Skip to main content

Home TV TV News

The Queen once snubbed Paul McCartney performance to watch ‘Twin Peaks’

Fans are revisiting Angelo Badalamenti's classic anecdote

By Joe Goggins

Split of Queen Elizabeth II and David Lynch
The Queen was an unlikely fan of David Lynch's cult hit. (Photo: Joel Rouse/Gabriel Marchi/Wikimedia Commons)

The late Queen Elizabeth II once snubbed a private Paul McCartney performance in favour of watching Twin Peaks.

Fans of the cult classic TV show are revisiting the story, as told by composer Angelo Badalamenti, of the monarch’s predilection for Peaks, an anecdote that provides a rare insight into her cultural tastes.

Badalamenti, the long-time collaborator of Peaks mastermind David Lynch who was behind the series’ iconic opening theme, first shared the unlikely revelation with NME back in 2011.

“Back when Twin Peaks was kicking off around the world, I flew by Concorde to London to work with Paul McCartney at Abbey Road,” related Badalementi. “He said, ‘Let me tell you a story’. Not long before we met, he’d been asked to perform for the Queen for her birthday celebrations.”

“And when he met her, he started to say, ‘I’m honoured to be here tonight, your Majesty, and I’m going to play some music for you’. And the Queen says, ‘I’m sorry, I can’t stay, it’s five to eight, and I have to go and watch Twin Peaks!’”

Footage of Badalementi reminiscing about the conversation was included as a DVD bonus feature, and can be seen above. The story has never been publicly verified by McCartney or the Royal Family, but Badalementi is revered as a raconteur by Peaks purists, with this clip in which he describes the process of writing ‘Laura Palmer’s Theme’ with Lynch racking up more than half a million views on YouTube.

The Queen died on Thursday afternoon (September 8) at her Balmoral estate in Aberdeenshire, just two days after accepting Boris Johnson’s resignation there and subsequently inviting new prime minister Liz Truss to form a government. The UK is currently observing a ten-day period of national mourning, which will culminate on September 19 in the country’s first state funeral since the death of Winston Churchill.

Cultural figures from across the world, including Sir Elton John, have been paying tribute to Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, whilst events including the Mercury Prize ceremony and the Last Night of the Proms were cancelled as a mark of respect.