HI, ELVIS! HI, GUYS!This is what Beatles hoped but IT WON’T HAPPEN
SORRY Beatles, I have a disappointment for you. Your hopes of meeting Elvis Presley when you return in triumph to his working city of Hollywood are dashed. The King will be far away in Hawaii by the time you arrive. Just as he was discreetly, but very diplomatically, home in Memphis when you hit Hollywood last year.
Yes, I have it on the best authority that the Presley home in Beverly Hills will be bolted and vacant, by a strange coincidence, when our famous four take up residence in the star-studded belt around the film city for a whole week at the end of August.
Someone has planned a six-day holiday for the Beatles in Beverly Hills before their two working nights at the Hollywood bowl. It would have been an ideal time for their meeting.
Never mind John, Paul, George and Ringo ... perhaps next year? Doubtless the NME can arrange another Beatles-Presley telephone hook-up as a consolation prize this summer!
It is a strange coincidence – yet I am assured it is just that by my old friend Tom Diskin, who is Colonel Tom Parker’s right-hand man.
In a telephone call from Los Angeles a few nights ago he revealed: “It is not that Elvis doesn’t want to get together with the four boys.
“After talking to Paul on the phone last summer (NME take a bow), he just can’t wait to spend some time with them. I can’t tell you how thrilled he was to receive a wire from them recently congratulating him on his 10th anniversary in show business.
“But the truth of the matter is his picture schedule is getting more and more intense. No sooner did he finish ‘Harem Holiday’ the other day than he started ‘Frankie And Johnny.’
“There wasn’t even time for Elvis to take his customary drive home to Memphis – he just stayed up in Beverly Hills and took day drives out with the boys.
“Then when we’ve finished ‘Frankie And Johnny’ he goes into ‘Hawaiian Paradise’ for Hal Wallis. That starts at the beginning of August, and by the time the Beatles arrive here on the 23rd the whole unit should have moved to Hawaii for location shooting.”
Tom told me that “Frankie And Johnny” is likely to prove what the screen critics have been asking for – a different Presley picture. Set on the Mississippi river in the late 1800’s, it’s his first period picture and is likely to mark a return for the once-famous sideburns.
“But ‘Tickle Me,’ which he completed earlier this year for mid-summer release, is one that will interest you,” Tom continued. “It’s strictly a funny, with loads of laughs when El and his leading lady get stuck (alone of course) in a ghost town in the mid-west just as a big storm breaks out. There’s thunder and lightning and the windows all rattling ...”
He chuckled. I said it sounded funny.
“Talking of laughs and funny situations, when is Jimmy Savile coming back to Hollywood? We really think that guy’s the most – the business needs guys like him. Tell him Beverly Hills has not been the same since he was here,” he laughed.
“Do you know what he did one night ... ?” But by now he was laughing fit to collapse.
And I was heavy with the responsibility of bearing my sad news to the Beatles ...
Chris Hutchins, New Musical Express, 28 May 1965