Elvis meets the Beatles: how it happened in 1965

In 1965, NME intro’d the Fab Four to their idol at his Bel-Air home – fun was had by all

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.

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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.

Take a look at NME’s special film edition Elvis digital magazine right here. Don’t miss Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis starring Austin Butler and Tom Hanks, in cinemas June 24. Book tickets now.

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