Elvis Presley was a living legend at the height of his career. He was a superstar back before anyone knew quite what being a superstar meant. In fact, the King had some pretty famous fans himself. Bob Dylan, David Bowie, and George Harrison once attended one of his concerts.
All three musicians were/are legends in their own right. Harrison defined an entire generation with his work with the Beatles. Bowie pushed the boundaries of music and art with songs like “Ziggy Stardust” for instance. And there’s a reason Dylan won a Nobel Prize for Literature. His songwriting skills are on another level.
The official Graceland Instagram account shared that interesting historical tidbit. In June 1972, Presley performed a three-day, four-show concert series at Madison Square Garden in New York. He also made history by becoming the first artist to ever sell out four consecutive shows for the venue.
Presley attracted crowds from all over the country. More than 80,000 fans attended his concerts including some pretty famous folks among the mix. Those concerts later became a live album called “Elvis as Recorded at Madison Square Garden.”
What Other Musicians Thought of Elvis Presley
George Harrison was apparently a fan of the King. Or at least, he respected Elvis Presley enough to attend his concert in the 1970s. Likewise, his bandmate Paul McCartney had an affinity for the King of Rock ‘n Roll as well. When he was a kid, McCartney listened to Presley’s music to soothe his headache.
“I remember once… When I was a kid, I was hanging out with my mate from school and I had a headache, and we put on an Elvis record – ‘All Shook Up’ – and at the end of the record I didn’t have the headache!” McCartney said earlier this year.
But John Lennon was less so a fan. In a 1971 interview with Rolling Stone, Lennon opened up about his hatred for Presley’s style of dancing. He believed such moves were beyond the Beatles.
“This is interesting: in the early days in England, all the groups were like Elvis and a backing group, and the Beatles deliberately didn’t move like Elvis. That was our policy because we found it stupid and bulls–t,” Lennon said.
Meanwhile, Ozzy Osbourne didn’t mince words about Presley. He caught one of the King’s shows later in Presley’s career. And the Prince of Darkness was unimpressed by Presley’s showmanship. For one, the singer only played a couple of songs.
“‘Lazy fat bas—d,’ I said, before remembering where I was,” Osbourne wrote in an autobiography. That concert ended up teach Osbourne about the power of merchandising. “It was an education, that gig. It was the first time I’d seen merchandising sold so professionally at a venue. You could buy Elvis drinks coasters, Elvis bog-seat warmers, Elvis mug, and spoon sets, Elvis dolls, Elvis watches, Elvis jumpsuits. Anything you could think of, they’d put the name ‘Elvis’ on it.”