Elvis Presley: Queen drummer Roger Taylor agrees with John Lennon’s assessment of The King
Oscars 2019: Roger Taylor reacts to Bohemian Rhapsody critics
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Back in 1956, Elvis Presley stormed the charts, making his name as The King of Rock and Roll. The rising star’s early career would go on to have a profound effect on the bands that followed over the next couple of decades. And now in an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk, Queen drummer Roger Taylor has shared how much of an influence Elvis was on him and his band, while actually ending up agreeing with John Lennon’s overall assessment of The King.
Roger Taylor told us: “I think Elvis influenced everybody. I was very young then, only in the beginning.
“He was so fantastic in the very early day and so mesmeric if you watch the early footage of him performing. He was just fabulous.”
However, in 1958 The King was called up for two years US Army service in Germany.
It was after this that the Queen drummer thought it all went downhill for Elvis.
Roger continued: “I think after Elvis went in the army, he didn’t influence [Queen] at all.
“In fact, he became a sort of side paragraph. He didn’t really have a lot of relevance, I thought.
“He was a rebel, but when he joined the army it all sort of disappeared into sh***y films and paying off his manager’s debts in Las Vegas.”
Upon hearing this, we pointed out to the Queen drummer that his view on Elvis was similar to that of John Lennon.
Lennon had grown up listening to The King and was especially struck by Heartbreak Hotel.
The late musician is even attributed as saying that before Elvis there was nothing and that The Beatles wouldn’t have existed without The King.
However, in one of his final interviews just two days before his death, Lennon said that joining the army was the big turning point for how he viewed his idol.
He told BBC Radio 1: “When Elvis died, people were harassing me in Tokyo for a comment.”
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Lennon added: “Well I’ll give it yer now, he died when he went in the army. That’s when they killed him. The rest of it was just a living death.”
The 40-year-old felt that The King’s military service was the equivalent of Elvis going to a monastery to withdraw.
He added: “But [it wasn’t like] going to a Zen monastery and going to India to meditate.
“Or going to Scotland and growing melons or something, whatever they’re doing up there in that place.”
Elvis Presley stars in Blue Hawaii trailer in 1961
After hearing Lennon’s overall assessment of Elvis, Roger replied: “I couldn’t agree more.
“John Lennon also said Little Richard’s better than Elvis and I’d have to agree with him there!”
Next summer Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis biopic will follow Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody movie.
The blockbuster will star Austin Butler as Elvis and Tom Hanks as his manager Colonel Tom Parker.
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