Note from John F Murray – May 15, 2006 – Uri Geller just told me that he successfully won the bidding on e-Bay for Elvis Presley’s first home in Memphis. I had advised him that Americans love Elvis and that this seems like a great idea. I’ll share this with you as a little bit of fun about American music history from a friend in London. As you might recall, Uri invited me to his home a few years ago and last year gracefully accepted my invitation to attend my London sport psychology workshop after I teased him that he needed help with his mental skills in tennis. He also bent a metal tennis racket, raising some oos, ahs, and eyebrows, for his amazing performance. Here is the Reuters report:

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Psychic Uri Geller and two partners have bought the Tennessee house Elvis Presley lived in before moving to Graceland, with a winning bid of $905,100 on eBay, he said on Monday.

“We are unbelievably pleased. This is a piece of history,” Geller said by phone from England.

“We intend to restore it to its old glory. We would like to bring sick children there (for tours), Palestinian children, Israeli children, American children,” the Israeli-born Geller said. “Hopefully one day we might get approval to turn it into a museum.”

Presley bought the four-bedroom, two-bath house at 1034 Audubon Drive in Memphis in 1956 with a down payment of $500. He lived there for 13 months before moving to Graceland, the now-famous Memphis estate where he died in 1977.

During his time in the white, ranch-style house with an outdoor swimming pool, Presley’s career took off with hits such as “All Shook Up” and “Don’t be cruel.”

Geller identified the sellers as Mike and Cindy Hazen, who bought the house some years ago, though not from Presley, for about $180,000.

Geller had original bid $300,000 last month but a bidding war ensued and the price ballooned, he said. During the process he was approached by dozens of people wanting to go in with him, he said. He chose two, New York lawyer Jim Gleason and Lisbeth Silvandersson, a Swedish-born jewelry maker who lives in England, as equal partners.

He had set a ceiling price of $1.11 million, said Geller, who acknowledges a paranormal fascination with the number 11.

“As the clock closed on the bidding Sunday,” Geller said, “I felt intuitively I got the price. I was text messaging Gleason and it was exactly 11 on my mobile phone and suddenly the radio started playing an Elvis song. That was Elvis telling me we got the house!”

Geller met Presley in Las Vegas in the 1970s after the “King of Rock and Roll” asked him to perform his “spoon bending” trick for him, he said. Since then he has amassed a large collection of Presley memorabilia, he said.

Dr. John F. Murray is a sports psychologist and clinical psychologist providing sports psychology and counseling services based in Palm Beach, Florida.