Elvis Presley might be the most influential star in the history of rock-and-roll. He sold over 200 million albums. He won multiple Grammy Awards and had more top hits than you could count. He was also the voice of my youth. There was something about him that just sucked you in. I remember many nights when dinner would be put on hold because the whole family wanted to listen to whatever Elvis song was on the radio. Bob Dylan once said, “When I first heard Elvis’ voice, I just knew that I wasn’t going to work for anybody, and nobody was going to be my boss. He is the deity supreme of rock and roll religion as it exists in today’s form. Hearing him for the first time was like busting out of jail.—I thank God for Elvis Presley.”
Since his death, his home (even though palace is probably a better fit) has become a Mecca for his many die-hard fans. More than 100,000 people visit Graceland every year to pay homage to the King. Visitors get the chance to see what a day in the life of a living God was like. You can see his bedroom, where he entertained guests, the kitchen where he probably ate many of his infamous sandwiches. Guests also have the opportunity to tour his private planes. That might be changing.
Elvis’ private planes, the “Lisa Marie” and “Hound Dog II,” are going up for auction. Thanks to some less-than-fruitful negotiations with Graceland, Julien’s Auctions will be selling both planes, with the auction closing on February 2nd. That doesn’t leave much time for Graceland to make a deal.
Elvis bought the “Lisa Marie” for $250,000 from Delta in 1975 and spent almost a million dollars turning it into the Graceland of the sky. It can accommodate 32 people, and the King would use it for tours as well as for leisure. It has a full bar, a table with leather chairs, solid gold accents everywhere, and even has a penthouse suite with a custom queen bed (queen for the King). If you find yourself bored, there is also a very impressive (and very outdated) video system with four tube TVs clad in wood and 50 speakers to entertain you… the full bar is a nice touch too.
The smaller of the two planes, the “Hound Dog II” was purchased by Presley, also in 1975, to use while the renovations to “Lisa Marie” were taking place. It was also customized by the King and has room for about 10 people plus the crew.
Now for the fine print, Julien’s Auctions says that the planes are meant to be show pieces and that they are not in flying condition… and your guess is as good as mine as to how much something like that would cost. They are also being auctioned off as a pair, so you’re not going to get away without taking both. There’s no telling how much they will go for, but seeing as how Burt Reynold’s Trans Am from “Smokey and the Bandit” recently sold for $450 thousand, you can bet it’ll be high.