Ringo Starr meets Elvis Presley

The day after attending the US premiere of The Magic Christian in Los Angeles, Ringo Starr and his wife Maureen Starkey flew to Las Vegas to watch Elvis Presley perform at the International Hotel.

This was Presley’s second run of shows in Las Vegas. The opening night of the month-long residency at the International was on 26 January.

The main purpose of the Starkeys’ trip was to attend the premiere of Starr’s film The Magic Christian, which took place at the Four Star Theater on 29 January.

Starr and the other Beatles had previously met Presley on 27 August 1965.

Ringo and Maureen were accompanied at the show by Ken Mansfield, who had formerly been the US manager of Apple Records. After the show, Presley requested Starr’s presence in his penthouse suite.

Ringo Starr, who I met during my Capitol tenure and later befriended when the Beatles personally asked me to oversee Apple, called me from London and said Elvis was performing at the International Hotel in Las Vegas.

This happened during the last weekend of January 1970, just six months after Elvis’ triumphant return to live performances. By then I had resigned from Apple and joined MGM Records as vice-president.

Ringo hadn’t seen Elvis since the Beatles’ historic summit at the singer’s exotic Perugia Way home in Bel Air. Ironically, I had also spent that day with the Beatles at their rented house in the Hollywood Hills. The day ended with them getting ready to go to Elvis’ house.

Ringo said, ‘If I fly in, can you take care of us and arrange seating arrangements at one of Elvis’ shows?’ Of course, I jumped at the opportunity as I was a serious Elvis fan. I thought, ‘Great, I’m going to get to meet Elvis because I’m going to be with Ringo’.

Long story short, we snuck Ringo in the back of the hotel and into the showroom. Afterwards, Elvis sent for Ringo to visit his penthouse suite, but his people wouldn’t let me go up with him. They only let Ringo go up. I was really disappointed.

Ken Mansfield

Ringo and Maureen returned to Los Angeles from Las Vegas on 31 January.

Last updated: 8 June 2020
Ringo Starr attends the US première of The Magic Christian in Los Angeles
Ringo and Maureen fly from Las Vegas to Los Angeles
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