Garnier, who is about to go on tour with Dylan, said the White House performance was one of the highlights of his career while performing around the world with Dylan. He was behind Dylan as he shook hands with President Obama and then met the President himself.
Garnier said he not only shook hands with the President and the First Lady, but found himself shaking hands with to both Malia and Sasha. However, he forgot to shake hands with Vice President Joe Biden who he said “was only three feet away.” Garnier said he hoped to get a picture shaking hands with the President but had not contacted the White House about getting one.
Dylan’s bass player and music director said he, the pianist and Dylan did a sound check of The Times They Are a Changin' earlier but didn’t see any reason to stay in the White House to wait for the performance. So, he said, they went back to their hotel and went through the stringent White House security twice—arriving about an hour before the actual performance.
Garnier said Dylan did the song differently during the sound check than in the performance. That’s fairly routine, he said, since playing with Bob Dylan requires a player to always be ready for different variations. However, where some acts at the White House repeated their songs for the taping, Dylan did his only once and it was perfect.
While waiting for the performance, Garnier said he viewed the original paintings on the walls of the White House—including those of George Washington and American Indians—which he said gave him a sense of the gravity of the building and where he was standing. He said it is a place he'll never forget.
When they finished the performance, he said the Dylan group immediately left the White House, not remaining for the ending. Garnier said he returned to New York City on an Amtrak train.