Paul McCartney Felt ‘Betrayed’ by Longtime Idol Elvis Presley

<p id=”par-1_66″>Like many of the musicians in his generation, <a href=”https://www.cheatsheet.com/tag/paul-mccartney/”>Paul McCartney</a> grew up idolizing <a href=”https://www.cheatsheet.com/tag/elvis-presley/”>Elvis Presley</a>. He listened obsessively to the American singer and took inspiration from his records. When McCartney himself rose to fame with <a href=”https://www.cheatsheet.com/tag/the-beatles/”>The Beatles</a>, he had the opportunity to meet Elvis. In the years after this, though, his perception of Elvis changed. He shared why he ultimately felt the singer had betrayed him.</p>

<h2 id=”h-paul-mccartney-felt-elvis-presley-betrayed-the-beatles”>Paul McCartney felt Elvis Presley betrayed The Beatles</h2>

<p id=”par-2_62″>In 1970, several years after he met The Beatles and months after they had announced their break up, <a href=”https://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/elvis-presley-looked-dracula-met-richard-nixon-friend-worried-arouse-suspicion.html/”>Elvis told Richard Nixon</a> to be cautious about the group. He claimed they had been a “real force for anti-American spirit” (via <a href=”https://www.vox.com/2015/1/14/7539809/elvis-nixon-beatles” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener”>Vox</a>). He also said they “came to this country, made their money, and then returned to England where they promoted an anti-American theme.”</p>

<p id=”par-3_27″>This was, of course, disappointing for The Beatles. It was a betrayal to know one of their favorite artists tried to mobilize the American government against them. </p>

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<p id=”par-4_57″>“I’ve seen those famous Nixon transcripts where Elvis actually starts to try to shop us — The Beatles!” McCartney said in <em>The Beatles Anthology</em>. “He’s in the transcript saying — to Richard Nixon, of all people — ‘Well, sir, these Beatles: they’re very un-American and they take drugs.’ I felt a bit betrayed by that, I must say.”</p>

<p id=”par-5_15″>McCartney said that this didn’t take away from his love of Elvis’ early music, though.</p>

<p id=”par-6_21″>“It was sad; but I still love him, particularly in his early period,” McCartney said. “He was very influential on me.”</p>

<h2>Ringo Starr shared Paul McCartney’s disappointment</h2>

<p id=”par-7_15″>McCartney’s bandmate, Ringo Starr, also thought it was sad that Elvis turned on The Beatles.</p>

<p id=”par-8_56″>“The saddest part is that, years and years later, we found out that he tried to have us banished from America, because he was very big with the FBI,” he said. “That’s very sad to me, that he felt so threatened that he thought, like a lot of people, that we were bad for American Youth.”</p>

<p id=”par-9_26″>Starr thought Elvis perceived The Beatles as a <a href=”https://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/elvis-wanted-show-the-beatles-original-king-popularity-worried.html/”>threat to his career</a>. To neutralize them, he tried, unsuccessfully, to paint them as a threat to the country.</p>

<p id=”par-10_27″>“This is Mr. Hips, the man, and he felt we were a danger,” Starr said. “I think that the danger was mainly to him and his career.”</p>

<h2>Paul McCartney shared what it was like to meet Elvis Presley</h2>

<p id=”par-11_17″>In 1965, <a href=”https://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/beatles-press-officer-said-elvis-boring-old-fart-band-visited.html/”>The Beatles visited Elvis</a> at his home in California. They were thrilled to be there.</p>

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<p id=”par-12_92″>“He showed us in, and he was great. I mean, it was Elvis. He just looked like Elvis — we were all major fans, so it was hero worship of a high degree,” McCartney recalled. “He said, ‘Hello lads — do you want a drink?’ We sat down and we were watching telly and he had the first remote switcher any of us had ever seen. You just aimed it at the telly and — wow! That’s Elvis! He was playing ‘Mohair Sam’ all evening — he had it on a jukebox.”</p>

<p id=”par-13_19″>During this meeting, McCartney said Elvis seemed a bit shy, but he was welcoming and friendly to the band.</p>

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