Elvis Presley ‘was sent to spy on John Lennon by the US President’
Elvis Presley stars in trailer for Double Trouble in 1967
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Elvis Presley only met John Lennon and the rest of The Beatles once in the 1960s. It was a dream come true for the likes of John and Paul McCartney who idolised The King of Rock and Roll. However, they didn’t get on extremely well, as their political views clashed – particularly John and Elvis’. It has now been revealed that Elvis may have had some ulterior motives during their fateful meeting.
Music presenter Harris explained how John was being “targeted” by the President of the United States at the time, Richard Nixon.
He said on the Rockonteaurs podcast: “It sounded like it was almost a figment of [John’s] imagination when he was saying: ‘My phone was tapped, I get followed everywhere.’
“But it was true. He really did! Nixon was out to get him and that’s why John was stuck in New York, or stuck in the States.
“He knew, were he to come back to the UK, he’d never get back into America again. Not while Nixon was in the White House.”
When John and the rest of the Fab Four were offered the opportunity to meet Elvis, they couldn’t pass up the chance.
But Harris added: “Nixon was a great friend of Elvis and vice versa.
“Nixon had [asked] Elvis to gather as much information about John Lennon as he possibly could.”
Harris also added that “Nixon loathed Lennon” because of his outspoken criticisms of the Vietnam War, which waged on from 1955 to 1975.
Ringo Starr opens up in 2011 about the death of John Lennon
Although Elvis was tasked with “spying” on John throughout their meeting, Harris explained that it was “hate at first sight” between the legendary pair.
This relationship eventually built into a “resentful rivalry”.
He elaborated: “For John, it was a very disillusioning moment because he loved Elvis’s records. So to discover he was a right-wing southern bigot was a big shock.
“Equally, Elvis saw Lennon as being this upstart Liverpudlian know-it-all who’d taken his crown. He usurped Elvis and he was resentful as hell.”
Chris Hutchins, the author of Elvis Meets The Beatles, noted in 2011: “John had annoyed Presley by making his anti-war feelings known the moment he stepped into the massive lounge and spotted the table lamps — model wagons engraved with the message: ‘All the way with LBJ [former President Lyndon B Johnson].’
“Lennon hated President Lyndon B Johnson for raising the stakes in the Vietnam War.”
Elvis disliking John and The Beatles was not a surprise for fans. He was once quoted in saying: “The Beatles laid the groundwork for many of the problems we are having with young people by their filthy unkempt appearances and suggestive music.”
The King even told his pal, Tom Jones, that John “should have been kicked out of the USA long ago”.
The disdainful meeting between Elvis and John is a little sad, considering John grew up loving the King’s music.
He was once quoted saying: “Before Elvis there was nothing.”
He later said: “Nothing affected me until I heard Elvis. Without Elvis, there would be no Beatles.”
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