Bob Harris: Nixon wanted Elvis to spy on Lennon
And now a story that has everything. Whispering Bob Harris, the legendary DJ, has been speaking to the Rockonteurs podcast about an amazing incident in musical history, and we get the feeling Bob could drop fifty of these tales without stopping.
Basically, corrupt US president Richard Nixon is alleged to have “loathed” John Lennon for his criticism of the Vietnam War, a war Nixon was in trying hard not to lose. (Very true). Harris goes on to say Nixon approached Elvis Presley, who he was apparently friends with, to help spy on John Lennon:
“It sounded like it was almost a figment of [Lennon’s] imagination when he was saying, ‘My phone was tapped, I get followed everywhere’ — but it was true; he really did… Nixon was out to get him and that’s why John was stuck in New York, or stuck in the States: he knew, were he to come back to the UK, he’d never get back into America again. Not while Nixon was in the White House.”
“Nixon was a great friend of Elvis and vice versa. Nixon had [ordered] Elvis to gather as much information about John Lennon as he possibly could.”
Then Harris doesn’t hold back on Elvis: “For John it was a very disillusioning moment because he loved Elvis’s records, so… to discover he was a right-wing southern bigot was a big shock… Equally, Elvis saw Lennon as being this upstart Liverpudlian know-it-all who’d taken his crown. He usurped Elvis and he was resentful as hell.”
Is this true? It’s a lot of fun…
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