John Lennon once famously said, “Nothing affected me until I heard Elvis [Presley]. Without Elvis, there would be no Beatles.” The Beatles creator was a huge fan of The King and his music. So much so, in fact, that the slicked-back hair and leather jacket look associated with The Beatles’ early years was modeled after the Rock ‘n’ Roll icon.
That said, for John Lennon, not every Elvis Presley song was a hit. And in Presley’s later years, Lennon went as far as to say he was no longer a fan of The King.
In 1963, Elvis released his hit single “(You’re the) Devil in Disguise.” That same year, John Lennon appeared on the BBC TV show Jukebox Jury, according to Express, during which he was asked to review Presley’s latest song.
“Well, you know, I used to go mad on Elvis,” John Lennon said. “Like all the groups, but not now. I don’t like this. And I hate songs with ‘walk’ and ‘talk’ in it – you know, those lyrics. ‘She walks, she talks.’ I don’t like that.”
“And I don’t like the double beat: doom-cha doom-cha, that bit. It’s awful,” Lennon continued. After a pause, he added, “Poor ol’ Elvis.”
“Well, I’ve got all his early records and I keep playing them,” Lennon said. “He mustn’t make another like this. But somebody said today he sounds like Bing Crosby now, and he does.”
Though Lennon implied that there was nothing wrong with Bing Crosby, he said it was a bad sound for Elvis. With finality, the Beatles singer said, “I don’t like him anymore,” then called the song a “miss”.
John Lennon, Other Beatles Members Dislike Elvis Presley’s Later Songs
Surprisingly, John Lennon isn’t the only Beatles member to express distaste for certain sections of Elvis Presley’s discography. During another Juke Box Jury episode, both Paul McCartney and George Harrison said that Elvis Presley’s music wasn’t to their liking.
When asked about Elvis’ song “Kiss Me Quick,” Paul McCartney said, “I love his voice. And I love all the records like ‘Blue Suede Shoes.’ But I don’t like the songs now. ‘Kiss Me Quick’…it sounds like Blackpool on a sunny day.”
Like his bandmate, George Harrison respected Elvis Presley’s talent, but wasn’t a fan of his music. “It’s an old track,” Harrison said. “And I think, seeing as they’re releasing old stuff, if they release something like ‘My Baby Left Me,’ it’d be number one because Elvis is definitely still popular. It’s just the song’s a load of rubbish.”
“I mean, Elvis is great,” Harrison added. “He’s fine. But it’s not for me.”