It's no secret that President Richard Nixon wasn't a fan of John Lennon, having regarded him as the "counter-culture enemy."
But, according to legendary BBC Radio 2 host Bob Harris, Nixon asked Elvis Presley to gather dirt on his fellow singer so that he could possibly deport him back to England.
Speaking to Spandau Ballet singer Gary Kemp and Pink Floyd sideman Guy Pratt on their Rockonteurs podcast, Harris says, "It sounded like it was almost a figment of [Lennon’s] imagination when he was saying, ‘My phone was tapped, I get followed everywhere’ -- but it was true; he really did.
“Nixon was out to get him and that’s why John was stuck in New York, or stuck in the States: he knew, were he to come back to the U.K., he’d never get back into America again. Not while Nixon was in The White House.”
And while Presley had met Lennon and The Beatleson August 27th, 1965, Harris says Presley didn't like Lennon.
"It was hate at first sight. 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.
“Equally, Elvis saw Lennon as being this upstart Liverpudlian know-it-all who’d taken his crown. He usurped Elvis and he was resentful as hell.”
While Nixon never succeeded in his efforts, Lennon never did go back to England after moving to New York on August 21st, 1971. He eventually got his green card on July 27th, 1976.