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 on the front row—came as McCartney was named as the third recipient of the 2010 Gershwin Prize for ‘Popular Song’. The ceremony for McCartney, which was held June 2, 2010, 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.

Rumour has it that Costello had originally planned to perform the trumpet solo on the keyboard before a last-minute inclusion of a member from the Marine Corps band. Apparently, Elvis approached the trumpet player and asked: “If I gave you this sheet music, could you play the trumpet part without a rehearsal?” 

The Marine, looking down at Elvis as if to be insulted by the underestimation of his playing ability, proved convincing enough. Elvis quite simply answered: “I’ll take that as a ‘Yes'” and the performance went ahead.

[MORE] – The stunt that got Elvis Costello banned from Saturday Night Live, 1977


Source: Elvis Costello / Open Culture


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