George Harrison Said It Was 'Embarrassing' to Talk Music With Elvis Presley

George Harrison Said It Was 'Embarrassing' to Talk Music With Elvis Presley


Article Highlights:

  • Elvis Presley was nicer than George Harrison thought he’d be
  • What The Beatles did at The King’s Beverly Hills mansion
  • Why they didn’t talk much about music

The first time The Beatles came to America, Elvis Presley sent them a telegram wishing them well before their performance on The Ed Sullivan Show. During the band’s second tour of American in 1965, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr went over to The King’s house to visit, swap stories, and play some music. Here’s what Harrison said about the evening.

George Harrison said Elvis Presley was nicer than he expected

In an interview with journalist Larry Kane (who traveled with The Beatles during their first and second American tours), Harrison said the night with Presley was “great actually.”

“I liked it a lot because I didn’t expect him to be half as nice as he was,” he said, as recorded in the book George Harrison on George Harrison.

And what wasn’t to like? The band walked away with boxes of Elvis records.

“Yeah, we asked the Colonel [Tom Parker, Elvis’s manager] when we saw him the other day for Elvis’s very early albums which are deleted right now in England,” said Harrison. “But they’re the ones we liked so [he] gave us a parcel each.”

George Harrison liked how loud Elvis Presley’s house was

The meeting took place in Presley’s Beverly Hills mansion. Harrison wasn’t expecting The King’s home to be so lively. But just like The Beatles’ house, it was filled with noise. And that made Harrison feel right at home.

“He was more… he was a bit more than I anticipated,” Harrison said of Presley. “I expected him to be quieter and for him to not have such an amount of noise in his house. In fact when we walked into his house it was exactly like going into ours. It was great—it was the record player, TV, and electric guitar, all playing all at once, you know.”

So what did the music titans do all evening?

“Well, we had drinks, some played pool, some were playing roulette, we were playing electric guitars and playing records and watching TV—everything, you know,” said Harrison.

The Beatles and The King didn’t talk very much about music

Though being famous musicians may have been the biggest things the men had in common, they didn’t talk about it all that much.

“We talked a little about, asking him why he didn’t record some of the older stuff or something in the old style, because we thought that was much better,” said Harrison. “And he seemed to want to do something like that himself. But we didn’t really talk that much about business things, because it’s quite hard meeting people like that—hard for him or for us—it’s a bit embarrassing. But you know, so we laid off and talked about different things altogether—like about other people and other records.”

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