What Really Happened When Elvis Presley Met The Beatles

Every so often, two immeasurable forces meet, sending shockwaves across the cultural landscape. In 1974, David Bowie and William Burroughs interviewed one another for Rolling Stone, and as a result, we know that Ziggy Stardust once tried to make a black hole out of human beings for a musical. Two years prior to that, Scooby-Doo met the Harlem Globetrotters, and their teamwork led to the stunning revelation that Redbeard's crew of pirate ghosts were actually just regular men trying to hone in on oil rights to which they had no legitimate claim.

And in 1965, the Beatles met Elvis Presley. Strange? Certainly, and all the stranger considering that you've never seen pictures or video of the event. How did two of the most famous and influential musical acts of the 20th century manage to spend an afternoon together without anyone thinking to snap a photo?

The answer, according to the BBC, is layered and weird. The Beatles wanted to meet one of their idols, but they were tired of constant attention from the press. Their manager was willing to forego a killer photo op for one reason: he thought he was about to strike gold again.

She hunk of burnin' loves you

The story goes that John, Paul, George, and Ringo pulled up to Elvis' pad around 10pm on August 27th, 1965. Ground rules were in place: no pictures, no recordings, and absolutely no telling the media. Awkward silence reigned supreme until Presley passed guitars around the room and had a piano dragged in — he didn't have a drum kit lying around, so Ringo tapped the back of a chair while everyone else jammed out. Classic Ringo.

Meanwhile, Beatles manager Brian Epstein was grinding through a side quest off in the corner with Elvis's longtime manager, Colonel Tom Parker. Epstein, the BBC reports, thought that he could convince Parker to do something he'd never done before: take Elvis international. Parker had been famously gun shy about putting the King on stages outside of the US, and Epstein saw an opportunity to change his mind by flashing the biggest act on Earth in front of him. What he probably didn't know was that the Colonel was, according to Biography, a low-key illegal immigrant hailing from the Netherlands, and that he probably refused to leave American soil out of fear that he wouldn't be allowed back.

As the Fab Four got back into their limousine, it's reported that John Lennon said "Elvis was stoned," and that George Harrison replied "Aren't we all?" Truer words were never spoken.