Some claim a preacher called Bob Joyce is Elvis Presley. What …

  • I have observed Elvis in the media for over 50 years. I have observed Bob Joyce videos for the last six months and have come to my own opinion. His likeness to Elvis is bizarre. It is difficult to say what an elderly Elvis would look like. Depending on heredity, some men stay the same and some change dramatically. I wish Joyce would shave off his beard, so I can see the true contour of his chin. He is the right height. His lip pulls up in the back when he smiles (I don’t mean the famous sneer.) He has the chicken pox scar over the left eyebrow. (There have been multiple photo overlays, but such can be deceptive.) Elvis wore elevator shoes and make up and hair pieces in later life. He had several lifts, eye, face; and a nose job. You should know how the body changes with advanced age. The voice raises, because the muscles over the laranyx thin. The lips thin due to loss of colligen. The mouth loses its verticality and becomes lateral. Facial bones shrink and a forty-year study proved jaws can and often do shrink. Eye orbits enlarge. Ear lobes grow longer. It is said one should look at the neck and the skin of the chest when judging true age. People complain Joyce’s nose is not long and straight enough but is shorter and juts out from under the eyes. But if you wear glasses for decades your nose will likely (but not always) change in response to the irritating weight of the glasses (the end of the nose will grow bigger with age, but more likely loss of nose height resulting from plastic surgery to narrow eyes — spaced eyes, a distinguishing Elvis feature). We can see lateral marks to the sides of Joyce’s nose because of this (more likely ruptured nasal membranes from years of singing). The nose gets larger with age and thickens beyond the glasses.

    Also, Elvis’s skin wouldn’t have aged that much. Like my grandmother, who had told me in ’65 Elvis didn’t perform like the Beatles because he felt forced to hide in a walled house in Memphis and who advised staying out of the sun like Mae West who lived behind curtains to maintain a youthful look, Elvis had the habit of staying out of the sun, both because of his lengthy all-night Vegas contracts and to avoid the throngs of fans and paparazzi. He often looked pale.

    I don’t know why we expect Elvis to look so old at 84. William Shatner, 87, still jokes around with the kids; and, though fat, stays in good shape showing horses. Tom Jones and Englebert Humperdink, both Vegas contemporaries of Elvis still perform. I saw Smokey Robinson, just five years Elvis’s junior, perform a mock face off with late-night performer James Corden (who has a very young audience) just the other night. Ringo, also just five years Elvis’s junior, only last month (July 2019) played drums backing Paul; and he was sickly as a child. Elvis never smoked or drank or took drugs, save those prescribed. He took a lot of vitamins, exercised a lot, and stayed out of the sun. Ginger Alden said she only found vitamin bottles at the house and on the day he allegedly died he rode an exercise bike and played racketball. Now Elvis’s suspicious medical record said he was — at the last — almost 350 pounds and had an impacted bowel; while his autopsy listed his weight at 170 lbs.

    The EEP site states career-long friend and road manager Joe Esposito reported Elvis had some plastic surgery done to slightly alter his look, for otherwise he would never have any peace. But, as the site also says, a half-brother could get away with filling in for Elvis, why then would this be necessary? (the idea of a similar looking brother seems to have fallen out of favor).

    The original notion was that Elvis apparently had half-brothers. And his still born twin, actually lived, some claim. I did witness one performance which was clearly not Elvis, too Nashville. You’ll need to challenge those claims for documentation. Point is Joyce could be one of those brothers. Yet, while the alleged brothers might have helped with the burden of filming and perhaps aided in final year concert engagements when Elvis had tired of the routine and was struggling with glaucoma, and the weight that comes with age (one doctor said he also showed symptoms of TBI) — such alleged brothers would not have had his experienced voice (a lot of people play guitar and piano). I do know Elvis had hand-picked and personally mentored body doubles in Vegas and one of those had even agreed to plastic surgery (AP report, not scandal sheet). In the latter year scenario, I suggest it was one of them and not an alleged brother who might have filled in for an already retired super star (He created the Elvis personnae. He had the right to kill it off. The facts around his death are highly suspect and there is a good ol’ boy tradition of keeping things to one’s inner circle of family and friends. Though someone attempted to wrangle her out-of-frame, during an Oprah interview in 2006 Priscilla slipped up and referred to Elvis as still alive. Lisa said in a 2012 Swedish chat show interview Elvis had showed her how to manage the corporation; which is, of course, impossible if he died in 1977.)

    Country singer Jennie C. Riley told her audience back in 2002 Elvis was alive and she had nothing to lose by reporting it. She said many in the entertainment industry knew it, because he visited them.

