Harris also claims that it was “hatred at first sight” when Lennon discovered that Presley was a “right-wing right-winger”.
According to famous music presenter and DJ ‘Whispering’ Bob Harris, Elvis Presley was once tasked by the then US President Richard Nixon to spy on John Lennon.
in a new interview rocontors On the podcast, Harris described how Nixon “hated” the Beatles star because of his public and vicious criticism of the Vietnam War.
During interviews with hosts Gary Kemp and Guy Pratt, Harris claimed that Nixon recruited Presley, who was a “great friend” of the late president, to spy on Lennon, adding that if Nixon’s tenure was over, If Lennon ever left the United States, he would not be allowed back in.
“It looked like it was almost a fantasy” [Lennon’s] Imagine when he was saying, ‘My phone is tapped, I am followed everywhere’ – but it was true; He really did,” Harris said.
“Nixon was out to get him and so John was stuck in New York, or stuck in the States: he knew, were he to come back to the UK, he would never come back to the US again. Not when Nixon was in the White House. Were.”
Harris continued: “Nixon was a great friend of Elvis and vice versa. Nixon was [instructed] Elvis to gather as much information as possible about John Lennon.
Nixon regarded Lennon as a “counter-culture enemy” and, during his time as president between 1969–1974, attempted to exile Lennon from the United States.
Harris stated that “it was hate at first sight” when Lennon and Presley met in the mid-1960s, and they then struck up an “outrageous” rivalry.
“It was a very disillusioned moment for John because he loved Elvis records, so… to find out he was a right-wing Southern fanatic,” Harris told the podcast hosts.
“Equally, Elvis saw Lennon as this upstart Liverpudlian-know-it-all who took his crown. He grabbed Elvis and he was angry as hell.”
In other news, Elvis Presley’s biographer recently claimed that the rock’n’roll legend died not because he was a drug abuser, but because he had bad genes.
According to author Sally Hodel’s new book, Elvis: Destin to Die Young, the singer’s long-documented health problems—often written off as the results of addiction—could have been caused by Presley’s maternal grandparents, who were first cousins.
Elsewhere, John Lennon is set to be celebrated in the upcoming tribute show “Dear John,” which is set to be livestreamed next month (October 9).
The online event will follow the release of the “Dear John” tribute album earlier this year, with a range of artists raising money for a Lennon cover and War Child.