The Beatles meet Elvis on the 27th August 1965 at Elvis’ mansion at 565 Perugia Way, Bel Air, Los Angeles. Elvis is in the red shirt in the second photo, Priscilla wears a white dress.
“We met Elvis Presley at the end of our stay in LA. We’d tried for years to, but we could never get to him. We used to think we were a bit of a threat to him and Colonel Tom Parker, which ultimately we were. So although we tried many times, Colonel Tom would just show up with a few souvenirs and that would have to do us for a while. We didn’t feel brushed off; we felt we deserved to be brushed off. After all, he was Elvis, and who were we to dare to want to meet him?”
“Meeting Elvis was one of the highlights of the tour. It was funny, because by the time we got near his house we’d forgotten where we were going. We were in a Cadillac limousine, going round and round along Mulholland, and we’d had a couple of ‘cups of tea’ in the back of the car. […]
“Anyway, we were just having fun, we were all in hysterics. […] We pulled up at some big gates and someone said, ‘Oh yeah, we’re going to see Elvis,’ and we all fell out of the car laughing, trying to pretend we weren’t silly: just like a Beatles cartoon.”
“It was very exciting, we were all nervous as hell, and we met him in his big house in LA - probably as big as the one we were staying in, but it still felt like, 'Big house, big Elvis.’ He had lots of guys around him, all these guys that used to live near him (like we did from Liverpool; we always had thousands of Liverpool people around us, so I guess he was the same). And he had pool tables! Maybe a lot of American houses are like that, but it seemed amazing to us; it was like a nightclub.”
I remember, as we went out to our limousines, John put on his Adolf Hitler accent and shouted: 'Long live ze king.’ Also, John said, as we got into our limousines: 'Elvis was stoned.’ George Harrison responded very quietly: 'Aren’t we all?’
They tried to make light of it and not show too much adoration for their idol, but Elvis Presley was their idol and one of the prime influences of The Beatles’ music.
George Harrison during the taping of Shindig, Granville Studios, Fulham, London, 3 October 1964
Photo: Leslie Bryce/The Beatles Book
“In Paris in January 1964, prior to The Beatles’ first wild visit to America, a reported asked George how he liked being mobbed and screamed at by fans and he replied: ‘I wouldn’t do all this if I didn’t like it. I wouldn’t do anything I didn’t want to, would I?’ But within a couple of years of tht remark George became the first casualty of Beatlemania. Not being as thick-skinned as the others, he was more vulnerable to the extraordinary pressures that Beatlemania brought with it. His mind if not his body took a battering as the crowds grew larger and seemed to be closing in on him. The group’s lifestyle on the road became increasingly restricted. George wasn’t a natural born showman like Paul. He was not cut out for celebrity. He loved his music but he found fame an awesomely heavy burden to cope with. I watched his personality change visibly as security around the group tightened, particularly when he went on the big concert tours of America, Europe and Asia. Cooped up for their own safety in heavily guarded hotel suites and transported to and from the stadium and convention centre venues in the discomfort of various trucks, vans, buses and armoured vehicles, The Beatles led an anything but glamorous life at the height of Beatlemania. Afraid that sooner or later over-enthusiastic crowds at airports, hotels or concert venues would get out of control, George used to say: ‘One of these days when the fans crush forward to get at us somebody is going to get killed.’” - Tony Barrow, The Beatles Book, 2002 [x]