As the legend goes, Elvis Presley and the Beatles met just one time as a group, and onlookers of the meet-and-greet recently shared some fun memories of the event. Two of the bestselling musical acts of all time, Presley and the Beatles met in Los Angeles in 1965 in Presley’s Bel-Air home. Obviously, the Fab Four from England would have been young up-and-comers in the mid-1960s; so to meet Presley, the King of Rock and Roll, in his own house must have been a surreal experience.
Elvis’ friends, known affectionately as the Memphis Mafia, spent a lot of time with the King in those days as he navigated the perils of fame and fortune at such a young age. One member of the ‘mafia,’ Billy Smith, recalled the legendary meeting in a YouTube video recently entitled “Elvis Fans Matter.” Accompanied in the video by his wife, Jo, who was also at the meeting, Smith explained how starstruck John, Paul, George, and Ringo seemed at first.
“When they came in to see him and Elvis was waiting for them there, they just stood, they didn’t say a word. They just stood and stared at him,” the couple remembered fondly.
What makes the story funnier is that Smith and his wife were totally enamored with the Beatles, as well. So basically, everyone just stood there admiring each other.
“We got to meet The Beatles like 1-on-1. They were great, just as nice as they could be. Really, really nice. Every single one of them. I mean that was like unbelievable to people and friends of ours back here [in Memphis, that] we actually got to meet The Beatles,” the couple added.
Elvis, naturally, knew how it felt to be gawked at, so he broke the ice with a joke that calmed everyone down.
“Look if y’all not going to talk I’m going to go to bed!” Elvis said with a smile. The Beatles burst out laughing and began chatting, and soon both factions of future music royalty were making jokes and playing games together.
Elvis may have hustled the Beatles out of a few quid
Billy’s wife, Jo, continued: “Elvis had this table…and I probably shouldn’t tell this…too late now. But he had this roulette table that turned. And I remember them playing…and they lost a lot of money that night because they played.”
Billy jumped in to dispute the retelling, saying that nobody really lost a lot of money. But Jo doesn’t remember it that way. “To me it was a lot of money,” she said. “Ten dollars was a lot of money to me.”
Billy and Jo also told a humorous story about Elvis’ longtime employee and cook, Alvena Roy. According to Jo, Ms. Roy was a fabulous cook — and a large woman because of it — so when she accidentally stepped on Ringo’s foot, the drummer let out a mighty wail.
Jo said: “She stepped on Ringo’s foot and I can remember him saying, ‘Oh! She’s almost mashed me bloody toe off!’”
The meeting didn’t last long, though. After an hour or so, the Beatles split, Elvis went to bed, and rock history was made. Who knows if they ever crossed paths again in less-publicized settings.