christine~ (eppylover) wrote,

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Lots and lots of stuff on the Beatles/Elvis Encounter of 1965!

Firstly, why don't we take a gander at the pretty gold set that Elvis and the Colonel gave to Brian when the guys visited Graceland:

And Mr Epstein with that aristocratic tea-sipping-Englishman smirk of his.
Dont'cha love it. Snobby-snob to you too, Brian!

And now, what follows is a bunch of Beatles/Elvis encounter drek I found on the web, some of it quite fascinating, actually.

According to this website, apparently John Lennon did a write-up (it doesn't read like an interview) on their Elvis encounter, and it was reprinted thusly...

The King - in the Beatles' eyes

When the musicians of the stature like Elvis Presley and the Beatles met the result must have been highly productive one. But how was this one? Did Elvis get out of his kingly image and greet the musical group like a host does to his guests? Be a witness to the golden rendezvous:

"We'd tried to meet Elvis during our first tour of the States in 1964, but couldn't make it because of his commitments and ours. But when we came in the summer of 1965 we found we'd be in Hollywood at the same time Elvis was filming there.

And that's how we met Elvis on the night of Friday, August 27, 1965. It still took three days of planning to set up the get together in Elvis's house--which we hoped would be a secret. But the fans and the press still got wind of it and were there in their hundreds trying to get in, and although we were used to crowds, the thought of Elvis and the Beatles being together at one time just blew the minds of some of the people.

Anyhow, Elvis was inside waiting to greet us. He looked great in black slacks, a red shirt and close fitting black jerkin. He said hello in his quietly spoken way and led us into this huge circular room. We were joined by some his staff as well as Colonel Parker and Brian Epstein.

I know Paul, George, and Ringo were feeling as nervous as I was. This was the guy we had all idolized for years--from way back when were just starting out in Liverpool. He was a legend in his own lifetime, and it's never easy meeting a legend in his own lifetime.

However, Elvis tried to make us feel at home. He sat - Paul and me on one side of him and Ringo on the other. George sat cross-legged on the floor. A huge color television was on in the middle of the room with the sound off, while a record player was playing the latest tunes. We could have just walked in on an average Elvis-at-home evening. Elvis obviously liked to treat everybody he met the same, whoever they were. He finally broke the silence that had fallen over the room.

"Look, guys," he said, "if you're just going to sit there and stare at me, I'm going to bed." He smiled, and we all laughed. "Let's talk a bit, huh?" he went on. "And then maybe play and sing a bit?"

That's just what we all wanted to do, and you could feel the tension in the room begin to ease. One of Elvis's staff brought us drinks, but while we all drank scotch-and coke or bourbon-and-Seven Up, Elvis only had Seven Up. He didn't touch any of the cigarettes that were offered around, either. After a bit Elvis said, "Somebody bring in the guitars." Again one of his men jumped up, and within moments three electric guitars had been plugged into the amplifiers in the room.

Elvis took a bass guitar, and I took a rhythm guitar. Elvis obviously wasn't that familiar with his instrument, so Paul gave him some instructions.
"Here's how I play the bass," he said, strumming a few chords. "It's not too good, but I'm practicing."

George was busy looking over his instrument, and it was a few minutes before he joined in. If I remember correctly, it was Cilla Black's hit record "You're My World" that we first got off together. After that I said, "This beats talking, doesn't it"--and we had at last found a way of communicating through music.

Only Ringo looked a bit down. He could only watch us and drum on the side of his chair. "Too bad we left the drums in Memphis," Elvis said, as if trying to console him.

After a while, Paul put down his guitar and went over to the large white grand piano that stood in a corner by the bar. He began to pick out some notes and we got into one of the Shadows tunes.

While all this was going on, Brian and the Colonel sat chatting at the back of the room. Then they went out into the games room to play some roulette. I think Brian won a bit, and the Colonel lost a little.

Playing the instruments certainly helped us feel at ease with Elvis. After about an hour we stopped and began to talk about the thing we all knew best --entertaining. In particular, the experiences we'd all had on tour.

"Some funny things happen to you on the road, don't they?" Elvis smiled. "I remember once in Vancouver we'd only done a number or two when some of the fans rushed the stage. It was lucky the guys and I got off in time. They tipped the whole damn rostrum over!"

Paul immediately followed up Elvis's words. "Yes, we've had some crazy experiences, too. I remember one fellow rushed on stage when were performing and pulled the leads out of the amplifiers. Then he turned to me and said, "One move and you're dead."

