The King wowed the crowds from the moment he started recording songs with Sun Records in 1954 – and just two years later, his career had catapulted into stardom status. Elvis was a sensation not only at home but all over the world – and everyone seemed to want a piece of him, from screaming fans to journalists to Hollywood studios – even the US military, which drafted him into service in 1958. Elvis was truly one of a kind – and talented on multiple fronts. According to Graceland, his official estate, he sold more than 1 billion records all over the globe, more than any other artist in the history of the music industry. He received more than 150 gold, platinum or multi-platinum certifications for his albums - records and singles - and an estimated 40% of his albums were sold outside the US. He also starred in 33 films – 31 feature films and 2 documentaries – and for a while, he was among the highest-paid actors in Las Vegas with his casino acts being a key driver for the star.
From a Broken Dental Crown to a Crumpled Paper Cup
With all this frenzy surrounding him, perhaps it is not weird that even the most bizarre memorabilia from him are usually instant sellers – and slightly overpriced. A lock of his hair was auctioned off in 2012 and brought in an impressive $115,000 (more than £80,000), more than double what John Lennon’s (£ 35,000) or even Beethoven’s (a little over £8,000) had gone for. Apart from the romantic lock of hair, other more mundane Elvis memorabilia have gone up for sale, including his gun permit (which contains arguably the only full set of fingerprints of the King, who was also a gun aficionado, true to his Midwest roots), a dental crown from his molar that he broke in 1975, along with the accompanying documentation, that was put to auction for £14,000, and his full medical records that were auctioned in 2001 as part of the collection of one Mick Fleetwood, the drummer of fellow musical act Fleetwood Mac.
Elvis had a fascinating life and touched the hearts of countless people around the world. It is no surprise that diehard fans are eager to appreciate even the strangest things from their idols’ private world – even if that means paying a strangely high price.