Elvis may have “left the building,” but Brad Boice is a lookalike for “The King.”
“We really can’t go too many places where someone isn’t staring or coming up saying ‘Are you that Elvis guy?'” said Boice, 52.
That’s because unlike many Elvis tribute artists, Boice doesn’t need a wig or stick-on sideburns.
He gives his barber the credit: “In the beginning, I’d bring in pictures of how I wanted my hair styled. Dave, my barber, has been nailing the cut ever since.”
When Boice transforms into Elvis, he starts at the top, with his hair and necklace.
“Those suits are tight and don’t allow arm movement around my head and neck,” he said. From there comes the jumpsuit, shoes, rings and the signature scarf.
“Then it’s time to cue the 2001 space odyssey intro music!” Boice says.
By day, Boice is the public works supervisor in Eyota. Born in Minneapolis but now residing in Chatfield with his wife, JulAnn, Boice has two children: Mitch, 25, and Matti, 22.
“He has been a great husband and father. God has really blessed me with having him in my life,” JulAnn said.
Over the past 10 years, Boice has performed his tribute show on Royal Caribbean and Carnival cruises, at Hard Rock Cafes in Puerto Rico and Cozumel, in Branson and Memphis and even on the Westgate stage in Las Vegas, where Elvis performed more than 700 sold-out shows.
“Being on that same stage, which is huge by the way, was just cool,” he said.
One fan, Ruthie Baier, first saw Boice in 2009 at Lanesboro’s Buffalo Bill Days.
“When I saw him on the float in his white jumpsuit singing an Elvis song, I was hooked,” she said. “He is just amazing and fun to watch. … He just seems to light up when he hits the stage.”
Baier saw Elvis himself perform at the St. Paul Civic Center in 1977, so she’s comparing Boice with the King himself.
Baier even tried to get a picture of Boice on her credit card, but the company denied the request twice because they can’t use celebrity pictures and Boice looks so much like Elvis: “Now, this is good for Brad, but not good for me,” says Baier.
Boice recalls the humble beginnings of his performances when, as a DJ in the 1990s, he sang “Can’t Help Falling in Love” to newly married couples.
“For one of my first shows, I was hired by a local farm implement dealership to perform between heats at a combine demolition derby,” reminisces Boice. “I really appreciate that opportunity.”
Another fan, Donna Koester, said, “He is so humble and appreciative of his fans.”
Boice’s humility may stem from his heartfelt religion, which spurs his gospel performances.
“In the usual hour or so of gospel music, we all can be laughing, crying and reflecting about ourselves,” Boice said.
Just like the King, Boice never hesitates to say, “Thank you very much.”