By day Matt Riggs is an outreach consultant in Kansas City, but by night he transforms into "Eco Elvis", a green jumpsuit-wearing Elvis impersonator who sings about global warming, recycling, and the environment like only the King could.
According to Riggs, the idea for Eco Elvis came to him back in 1997 while he was working at a boring recycling event at a local office building. The date just happened to be Aug. 16, also the anniversary of Elvis's death. "In walked an Elvis impersonator, and I saw that Elvis impersonator and it just clicked, and I said, that's what we need -- we need an Eco Elvis," he told an interviewer for Living on Earth.
Kansas City -- let alone the world -- could hardly have been ready for what Riggs had spawned. Now 12 years later, Eco Elvis has appeared on Discovery's PlanetGreen channel, CNN, BBC radio and he's even sung the national anthem at Arrowhead Stadium. (If you don't believe it, you can watch it here.) He's even released his own CD, which features real Elvis songs that have been reworded to take on environmental themes. Highlights include such instant classics as "Burnin' Globe", "Earth Day Rock", "Viva Las Vegans", "Compost Hotel" and "I Reduce, I Reuse, I Recycle".
"If I don't get the attention from the obnoxious outfit, I can get it with the songs; if I can't get it with the songs, I can get it with my knowledge of the subject and my jokes between songs," Riggs told the BBC.
Being green doesn't just mean wearing green and singing about it. Riggs doesn't just talk the talk, he walks the walk too -- with a little swing of the hips, of course. His outfit is made up of an assortment of reused bits which include pop tabs, bottle caps and even stained Fanta orange soda to make the appearence of dried sweat. He's also vegetarian, eats organic, and recycles the price tags off his own clothes.
Whether you're a fan of Elvis, the environment, or both, Riggs does it right. And although he tries to keep his act local, you don't have to live in Kansas City to book an event with Eco Elvis. Just contact the King from his website at ecoelvis.com, babuh. Or at least drop him a line and thank him for spreading the good word about the environment. A simple "thankyuh, thankyuhverymuch!" should do.