Los Lunas

Elvis or at least a reasonable facsimile thereof made a benefit appearance Thursday in the parking lot of the Los Lunas Visitors Center on his way west on Route 66.

Mark W. Curran, an artist from Los Angeles, has the distinct honor of opening for and then portraying the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll on a whirlwind 21-day, 21-show tour from Chicago to Los Angeles on Route 66.

Curran, who has been touring as the King for two years and even looks a little like Elvis, explained what it was like touring as a legend.

“Everyone comes to the show to see Elvis, so, when I go on, they have to sit through me as me onstage and I hope they like what they hear,” Curran said.

The wind was whipping when Curran was set to go onstage, so the show was postponed 20 minutes to wait for the gusts to die down.

“The King” was too busy getting ready for the show to comment, but Curran was nice enough to talk a little about the tour. The two of him I mean them have been touring since the first of July, playing on flatbed trailers and in bars all along Route 66.

Curran is promoting a new album called “From the Heart.” which includes “Rockin’ on Route 66,” a song he is hoping will catch on as the new theme for America’s storied byway.

Curran starts off each show with some of his originals and then emerges again as Elvis and does a number of the late entertainer’s hits.

Neither of the personas was getting paid for the show; the concert was a completely free benefit to help out local businesses along Route 66 and to raise money for highway-related charities. In New Mexico, Curran was playing to benefit the New Mexico Route 66 Association.

Elvis-Curran did make time for one comment. “The king of rock ‘n’ roll is in the house, baby,” he said.

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Tony McClary