Elvis Presley stars in trailer for 1956 film Love Me Tender
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Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, the biggest acts on the planet were The Beatles and Elvis Presley. The King was well aware of the Fab Four and their enormous fame, and couldn’t help but recognise just how talented they were by covering one of their songs. During a live performance on June 1, 1970, Elvis covered the band’s 1965 track Yesterday – but made some changes.
SCROLL DOWN TO LISTEN TO ELVIS PRESLEY’S VERSION OF YESTERDAY
When Elvis performed Yesterday he played it almost perfectly – but decided to change the final verse of the track.
Sir Paul McCartney told the story on The Jonathan Ross Show in 2002.
He recalled: “I heard that Elvis did Yesterday. I’d never heard that [version of the] song, so I got to listen to that… ’cause he gets the lyrics wrong!”
Paul added: “It was during his flaky period,” referencing Elvis’ laboured final years where he was gaining weight and drinking a lot more.
SCROLL DOWN TO WATCH PAUL MCCARTNEY TALK ABOUT ELVIS PRESLEY’S COVER OF YESTERDAY
Paul then revealed the issue he had with Elvis’ version of the track.
He explained: “I tell you the words, he gets the last verse wrong. But the thing these guys always do… I wrote: ‘Why she had to go/I don’t know/She wouldn’t say/I did something wrong and I long for yesterday.’
“Well, Elvis and a lot of these guys [who covered it] went: ‘I must’ve done something wrong.’
“It’s like, they’re not admitting it!”
Paul went on to explain how he felt artists who changed the lyrics like this were trying to “cast doubt” on the idea they had done anything wrong.
Jonathan Ross suggested they were “covering their bases” – Paul agreed.
He said people who make these changes to the songs ought to have a “disclaimer” in the song.
Incidentally, Yesterday was not the only Beatles songs Elvis covered during his career.
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Over the years Elvis covered Hey Jude during his Las Vegas shows, becoming a staple in his performances.
He also covered George Harrison’s Something. He performed the iconic track during his 1973 comeback show Aloha From Hawaii concert.
The King also played Get Back, from the Fab Four’s final album, Let It Be.
Although he didn’t cover the entire song, he took pieces of it and inserted them into his own track, Little Sister, during his Las Vegas performances in 1970.
Elvis and The Beatles did meet once when the Liverpudlians visited the star’s home Graceland in 1965.
The band – who had grown up idolising the King of Rock and Roll – struggled to find the words to talk to the singer, however. Elvis eventually broke the silence: “If you guys are just gonna sit there and stare at me, I’m goin’ to bed.”
Eventually, Elvis picked up a bass guitar, prompting Paul to leap into action.
He said: “It was a great conversation piece for me. I could actually talk about the bass, and we sat around and just enjoyed ourselves.”
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