Saturday, June 5, 2021

The Hong Kong Elvis Impersonator Known as 'Melvis'

Kwok Lam-sang died of kidney failure December 29th, 2020 at age 68. He left behind a documentary in progress, The Heartbreaker: The Story of Melvis, which filmmakers Jonathan Duncan and Richie Fowler are now working to complete.

Lam-sang, a one-time Hong Kong factory worker, got all shook up by the death of Elvis Presley in 1977. He eventually became a street-roaming Elvis impersonator, Melvis, singing for tourists and locals alike in the city's entertainment district.


Before the pandemic, the filmmakers were planning to bring Lam-sang to the United Kingdom, which he had always wanted to visit. But that became impossible and now, in the wake of the unassuming married father of two's death, the documentary project has become a posthumous tribute.

From a report in the South China Morning Post:

“It was difficult finding him. I had two days left on my trip and ventured out to Lan Kwai Fong with three other people on that first night to find him,” Duncan says. “I wasn’t sure how much English he spoke so I had the concierge at my hotel write out what I wanted to ask him in Cantonese so he understood me correctly.

“Sadly, on that first night of looking, we couldn’t find him. It was a case of ‘he was here, but now he’s gone’ – typical Melvis. So the following night I was due to fly out, I checked in my bags at the Airport Express and walked up to Lan Kwai Fong in the hope of seeing him – I had two hours before I had to make my way to the airport. This time, I decided to stay in one spot.”

was born in Jakarta, Indonesia and immigrated to China with his family when he was 13. He first made his way to Hong Kong in 1974.

[The Heartbreaker: The Story of Melvis GoFundMe page]

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