Midway through Paul McCartney‘s set Saturday at Desert Trip, the rocker welcomed Neil Young – who preceded him at the Indio, California fest – to play a pair of Beatles tracks with him, “A Day in the Life” and, for the first time ever, “Why Don’t We Do It in the Road?”
Introducing Young as “a really good friend of ours that I’ve known through the years” – it was Young who inducted McCartney as a solo artist into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999 – the two rock legends first doled out the Sgt. Pepper’s closer, which Young had performed in the past with the former Beatles bassist.
This version of “A Day in the Life” segued into an unexpected rendition of John Lennon‘s anthem “Give Peace a Chance.”
However, the surprise of the night arrived when McCartney dug deep into his catalog and pulled out the White Album’s rollicking “Why Don’t We Do It in the Road?” for its live debut, with McCartney enticing Young to play the track with the promise of a guitar solo.
“Come on Neil, you gotta solo on this one,” McCartney told Young, who then uncorked a teaser of what followed during the actual song: A monster, bluesy solo that was more “Cinnamon Girl” than White Album.
The first weekend of Desert Trip concludes Sunday night with Roger Waters and the Who.