Ringo Starr’s favourite Elvis song

Few influences were given the same reverence for The Beatles as Elvis Presley. The spark that inspired most of the band members to embrace rock and roll in the first place, Presley played an important role in pushing The Beatles from scraggly Liverpool kids to true musicians.

“Without Elvis, there would be no Beatles,” John Lennon famously proclaimed of The King. The Beatles even got to meet Presley in 1965, but the meeting turned out to be somewhat anticlimactic. Still, the members never lost their love of Presley, especially as they looked back on their youths after the band’s break up.

“It was very exciting, we were all nervous as hell, and we met him in his big house in LA – probably as big as the one we were staying in, but it still felt like, ‘Big house, big Elvis,’” Lennon later recalled. “He had lots of guys around him, all these guys that used to live near him (like we did from Liverpool; we always had thousands of Liverpool people around us, so I guess he was the same),” Lennon recalled. “And he had pool tables! Maybe a lot of American houses are like that, but it seemed amazing to us; it was like a nightclub.”

Back in 2009, Starr was asked by ABC News to list some of his favourite songs of all time. Starr baulked at listing a traditional top ten. “I love music,” Starr claimed. “You know, people say, ‘Your top ten.’ I don’t have a top 10; I have a top thousand or 2,000. Music has meant a lot, you know.” Still, Presley’s ‘Don’t Be Cruel’ was an easy pick for Starr.

“I was working in this factory, and I took this girl to the movies because I had no money,” he said. “The only seats left were two in the front, and we’re in the front row and, haha, [I was] trying to impress her in the front row. She worked in the office of the factory I worked in, and, anyway, the date didn’t go well. And I snuck up into her office, and on the dictaphone, I recorded ‘Don’t Be Cruel’. So that’s an important song. And Elvis was the best, Elvis the King.”

Despite their feverish fandom, The Beatles never officially recorded an Elvis cover for any of their studio albums. Apart from a few covers that appeared on the Pop Goes The Beatles radio programme, The Beatles ultimately stayed away from covering The King.

Check out ‘Don’t Be Cruel’ down below.

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