Colin Powell on the Beatles and knowing Elvis

Another good exerpt from the interview.

P. J. O’ROURKE: Ok, well, this is the key one. Which is your favorite Beatle? I actually asked Bill Clinton that. When he was running for President, I interviewed him and I said, “Which one’s your favorite Beatle?” And he looked quite surprised because he thought only policy questions would be asked. And it was Paul, wouldn’t you know?

SECRETARY POWELL: That’s what I would say. Because I know Paul. Paul’s a bud of mine.

P. J. O’ROURKE: I’m sure he’s a great guy and all, but I would have thought anybody in their right mind would pick Ringo. He wanted the act to last just long enough so he would have enough money to open a chain of hairdressing shops. And, by God, he did.

SECRETARY POWELL: And Paul ended up with the most money.

P. J. O’ROURKE: He did. And he is alive.

SECRETARY POWELL: You know what I like about him, he is so normal.

P. J. O’ROURKE: Yes, so I understand.

Clinton also liked the skinny Elvis stamp, which I thought showed a lack of self-confidence.


P. J. O’ROURKE: Really?

SECRETARY POWELL: I met him when he was in the Army. I was a lieutenant; he was a sergeant. He was in the neighboring regiment—or combat command, as we called it—in the Third Armored Division in Germany.

We were in the training area one day and I was driving my jeep around and suddenly came upon this unit from the other outfit and there he was. And so I went over and shook hands.

He was a good soldier. You never would have thought he was anything but a soldier. He had a pimple on his face and everything else. He was not a big star. He was just another soldier.

P. J. O’ROURKE: I’ll be darned. Well, good for him.

3 thoughts on “Colin Powell on the Beatles and knowing Elvis”

  1. I am ashamed to admit it, but I’m a bit of a Powell fan. This interview shows him in a reasonably good light – although, as he himself admits, he doesn’t have the education of his peers, he does have a wealth of experience that makes him a very canny political operator.

    Now if someone could just tell him that his name is pronounced Coll-in (and that he might be happier in a Democratic administration) I could come out of the Colin-loving closet.

  2. Me too Niall, I quite liked Persico’s autobio/bio of him. And you are right about the Cahlin thing, it should be pronounced the Irish way. hehe. Next time I see him Ill say it the proper way.

    I also am curious about Alma’s connection with the Condi Rice family, surely the families knew each other in Mississippi?

  3. I saw Powell speak and he spoke of his meeting with…..this is what I want to know, a leader in Japan or China and about how the meeting turned to Elvis
    of whom…..was a big fan and how that link of Powell knowing Elvis helped in
    world relations. Anybody know who this leader was??? I forgot.

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