    A photo appeared on the Internet posted by an Italian woman who appears to have caught Elvis visiting Priscilla in Italy, for Priscilla had subsequently married an Italian (a commenter says it was only a relationship of several years, which produced one son). Elvis appears to be in his 50’s and bearded, and still looked like we remember him. Whether true or not, I maintain this will serve as a transition photo. Thirty more years would have taken their toll. (The seemingly bottomless EEP site has debunked this photo.)

    He traveled first under the name of John Burroughs and in later years Jessie Garin until there was a dna match.

    It is possible he had two sons in his fifties. One might be the impersonator named Matt in Arkansas. Another might be Michel Skutnik in France who has uploaded likely 500 videos to YouTube. Both these men talk like they work for Presley Enterprises. Matt has direct access to Joyce’s mentoring; and even his high collar shirts (Elvis thought his neck was too long.). Skutnick has incredible access to intellectual property and Elvis’s personal artifacts. Skutnik has the wide spread, drooping eyes characteristic of Elvis. Matt ressembles Elvis more in adoration than he does in looks. He seems smaller than Joyce, as Lisa Marie is small. Who knows who the EEP site is! He intends for the time being to keep it a secret. But he claims Elvis, himself, reviews the site. (This paragraph is my own wild speculation.)

    People say Joyce is too corny, not as sophisticated as we have come to know Elvis through his cautious film and stage presentations. But people outside of his own familiars who had the chance to get to know him always had the same comment: He was just a hillbilly. And he could be childish, as in his short-tempered outbursts and string of obscenities when studio retakes went on for too long; or in his breaking from driving his tour bus to karate around playfully with his young friends; or his brief attempts at brazen sexual references in private tour footage. Another words, he was a normal midwestern good ol’ boy; and that’s one of the reasons we have always liked him. But, since I grew up in his region and know these type of guys, he always seemed gentler, brighter, and more caring. He never stopped being a mother’s boy.

    When Joyce says he married in 75 that could be possible. But it is more likely he took over the ministry of the real Joyce, in the manner of someone buying a trademark. When we think of Elvis today we think of his 1977 version. But we can look at 1000 photos over the years (and I have) and his appearance varies. Joyce says he was born in 53 — and the real Joyce may well have. I live in the general area of his residence and am familiar with the good old boys of this area and my generation of the same age: Joyce reminds me more of my father. He talks of serving in the army in Germany. His type of preaching is really old fashioned. He calls his parents mama and daddy. He talks of “those little squirts” with the smart phones and claims he doesn’t own a cell phone. He speaks anachronisms like putting yourself in the hands of God like Allstate Insurance, going to Colorado where John Denver lives, lamenting wasting his life watching Bonanza and Gunsmoke, etc. And, despite telling a church visitor in a gold lamé jacket he used to own one and move his legs around a lot — now he just moves his shoulders up and down, most troubling of all he refuses to look into the camera and say: I am not now, nor was I ever Elvis Presley. (He once said in an e-mail he has assured people he wasn’t Elvis. But that is not the same thing.)

    And somebody has to explain who the patriarchal, similarly looking guy is going in and out of the front door of Graceland when the gate is closed. Graceland is only a 2.5 hour drive to the Benton, Arkansas church. An hour by helicopter, supposing there is no need to file a flight plan.

    At a recent private funeral in a synagogue in Memphis for an old radio dj friend of Elvis a woman in attendance used her phone to video record Pastor Bob sitting in the front row and Priscilla passing, putting her hand on his shoulder.

    It is known Pastor Bob has used his name on releases of Gospel recordings made by Elvis but edited out of his albums. How would he have these, since they would have remained in Elvis’s private collection? More importantly, how could he legally get away with it — otherwise.

    There is a Facebook page called Evidence Elvis is Alive to which I have contributed. As I said, you can scroll your thumb off trying to reach the end, because the site administrator has published twice a day since 2014. This mysterious person has considerable knowledge and access to intellectual property and documents, rivaling Michel Skutnik (who challenges him in this regard). He states definitively Elvis is alive and that Elvis is now posing as an elder Bob Joyce — and even that Elvis, himself, reads the comments. He claims if Presley Enterprises disapproved they could easily shut his page down, but they haven’t; so he must be authorized. Now Skutnik is French, but the site administrator responded to one of my posts at 2: 30 a.m., which in France’s time zone is well within office hours. I also saw a posted comment in French on the EEP site addressed to the administrator asking him why he expends his energy defending his position when “you told me you had authority to do so.” Interesting.

