It was 50 years ago that the Beatles met Elvis Presley after a year of scheduling conflicts.
By all accounts, it was an awkward moment at the King’s home in Bel Air until Presley broke the ice by threatening to go to bed.
The meeting wasn’t a passing of the torch exactly, but an acknowledgment of Presley’s respect for the band, says Jeremy “Elvis” Pearce, a local impersonator and student of all things Elvis.
“That was such a big meeting of the two biggest musical forces of the century,” Pearce says.
The Beatles visited Elvis Presley on Aug. 27, 1965.
At some point during the night someone brought out a couple of guitars and they had an impromptu jam session, which Pearce seeks to re-create with an Elvis Meets the Beatles dream concert Friday, Oct. 30, at Frank’s Place.
Pearce will take on the Elvis role, doing a complete set with his backing band, The Memphis Sons. Fresno’s noncostumed Fab Four tribute, the Beetles, will open the night and the whole thing will conclude with both bands on stage for an all-star “dream jam.”
“There were no tape recorders there,” Pearce says.
So, there’s no evidence of what songs might have been played at that meeting. Those who were there can’t even agree on how long the thing lasted, he says. From his research, Pearce figures the group did a couple of Beatles songs and an Elvis tune or two. They probably also played some Chuck Berry, or songs from other artists who were popular at the time.
That’s what you can expect from the dream jam, Pearce says, without giving away specific song titles.
Sticking with the spirit of the jam, they are not trying to perfect the set, and it could be longer or shorter depending on the vibe in the room. Whatever happens, Pearce makes it clear the show is something special. You won’t see it again.
“This is a one-night thing,” he says.
We need to commemorate this.
Jeremy “Elvis” Pearce
- 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 30
- Frank’s Place, 1432 Fulton St.
- Tickets: $20-$35
- 559-264-2848, www.jeremyelvispearce.com