(KPIX 5) – On August 27, 1965, rock’s Fab Four met secretly with the King of Rock and Roll at a home in Beverly Hills. A reporter who was among a handful of people allowed in the room that night gives a first-hand account of the meeting between Elvis Presley and the Beatles.
“My London editor called me up and said get on the plane, go to San Francisco, The Beatles are arriving,” said Ivor Davis. “You’re going to travel with them, you’re going to eat with them, sleep with them, drink with them.”
Davis, a reporter for London’s Daily Express had been assigned to cover The Beatles on their 1964 and 65 U.S. tours. He had no idea what he was in for.
“Landed in San Francisco, went to the Hilton Hotel and was met by total insanity, thousands of screaming young women,” Davis recalled. “And I thought, what the heck is going on here.”
Davis flew on The Beatles private jet, slept in their adjoining hotel suite, rode in their limos, it was nuts. But there was one limo ride on the night of August 27th, 1965 that Davis said he will never forget.
“They wanted to meet Elvis,” Davis said. “John told me he grew up with Elvis music, Heartbreak Hotel, Blue Suede Shoes, and that was one of their goals in coming to America, to get together with Elvis.”
Presley was in L.A. to make a movie, The Beatles in a rented Beverly Hills home, just two miles away where they were appearing at the Hollywood Bowl.
A meeting was set. Davis said it was strange.
“There was a tension in the room, Elvis was not comfortable with strangers,” the reported recalled.
Davis says the nervous Beatles fiddled with the color TV and remote control, something they had never seen in England, until Elvis broke the ice.
“Finally Elvis got up and said, ‘You guys, I’m going to bed.’ And then he added, ‘Unless you guys want to jam,’” Davis said. “And that was the opener. All of a sudden, guitars appeared, they plugged them in, they did a little impromptu jam session.”
Davis said the meeting that night at Elvis’ house was never recorded. Beatles manager Brian Epstein had made an agreement with Elvis’ manager, Col. Tom Parker.
“Brian said no pictures, no tape recordings. And in fact, he didn’t tell Elvis’ group that there was going to be a newsman like me watching.”
But watch he did. Davis said Elvis was the perfect host, but secretly disliked the Beatles, even tried to have them deported years later.
Davis has chronicled what happened that night 50 years ago in his new book, “The Beatles and Me on Tour.”