Barack Obama let loose with Jimmy Fallon last night, gamely slow-jamming the news and making cracks about not legalizing weed to a crowd stuffed with college students. But the president’s a bit more buttoned-up in a new Rolling Stone interview with Jann Wenner — well, at least until the conversation turns to a certain legendary soul singer.
The 6,500-word piece tackles everything from Obama’s views on marriage equality to the Keystone pipeline to turmoil in the Middle East. But we know what you’re really interested in: More scoop on 44’s famous take on Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together.” Apparently, the singing was inspired by the president’s deep aggravation: “It was my fifth event of the day,” he explains to Wenner. “It’s about 10:30 at night, and we go up to the Apollo. I wanted to hear Al Green. The guys who were working the soundboard in the back, a couple of real good guys, they say, ‘Oh, man, you missed the Reverend, but he was terrific, he was in rare form.’ So I was frustrated by that.”
But just as searing post-breakup pain leads to awesome post-breakup jams like “Since U Been Gone,” Obama used his frustration to fuel his musical outburst: “I just kind of broke into a rendition of ‘Let’s Stay Together.’ And they’re like, ‘Oh, so the president, you can sing, man. You should do that onstage.'” Though senior adviser Valerie Jarrett was against the idea, press secretary Jay Carney told Obama to go for it.
Was he nervous about taking on a classic in front of the man who made it famous? Of course not — this is No-Drama Obama we’re talking about. “I can sing,” he says. “I wasn’t worried about being able to hit those notes.” READ FULL STORY