Elvis meets the Beatles: how it happened in 1965

In partnership with Warner Bros.

Back in 1965, NME writer Chris Hutchins orchestrated a meeting of greats between Elvis Presley and the Beatles. Here’s what went down.

Elvis Presley was playing bass guitar, with the benefit of a little instruction from Paul McCartney; the record they were backing was Cilla Black’s ‘You’re My World’. Suddenly John exclaimed: “This beats talking, doesn’t it” And that’s how it was – the world’s No.1 solo star and world’s No.1 group were meeting for the first time and communicating through music.

Presley gave the occasional hint of his famous wiggle, even though seated in his chair strumming the bass part to each record. Elvis’s companions kept up a supply of drinks for the Beatles, but the host himself neither touched one nor accepted any cigarettes. Even in this relaxed atmosphere, I never heard him swear.

Shortly before 2am, someone decided it was time to go. ‘Softly As I Leave You’ was on the record player as the Beatles shook hands with Elvis. They all agreed that the meeting was a highlight of their lives.

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