Elvis always on Joe’s mind

Joe Piastrino inhabits the legend of Elvis Presley. 188626_07 Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS

By Cam Lucadou-Wells

An Endeavour Hills tribute artist will be getting ‘all shook up’ with international performers at the upcoming iconic Parkes Elvis Festival.

The highly credentialed Joe Piastrino has made the cut of 20 for the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Competition on 11 and 12 January.

He’d placed top three at the same event last year, as well as making top 10 at the “massive” contest in Ontario, Canada.

Everything has to be right – the jumpsuits and wigs, the dance moves and the smooth Elvis Presley voice, Mr Piastrino says.

“It’s a big deal. The judges really get into the nitty gritty.”

Each are competing to win a spot at the Elvis tribute ‘world titles’ at Memphis. There, the judges are none other than Prescilla and Lisa-Marie Presley.

To win the world title is to be the certified Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist, Mr Piastrino said.


The competition is hot and precocious. A lot of young Elvises with the shaking moves are rising through the ranks, he says.

Rather, he inhabits the more sedentary, balladeering 1970s Elvis for his few minutes on stage.

“It’s a great feeling but there’s always just one Elvis.

“We just carry the torch for him.”

He was always a fan of the ‘The King’, ever since hearing his mother play the songs at home.

She crafted him a jumpsuit with high collars for him. People were calling him ‘Elvis’ from a young age.

“He was just a great singer.

“You listen to all his tones. Elvis had a real smooth voice but when he wanted to, he had that sort of rough, sexy voice in his songs.”

The versatile performer also puts on regular shows inhabiting stars such as Roy Orbison, Elvis and Buddy Holly with a five-piece band.

But Elvis is the big drawcard, the one who gets the loudest applause.

“Two people are talked about most in the world – that’s Elvis and Jesus Christ.

“Elvis was just a phenomenon. It never dies, it keeps on and on and on.

“Parkes is still getting bigger every year.”

For more details go to joe piastino.com.