Elvis replied, "Yeah, it can be pretty scary at times. "I chipped in. "But you're on your own, I said. "At least we've got each other up there. If somebody pushed me on stage and said, "You're on your own, like they do with you, I don't know how I'd cope."

The conversation then moved on to the problem of flying, which Elvis admitted could bother him. "I once took off from Atlanta, Georgia, in a small two-engined plane," he recalled, "and one of the engines failed. Boy, was I scared! I really thought my number was up. We had to take everything that was sharp out of our pockets and rest our heads on pillows between our knees. When we finally got down safely, the pilot was soaking with sweat, although there was snow on the ground outside."

George told Elvis a similar story about when he had been flying from Liverpool and the window beside him had suddenly sprung open. "Yeah," agreed Elvis again. "We pay the price for fame with our nerves don't we!"

I also remember I talked to him about cars. Everyone knew how much he loved them, and he'd just got himself a Rolls-Royce Phantom Five. "Snap!" I told him. "I saw it outside. Mine is just the same except I've had all the chrome bits painted black."

It was 2 AM when we finally quit. Elvis had been a great host and gave all of us a complete set of his records. It was a night none of us would forget. As we were about to leave, Paul said, "Elvis, we'd like you and the other guys to come up to the place where we are staying tomorrow night."
"Well, I'll see," Elvis replied. "I don't know whether I can make it or not. But thanks all the same."
He smiled and shook our hands. We never saw him again. It was Elvis's sense of humor that stuck in my mind. He liked to laugh and make others laugh, too. Which was why I put on a Peter Sellers voice again as we walked out of the door and said, "Tanks for ze music, Elvis--and long live ze King!"
-John Lennon

Probably the most accurate perspectives (in the Fabs' own minds) are presented in the Anthology ... and here's an excerpt that was published in October_2000 GQ Magazine. And just because he mentions Brian, I must repeat a quote from Nel ...

NEIL ASPINALL (road manager and future manager of Apple Records): The Colonel was there and all of Elvis's buddies, the so-called Memphis Mafia, and Priscilla. The first thing they did was show us their pool table that swiveled and became a craps table.

We went into this other room with a television set that seemed to he twenty feet by twenty feet. Then Brian walked in and the Colonel said, "A chair for Mr. Epstein," and about fifteen people came with chairs.

I remember that when Brian told the Colonel that he managed bands other than the Beatles, the Colonel was shocked. He said he didn't understand how Brian could handle more than the Beatles, because it took him all his time to handle Elvis. ...

==>> However, the most interesting bits come 3/4 of the way down the page ...

JOHN: It was nice meeting Elvis. He was just Elvis, you know? He seemed normal to us, and we were asking about his making movies and not doing any personal ap- pearances or TV. I think he enjoys making movies so much, We couldn't stand not doing personal appearances, we'd get bored - we get bored quickly. He says he misses it a bit.

We never talked about anything [else] - we just played music. He wasn't bigger than us, but he was "the thing." He just wasn't articulate, that's all.

PAUL: It was one of the great meetings of my life. I think he liked us. I think at that time, he may have felt a little bit threatened, but he didn't say anything. We certainly didn't feel any antagonism.

I only met him that once, and then I think the success of our career started to push him out a little, which we were very sad about, because we wanted to coexist with him,

RINGO: The saddest part is that years and years later, we found out that he tried to have us banished from America, because he was very big with the FBI. That's very sad to me, that he felt so threatened that he thought, like a lot of people, that we were bad for Ameri- can youth. This is Mr. Hips, the man, and he felt we were a danger. I think that the danger was mainly to him and his career.

I saw him again. I remember one time I got really angry with him because he just wasn't making any music. He'd stopped everything and was just playing football with his guys. So I said, "Why don't you go into a studio and give us some music here? What are you doing?" I can't remember what he said-he probably just walked away and started playing football again.

PAUL: I've seen those famous Nixon transcripts where Elvis actually starts to try to stop us - the Beatles! He's in the transcript saying - to Richard Nixon, of all people - "Well, sir, these Beatles, they're very un-American and they take drugs."

I felt a bit betrayed by that, I must say. The great joke was that we were taking drugs, and look what happened to him. He was caught on the toilet full of them! It was sad, but I still love him, particularly in his early period. He was very influential on me.

JOHN: Up until Elvis joined the army, I thought it was beautiful music and Elvis was for me and my generation what the Beatles were to the '60s. But after he went into the army, I think they cut "les bollocks" off. They not only shaved his hair off but I think they shaved between his legs, too. He played some good stuff after the army, but it was never quite the same, It was like something happened to him psychologically.

