Britain's biggest Elvis auction is due to take place this summer, after a superfan decided to sell his record collection. Pub landlord Steve Lacey, 44, began his obsession with the King when he was just 11, after he heard the singing legend's death announced on the radio. He went on to amass the UK's largest collection of Elvis records, an astonishing 12,000 discs from around the world.
Steve said: "I'm a fan of all types of music but I got hooked on Elvis as a child. I started spending my pocket money and cash I earned on my paper-round on Elvis records, and it snowballed from there. We've gone without holidays abroad and fancy cars to invest in the collection, but the time has come to sell up." Experts reckon Steve's incredible selection of recordings will fetch around £250,000 (€300,000) when they are auctioned at Bamford's in Derby on 4 July. The prize lot is a complete set of 78 singles from Elvis's time at Sun Records, which are estimated to go under the hammer for up to £10,000 (€12,000).
Alan Judd, collectors department manager at Bamford's said: "It's an honour to sell such a great collection. I've chosen American Independence Day for the sale as Elvis was a great patriot. We're expecting collectors from all over the world to attend the sale, or take part via live online bidding." The collection will be split into 1,500 lots, marked from 'rare' to 'ultra ultra rare', a category which includes Por Favor No Tires De La Cuerda, an Argentinian imprint of Please Don't Drag That String Around.
Steve said: "I've got an imprint from every country in the world that produced Elvis records. In the last few years I've bought things from eBay and other websites, but before that I contacted dealers by letter or phone. For three quarters of my life I've collected Elvis records, so it'll be strange to see them go." One person who will be glad to see the back of the collection is Steve's wife Tina. He smiled: "I didn't dare have Elvis for the first dance at our wedding, but I have been to Memphis once. It was almost impossible to insure the collection and the wife has had enough of seeing Elvis around the place.
We haven't got a mortgage as I've always invested in the records. When you see pieces doubling in price a few years after you've bought them it's difficult to stop. I've kept about 20 silver, gold and platinum discs and a few guitars in the corner of the pub where we have live musicians on. The regulars were used to seeing them and asked me not to box them up with the rest of the collection. But now I've just got one CD of Elvis's 40 Greatest Hits, which is plenty."