Soft furnishings refitted in dusty peach

Elvis tour bus sells for nearly $270,000 in New York

GMT 05:04 2015 Sunday ,17 May

Arab Today, arab today Elvis tour bus sells for nearly $270,000 in New York

Elvis Presley's J-200 guitar and framed photograph
New York - Arab Today

A custom-designed tour bus bought by Rock 'n' Roll King Elvis Presley for his back-up band in 1976 sold at auction in New York Saturday for $268,000, organizers said.

Elvis's "Takin' Care of Business" and lightning bolt motto is emblazoned on the bodywork, although its soft furnishings have since been refitted in dusty peach since its days on road in the 1970s.

Fully road worthy, it seats 12, has nine sleeping berths and comes equipped with air conditioning, a fridge, a microwave, televisions and speakers. There are even chandelier-style lights hanging from the lounge area.

It was bought by a mobile homes specialist in Texas, the CEO of the California-based auction house Julien's Auctions, Darren Julien, told AFP.

The bus sold with a framed copy of the $25,000 check that Elvis made out to friend and mentor J.D. Sumner, who led The Stamps, for the down payment.

Elvis once gave it a joy ride, calming Sumner's nerves by promising to buy him another if it crashed, said Martin Nolan, executive director of Julien's Auctions.

"He took the bus out from Graceland and he drove right out into the country and then he was worried, 'how am I going to turn this bus around,' so he drove into a cornfield, drove back out again and back home," Nolan told AFP.

- King of the auction -

In total, nearly 200 Elvis items went to the auction block, including a military uniform that fetched $48,000 and a "Love Me Tender" record dedicated to his beloved mother Gladys, which sold for $125,000.

Auctioneers say Elvis is king when it comes to generating bucks on the block and Julien said there had been "huge interest from the Middle East, Russia and Asia" in his memorabilia.

But the most expensive lot of the two-day music auction at New York's Hard Rock Cafe was a guitar played by George Harrison in the early days of Beatlemania that sold for $500,000 to a private buyer on Friday.

Harrison borrowed the Maton electric guitar from a music shop while his own instrument was being repaired.

He was photographed holding it at the Cavern Club, the Liverpool spot where the Beatles shot to prominence, and played it at a series of concerts in Britain in the summer of 1963, Julien's said.

Other headline items belonged to Michael Jackson.

The black, military-style jacket with gold braiding and buttons that he wore when The Jackson 5 were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997 sold for $83,750, way over the pre-sale estimates of $10,000 to 20,000.

His black crystal glove, worn to film his "History" teaser trailer in 1994, when he was on honeymoon with Lisa Marie Presley, fetched $46,875.
Source: AFP

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