Watch Mick Jagger cover Elvis Presley’s ‘Teddy Bear’ with an uncanny impression

John Lennon once convinced Mick Jagger that Elvis Presley was a hero you’d be best off never to meet. That’s advice from a man who once proudly proclaimed: “Before Elvis, there was nothing,” so you get an inkling of how ‘The King’ was viewed among the counterculture kids that he helped to spawn.

When interviewer Paul Du Noyer spoke with The Rolling Stones frontman, he asserted the walloping impact Elvis had on him and how he felt that he tumbled from his lofty height thereafter. “There was Elvis, I suppose, though he was so ghastly in other ways and you somehow knew it,” Jagger explained. “Plus, he didn’t write, and the other people who were influential, say, Chuck Berry, were all writers, who would inspire you to be a writer and influence your style.”

As such, he decided to stay clear of his former hero. “I never met Elvis either, because John Lennon once told me he was a real disappointment,” Jagger recalled. “So I said I’d take his advice because I’d already had it with Chuck Berry and I didn’t want it to happen again with Elvis.”

However, he lived to regret this move. “Though now, of course,” Jagger said, “I wish I had met Elvis, you know what I mean? You never think, ‘Oh, he’s gonna die soon, I’d better hurry up and meet him.’ Because in those days he wasn’t very old. If nothing else, you’d still be able to talk about it, wouldn’t you?” In truth, Lennon simply didn’t get on with ‘The King’ was his advice came from a place of feuding. In fact, it was even rumoured that ‘The King’ volunteered to spy on Lennon to get him deported from America.

Thusly, we get a pretty solid picture of Elvis’ place in pop culture. He was a star who got the ball rolling and ultimately the divisive fallout that followed was inevitable. But in the end, his uproarious kickstart cannot be underestimated. And this playful clip is, in a way, testimony to that. How many stars have been parodied as many times as Elvis?

With Keith Richards on piano, Jagger childishly croons away like ‘The King’ in a mock impression. There is a solid hint of alcohol in the air and a slosh of brotherhood too. The band were on the run in 1964 and its this sort of fun that made them so full of vitality.

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