"Hair today, gone tomorrow," Elvis Presley said when his famous locks were shorn as an Army recruit in 1958.
Well, it's back. At almost every major auction of Elvis memorabilia in the last decade at least one lock of Elvis hair in shades from a sandy brown to jet black has been up for bids. A Mason Jar full of hair became a last-minute addition Thursday to today's "Ultimate Elvis Auction" at The Peabody.
Valued at more than $20,000, the hair was collected by Elvis' colorist and stylist, Homer Gilleland. He became a friend of the Presley family as stylist for Elvis' mother, Gladys, at the old Goldsmith's department store.
The hair and a credit card used by Gilleland to travel on a moment's notice to wherever Elvis needed a haircut is the last lot, number 272, in an auction that also includes Elvis' white Knabe grand piano valued at up to $1 million and his original contract signed with RCA, valued at $150,000.
The auction, on the Internet (at HA.com/live) or in person in the Venetian Room of The Peabody, begins at 5 p.m. with pieces ranging from clothing worn at the dawn of Elvis' career to the 1976 Triumph TR-6 convertible that he gave to girlfriend Ginger Alden a month before he died.
Major Memphis-area Elvis collectors had mixed feelings about some of the auction items, including the piano. "With the economy like it is, I don't think it will meet the $500,000 opening bid," said John Heath.
Collector Larry Moss said one of his favorite items is a Louisiana Hayride poster dated March 1955 with Elvis getting fourth billing behind such country music stars as Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs and Little Jimmie Dickens.