Oddly Enough

A big hunk o' hair -- Elvis locks go under the hammer

Elvis fans wait to enter the mansion inside of Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee August 15, 2007. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Elvis Presley fans keen to own a chunk of their idol now can: locks of what is claimed to be The King’s hair are up for auction next week.

The large quantity of hair is one of about 200 items of Elvis memorabilia collected by the late Gary Pepper, who was the president of the Tankers Fan Club set up for Elvis fans.

Chicago-based Leslie Hindman Auctioneers said the hair, which is expected to sell for between $8,000 and $12,000 at the October 18 auction, was given to Pepper to mail to Presley fans and was believed to be from when the singer had his hair cut to join the U.S. Army.

“In 1958, the nation’s newspapers announced that Elvis Presley, having been newly recruited into the U.S. Army, had received two haircuts trimming his famous locks and sideburns down to a greatly modified crew cut,” said a statement by the auction house.

“Individual strands of Elvis Presley’s shaved locks have since been treasured by his fans who wish to own a piece of The King himself.”

The auction house has not had a DNA test carried out on the hair but quoted “an expert in celebrity hair authentication,” John Reznikoff, saying it matched the Elvis hair he has in his collection.

Presley died in 1977 at the age of 42.

Other items up for sale include signed photos, albums, publicity shots, souvenirs, and clothing.

Writing by Belinda Goldsmith, Editing by Miral Fahmy