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Astoria father and son embodying spirit of Elvis with tribute shows around the globe

Queens father and son embody the spirit of Elvis
Queens father and son embody the spirit of Elvis 04:17

NEW YORK - For father and son Gregg and Lamar Peters, Elvis is the family business.

The professional tribute artists perform both side-by-side and separately.

"When we're together, it's like catching lightning twice," Lamar said.

They don't consider themselves impersonators.

"We include a lot of our own heart, our own soul, our own thoughts," Gregg said.

"I think we look more like each other than Elvis, but that's a whole 'nother story," Lamar said.

Gregg, an Astoria native, began performing as Elvis in 1977, earning the nickname "the King of Queens." He's now in his 46th year on the job.

"Like I say to my friends in the audience, I've been Elvis twice as long as Elvis," he said.

As a kid, Lamar watched his dad onstage in awe. At age 18, he began following in his footsteps. 

"I had no idea he'd be this good and take all my jobs away from me," Gregg said.

For Lamar, it was challenging to transcend both the shadow of Elvis and of his own father.

"There's nobody in our line of work who doesn't know who he is. And if they say they don't, they're lying," he said.

The duo performs from Queens to Las Vegas and across the globe. Before a show, it can take three hours to put on makeup and get ready. Not just anybody can succeed in this line of work.

"If we weren't singers or dancers, we shouldn't be doing this," Lamar said. "Just because you're buying a $3,000 outfit doesn't give you talent."

For Gregg and Lamar, embodying Elvis is about honoring the man, not the myth.

"Elvis was so much more than a suit. Elvis was more than an 'All Shook Up' or an 'uh-huh' or whatever you want to say," Lamar said. "He was just an amazing, humble, anointed human being."

Above all, they say taking the stage together is about being in tune with each other.

"It is the greatest feeling in the world," Lamar said.

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