By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Bill Kinard insists he doesn’t want to sell his Elvis bus, but that’s what he’s agreed to.
The 1976 tour bus and its memorabilia contents are the focus of a nearly two-year-old feud between Tupeloans Kinard, who runs Legacy Hall of Fame Inc., and Larry Michael, owner of Transport Trailer Service Inc.
“I don’t want to sell the bus under any circumstances,” Kinard said this week.
He said he’s set to see his attorney today to ask why he allowed him to sign the Dec. 12 agreement while he was medicated and under a doctor’s care.
In early 2009, Kinard hired Michael to get the bus in Washington State and bring it back to Elvis’ birth city.
He said he planned to make a living by taking the bus on tour, but when Michael got it back to Tupelo, Kinard said he found the vehicle “forcibly stripped” of its contents.
He has it all on videotape, apparently taken at Michael’s behest as they drove east in the bus and a 1957 Cadillac.
Kinard and his wife, Linda, filed a lawsuit in chancery court to get the bus and its contents from Michael and to collect assorted damages related to the feud.
Through his attorney, Michael denied various Kinard allegations but retained the bus on condition that Kinard pay him for paying the vehicle’s promissory note and for its retrieval and restoration.
Michael and his wife, Becky, countersued for what they said they were owed.
The Michaels also say the vehicle never was titled in Elvis Presley’s name, was not his and was never driven by him.
Documents went back and forth, but on Dec. 12, all sides apparently agreed to compromise.
According to its terms, Kinard has 45 days from Dec. 12 to sell the bus and pay Michael $134,000. If he can’t do that, it will be turned over to busforsale.com in Nashville, Tenn.
In the meantime, the Elvis bus – with visible cosmetic updates – sits cold in a South Green Street parking lot like it’s ready to go on tour, the famous “TCB” logo blazing its flanks.
Taking Care of Business, it is not.