"Nothing really affected me until Elvis."
"Before Elvis there was nothing."
"When I first heard "Heartbreak Hotel," I could hardly
make out what was being said. It was just the experience
of hearing it and having my hair stand on end. We'd never
heard American voices singing like that. They'd always sung
like Sinatra who enunciated well. Suddenly, there's this
hillbilly hiccupping with echo and all this bluesy background
going on. We didn't know what the hell Presley was singing
about or Little Richard or Chuck Berry. It took a long time
to work out what was going on. To us, it just sounded like
"I always wanted to be this tough James Dean type,
but Elvis was bigger than religion in my life. When I heard
Heartbreak Hotel it was so great I couldn’t speak,
want to say anything against Elvis, not even in my mind."
"I’m an Elvis fan because it was Elvis who really
got me out of Liverpool."
"There's only one person in the United States we ever
wanted to meet ... not that he wanted us. And we met him
last night. We can't tell you how we felt. We just idolised
him so much. ... You can't imagine what a thrill that was
last night. Nothing really affected me until I heard Elvis.
If there hadn't been an Elvis, there wouldn't have been the
"It was a load of rubbish. It was like meeting Engelbert
John Lennon on meeting Elvis
“I didn’t have the nerve to tell Elvis this
last night, but you see these sideburns? I almost got kicked
out of school for trying to look like him. Tell Elvis that
if it hadn’t been
for him, I wouldn’t be here.’ ”
John Lennon to Jerry Schilling after meeting Elvis Presley
(according to Schilling)
"It was very exciting, we were all nervous as hell, and
we met him in his big house in L.A. - probably as big as
the one we were staying in, but it still felt like "big house,
big Elvis." He had lots of guys around him, all these guys
that used to live near him (like we did from Liverpool, we
always had thousands of Liverpool people around us, so I
guess he was the same.) And he had pool tables! Maybe a lot
of American houses are like that, but it seemed amazing to
us. It was like a nightclub."
"He had his TV going all the time, which
is what I do; we always have TV on. We never watch it - it's
just there with no sound on, and we listen to records. In
front of the TV, he had a massive amplifier with a bass plugged
into it, and he was up playing bass all the time with the
picture up on the TV. So we just got in there and played
with him. We all plugged in whatever was around, and we played
and sang. He had a jukebox, like I do, but I think he had
all his hits on it. But if I'd made as many as him, maybe
I'd have all mine on."
"At first we couldn't make him out. I asked him if
he was preparing new ideas for his next film and he drawled, "Ah
sure am. Ah play a country boy with a guitar who meets a
few gals along the way, and ah sing a few songs." We
all looked at one another. Finally Presley and Colonel Parker
laughed and explained that the only time they departed from
that formula - for Wild in the Country - they lost money."
"It was nice meeting Elvis. He was just Elvis, you
know? He seemed normal to us, and we were asking about his
making movies and not doing any personal appearances or TV.
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.We never talked about
anything else - we just played music. He wasn't bigger than
us, but he was "the thing." He just wasn't articulate,
"Up until Elvis joined the army, I
thought it was beautiful music and Elvis was for me and my
generation what the Beatles were to the '60s. But after he
went into the army, I think they cut "les bollocks" off.
They not only shaved his hair off but I think they shaved
between his legs, too. He played some good stuff after the
army, but it was never quite the same, It was like something
happened to him psychologically. Elvis really died the day
he joined the army. That's when they killed him, and the
rest was a living death."