MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Uri Geller said he got a sign from Elvis Presley, and the message was loud and clear: "Don't worry, you'll have my house."
The self-proclaimed psychic, who had the winning bid of $905,100 for a house Presley lived in as his career was taking off, said he was traveling to London in the closing moments of the eBay auction Sunday when the radio began playing, "Love Me Tender."
He told The Commercial Appeal newspaper that he knew then that it was a done deal.
Presley bought the four-bedroom, 3,000-square-foot house at 1034 Audubon Drive in 1956 with his early song royalties. The singer, his parents and grandmother lived there for 13 months before moving to a two-story colonial house already known as Graceland, the house that Elvis would make famous.
Geller, who lives outside London, is buying the house with two partners: Peter Gleason, a New York lawyer and retired firefighter, and Lisbeth Silvandersson, a jewelry maker in England.
They plan to restore the four-bedroom, 3,000-square-foot home it to its 1956 splendor and bring sick children from Palestine, Israel and America to see it. He hopes for permission to make it a museum.
Geller said he met Presley in the 1970s and "freaked him out" with his spoon bending. Geller became a celebrity in the '70s for his alleged power to bend spoons and other objects with his mind.
Current owners Cindy Hazen and Mike Freeman bought the home in 1998 for $180,000. The couple, who have co-authored two books about Presley, said the house is far more historically significant than Graceland.
A month after the singer moved in, "Heartbreak Hotel" hit No. 1 on the Billboard charts, ultimately ending any privacy he had in the neighborhood. Fans lined the neighborhood streets and police frequently had to be called in.
A Life magazine article from August 1956 had pictures of teenage girls sitting with their ears pressed to his bedroom wall and picking through the grass in his yard for souvenirs. The commotion became so intense that Elvis moved his bedroom to the back of the house.
While Presley lived in the home, he appeared on Ed Sullivan's TV show, starred in "Love Me Tender," bought his pink Cadillac and posed in his gold lame suit.
Hazen and Freeman have partly restored it and uncovered the wallpaper printed with musical notes and instruments Presley added in the hall.
The porch the singer converted into a game room and where he rehearsed and recorded remains as it was, with star-shaped lighting fixtures and trophy cases. Outside is a 50-foot swimming pool, at the time the biggest residential pool in the city.
"The house is like an archaeological dig," Hazen said.