Thursday, June 3, 2010

Paul plays the White House

The Washington Post has the details on last night's festivities in the East Room (and be sure to check out the links at the bottom of the article).

Arguably the most influential musician alive, the 67-year-old pop architect was in the East Room to receive the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, celebrating an unparalleled career that spans his years with the Beatles, Wings and on his own.

"In a few short years, they changed the way we heard music," Obama said of the Beatles before presenting McCartney with the prize. He added that he was "grateful that a young Englishman shared his dreams with us."

The president also welcomed an array of artists to perform McCartney's tunes and genuflect before the maestro. Stevie Wonder, Dave Grohl, Faith Hill, the Jonas Brothers, Jack White, Elvis Costello, Emmylou Harris, Herbie Hancock, Corinne Bailey Rae and classical pianist Lang Lang each offered thoughtful reads on the McCartney songbook.

But McCartney was the first to perform, and despite feigning nerves at a Tuesday news conference, he waltzed into the East Room as if it were his living room. He dived into "Got to Get You Into My Life," plunking away on the same Hofner bass he played on "The Ed Sullivan Show" in 1964 -- his once-boyish yelp now an older, coarser shout.

Also, over at his Paul McCartney Examiner page, Steve Marinucci has posted the full text of Obama's address. There is video as well.

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