Anatomy of a Rumor
News that Jay Leno purchased Elvis's former motorcycle proves untrue
It was a story just too juicy to be true. Darn it.
Here’s the tale currently gunning Hollywood’s ever-revved-up rumor mill: A Los Angeles man receives a Harley-Davidson as payment for an old debt. After riding it around town, the man suddenly starts getting phone calls from strangers, offering anywhere from $10,000 to $35,000 for the motorcycle. Finally, Tonight Show host and avid biker Jay Leno calls and offers a cool million for the cycle. The man accepts. Leno then explains: Inscribed on the kickstand is the phrase ”To Daddy, from Lisa Marie,” proving that the original owner of the bike had been none other than Elvis Presley.
The catch is that the tale is about as real as the recent sightings of the King on Mars. According to Leno’s publicist, Peter Seligman, the story originally began when an anonymous motorcycle owner concocted the anecdote in order to bolster his bike’s selling price. ”This whole story is perpetuated by one man,” Seligman says. ”If all of America worked as hard as this one guy, we’d have no deficit.” Though a lot more rumors about Elvis.