    Yes, but why would Presley Enterprises not do so if he is stimulating interest in Elvis? The only counter I can think of is such sites are problematic: They adulterate the memory of the actual artist. Now, at the time of Elvis’s alleged death there were 170 licensed impersonators. There are now probably 250,000. The difference between the two is one threatens to distort truth, while the other is merely a tribute.

    With Bob Joyce obfuscating and Skutnik and that page administrator intending to firmly establish Elvis is alive and producing new material, Presley Enterprises would appear to have a problem. They have that army of impersonators, they don’t need the adulteration.

    Unless, of course, Elvis is indeed actually alive.

    Update: I am now convinced after watching a year of Joyce’s sermons (not easy for a Catholic) and comparing them with video of earlier years that the pastor is actually two doppelganger men, Robert Joyce and Bob Joyce aka Elvis. (I was repeatedly told this before on the EEP site, but didn’t buy it. If it was true, I thought, the actual pastor was retired and gone from the scene.) Elvis and his father got good practice finding people who looked, acted, and somewhat sounded like him for security purposes. We are seeing that practice here, that throwing you off the scent, so to speak. Robert’s voice doesn’t have the mellow tonality of Bob’s. Robert has well developed cysts on the sides of his nose, probably from wearing glasses. Bob doesn’t so much. Robert’s eyes are closer together; his cheeks are different; his teeth weren’t split originally, but miraculously now are; and his chin is slightly smaller, so he tends to self-consciously jut it out — just run the video with a magnifier. Robert has a broad good-old-boy countenance (wide-eyed and broad grin), arms stretch out, stands back near pulpit, and preaches from an outline, returning to Scripture — he might scream or cry; while Bob aka Elvis tends to theatricalize the seriousness of his subject, an old story teller improvising, sometimes finishing with a song— again, watch both heads in motion with the magnifier. Both have aging neck and chest skin, but Bob’s shows sign of advanced age. People look for the broad drooping eyes and arrow straight nose of the Vegas years, but — in contrast to my simple aging proposal above — EEP alternately says Elvis had plastic surgery. Three reasons: people with broad eyes often wish to narrow them, Elvis was involved in drug enforcement undercover work (Esposito), and he wanted to live a normal life. You narrow the eyes by removing a triangular piece of bone between the eyes and rotating the eye orbits inward. Clearly, this will shorten the nose bridge. It is difficult to distinguish these men, so begin by comparing sermon styles, though the substance is really boiler plate stuff: let the Spirit speak through you. The only agreement other than a broad similarity in look and gestures which seem common place to me, having grown up in the Midwest, is that both men sincerely and deeply love God (probably why I have hung in there for so long).

    Update: I have not seen the first of the two dopplegangers for a long time. With the help of the lighting enhancement from the white walls of the new church I can see an inverted triangular depression which might have been left over from the facial bi-partitioning surgery. I no longer can accept the distinct difference in look to just aging alone. Lastly, the voice in the sermons is affected, beyond the exaggerated country boy character he often jokingly employs. On the rare occasion he falls out of it you, you can hear the distinct sound of the movie and Vegas Elvis’s voice (the only way most of us know anything of him).

    Lastly, I was watching one of the last interviews of comedian Jerry Lewis, who died in Las Vegas in 2017 at 91. In it was played a video of a later-years performance where Lewis, interacting with the audience, matter-of-factly stated Elvis is alive, then typically finished with a joke “… but I’m dead.”

    Update: I have read somewhere recently the rumor that Elvis desired to go public in the early Aughts, but couldn’t get Presley Enterprises to agree. If there is any truth to this, the corporation would have clearly been concerned about loss of revenue as a consequence of such announcement. Elvis would have agreed and may have initiated the inquiry, concerned about cutting into the monetary value of the legacy he had left his daughter.

    Update: I noticed for the first time on YouTube a 45 min. music session recently recorded at Pastor Bob’s new church in Benton. Normally, only sermons are uploaded or else just an individual song performance. As I listened to the pastor run through nearly 15 religious songs I began noticing how similar his voice, comments, and laughter were to outtakes of Elvis’s recording sessions of the early 70s, where he ran through multiple songs and multiple takes to achieve selected masters for inclusion in an album.

    Update: Joyce has been good at producing sermons every Sunday and then uploading them onto YouTube (I’ve watched them every Sunday for at least a year.) The last two Sundays he also uploaded 45-min. Christian. music sessions which previously had been local. I looked forward (research-wise) to the same this last Sunday, July 12, 2020, but neither a sermon nor music session was uploaded. It seemed strange. I checked my app for a vacation announcement. Then I discovered Elvis’s grandson had been found dead from suicide that morning at his mother’s mansion in California and Lisa was reported as inconsolable.

