In the 1970s, Elvis Presley was given the task of then U.S. president Richard Nixon to monitor John Lennon and report on what the Beatles was doing and where he was going. That’s what radio DJ Bob Harris – who’s well – known in the UK – claims in the podcast Rock Mechanics.
According to Harris, President Nixon (who was in office from 1969 to 1974) could not stand Lennon because of his overt criticism of the Vietnam War. Presley, on the other hand, was a close friend of the American head of government and was asked by him to spy on Lennon and “gather as much information as possible about him.”
“Lennon seemed to see them flying when he said his phone was bugged and he felt he was being followed everywhere. But he was, he was really followed”, Harris said. “Nixon had it out for him and that’s why Lennon was stuck in the US. He knew he would never enter America again if he went back to the UK. Not while Nixon was in the White House.”
By the way, Lennon and Presley didn’t get along either, according to Harris. “It was hate at first sight” when they met in the mid-1960s. “It was a great disillusionment for John, because he loved Elvis’ music. It was also a big shock when he found out that Elvis was a right-wing, Southern fanatic. Elvis saw John at the same time as a know-it-all from Liverpool who had overthrown him.
“Lennon had surpassed Presley, according to Harris, and The King was “extremely bitter” about it.