Sir Tom Jones is a singer not known for having a vicious temper or being unkind about other singers. However, Sir Tom’s friend Elvis Presley had a run in with the Beatles, particularly John Lennon, which caused the Welshman’s blood to boil. In fact, Sir Tom was even once quoted saying he wanted to give Lennon a “hiding.”
John Lennon was a fairly controversial figure in his later years, as he and his wife Yoko Ono took to protesting against various causes.
One of their most memorable protests was their “bed-ins,” where they stayed in bed to promote peace for two weeks on two occasions.
It seems Lennon’s anti-war sentiments began to frustrate other singers, namely Elvis Presley, who had served in the US military between 1958-1960.
However, this frustration did not stop there, as it rubbed off on Sir Tom, who was also annoyed at Lennon’s protestations of peace.
In an interview with the Daily Mail in 2011, author and journalist Chris Hutchins described how Presley discussed meeting John Lennon with his friend Sir Tom – and how he wanted to have John ‘thrown out of the US.’
He told Sir Tom: “He should’ve been kicked out long ago.”
According to Mr Hutchins, Sir Tom responded: “I had a run-in with him myself. He made some smart remark at a TV studio in England, where we were appearing on the show Thank Your Lucky Stars.
“I wanted to take him outside and see what sort of hiding his intellect would stand.”
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Mr Hutchins commented how Sir Tom’s frustration at Lennon had made Presley smile, as if it showed how Presley had found someone who understood him.
The incident when Lennon and Presley met may have seemed innocuous to many but Mr Hutchins said Presley urged his friend, then-FBI director Edgar Hoover, to have Lennon thrown out of the country.
Mr Hutchins said: “His [Presley’s] dislike of the pacifist Beatle [Lennon] was born from the night I took the Fab Four to his house for their first – and last – meeting.
“John had annoyed Presley by making his anti-war feelings known the moment he stepped into the massive lounge and spotted the table lamps – model wagons engraved with the message: ‘All the way with LBJ [former US President Lyndon B Johnson]’.
“Lennon hated President Lyndon B Johnson for raising the stakes in the Vietnam War.”
Despite this initial run-in, Sir Tom spoke about how he had become friends with Lennon in an interview with Channel Bee1, saying Lennon’s teasing him on Thank Your Lucky Stars was “just his sense of humour.”
He said: “John Lennon was the first one out on the floor and he looks up at me and he says [to the tune of It’s Not Unusual], ’It’s not a unicorn it’s an elephant.
“He said, ‘How you doing you Welsh p**f?’ I said, ‘Come up here you Scouse p***k, I’ll show you!’
His manager Gordon Mills, calmed Sir Tom down by telling him it was his sense of humour.
Sir Tom added: “Which it was. And then we became friends later on. He was taking the mick, or taking the p**s.”
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