3 Musicians That Disliked Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley is generally considered the “King of Rock n’ Roll.” The title was earned through his many timeless hits and trailblazing efforts. However, not everyone buys into the legend that was Presley. Among that pack are the three musicians, below.

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1. John Lennon

Presley once told President Nixon that he thought the Beatles represented an “Anti-American” point-of-view and, as such, were a bad influence on the country. As it turns out, the dislike was mutual for John Lennon.

Though Lennon cited Presley as an inspiration early on in his career, he met his hero and quickly discovered he did not fit the image he had created for him. “For John, it was a very disillusioning moment because he loved Elvis’s records, so to discover he was a right-wing southern bigot was a big shock,” Radio DJ Bob Harris once explained.

Lennon also threw a few cross-words at Presley himself. “Well, I’ve got all his early records, and I keep playing them,” Lennon once explained. “Somebody said today he sounds like Bing Crosby now, and he does. I don’t like him anymore.”

2. Johnny Rotten

Johnny Rotten would’ve put the people clutching their pearls at the sight of “Elvis the Pelvis” in a coma. Luckily, by the time the Sex Pistols came onto the scene, the world was a little less innocent and there was space for the punk mentality–at least among a younger generation.

Though you can plot both Presley and Rotten on a timeline of Rock & Roll’s many fluctuations, the Sex Pistols frontman once explained that he was “never overly fond of rock n’ roll anyway” and that Presley was “rubbish.”

“Fuckin’ good riddance to bad rubbish,” Rotten said, shortly after Presley’s death. “I don’t give a fuckin’ shit, and nobody else does either. It’s just fun to fake sympathy, that’s all they’re doing.”

He re-upped that position in another interview, saying, “Elvis is absolutely irrelevant. He was something my parents liked, so I naturally dismissed him. I’ve never been overly fond of rock `n’ roll anyway, (although) I don’t wish death on anyone.”

3. Dolly Parton

It wasn’t so much Presley that Dolly Parton dislikes, it’s more about what he represents in the celebrity world.

Parton famously denied Presley the right to record “I Will Always Love You.” Presley wanted half of the publishing rights on the cover. That keyed Parton into the notion that she and the King were not so aligned. She once went on record, citing him as an emblem for the exact kind of artist she didn’t want to be.

“I don’t want to be a star if I have no life,” she once explained. “I’m not willing to be like Elvis, who had no personal life. If I want to go out to a movie, I just go out to a movie. If I want to go out to supper, I go out to supper, because I happen to feel that I have no reason to be afraid of the people.”

(Photo by Steve Morley/Redferns)

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