The Story Behind 'My Boy'

You may have noticed the dedication on "Aloha From Potter Heigham" - 'Track 10 "My Boy" is lovingly dedicated to 'Kenpo' who was, and always will be My Boy' - well read on to find out who 'Kenpo' was and the full story behind what has become Mark's theme tune...
The relationship between Mark and this particular song goes back some way, before it's more recent poignant meaning. And 'Great Britain's Best Elvis' is not the first competition Mark has won performing this particular number!
In fact back in 1983 he won the Official Elvis Presley Fan Club of Great Britain talent competition singing the self same song! Well that's not precisely true as history will reflect Mark tampered somewhat with the lyrics and performed the number a little differently! Having been runner-up in the previous year's talent competition performing an out and out Elvis rendition of 'My Way' Mark felt a little something extra was called for this time around to secure outright top slot. The news headline of the day was that 'Culture Club' lead singer 'Boy' George preferred... "a cup of tea to sex" well this got an overactive teenage mind thinking and revving his overactive mind into overdrive Mark came up with the following re-working of his already favorite Elvis song! Imagining what the King himself might say to this pop pretender...

(to the tune of 'My Boy')

You may be bent I know,
But really this won't do,
I think I should explain,
Just what you ought to do.

In all that drag,
You look a proper stiff,
Why not buy some 'Blue Suede Shoes',
And get your hair done in a quiff?

CHORUS

Because you look a mess, My Boy!
You even wear a dress, My Boy!!
And if I may, I'd say, I think you're gay, My Boy!!!

This to be performed in a Tommy Cooperesque half and half costume to re-enact the conversation between Elvis and 'Boy' George! (photo to follow!!!special thanks to the guy that lent me his very expensive 'Elvisly Yours' Aloha belt) It was so well received that not only did Mark win the competition he so coveted, he was asked to do a 'back by popular request' encore on the last night of the Elvis festival! And so his unique bond to this particular track was born.
Forward in time now to the auditions for Great Britain's Best Elvis. From 150+ original applicants the organisers asked their top 40 to perform two songs for them. As it had been good to him all those years before Mark chose 'My Boy' as one of his numbers, also partly because he thought everyone else would be performing 'Suspicious Minds' and 'The Wonder of You'! Imagine his consternation when, whilst changing in the gent's, yes another of those classy gigs I hear you cry, he discovered that one of the other acts was doing 'My Boy' for exactly the same reason, "Well I didn't think anyone else would be doing it!". To add insult to injury this other Elvis was on immediately before Mark and performed the track extremely well! But not to be outdone on went Mark and sung for all he was worth. The judges acknowledged his confidence and invited him to be in the final twelve who were asked to confirm their preferred tracks as soon as possible before the grand final, needing no further encouragement, or possible duplications, Mark confirmed his ballad there and then to be 'My Boy', up tempo number still to be decided! For the next few weeks at gigs he would 'rehearse' this number as he performed it live informing audiences that this would be his chosen track at the forthcoming finals. Prior to singing the number, much as he does now, Mark would always encourage the audience to listen to the words, and to imagine themselves as a father speaking the words to their son, he'd say 'I haven't got a son but I've got a little boy dog who means the same to me'. But then on 26th July fate took a turn when Mark's dog, his beloved shar pei (wrinkly dog) named 'Kenpo'(shar pei's can also be called chinese fighting dogs, so he was named after Elvis' karate style - Elvis was an 8th dan black belt in Kenpo Karate) fell ill. A visit to the vet only confirmed Mark's worst fears that there was nothing that could be done and so a final appointment was made for 30th July when poor Kenpo would go to that big kennel in the sky. A devastated Mark choked on the introduction at his next gig and even dropped the number for a couple of weeks. But with the finals looming decided to perform it as a tribute to his loyal friend. As you already know Mark won the competition and the judges were heard to comment that his performance of 'My Boy' had 'extra emotion from his original audition', they put this down to practice, little did they know the inner turmoil he was going through. Mark would still admit to having a tear in his eye each and every time he performs this special number and mentally dedicates it to 'his boy' - KENPO