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What Did The Beatles Think Of Elvis Presley?

November 12, 2012 | Posted by Joseph Lee

The Independent reports that a new audio clip has been released online which reveals what The Beatles thought of Elvis Presley. In the clip they slam Presley for not performing live and then trash their roots, their films and some of their fans. The interview was conducted by US DJ Jerry G Bishop over several weeks as the band toured the country in 1965. It was owned by an LA record executive until now.

The band rips on the Cavern Club (“a dirty old cellar”), musicals (“they’re boring”) and some of their fans, who they say only show up “to riot”. John Lennon even slams their own film Help, which he says is “a bit of a let-down when it gets to the Bahamas.”

While Elvis was a hero of theirs, they were quick to slam him after meeting in Memphis for the first time that year. McCartney criticizes Elvis’ 1960s material. He said: “Yeah, well of course, since when I was 16, I’ve loved his records. We used to do a lot of his songs until we started doing our own … but I don’t like the new stuff half as much – we told him that last night.

Elvis had more or less stopped making music in the mid-60s and mostly made films. When he wasn’t doing that he refused public appearances. Most of his releases were critically panned. He only had one top ten hit between 1964 and 1968.

Lennon then said he asked Elvis why he only made movies. He said: “We were asking him about just making movies, and not making any [personal] appearances, and I think he enjoys making movies so much … We couldn’t stand not doing personal appearances – we get bored quickly.

When asked if there would be a collaborative album between the two, Lennon said: “None of us have ever liked those albums where they put two people together. I’d hate an album like that.

The tape will sell for up to $55,562 when it is auctioned off in London at the end of the month. Ted Owen, the CEO of auctioneers Fame Bureau, said: “This master tape is totally un-edited and we hear for the first time in interview the Beatles’ comments the night after meeting Elvis. Where the band did do an amazing amount of interviews during their existence, these interviews were generally filled with sarcasm and very often on the hoof. But they took a liking to Jerry G, who they felt was on the same wavelength as them and consequently allowed him to travel with them and be pleasant with them in hotel rooms.


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Joseph Lee
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