic; they are made by the same designers that designed Elvis’ clothes. The Aloha Eaglesuit made for the current tour was made from the same material, while others have been lead to honours for Dunn.
Dunn even approached Bill Morgan, a man who owned a design shop in the 60s and 70s, who designed outfits for Elvis. Dunn asked him to wear a jacket he will be wearing through the whole show, and not only did he get such a jacket, but it lead to an even bigger honour.
“Bill started to watch our clips on our website and was so impressed with what we are doing and asked if he could name the jacket after me,” said Dunn.
While he has performed in Newfoundland before, this is the first time he will be performing outside of St. John’s. Despite this, he has built quite a following in the province.
“There’s one lady in Newfoundland named Kim who is not a fan of Elvis impersonators. She’s been to eight or nine of our shows. She’s already got a couple shows booked for this tour. It is a great thing people who love Elvis think highly of our show,” said Dunn.
“I had a man that had seen Elvis about 12 times in concert say to me ‘tonight, you were a time machine. You brought me back in time, I felt like I was watching Elvis all over again.’”
Dunn is currently touring Atlantic Canada, hitting seven spots in Newfoundland. These include shows in Stephenville, Corner Brook, and ending in St. John’s on Oct 23.
Despite touring over the last seven years, Dunn says this is a brand new show for them—a near replication of the Aloha ’73 set that some consider to be one of the pinnacles of Presley’s careers.
Dunn says you can expect some of the hits, plus other songs, during the show—including “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Hound Dog,” “Aloha from Hawaii,” and “Suspicious Minds.”
Dunn also hosts a radio show on his website, which mixes elements of the early 70s Elvis plus other music from that time.
“The radio show will be the warm up music during the tour,” said Dunn.
Dunn’s website has been recently revamped, where you can find tour dates, tickets, and the radio show at thanedunn.ca