Elvis Presley Allegedly ‘Flew Into a Rage’ at the Mention of This Musician

by Emily Morgan

John Lennon and Elvis Presley may have been music icons of an era, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they were best friends. According to an account of someone close to the icons, Presley was blinded with rage even at the mere mention of the Lennon’s name. 

As the source described, Presley’s quarrel with the Beatle began when they first met one another in 1965. At the time, the Beatles were just a few years into superstardom. On the contrary, the King had basked in the limelight for nearly a decade. 

The Britsh band and the “Hound Dog” singer had an arranged meeting in August of 1965 while the Beatles were in Los Angeles.

Although accounts of the gathering vary from person to person, three witnesses who have spoken out about it publicly all agree that it was, safe to say, uncomfortable. 

Journalist Ivor Davis, who had grown close to the UK-based group and wrote the book The Beatles and Me On Tour, said in an interview that he was there the night the stars had their initial encounter. 

“For about 10 minutes, nothing happened,” Davis said. “It was very awkward, and the reason nothing happened was that nobody had the good sense to say, ‘Elvis, here is John, Paul [McCartney], George [Harrison], and Ringo [Starr].’ So they sat around like uncomfortable guests.”

In addition, Presley’s former wife, Priscilla Presley, wrote about the encounter in the book Elvis by the Presleys. “When John, Paul, Ringo, and George walked in, Elvis was relaxing on the couch, looking at TV without the sound. He barely bothered to get up.”

Chris Hutchins, a journalist/publicist was also a team member who set up the meeting. Hutchins revealed that Presley didn’t like Lennon’s anti-war comments. 

Elvis wanted to ‘twist and shout’ when Lennon’s name came up

“John had annoyed Presley by making his anti-war feelings known the moment he stepped into the massive lounge and spotted the table lamp.”

According to Hutchinson, the model ­wagons in the room were engraved with the message: ‘All the way with LBJ’. Lennon severely disliked President Lyndon B. Johnson for raising the stakes in the Vietnam War,” he added.

Per the account from the book The Beatles: Off the Record, Hutchins said of the Beatles leaving the awkward meeting, “As we walked to the car, [Presley’s manager] Colonel [Tom Parker] said to me, ‘Tell the fans it was a great meeting.’ John overheard this, laughed, and said, ‘Tell them the truth. It was a load of rubbish.'”

According to Davis, the ice finally broke during the cringe-worthy introduction when the Beatles and Presley began playing music together. “Then Paul said something to Elvis like, ‘Elvis, we love your music. 

We wish you would make more songs like you did in the old days,'” Davis said. “Well, I want to tell you that Elvis did not like that, because he actually thought, ‘Why are these guys telling me that my old stuff is better and, presumably, my new stuff isn’t very good?'”

Hutchins also spoke about Presley’s friendship with singer Tom Jones. He wrote that they shared a common bond over not liking Lennon. According to Hutchins, Presley told Jones that Lennon should have been kicked out of the U.S. Jones also said he didn’t like a “smart remark” that Lennon had made around him. 

Hutchins said, “Whenever John Lennon’s name came up, [Presley] would fly into a rage.”