Elvis Presley, Mick Jagger Were Once Called Out by John Lennon for Performing Style

by Madison Miller

John Lennon was a leader. He was also an artist, one of the greatest musicians of all-time. He was also incredibly outspoken and always talked about what he was passionate about.

Lennon would give controversial quotes to the media and put his sometimes unconventional opinions into the world. As a part of The Beatles and as a solo artist, he was a blinding light as far as talent goes.

They were one of the biggest bands in the ’60s when they quit touring. Lennon had said that he believed the concerts were just turning into “freak shows.” The decision to quit touring was also largely due to the fact that Lennon had said in an interview that The Beatles were more popular than Jesus.

It led to people burning their records and boycotting their music, however, both Lennon and The Beatles still became and stayed massive hits in the music industry. He’s said a lot of controversial things during his life, but have any been directed at other people?

Of course. In fact, he once talked about both Elvis Presley and The Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger.

In a 1971 interview with Rolling Stone, Lennon unleashed a lot of his personal beliefs. As is usual for him, he didn’t feel the need to hold anything back.

Another artist that was popular at the time was The King himself, Elvis Presley. He had become known for his signature voice and his unique dance moves. At least, his swiveling hips were considered overly sexual in the ’50s, but are considered quite tame now.

John Lennon Talk About Elvis Presley’s Dancing

The Beatles had created their own type of stage performance at the time. But you wouldn’t catch them doing any hip-swiveling out in public.

 “When we were younger, we used to move, we used to jump around and do all the things they’re doing now, like going on stage with toilet seats and sh*tting and p*ssing,” Lennon said.

While the band had their own style and antics, they never wanted to feel like they were imitating Presley. It wasn’t to remain individual as artists, but because Lennon found his dancing to be stupid.

“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 bullsh*t. Then Mick Jagger came out and resurrected ‘bullsh*t movement,’ wiggling your *rse. So then people began to say the Beatles were passé because they don’t move. But we did it as a conscious move,” Lennon said to Rolling Stone.

While Lennon thought his moves were questionable, he also had a lot of respect for Elvis Presley. According to the book “The Beatles Diary Volume 2: After The Break-Up 1970-2001,” Lennon had some kind words to say about Presley that his sons read at Elvis’ induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

They were, “Van Gogh probably wanted to be Renoir or whoever went before him. And I wanted to be Elvis.” 

Mick Jagger Dancing

While John Lennon was hesitant about how The Beatles chose to dance, Mick Jagger came along and was free-spirited with some memorable dance moves.

Jagger wasn’t afraid to do wiggle his butt in his form-fitting silver pants or energetically tap his toes and connect with the music.

His moves were noticeable and rememberable. Maroon 5 even released their song “Moves Like Jagger” which pays tribute to his iconic presence on the stage.

John Lennon protected The Beatles and said everything they did was purposeful, including any dancing or not dancing. However, at the same time, bands like The Rolling Stones and artists like Elvis Presley were paving the way for a type of showmanship on stage that was entirely new.