News Watch the Interview: Why John Lennon Hated Elvis Presley
In the early days, John Lennon and the rest of his Beatles bandmates were big fans of Elvis Presley and covered several of his songs in their career. In fact, he made such an impact on Lennon that he once said: “Nothing affected me until I heard Elvis. Without Elvis, there would be no Beatles.”
However, according to reports, as soon as the pair first met, Lennon realised that Presley was everything he hated, and the feeling was mutual. “For John, it was a very disillusioning moment because he loved Elvis’s records, so to discover he was a right-wing southern bigot was a big shock,” veteran DJ Bob Harris – who interviewed Lennon on The Old Grey Whistle Test in 1975 – told The Independent. “Equally, Elvis saw Lennon as being this upstart Liverpuddlian know-it-all who’d taken his crown. He usurped Elvis and he was resentful as hell.”
Furthermore, Lennon would also come to hate Presley’s work. Despite his music providing much inspiration when a youth, Lennon told Juke Box Jury in 1963 that he felt the bastion of rock ‘n’ roll had lost his touch: “Well, I’ve got all his early records, and I keep playing them. He mustn’t make another like this. But somebody said today he sounds like Bing Crosby now, and he does. I don’t like him anymore”.