Ten years ago today Paul performed a special wake up call to the 12-person crew of the Atlantis and International Space Station.
Flying 220 miles above the Earth, Astronauts Bill McArthur and Russian Cosmonaut Valery Tokarev were treated to the wake up call in a first-ever live concert link up from the spacecraft to Paul’s 'US Tour' performance at the Arrowhead Pond venue in Anaheim, LA.
Paul played two songs - 'Good Day Sunshine' and 'English Tea' - which were broadcast live on NASA TV whilst the 15,000 fans attending the concert watched the satellite link up on the screens on stage.
Ahead of today's anniversary, Paul told us about his special performance:
“I heard somewhere that to wake up the astronauts in the morning NASA had used 'Good Day Sunshine' and I thought, 'That is so cool, I’d love to do that live'. So then it all got set up with NASA - my tour team talked to them – it was very exciting. We were all very excited!
‘It was really great, and it was super lo-fi. Even though it was an amazingly hi-tech event - to connect us – we were at Anaheim in Los Angeles and there was a lot of cool people at the show! I remember Bob Iger, head of Disney was there. So yeah, it had all been set up and we knew just about when it would be happening in the show. But I had said to our guys, ‘Can you find some way of letting me know it's 5 minutes to go. You know, like a countdown?’ So they had cards they were holding up! So I knew I could say – with three minutes to go - 'OK, I tell you what, by the way, have we got a surprise for you! And what I want you to do is, when I say ‘123’ we’ll ALL say good morning to the astronauts!’ And then we’re going to play a couple of songs for them!
‘It was very exciting! And they came through a bit crackly at first (imitates the noise), and then the pictures came through and they did the weightless thing! A little somersault! And I said, 'That is just so cool! Could you do that again! Could you do the weightless thing again?' And the audience loved it! It was really special. What a blast it was to do it! To be singing to people somersaulting weightlessly in space!”
The Anaheim concert was released a year later as the film 'The Space Within US'.