Hi everyone. Hope you are all well and continue to stay that way during this global health crisis we are facing. But in addition to protecting your physical wellness, what are you doing to stay mentally healthy today?
(Image found online. Original source unknown.)
I know we are in a serious situation, but I need a break from the gloom, doom and bullying by way of hoarding. Music has always been my refuge and watching those beautiful Italians singing to each other from their balconies reaffirmed my belief that music is the answer. So until the old normal returns, I am going to share a song I listen to that helps me escape the current state of things, if only for a few minutes each day. And if this helps anyone else, even better.
Only two famous musicians are known to have played with both The Beatles as a group and then with all four members individually. The first is my great love Eric Clapton, who played lead guitar on “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”, although he went uncredited on The White Album. He then went on to play with Lennon in The Dirty Mac (along with Keith Richards on bass and Mitch Mitchell, the drummer from The Jimi Hendrix Experience) and on several songs by Lennon’s Plastic Ono Band. Clapton played with Paul on his 2001 song, “Freedom” & at The Concert For George. Clapton co-wrote “Badge” for Cream with George, played on his 1970 album, “All Things Must Pass” and appeared at The Concert For Bangladesh in 1971 with him as well. Ringo was also at The Concert For Bangladesh and Clapton wrote music & played guitar for Ringo’s 1976 album, “Ringo’s Rotogravure” and 1983’s “Old Wave” amongst others. Clapton also played with Ringo in person at The Prince’s Trust Concert in 1987 as well as The Concert For George in 2002.
The other musician to boast the same accomplishment with The Beatles was Billy Preston. He was nicknamed “The Fifth Beatle” after playing organ for them on “Abbey Road” (on “I Want You (She’s So Heavy”) & “Something”), then he played electric piano on the “Let It Be” album and in the movie during the rooftop concert scene for “Get Back” & “Don’t Let Me Down”. After the band broke up Preston played on John’s song “God”, on George’s album “All Things Must Pass” and at The Concert For Bangladesh. Preston also played on a few of Ringo’s solo albums (1973’s self titled record & 2005’s “Choose Love”), in his All-Starr Band & at The Concert For George (where he sang a rousing version of “My Sweet Lord”) and played with Paul at this show as well. And for added interest, Preston played Sgt. Pepper in the 1978 film of the same name where he sang his own version of “Get Back”.
He was hailed as a self-taught child prodigy who played with Mahalia Jackson & Nat King Cole by the ages of 10 and 11, respectively. By the age of 16 he met The Beatles in Hamburg, Germany when he was playing with Little Richard’s band. Later that year he played for Sam Cooke and five years later, he joined Ray Charles’ band. He has played on several albums for The Rolling Stones and Eric Clapton while working on songs by artists like Luther Vandross, Patti LaBelle & The Band. Preston also worked as the musical director for David Brenner’s short lived late night show, Nightlife, from 1986-1987. He co-wrote today’s song with songwriter Bruce Fisher and both men also penned the Joe Cocker hit, “You Are So Beautiful” (there are rumors that Dennis Wilson of The Beach Boys had a hand in writing it as well but allegedly his brother Brian Wilson said that was not the case). Preston died too young at the age of 59 in 2006 but left a legacy of great performances that showcase just how gifted he was.
Billy Preston in 2002 at The Concert For George (L) and as Sgy. Pepper (R) in the 1978 movie of the same name. (Images found online. Original sources unknown.)
Billy Preston: “Nothing From Nothing” (1974, written by Billy Preston and Bruce Fisher).
I do not own the rights to anything. I am just sharing what I love and how I am coping with you.