Reporter Chris Hutchins first met the Beatles in Hamburg in 1962, just before they broke into the big time. He was on the US tours in 1964 and 1965 and was trusted by them. Having met Elvis in 1964, he engineered a meeting between Colonel Tom Parker and Brian Epstein, with the purpose of arranging a meeting between the King and the Fabs. The historic meeting took place on the 27th August, 1965, after many false starts and a lot of bargaining.
I know very little about Elvis, but there are very few books about the Beatles that I have not already read, and this book began to ring some alarm bells when a lot of 'myths' cropped up. Often repeated tales of John being born in a bombing raid, being 'shunned' at school and drunk when he met Paul, led me to wonder what else may have been exaggerated. The early part of the Beatles story also relies heavily on interviews with Bill Harry, founder of Merseybeat, who tends to be more than a little biased towards John when repeating the Beatles history. There is a potted history of both the Beatles and Elvis, although I am unable to say whether similar exaggerations in the story of Elvis have been made.
The basic argument of the book is that Elvis was both jealous and resentful of the Beatles success, almost afraid to meet them and that, when he did, there was bad feeling between John and him. In the first chapter Elvis is raving and ranting against Lennon in 1973. However, he was divorced, dependent on drugs and seemingly out of control, so it is possible that Lennon simply represented something for him that he could fight against.Read more ›