Almost Elton John at Hard Rock 

By day, Jerred Price is a mild-mannered insurance adjuster. By night, he's Almost Elton John, pounding out hits like "Daniel," "Pinball Wizard," and "Rocket Man" at the Hard Rock Cafe.

"Since I was 4 years old, my mom raised me on Elton John," Price says, recounting his origin story. As a kid, he found John's outlandish stage costumes "very intriguing." Piano lessons followed, but he hated them. He didn't like the strictness or care about proper hand usage. So he quit. "Mama, I don't like this," Price said, explaining how he sat down at the piano by himself and started learning how to play all of his favorite Elton John songs by ear. "And not just Elton John," he adds, "but Billy Joel, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Little Richard too."

click to enlarge Jerred Price Is No Honky Cat
  • Jerred Price Is No Honky Cat

Initially, Price resisted the urge to put on a feather boa and impersonate his musical hero at parties: "I said, no way. That's so cliche. I don't want to do that kind of stuff." But eventually he caved to pressure, donned a pair of furry glasses, and went to work on the party circuit. He's been in residence at Memphis' Hard Rock Cafe for two years now, playing two shows a month as both Elton John and as himself.

"It's fun," Price says. "Elton's almost 70 now, so we can't see him in eight-inch platform shoes anymore. He outgrew all of that." But you can almost see it Saturday, March 5th, when Almost Elton John sits down to the keyboard and crocodile rocks.

His gift is his song. And this one's for you.

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