Bring Us the Head of Elvis Presley:It...

Bring Us the Head of Elvis Presley:

It has all the makings of a TV movie--the secret transport of The King’s floral bust from a Jackson, Miss., scrap yard to safety in an L.A. sculpture garden.

“The head was in danger for awhile,” said Mt. Washington artist Ralph Eaton, who bought it for $75.

The problem was that Graceland, which owns commercial rights to the singer’s name, had been threatening legal action against the scrap yard, where the figure sat for several months after appearing in the 1990 Rose Parade. In recent weeks, the scrap yard owner refused to disclose its whereabouts and there were even rumors that the head had been destroyed.


But the somewhat battered 12-foot-high noggin was re-unveiled Tuesday on Elvis’ 56th birthday after being towed from Jackson by Margaret Fair, a friend of the artist. It went on display in the sculpture garden near a “Voodoo Barn” holding other Elvis memorabilia. “We’re more interested in the phenomenon of Elvis Presley,” said Eaton, who owns the statue along with partner Brett Waller. “The brouhaha over this proves it. It’s just a big old hunk of metal.”

Make that a bigga, bigga, bigga, hunka metal.

Dial Meow for Murder:

A local animal shelter owner is growling about a National Geographic TV special that describes felines as “killers.” Leo Grillo, 35, of Acton, tried unsuccessfully in L.A. federal court Tuesday to obtain a court order stopping tonight’s airing of “Cats: Caressing the Tiger.”


Grillo, who appears in the program and says he provided technical assistance, also sought the temporary restraining order because of the show’s alleged failure to give him a proper credit.

“I spend my life trying to save cats and help people love and respect them,” said Grillo, “and along comes this very impressive source of information for millions of people claiming these animals are ‘murderers.’ ”

We’re not even going to mention cat burglars.

In our miscelLAny section we recently quoted KNX traffic guru Bill Keene saying that the “No. 1 lane” is the fast lane.

A Redondo Beach man wrote indignantly: “You walk into any traffic court where there is a trial going on and you will quickly find out the No. 1 lane is the first one you find yourself in as you come off the on-ramp.”

So we sought a second opinion from CHP spokesmen Lyle Whitten, who confirmed Keene’s statement. The CHP “numbers the lanes from (the driver’s) left to right,” he said, “with left being No. 1.”

Right we were. That’s why Keene is still No. 1 in our book.

Season’s Leavings: Traffic was held up on the Foothill Freeway Tuesday morning by a fallen Christmas tree.



The Highland Avenue-Sunset Boulevard and the Wilshire Boulevard-Veteran Avenue intersections are the busiest in the city, each with an average of 128,000 vehicles daily, according to the latest survey.