ABOUT THIS INTERVIEW:
The Beatles enjoyed five days off in California in the midst of their 1965 North American tour. During this time, in the late hours of August 27th, the Beatles met Elvis Presley whom they had considered one of their most important idols.
The next evening, following the Beatles concert at Balboa Stadium in San Diego, the group spoke with Disc Jockey Jerry G. Bishop. Unlike the reporters at the press conference earlier in the day, Bishop was aware of their meeting with Presley, and was able to document their reactions to meeting the 'King' the very night after the event took place.
- Jay Spangler, www.beatlesinterviews.org
Q: "Have you been a fan of Elvis's for a long time?"
PAUL: "Yeah. well of course, you know. When I was sixteen, I loved his records. We used to do a lot of his songs then, you know.
And until we started doing our own songs, we used to do quite a few Elvis songs. I still like his records, especially the earlier ones.
I think they are his greatest, you know."
Q: "What was your personal reaction after meeting the guy? You build up an image about a guy for a long time... suddenly you
meet him. Is he the same way you thought he'd be?"
PAUL: "I think he was exactly like I imagined, yeah. I didn't quite know what to expect when we went there, you know. I mean,
I thought that he'd be the same, but I didn't know how the atmosphere or anything would be in the place. But it was good, 'cuz it was all
old mates around. Old mates of his, you know, and we brought quite a few of ours. And so we just had a bit of a 'do.'"
Q: "Now you know the way Elvis lives - he's very secluded - probably the most secluded performer in show business history. The
guy is always in his house with his friends... very rarely makes personal appearances... never does television or concerts. Could you
live that way for very long?"
PAUL: "No. I couldn't. But I suppose if you get used to it, it'd be okay. I like, sort of, doing plenty of work, you know. 'Cuz
I get bored otherwise."
Q: "Sure. Being a performer, it seems to me, really means being in front of the public, and you're NOT really - on the movie screen."
PAUL: "Yeah, I don't think it matters with Elvis much. I think he might regret it a bit, you know, himself... like we do. I know that he
hasn't done a session for quite a bit - a record session. And we were trying to persuade him to do one last night. You know, do a new session
and try and get some of the old kind of songs he used to sing. You know, all the old country songs, or some of the old... real rock and roll
Q: "He, don't forget, is playing to an audience that was sixteen when he made it, and is now twenty-five."
PAUL: "That's true, that's true. But the thing is, there's still a lot of people who still think of Elvis's records as being like
they were. I do. I think of Elvis's old sound as Elvis. I mean, and I don't like the new stuff half as much. And we told him last night,
you know, and I think he fancies doing it, anyway. So he said he'd probably do a session. So I hope he does, you know. I'll buy it if he
Q: "Yeah. It would be interesting to see if the Beatles have an influence on Elvis's music. What do you think about an Elvis/Beatle
album.. or a Beatle/Elvis album?"
PAUL: "Oh well, that's one of those things. You know, I mean, it'd be okay but no one would ever do it. I mean, he wouldn't
do it. I know we wouldn't do it, you know."
Q: "How's your throat first of all, John?"
JOHN: "I seem to have gotten me voice back."
Q: "Are you going to do 'Twist And Shout' tonight then?"
JOHN: "Oh yeah. I forgot about that."
Q: "So you're going to put it back in?"
JOHN: "Yeah well, we only do half of it anyways - just as an introduction, you know. Nobody hears it, really."
Q: "What happened last week in Los Angeles? I know you relaxed a lot. Was that about the story, really?"
JOHN: "We just sort of got up about twelve or one... swam, had breakfast. Odd people came 'round to see us, you know."
Q: "You met The Byrds. Who else?"
JOHN: "The Byrds had practically been there all the time, you know. When they weren't working. We met Elvis last night, which
Q: "Yeah, tell us about that. This has been a meeting that's been in the works for a long time. I guess. Right?"
JOHN: "Yeah, but we were always just in the wrong place at the wrong time to meet him. We would have just gone 'round or something
but there was a whole lot of palaver about where, and how many people should know and everything... with the managers, Colonel Tom
and Brian working everything out. But it was good when we met him. He's great."
Q: "What is he like? We hear stories here in the States about anybody who is as secluded as Elvis. He's really kept away from the
public eye, except in the movies, and no television... does nothing else but movies."
Q: "Is he a nervous, strange individual? Or did he strike you as a normal guy?"
JOHN: "No, he just seemed normal to us, you know. And we were asking him about just making movies and not doing any personal
appearances or TV. And he seems to enjoy it, you know. 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, you know. He's just... he was great. He was just how
I expected him."
Q: "You played the guitar, right?"
JOHN: "Yeah, well, he has a bass guitar sort of permanently plugged in alongside the TV. 'Cuz he has the sound down, and we had
the records on, which is not unlike us. We always have TV on, whatever's on... but we never watch it. It's just there with no sound on,
and we listen to records."
Q: "I don't know if this was discussed, but it seems to me an Elvis/Beatle album would be like the best-selling album in history."
JOHN: "None of us have ever liked those albums where they put two people together who are either similar, or you know... I don't know.
Like Sinatra and somebody else, you know. But I don't like that. Anyway, I'd hate an album like that."
Q: "Hello Ringo."
RINGO: "Hi, how are you?"
Q: "Did you learn to swim this week?"
RINGO: "I can swim, you know me... twenty-five yards. I've got the certificate to prove it."
Q: "Malcolm Evans (Beatles' roadie and personal friend) is sitting here, and Malcolm must have had the thrill of a lifetime last
night when you all met Elvis."
RINGO: "Yeah, we went to Elvis's place."
Q: "Tell us about it."
RINGO: "It was... When we first arrived it was sort of a bit funny, you know. 'cuz he's still the King, man. No matter what anyone
says, you know. And we sort of shook hands... said hello, and then we sort of went to the bar and we had a drink, and that. He had a lot
of friends there - and we had Malcolm who's his biggest fan, and a couple more of our road managers. And we just started mingling. In
about half an hour it was just like old friends, you know.. we knew everybody. Just sat 'round and walked 'round playing."
Q: "Played guitar, right?"
RINGO: "Yeah, well, the boys played guitar. I don't play, though. I played pool with three of his friends."
Q: "How did you do?"
RINGO: "We lost, actually - our team."
Q: "Can I interrupt your interview to get Malcolm's impressions of the King?"
RINGO: "Yes. Over to Malcolm Evans, Beatle road manager 65. Tah dah!!"
Q: (to Ringo) "Alright, why don't you interview him? Ask him what he thought of Elvis."
RINGO: "Okay. Mal, it was a big thrill for you last night. Tell us about it."
MAL EVANS: "It was the greatest thrill of my life, Richard. I really enjoyed it."
RINGO: "You notice that? He calls me Richard."
MAL EVANS: "He was everything I expected him to be. You know, he's good-looking... made you feel at ease. He was just every bit
as I expected him to be after nine years being a fan."
RINGO: "Seven-foot-six, he is, folks. Well, back to your local DJ."
Q: Alright. If you had a million dollars, Mal, what's the first thing you'd buy?"
MAL EVANS: "I don't really know. 'Cuz I've got everything I want at the moment - my Elvis records and all
the Beatle records, so..."
Q: "You notice the order he put that? The Elvis records and then the Beatle records."
RINGO: "Well, we know this. That's the great thing about Malcolm, our road manager. And he's Elvis's
number one fan. He gets his 'Elvis Monthly' and his records and everything. We don't
mind. It's great, you know. 'Cuz we like him, too."
Source: Transcribed by www.beatlesinterviews.org from audio copy of the interview