Remembering The 5th Beatle
Today marks the death of one of the "coolest musicians on the planet" and a guy who was almost made an official member of The Beatles...William Everett Preston. A list of people whom he played with or helped is really gonna be a long sentence.. Little Richard, Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, Eric Clapton, Stephen Stills, Joe Cocker, The Stones, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Steve Winwood, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Neil Diamond, Johnny Cash .. and I'm likely missing a few. His "Fro" and his smile were timeless, and I still listen to his solo songs from the 70's pretty regularly. If you wanna watch 2 guys instantly raise their hands to the sky and scream "OH YEAH !!".. throw "Will it Go 'Round in Circles" on the jukebox when my buddy Jamie D'Aprile and I are in the same tavern! Yes, Billy Preston had his legal and personal problems during his life.. it wasn't as easy being openly gay 30-40 years ago as it is today .. but Billy should be judged by his musical accomplishments and the fact that he probably "saved" The Beatles (attested by George Harrison) and secured 2 more albums for us from the Fab Four. Kidney failure and Hypertension took him away at age 59, but every week for almost 50 years, you probably smiled because of some way that Billy Preston contributed to the entertainment world. Billy Preston fans, today I salute you!