McCartney Talks About White House Gig

Paul McCartney played the White House last month when the former Beatle was awarded the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. Now Macca is talking about the experience, describing the gig as “almost like a little family gathering.”

Making his comments during a Q&A session with Associated Press, McCartney said the acoustics at the White House “turned out to be great,” and that he’s a fan of President Obama and First Lady Michelle.

Photo: AP Photo
Playing the East Room in The White House.

But Sir Paul wasn’t the only musician at the event in which the evening’s guest list included Elvis Costello, Stevie Wonder, the Jonas Brothers and Jack White. However, for McCartney and Wonder, the occasion marked the first time the two artists performed their ‘80s hit “Ebony And Ivory” in public.

McCartney also commented on security, saying getting into the White House for the rehearsal was easy, but was an entirely different matter when showtime arrived.

“At the gate we said, ‘We’re the entertainment.’ He said, ‘No, you’ll have to walk around the other block.’ It was heavy traffic, so we’re going, ‘Oh geesh. Wouldn’t you just know it.”

But perhaps the biggest surprise of the evening for McCartney was seeing how the president treated his crew, including shaking hands with Macca’s guitar tech, John Hammel. But the president’s appreciation of the evening didn’t stop there.

“But then the thing that I thought was amazing was he then reached over to our keyboard technician who was a little out of the way, and he didn’t need to do that,” McCartney told AP. “He reached over to this guy D.J. – who is a big admirer of Obama’s – and he took his hand and he said, ‘Thank you, thank you.’ I was blown away. For me, the fact that he reached out to my crew was very heartwarming. It takes a great man to do that. In this business, some people are just jerks.”

PBS will air the concert as part of its “In Performance At The White House” series Wednesday evening at 8 p.m. EDT.  Click here to read the complete Associated Press article.