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Styx Crash White House Briefing Room, Field Obama Questions

June 23, 2009 11:45 AM ET

Styx made a surprise appearance at the White House Briefing Room in Washington, DC, yesterday after press secretary Robert Gibbs ended his daily briefing, the Huffington Post reports. The band was in town for tonight's concert at the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland, and spent their day off taking a private tour of the president's mansion.

When asked whether Styx had plans to meet President Obama while they were at the White House, keyboardist Lawrence Gowan joked, "If I have time." Gowan added that he voted for Obama in the last election, but since he is Canadian, his vote was rescinded. The HuffPo describes a joyous scene when Styx took the podium, with "correspondents chatting like their youth had been restored" and the press going "crazy" while reciting the lyrics to "Come Sail Away" to one another.

Styx's Gowan, guitarist Tommy Shaw and drummer Todd Sucherman all fielded questions from the press corp, who were likely thrilled to have a break from queries about Iran and the recession. At one point, when asked how Obama has done thus far with his administration, Sucherman reportedly responded by giving a thumbs up. The band revealed they'd heard rumors that their music was on Obama's iPod, but they could not "substantiate that claim," Sucherman said. To see what music is actually on Obama's iPod, check out Rolling Stone's feature on what Barack rocks to in the White House.

Related Stories:

Styx Photo Gallery
All Styx Album Reviews
Obama's Secret Record Collection

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

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