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Barred by Graceland, 2 DJs Offer Elvis’ Replica

From Times Wire Services

Two Los Angeles disc jockeys--who were permanently banned from Elvis Presley’s Graceland mansion after an incident last year--brought a 15-foot replica of the singer’s head to a birthday celebration Monday as a “peace offering.”

The head, which had been part of a float in the Tournament of Roses Parade, briefly joined hundreds of fans gathered outside the white-columned residence. But then Graceland managers told the announcers to take the head and move on.

About 1,500 people representing 40 Presley fan clubs from around the world came to Memphis to mark what would have been Elvis’ 55th birthday, said Patsy Andersen, fan club liaison for the Graceland Division of Elvis Presley Enterprises. Some fans cut a cake and sang happy birthday.

The two deejays, Brian Phelps and Mark Thompson of Los Angeles rock station KLOS, were permanently banned from the mansion last year for using hidden microphones to broadcast from inside the residence, Graceland spokesman Todd Morgan said.

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Morgan said the parade float had been “a beautiful tribute” to Presley.

“They’ve taken that and changed it and turned it into something distasteful. It’s really sad,” Morgan said.

The disc jockeys took the flatbed truck carrying the head to a nearby parking lot and broadcast for about an hour, according to a KLOS spokesman.

The head was part of a float sent to the Rose Parade by the state of Mississippi. It was taken to Jackson, Miss., after the stop in Memphis.

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