Revisit the moment Elvis Costello sang ‘Penny Lane’ for Paul McCartney at the White House
We delve back into the Far Out Vault and take a trip back to 2010 when Elvis Costello rocked up at The White House to perform Beatles song ‘Penny Lane’ in tribute to Sir Paul McCartney.
The performance, with then-President Barack Obama sat in the front row, came as McCartney was named as the third recipient of the 2010 Gershwin Prize for ‘Popular Song’.
The ceremony for the former Beatle, which was held in the East Room of the White House, included ten performances from differing artists. Among them, Costello was invited in between Stevie Wonder, Dave Grohl, Jack White and more.
Coming from Liverpool, Costello has always seen the Fab Four as part of his musical lexicon, writing a tribute to the group in 2004 for the Rolling Stone, he said: “I was exactly the right age to be hit by them full on. My experience — seizing on every picture, saving money for singles and EPs, catching them on a local news show — was repeated over and over again around the world. It was the first time anything like this had happened on this scale.”
It seems this same excitement, the excitement Costello felt as a young boy, surged back when performing this track. His eyes light up and the rounded performance is completed by the subject-matter, Costello may well have known Penny Lane in real life and it makes this performance all the more authentic.