Paul McCartney Says Elvis Is Second-Coolest Person He’s Met
Paul McCartney said Elvis Presley was the second-coolest person he’d ever met and recalled how the King was an inspiration behind the Beatles’ classic album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
The Beatles and Presley encountered each other only once, on Aug. 27, 1965, under an agreement that no photos or recordings would be made. McCartney and his bandmates later shared different memories of the moment, although it’s generally noted to have started off awkwardly.
In a recent interview on The Adam Buxton Podcast, McCartney was asked to name the coolest person he’d ever met. “My wife … she is very cool,” he replied, adding that he hoped she was listening. “However, speaking like that, I have met Elvis Presley, who was darn cool. Because this was pre his Las Vegas and the rhinestone suit [period], this was just sort of Beverly Hills. So he was really cool.”
McCartney listed Bob Dylan and David Bowie as “cool” to have met, too. "If I had to choose, I’d have to go with my wife, Nancy, and if I had to give a second, I think I’d have to do Elvis," he said. You can listen to the interview below.
Elsewhere in the interview, McCartney recalled how the Beatles were inspired to develop Sgt. Pepper by Presley. His influence came after the British band had realized they “weren’t having fun” on the road.
“We came back, and we started to think, ‘What can we do? We don’t want to tour again,’” he noted. “We heard that Elvis Presley had sent his gold-plated Cadillac out on tour. He didn’t go with it – he just sent it out. And people would flock to see Elvis’ Cadillac, and then it would go to the next town and those people would flock.
“So we thought, ‘That is brilliant! Only Elvis could have thought of that.’ We said, ‘Well, what we should do is, we should make a killer record and that can do the touring for us.’ So that’s what Sgt. Pepper was all about.”