How the Beatles met Elvis Presley, the king of rock and roll

“First of all, the ground rules were set: no press, no pictures, no recordings, and no announcement of our plans ahead of time. We arrived shortly before 22:00. We rode in a convoy of three large black limousines led by Colonel Parker and his men ... "

The story of one meeting: The Beatles and Elvis Presley - how it was

One day John Lennon said: "Without Elvis, there would be no Beatles..." And it's hard to argue with that. If not Elvis Presley, rock 'n' roll would not be what it is today... The meeting of the two greatest rock artists in history was a long-awaited one! Especially for the Beatles, who, apparently, were a danger to the king of rock and roll. The press was not allowed, and it could not be made public, but ... it was almost impossible to allow this piece of history to go unnoticed. Tony Barrow, public relations specialist for the Beatles:

“First of all, the ground rules were set: no press, no pictures, no recordings, and no announcement of our plans ahead of time. We arrived shortly before 22:00. We rode in a convoy of three large black limousines led by Colonel Parker and his men ... "

Since the meeting "Magnificent Four" this has been asked many times. Despite the bans, the NME reporter was somehow able to be there - allegedly he was in contact with the colonel and Presley a year earlier. Paul McCartney:

“We met Elvis Presley at the end of our stay in Los Angeles. We tried to do this for years, but we could not get to him ... We used to think that we were some kind of threat to him and Colonel Tom Parker. In fact, it turned out that way... Every time we tried to arrange a meeting, Colonel Tom would just show up with a few souvenirs, and that should have worked for us for a while... We didn't feel left out. After all, it was Elvis, and who are we to dare want to meet him? But in the end we got an invitation to visit him when he was filming in Hollywood ... "

So when The Beatles finally met with king and what exactly happened? You can imagine that it was a very magnificent meeting! In fact, the event was so anti-climatic that the tension in the room was palpable. So what exactly happened?

Fun Journey to the Presley Mansion

The Beatles
The Beatles

At Beatles there were several weekends during their tour of North America in 1965 year, and on August 27, towards the end of their stay in Los Angeles, they finally met the King. It happened at the Presley mansion on 565 Perugia Way, Bel Air, LA. The Fab Four arrived at 23:00…

“Meeting Elvis was one of the highlights of the tour. It was funny because by the time we got to his house, we had already forgotten where we were going! We rode in a Cadillac limousine, circled Mulholland Drive, and we drank a couple of “cups of tea” in the back seat of the car ... ”, recalled George Harrison. He continues: "It didn't really matter where we went: it's like the comedian Lord Buckley says, 'We go to our home village and take a couple of peyote buds: we may not know where we are, but we will definitely find out who we are! » In general, we just had fun, we were all hysterical ... We laughed a lot. That's one thing we forgot about for a few years - laughter. We ended up pulling up to some big gate and someone said, "Oh yeah, we're going to see Elvis!" We all literally fell out of the car, laughing, trying to pretend we weren't stupid..."

The Beatles
The Beatles

Tony Barrow, who was surrounded by the Great Four, recalled:

“The estate consisted of two floors located on a hillside. It was a large round building with many windows and a spacious front garden... A Rolls-Royce and a couple of Cadillacs were parked along the road. Members of the famous "Memphis mafia" guarded the high gates ... "

The moment of truth...

Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley

As the group was led into the circular drawing room Presley, King I watched color TV without sound, playing the bass guitar. Of all the members, Lennon was the most fascinated by what was going on, as he was the biggest Presley fan!

“It was very exciting, we were all nervous as hell, and we finally met him at his big house in Los Angeles! There were a lot of guys around him and he had pool tables! Maybe many American houses are like that, but it seemed surprising to us: it was like a nightclub ... "

Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley

However, very quickly, the meeting began to take on depressing shades ... At some point, the silence became somewhat awkward. Barrow recalled:

“When the two legends met, literally faced each other, a strange silence reigned ... The first to speak was John, who rather awkwardly blurted out a stream of questions to Elvis, something like: “Why are you doing all this? Soft ballads for movies these days? What happened to good old rock and roll?" The situation began to depress ... "

The king remained silent for the most part, while the camp "Magnificent Four" unsuccessfully tried to break the ice.

Did Elvis Presley and The Beatles play together?

Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley

Gradually, however, both sides began to exchange travel stories. Finally, when the ice cracked a little, Presley demanded some guitars and there was a short jam session.

“I can't remember everything they played, but I do remember that one of the songs was 'I Feel Fine'. And I remember Ringo, who, of course, had no tool, tapped his fingers on the nearest pieces of wooden furniture, ”said Barrow.

Elvis Presley with his entourage
Elvis Presley with his entourage

Presley, who still had the bass guitar in his hand, said to Paul, "Look, I'm practicing." For what McCartney jokingly replied, "Don't worry, Brian Epstein and I will soon make a star out of you!" Soon the bass guitar became a great subject for a lively conversation between Paul and Elvis! They even started to get along with each other ... Paul McCartney recalled:

“Suddenly he became my friend! It was a great conversation for me: I could really talk about the bass and we sat around and just enjoyed... He was great - talkative, friendly and a bit shy. But it was his image: we expected this ... "


Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley

In many ways, the meeting turned out to be a disappointment. When "Fantastic Four" gone Lennon joked, "Where's Elvis?" He hinted that the King was as if under some strange spell, that is, he was not quite himself ... McCartney concluded:

“I only met him once, and then I think the success of our career started to sideline him a bit, which made us very sad because we wanted to coexist with him ... He was our greatest idol, but the styles were changing in our favor . However, he was a pretty strong image for the British!”


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