Car 3

Mr Kendo Kawahara

Outward appearance

Japanese businessman. Tall and heavy in a grey suit, immaculate white shirt, clean tan overcoat. Briefcase. Narrow eyes, slightly pockmarked cheeks. Chews gum slowly as if laconically issuing orders. Greased hair.

Inside information

Publisher of a successful magazine for Japanese people about how to live in England during two-year business stints away from home. Also runs a thriving business supplying them with Japanese books, food, music and social opportunities. Mr Kendo is on his way to a recording session in a small studio operated by Merely College, who provide him with student musicians.

Mr Kawahara is an Elvis Presley imitator who releases records of material the King would have recorded if he had lived. His professional name is Tupelo Sushi. The cassettes sell quite well through specialist mail outlets in the United States and Great Britain.

His briefcase contains lyrics and charts for the sessions. The new set is the album Elvis would have recorded in 1991, the year of the Gulf War. The songs include Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree, You Take My Breath Away from Top Gun, Memory from Cats, and Tom Waits' Soldier's Things . This a great song about war: a friend lists all a dead soldiers things at a garage sale. Waits sings the song in a dry rasp. Kendo will sing it as Elvis would have done, as a tribute, with a lovely tremolo of emotion and a soaring operatic conclusion.

What he is doing or thinking

Mr Kawahara is planning Elvis's AIDS album. It will include his unique interpretation of Springsteen's Philadelphia.

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