Billy Preston RIP

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Billy Preston RIP

Postby Flumm on Wed Jun 07, 2006 6:02 pm

BBC NEWS wrote:Keyboard hero Billy Preston dies


Billy Preston (left) worked on Beatles albums including Let It Be
US keyboard legend Billy Preston, known for his work with The Beatles and The Rolling Stones as well as his own solo hits, has died at the age of 59.

Preston played on The Beatles' Let it Be, the Stones' Exile on Main Street and landmark albums by Bob Dylan, Sly & the Family Stone and Aretha Franklin.

He had solo hits in the 1970s with Will It Go Round In Circles, With You I'm Born Again and Nothing From Nothing.

Kidney failure had left him in a coma since November.

Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger said: "Billy was a fantastic and gifted musician... a superb singer in both recording sessions and on stage.

"He was great fun to be with on stage when touring with us and I will miss him a lot."

Former Beatle Ringo Starr said: "Billy was an incredible musician and an incredible man who will be missed. As Billy said, that's the way God planned it."

Billy Preston on stage during a Rolling Stones Concert at Earls Court, London
Preston also toured and recorded extensively with The Rolling Stones

Born in Houston, Texas, Preston started out playing with Ray Charles and Little Richard.

He became friends with The Beatles when he played with Little Richard in Hamburg and the soon-to-be superstars were the support act.

The musician went on to play keyboards on Let it Be and Abbey Road and the song Get Back was credited to The Beatles and Billy Preston - the only time the Fab Four shared the limelight on a hit single.

"I was at the Beatles' office, and John said, 'Look, Willy' and he showed me the record," Preston told the Chicago Sun-Times two years ago.

"I looked, and it was great. Wow! It was really something to do that for me."

Lennon was even reputed to have suggested that Preston should join the group - but the idea was said to have been scuppered by the rest of the band.

Billy Preston
Preston was a prolific songwriter and enjoyed solo success
Preston was credited with soothing tensions within The Beatles during the Let It Be sessions - George Harrison likened it to a feuding family staying on its best behaviour in front of a guest.

And he accompanied the band during their last live show on the roof of the Apple Records building in 1969, which he said was the highlight of his career.

Apple Records managing director Neil Aspinall said he was "truly saddened" to hear the news.

"Billy made memorable contributions to The Beatles' albums Let it Be and Abbey Road as well as recording two solo albums for Apple Records.

"He was a good friend of Apple's and will be greatly missed."

Preston also toured and recorded extensively with The Rolling Stones, playing on classic albums including Sticky Fingers and Exile on Main Street.

His other session credits included Bob Dylan's Blood on the Tracks, Aretha Franklin's Young, Gifted and Black and Sly and the Family Stone's There's a Riot Goin' On.

Solo success grew steadily in the 1970s and he won a Grammy Award for best pop instrumental for his song Outa-Space in 1972.

He shared another Grammy the same year for his part in George Harrison's Concert For Bangla Desh.

Personal troubles

A prolific songwriter, he also wrote You Are So Beautiful, a major hit for his friend, British blues singer Joe Cocker.

But his later life was marred by personal troubles. In 1992, he received a suspended jail sentence for cocaine possession and assault charges.

In 1997, he was sentenced to three years in prison for violating the terms of his probation for a drugs possession charge handed out earlier that year.

The musician pleaded guilty to insurance fraud in 1998.

Preston's website said he died in hospital in Scottsdale, Arizona, as a result of "malignant hypertension that resulted in kidney failure and other complications".

His manager Joyce Moore said: "He had been hospitalised for the past several months due to a respiratory arrest and his body just couldn't support him any more."


If there's one thing you learn, as you soak up the history of the Beatles, is that they had as much genius around them, from producers, to collaborators, to influences, as they did within the actuall group. Billy was one of those guys. Their history wouldn't quite be the way we know it now, if he hadn't played his part in the story.

If nothing else, his version of I'm Looking Through You, is one of the finest Beatles covers ever.

I only wish I had endeavoured to hear more of what he had to offer...

:cry:

Rest In Peace Mr Preston
Last edited by Flumm on Wed Jun 07, 2006 6:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Seppuku on Wed Jun 07, 2006 6:07 pm

What's the song he did on the Concert for Bangladesh? I remember he gave an electric performance...no, seriously, it looked like the mic was malfunctioning or something.

He seemed to me like a really straight, loveable guy. And at least he's immortalised in my mind playing the piano on the Let it Be film while The Beatles do their cover of Smokey Robinson's You've Really Got a Hold on Me.