Elvis really died the day he joined the army. That's when they killed him, and the rest was a living death.

PAUL: These were great times, so even if you didn't enjoy all of the events that much, you could still go home to Liverpool and say, "Well, you know who I met?" I mean, to meet Elvis, or anybody like that, or to say you've been to Sunset Strip - it was very impressive.

Finally, here's the encounter told straight from the hairdresser's mouth: Larry Geller was Elvis's hairdresser, and gave Piers Beagley this interview October_2003:

PB - Another important event was Aug 27th 1965 when The Beatles came over. What can you tell me about that night?

LG – The Colonel had set up the meeting between Elvis and The Beatles. Beforehand Elvis & I were in the bathroom and I was doing his hair. Elvis was very quiet & drumming his fingers on the ledge. He looked at me and said, “Man, I know what those guys are going through. I’ve been there, I’ve done it. They’re playing to big audiences and I’m doing these bad teenage movies - I’m so embarrassed”.

Elvis looked so phenomenal that night. He used to wear these bolero shirts and had them in every colour, expect brown. He hated brown! He wearing a blue shirt that night. We all went to the den and all of a sudden we heard screaming, like thunder, as if a bomb went off. The front door opened and outside there were thousands of fans everywhere. The word had got out. What we heard was the front door open as The Beatles walked in!

The Beatles came in with Brian Epstein, their manager. They walked up to Elvis and were introduced, and Elvis sits down on the chair. The Beatles all sit down on the floor right in front of Elvis, in a semi-circle, and they look up and they are just gaping & staring at him. There’s this dead silence in the room until Elvis says,

“Well, what-the-hell, if you guys aren’t going to talk to me I’m going to my bedroom.” And then everyone started to laugh and that broke the ice.

I remember them looking at Elvis’ TV and saying, “Wow look, colour Television!” because they’d never seen colour TV before.

After that, Ringo & Billy Smith & Marty & Richard all went off & played pool in the pool room.

PB - What about the famous jam-session?

LG - Paul McCartney and John & myself, & possibly Jerry Schilling were sitting around all talking when Paul asked Elvis if he could try one of Elvis’ guitars. Elvis says, “Sure man, go right ahead.” So Paul picks up one and starts strumming followed by John and then Elvis too. So the three of them start jamming for about 20 minutes and I think, 'This is unbelievable! I’m in the centre of the universe right now. The Beatles and Elvis!'

The real trip was that Col Parker was such a control freak that he wouldn’t even allow one picture to be taken of Elvis & The Beatles together! How ridiculous is that?!

Now, at a certain point I wondered where George had got. So I walked outside where it was pitch black, but the minute I went out there I knew he was there because I could smell some reefer! There’s George sitting by a tree smoking a joint. I sat around and chatted to him for a while. We had a great talk because I knew that George was into Hindu stuff and later became very close to Sri Daya Mata as well. We had a real spiritual connection. I was so sad when he died last year.

PB - Have you seen those very poor amateur photos of that night?

LG – Yes, I know them. Elvis appeared and said, “Hey you guys! I want to show you something.” First we went outside and looked at his new Rolls Royce. It was mayhem with the crowds screaming both “I Love You Elvis” & “I Love You Beatles.” I remember some teenage girls had climbed high into the trees and used their flash cameras. I think that is where the two bad photos of the night come from.

Next, Elvis took them inside to see his new present from Colonel Parker, which was a new sauna-bath off Elvis’ bedroom. Paul looked in to check out the mirror and said to Elvis, “Who’s that in there?”

Elvis didn’t know and when we all looked in we found this teenage girl who was hiding under this little wooden bench. She had somehow got by the security. When she saw us she screamed and jumped on Elvis and we had to pry her off!

After The Beatles left and Elvis had said goodbye, he & I walked back towards his bedroom and he said, “I really like those guys, they are really good guys. But what’s going on with their teeth?!”

Of course, because of the post war shortages in England there was a lack of good food and their teeth were bad.

Anyway Elvis said, “I don’t get it. They have the money, why don’t they get their teeth fixed?”

Just as we headed for bed Elvis said, “Just remember Larry, there are four of them, there is only one of me”!

PB - Did you get to see The Beatles again?

LG – Well, of all the Beatles, Elvis definitely liked John Lennon the most. For a few days afterwards John phoned up several times wanting us to all go over and party with them. However the guys all went for the next 3 or 4 nights but Elvis wouldn’t go. The other guys had a great time but I ended up staying with Elvis to keep him company.

Coincidentally, the Fabs/Elvis encounter took place EXACTLY two years before Brian died, on August_27.


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