Meet the South Shields rock '˜n' roll fan who's keeping the memory of Elvis alive

When it comes to music lovers, there are fans and there are super fans.

Thursday, 6th September 2018, 10:17 am
Updated Thursday, 6th September 2018, 3:41 pm
Trevor Cajiao with the 50th edition of his rock 'n' roll magazine Now Dig This.

One such passionate person is Trevor Cajiao, a rock ‘n’ roll and Elvis Presley aficionado from South Shields, whose love of that style of music and appreciation of the legendary singer has prompted a lifetime’s dedication to both.

Strangely enough, I stumbled upon the attached photos of Trevor, with part of his record collection and the rock ‘n’ roll and Elvis magazines he produces, on the very day that I featured an article in Time Of Our Lives, marking the 41st anniversary since ‘The King’s’ death.

Trevor Cajiao started the Elvis Presley magazine in December 1988.

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It was quite a coincidence, and one which introduced me to Trevor and his magazines – Now Dig This, which he has been published monthly since April 1983, and Elvis – The Man And His Music, which has been published quarterly since December 1988.

Regarding the former, Trevor explains the reasons for its launch. “Basically, because I wanted to,” he said.

“I’d always enjoyed some of the many rock ‘n’ roll magazines that I grew up reading in the 1970s, but they never seemed to come out as regularly as I, a fan, wanted them to.

“My idea was to produce something every month, so that’s what we did (when Now Dig This first started it was a partnership deal between Trevor and Mickie Downey, a fellow life-long rock ‘n’ roll fan).

Trevor with Gordon Minto, a regular contributor to his Elvis Presley magazine.

“There was no ‘market research’ or anything like that done; we just produced the first issue and set about selling it at local gigs, all-dayers and anywhere else we could.

“Thankfully, the earliest issues sold well enough through those kind of outlets that we were eventually able to offer subscriptions (by issue No.4) and also pick up distribution through specialist dealers around the UK (at first) and then abroad.

“It was a hard slog, but always enjoyable simply because we loved the music so much.”

Five years later Trevor launched Elvis – The Man And His Music, of which he said: “I felt there wasn’t a regular magazine out there that did Elvis justice.

“As a life-long Elvis fan I was disappointed with the Elvis mags that were on the market.

“None of them were offering the kind of information I, as a fan, wanted to read. There wasn’t enough emphasis on the music.

“Right from the start we advertised ‘no poetry, no fiction, no impersonators – just the facts!’ And that’s what we’ve always been about.”

Back in 1988, a Gazette reporter and photographer were on hand to record the launch of the magazine.

The report told how an upstairs rooms in The Marine Hotel, Ocean Road, “rocked to the sight and sound of classic cuts from Elvis’s career as the faithful welcomed the publication of Elvis – The Man And His Music.”

It went on to reveal that fans at the launch enjoyed a specially-produced video, put together by Elvis author and magazine contributor Gordon Minto.

Back to today, and both magazines are still going strong, so who are the magazines’ readers?

“Going by the mail we receive it’s a wide age group. There are those who were around in the 50s and experienced the music first-hand; many who picked it up via the various ‘revivals’ in the late 60s/late 70s/early 80s, and some younger ones who are just discovering the music now.”

Watch out for more on Trevor and Elvis – The Man And His Music when the magazine celebrates its 30th anniversary.