    Joyce returned the following Saturday for a quickly cobbled together make up sermon and then did a regular one the following day. I believe he did another the following Sunday and then a week later he was gone again. Why? It seems Lisa was headed back to family court to endure a heated custody dispute. Perhaps her father (if Joyce is he) thought she needed support.

    I just saw a more extended digital video zoom of a previous posting of Joyce going in and out of the front door of Graceland. I’ve seen him enough times over the last year and a half to recognize him even from a distance.

    He was gone on Aug. 2. His app announces him gone Aug. 9 and 16, 2020, on account of coronavirus quarantine (not vacation) That’s contrary to Bob’s attitude about the virus, which was reflected in his congregation; but perhaps the Arkansas governor has ordered churches closed (I don’t know.) If he is Elvis, Lisa likely would have pressured him to comply given her recent loss.

    But, again, if he is Elvis he’d alternately be with Lisa providing her support during the custody litigation.

    Notice specific Sundays are listed (the anticipated length of the litigation, perhaps). The termination of a virus quarantine would be indefinite. And he’s already beyond the 14 days of a normal quarantine for contraction.

    The worse case scenario is Bob or Elvis may have actually become sick with the virus, given his disregard for wearing masks and social distancing.

    We wish him well, whoever he may be.

    Update: Pastor Bob returned to preaching as of a YouTube post dated September 7, 2020. He spoke on how we should handle death — with confidence in Jesus.

    Update: I’ve just seen Humperdinck on a very recent YouTube post. He is 16 months the junior of Elvis. He used to perform in Vegas the same time as Elvis, and they would pose together for news photos. He had well set, slightly spaced, eyes; but Elvis had eyes more like those sought by early 20th century directors for female leads. Perhaps that made Elvis self-conscious. A studio musician once remarked Elvis was the prettiest man he ever saw. I noticed Humperdinck’s eyes are now close set with age. He dyes his hair and his face looks more weathered than wrinkled. His neck sags, but unlike Elvis he may not have had any cosmetic work done on it. He speaks of how careful he is with his own health. His tone is upbeat when he expresses his interest in new projects. Similarly, I saw Jerry Lee Lewis just the other day at his 85th birthday party. While he has had poor health, unlike Elvis drinking, smoking, and taking drugs extensively throughout his life;he still looks what I call wrangly. He has a bright expression and probably could sit down at the piano and still play a mean boogie woogie. I recall how angry he was at one performance when Kid Rock jumped up on his custom-made grand piano during a performance. Hopping off his piano bench when the last song ended, he stood authoritatively at the keyboard; then took a deep breath, leaned forward and cursed at him. Tom Jones made a quarantined birthday greeting video for Jerry Lee and while only five years younger than Elvis could easily pass for sixty (that’s the new forty, kids). Willie Nelson was there, two years older than Elvis. He’s a sun-withered 5’6″, but playing as good as ever, surrounded by male musicians clearly in their twenties.

    Update:. Julie Andrews was on Colbert tonight (Oct. 29) swapping limericks with him, as she pushed her latest book. She is only eight months younger than Elvis.

    Dick Van Dyke is recording personalized videos for people, not looking all that much different (still easily recognizable) at 94

    Here, next, is a photo taken in New York City, 2018, of Yoko Ono, age 87, who just a few days ago appeared at a parole hearing for the person who killed her husband.

    Ronnie Hawkins is a famous rock and roll singer born in 1935.

    Here is William Shatner, 89 :

    Here is Jane Fonda 83, whether you agree or disagree with her politics she looks pretty good for that age.

    This is Engelbert Humperdinck, 84, who is still performing and occasionally uploads a YouTube video.

    Here is P.J. Proby, 82, Elvis look-alike and rival, finished touring in 2019. His eyes were spaced like Elvis’s, so you can check how aging has effected them. His chin is slightly longer. He was born in Texas, but seems to have performed more in the U.K.

    Here is Bob Joyce at his new church building in Benton, Arkansas.

    Facial bi-partitioning diagram. When Joyce moved to the new church with its white walls (wiring during renovation done by Joyce — Elvis had trained to be an electrician) a triangular depression in his forward became visible in the harsher light, remedied with make-up foundation, and changes in lighting and camera.

    Here is impersonator Johnny Harra. His tonality, expressions, and gestures are eerily similar to Elvis. In the last few months a YouTube poster using the expression preacher man Bob Joyce has repeatedly stated that Harra was Elvis. I associate that expression with Bob Joyce’s son Matt Joyce. He always refers to his father as preacher man. Whening this video look at his nose and try to determine if it looks plastine (synthetic), because I believe that Elvis had already had his surgery by this time. Study the film, This is Elvis, he took part in long ago to determine how far the surgery might go back. Or was there cosmetics supplied even then?

