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Rockabilly Westworld: Zombie Karaoke Elvis-bot

January 18th, 2008 by Jeff Simmermon

Zombie Elvis Karaoke-bot 1

My friend Eric called me up late the other night from somewhere outside of Barcade, panting breathlessly in the cold. “Dude, don’t go to bed yet,” he said. “I’m bringing something over for you.”

And what a something it was! In its heyday, he looked like this, functioning as an expensive karaoke toy.

More photos after the jump …

This is a photo of my friend Eliza interacting with the Elvis-bot in better times:


I imagine there was either a messy breakup or a drunken kickboxing match, and Elvis-bot here took one right in the grill, then got dumped in the road. The thing is, covered in grime and with part of his face missing, it’s MILLIONS of times cooler than it ever was brand-new. Sure, it took a little trauma and a lot of scarring, but that’s what builds real character in humans and robots alike. This thing exists at the crossroads of all my favorite things: Japanese pop culture, zombies, robots and rock ‘n roll.

I left him on the kitchen table for my sleeping roommate to discover when she woke up at dawn. She said that first she was petrified, thinking that there was a man in the kitchen quietly staring. Then that terror gave way to an entirely different kind of terror when she realized that it wasn’t a man at all, but an Elvis robot with his face half tore off.

Now he sits in a place of honor on my dresser, quietly shedding synthetic hair and freaking the cat out. I still get a little jolt of terror when I get up in the night. It’s delicious, a shot of espresso-flavored freon shooting through my veins.

Of course I took a million photos of it, and I’m not done by a long shot. I distract myself from daydreams of Antarctica by dreaming about getting this guy working again and starting up a band to play in subway tunnels around the world. If any of you guys know where I can get an adapter or the remote control that runs this thing, please let a guy know — I’m dying to get him running again.

Here’s the best of the latest batch of photos:

Zombie Elvis Karaoke-bot 2

Zombie Elvis Karaoke-bot 3

This one really reminds me of Stephen Blickenstaff’s cover of the Cramps’ “Bad Music for Bad People,” a perfect album if there ever was one:

Zombie Elvis Karaoke-bot 4

Self-Portrait with Zombie Elvis Karaoke-bot 2

Self-Portrait with Zombie Elvis Karaoke-bot 1

You can see a Flickr set of these photos and more here. Feel free to download, copy and remix all you like, attribution is all I’m asking for …

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