El Vez in 2009
|Origin||Chula Vista, California, U.S.|
|Genres||Latin rock, rock and roll, punk rock|
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, keyboards|
|Labels||Sympathy for the Record Industry|
|Associated acts||The Zeros, Catholic Discipline, Phranc|
Robert Lopez (born 1960), better known by his stage name El Vez, is a Mexican-American singer-songwriter and musician, who performs and records original material and covers classic rock songs. Mixing the styles of Elvis Presley and many other American rock artists with his own Latin-American heritage and music, he is known for expressing revolutionary views through the satire and humor in his songs.
Lopez got his start in music in the Los Angeles punk scene of the 1970s, playing guitar for the punk band The Zeros and played in Catholic Discipline with Claude Bessy and Phranc. As El Vez, he is known for his high-production-value, frenetic stage show, which features two backup singers/dancers (the Elvettes), numerous on- and off-stage costume changes, and between-song monologues mixing humor and political activism.
Lopez's main persona and style is very similar to Elvis Presley, as his stage name suggests. However, he is not strictly an Elvis impersonator; on his recordings and in his live show, he covers many non-Mexican artists, such as David Bowie, Iggy Pop, John Lennon, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, T. Rex, Queen and the Beatles. He is also known as the "Thin Brown Duke", or "The Mexican Elvis".
El Vez was once a contestant on the game show To Tell the Truth and starred in Wes Hurley's cult comedy musical Waxie Moon in Fallen Jewel. He was also a contestant on The Weakest Link during an episode featuring Elvis impersonators.
- 1994 - How Great Thou Art (the cover art is a play on Elvis Presley's How Great Thou Art album)
- 1994 - Fun in Español (the cover is a parody of Elvis Presley's Fun in Acapulco LP)
- 1994 - Graciasland (the cover art is a play on Paul Simon's Graceland)
- 1994 - Merry Mex-Mas
- 1995 - El Vez is Alive
- 1996 - Never Been to Spain (Until Now)
- 1996 - G.I. Ay! Ay! Blues (A play on Elvis's G.I. Blues)
- 1998 - Son of a Lad From Spain (the cover graphics play on David Bowie's Aladdin Sane)
- 2000 - Pure Aztec Gold
- 2000 - NoElVezSi
- 2001 - Boxing with God
- 2002 - Sno-Way José (the cover is a parody of Bing Crosby's Christmas album)
- 2004 - Endless Revolution
- 2013 - God Save The King (the cover is a parody of the Sex Pistols' "God Save the Queen" single sleeve)
Singles and EPs
- 1991: El Vez Calling
- 1991: The Mexican Elvis (with Esta Bien Mamacita und En El Barrio)
- 1994: Cinco De Mayo (with Kcalbbird)
- 1995: Like a Hole in the Head: Remixes, Rewrites & Extras
- 1996: The Mexican Elvis! (EP)
- 1998: A Lad from Spain? (EP)
- 2000: Feliz Navidad
- 2000: El Vez!
- 2017: To the Rescue (with Los Straitjackets & Big Sandy)
- Mi vida loca (1993)
- El Rey De Rock 'N' Roll (2000, documentary)
- Colorvision (2004,TV-Serie)
- Gospel Show in Madrid (2008, live concert)
- Dead Country (2008)
- Several other appearances in documentaries
- 2 Hip 4 TV (NBC variety show)
- Waxie Moon in Fallen Jewel (2015)
- Fags in the Fast Lane (2017)
Notes and references
- El Rey De Rock 'N' Roll,[permanent dead link] short film review on the site of the New York Times. Accessed online 31 October 2006
- "El Vez", St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture, Thomson Gale 2005–2006. reproduced online at BookRags.com and accessed online 28 April 2007.
- El Vez Biography, Allmusic. Accessed online 28 April 2007.
- Michelle Habell-Pallan, "El Vez is 'Taking Care of Business': The Inter/national Appeal of Chicano Popular Music", Cultural Studies, Volume 13, Issue 2, April 1999, p. 195–210. Abstract accessed online 28 April 2007.
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