    This is a 1978 audio recording of an interview of impersonator Johnny Harra. He exhibits characteristic psychological rambling, religious devotion, and superstition. He makes a brief reference to a brother preaching in Arkansas, but he cuts himself off before he completes the name of the state. He begins performing the day after Elvis dies.

    If Elvis and his father would pay for other people’s images to pass for Elvis to take some of the heat off of him, how simple would it have been to go beyond that and pay for somebody’s identity and past photos in order that Elvis could now be them, in turn. The proposal would be, You let me be you, sign an NDA, stay out of the media; and I will pay you and your family a whole big pile of money.

    Below is one of the earliest videos on YouTube of Bob Joyce. It’s around the same time as the death of Johnny Harra, an Elvis impersonator who was famous for starring in a film about his death, having been approved by the Presley family. I wonder if Presley assumed the less strenuous Harrah personnae because the Elvis one was just expertise in performance and not really creative. That’s years of very hard work, per the demands of the Colonel. With the Harrah persona assumed Elvis would just enjoy performing the love ballads with less effort and less pressure from fans. When he decided it was time to preach, to serve God in a more explicit way and as reciprocation for the adoration he had received, he once again killed off of a persona, stripped off the cosmetic prosthetics, and became or more likely resumed “the brother who preaches in Arkansas”. Harra hid for 25 years (the never-really-dead, raised-in-a-different-home twin Jessie years terminated by a DNA match?) and then reappeared on the stage. He “died” and then, with some plastic surgery (as agreed to do a body double back in his Vegas years), voila, Bob Joyce.

    Personal Note: Having seen some of the last performances of Johnny Harra I cannot see any possible transition between Harra and Joyce, unless isolating the last years of Harra when he appeared on stage so grossly overweight he could hardly walk the Harra person is as a cosmetic personnae, such as the fictional Jiminy Glick of Martin Short in some kind of latex rubber suit. That’s how great the difference is between the last years of Elvis and the first years of Harra and that final performance of Harra before he died. Realistic latex costuming technology began in the 80s and has been continually perfected. While the comedian Short took it to an intended comic extreme, his use of a more sophisticated costume began in 2003 and improvements have likely been made since then. Harra’s enlarged head and extreme obesity in his final performances is suspicious to me. I propose it here because of my suspicion and that other people are saying what doesn’t seem possible. To them I would say prove it; because he, otherwise, would have had to do some really hard time at a really good health spa; as well as additional plastic surgery, to appear subsequently as Pastor Joyce. (Not simply a plastine nose enhancement and a lot of makeup foundation, and singing and talking a bit off; since skilled singers have considerable control over their vocal sound.)

    Here is a video of Bob and his son, Matt (notice his spaced eyes). Vernon Presley’s favorite Elvis song was American Trilogy. This impromptu performance was later recreated on the front lawn of Graceland.

    Here’s another video I’ve seen.

    Update: On May 2, 2021, Pastor Bob complained that the car industry must be corrupt, because in 1957 you could buy a brand new Chevy for $600. He repeated that with indignation. Now, Bob says he’s my age. That’s not a reference I would have knowledge of, unless I was a car nerd. But, even to a nerd, the contemporary factory price for such a car was actually $2,000. Thus, Bob has some intimate contemporary knowledge, that my generation certainly wouldn’t have had, nerd or not, we who didn’t drive cars till 1970, and if we were old car buffs would have relied on original factory information. Now in 1957 Elvis was famous and rich, and bought a lot of cars for lots of people. He probably did have some bulk deal, some discount arrangement, based on the quantity purchased combined with the promotional value.

    Update: Bob just mentioned to his congregation as of this revision date that he was, to paraphrase, a little bitty bit Jewish. Elvis was Jewish by maternal blood lineage; but his generations preceding him were apparently not practicing Jews, since the women must have married protestant men. Thus Bob/Elvis might indeed say he was, again to paraphrase, a little bitty bit Jewish.

    Update: On June 26, 2022, Bob Joyce apparently did not give a sermon at the Benton, Arkansas church. As I have stated above, this is rare and exceptional. What happened this weekend? The theater release of the new Elvis movie. Is that just a coincidence or did it cause him to become depressed; or maybe just join the theater crowd to be celebrative, as he claims to be a lifelong Elvis fan. This latter would not have lasted all the way through Sunday. Certainly would not have affected the devout work of a dedicated minister. This is very strange, very strange indeed. (His website “warns” he’s on vacation this specific Sunday.)

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