“We are unbelievably pleased. This is a piece of history,” Geller said.
“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 downpayment of $500. He lived there for 13 months before moving to Graceland, the now-famous Memphis estate where he died in 1977.
Geller had originally 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 Pete Gleason and Lisbeth Silvandersson, a Swedish-born jewellery 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.