ENTERTAINMENT

'Elvis & Nixon' And 17 Other Marriages Of Politics And Pop

Elvis Presley requested a meeting to discuss narcotics and the Beatles.

20/06/2016 13:12

We’ve previously had ‘Frost/Nixon’, now we’re getting ‘Elvis and Nixon’, as the story of how those two era-defining figures once met for a conversation in the Oval Office is brought to screen.

The comedy-drama follows Michael Shannon as a weary Elvis, who in a strange but true tale picked himself up out of his Graceland TV room in 1970 and flew to Washington, where he delivered a letter to the Commander-in-Chief, Richard Nixon, played by a hunched Kevin Spacey.

Despite his reluctance, Nixon was persuaded to meet with the King, and thus followed a surreal conversation about the Beatles, drugs and Elvis’s tireless campaign to earn himself a federal service badge, even if it meant going undercover - yes, really - to support Nixon’s battle against narcotics.

Michael Ochs Archives via Getty Images
The photographic souvenir of Richard Nixon's meeting with Elvis Presley remains the most requested slice of history in the US National Archives

Proof of the unusual encounter can be found in the US National Archives, with the picture of the Chief and the King still the most requested piece of nostalgia ever.

The marriage of politics and pop has proved enduringly fascinating, with its mutual benefits to both parties. The musical stars get to look respectable, pillars of towering influence with concerns beyond the colour of their M&Ms, while the pollies instantly prove themselves as down with the young folk and their needs. It generally works well, unless you’re John Prescott and Chumbawalla gets you in their sights…

‘Elvis & Nixon’ is in UK cinemas this week. In the meantime, here are 17 other politicians who enjoyed their brush with pop royalty:

  • Nelson Mandela and the Spice Girls
  • Nigel Farage took Joey Essex on a boat. Yes, really.
  • Talk to the hand... Michael Jackson directs traffic, while Ronald Reagain looks on.
  • Britpop was christened by Tony Blair and Noel Gallagher
  • Hugs for Bono and Bill Clinton
  • Just two gals having a natter... Boy George and Margaret Thatcher.
  • He's not posh at all, look... David Cameron with One Direction (+1)
  • Nobody batted an eye when Neil Kinnock teamed up with Tracey Ullman
  • A battle of the shoulder pads for Richard Nixon and Elvis Presley
  • If Benyamin Netanyahu needs his spoon bending, he's got it covered.
  • This really happened. Barack Obama met Jedward.
  • Marilyn Monroe's liaisons with the Kennedy clan were mired in controversy
  • Bono gives President George W Bush a book of U2 lyrics. Or something.
  • That Bono gets around... here having a chuckle with Barack Obama.
  • Were there two more glamorous gents in the world than Kennedy and Sinatra?
  • Babs didn't just meet Canada's PM Trudeau, she romanced him.
  • Surely the best pairing of all - Rylan seduces Hillary with a smile.
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