R.I.P. it up wherever you are.
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Re: Billy Preston RIP

Postby King Of Nowhere on Wed Jun 07, 2006 6:11 pm

Flumm wrote:
I only wish I had endeavoured to hear more of what he had to offer...



as do i . R.I.P.
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Postby Brocktune on Wed Jun 07, 2006 6:31 pm

the first time i heard "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" from Abbey Road, i pointed out that wonderful hammond, and said "that aint john or paul playing that hammond"

r.i.p. dead buddy

you are second only to the Funk Brothers for under recognized genius.
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Postby buster00 on Wed Jun 07, 2006 6:52 pm

Totally sad. Among other accomplishments (as if being named A Fifth Beatle isn't enough to get one through the rest of one's life), people forget he was the first musical guest on "Saturday Night Live."

Here's hopin' it does go 'round in circles. See ya next life, Mr. Preston.
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Postby The Vicar on Mon Jun 12, 2006 11:35 am

Thanks for the tunes, man.
You will be missed.
.
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Postby You Know My Name on Wed Jun 14, 2006 2:00 am

For some reason I first heard about this news today.

Rest in peace, Billy.
MAY THE FARCE BE WITH YOU.
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Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Wed Jun 14, 2006 6:15 am

for those not in the know and want to learn a 'lil more about the man...

Informative blog #1

" " #2

" " #3
(a translation would be cool...)

and since this seems to go well, Free Stuff. Take, but appreciate...

Little Girl
My Sweet Lord
The Same Thing Again
Sing One For The Word
Encouraging Words

tracks 2,4,6,8,11 of Encouraging Words.
Personally, I'm an atheist in the voting booth and a theist in the movie theatre. I separate the morality of religion with the spirituality and solace of it. There is something boring about atheism.
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Postby Flumm on Wed Jun 14, 2006 7:00 am

Without even thinking about it, I ended up trawling through by catologue for sprinklings of Billy's keyboards, last night.

Sigh.

Thanks for the linkage, KC, always appreciated, yet a cool/caring gesture too. I saw him on TV only last year, but it's easy to forget what a fantically rusty soul voice he had to use over those keyboard solos.

:(

Thanks again, Mr Preston.
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Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Wed Jun 14, 2006 7:26 am

Flumm wrote:Without even thinking about it, I ended up trawling through by catologue for sprinklings of Billy's keyboards, last night.


hook anything tasty?

"Outta Space" is unfuckingreal...
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Postby Flumm on Wed Jun 14, 2006 7:54 am

Keepcoolbutcare wrote:
Flumm wrote:Without even thinking about it, I ended up trawling through by catologue for sprinklings of Billy's keyboards, last night.


hook anything tasty?


I was listening to the stuff he did through Abbey Road, regretfully it's all I could seem to find. Times like these I realise how a music collection is always going to be lacking in someway or another. It's strange how you can overlook things, though. I've been inclined to think over recent years, that picking up a little guitar along the way, somehow gave me a richer ear than I used to have, yet all this time, I had right there, on one of my most played albums, Billy doing his stuff as I was getting randy over Lennon/Harrison/McCartney/Martin chordchanges, string bends, track loops and knob twiddling.

Shows how subjective an experience listening to a song be I guess.

I haven't heard Outta Space, I don't think. Funny thing is I was just reading a magazine a day or two before I heard the news, and I think it was Devandra Bernhardt or someone name checked it offhand. :?

Timing is everything as they say.

I'm having a browse around for it now...
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Postby buster00 on Fri Jun 16, 2006 4:16 am

National Lampoon's Max Burbank checks in regarding Preston's death.
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Postby Flumm on Mon Jul 10, 2006 2:47 am

I'm just sorting through my bookmarks, and I realise I never posted these...

Jackie Wilson feat Billy Preston - A must see. Pure, distilled 1960's in all it's naive, hopefull, upbeat shindiggy pre-technicolour glory.

Billy and Nat King Cole A 10 year old Billy and Nat, performing one of those strangely contrived TV show duets, yet succeeding like Bing and Bowie only wished they could.

Eric Clapton feat Billy Preston - Isn't A Pity If you don't know this song already, I envy you...

Billy on Later... with Julles Holland A nice interview between the two at the piano, then Jules and Billy play together on You're So Beatifull

And this one, I just came across...

Billy and the Stones 1976 Wailing guitars, a dancing Billy Preston, and an enraptured audience.

I know RIP threads can be a little morbid, things can be a little too reverential for thier own good somtimes, but I figured I'd post anyway. I think it's worth it. Such is the ever expanding miracle of youtube, if you're inclined, I'm sure you'll be able to find your own things too...
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