Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like

The fifth Beatle Hammonds it up

Billy Preston blings up “Summertime” the way Bach would play it, the way Ray Charles would play it, and definitely the way Billy Preston would play it. (He does a phenomenal Ray Charles, by the way.)

There’s something fascinating about a big old Hammond organ center stage, where we’re used to the fire-fingered guitarist standing. When you think about it, the organist’s back is usually to the audience (as in the old movie theaters) or he’s hidden in the back of the ensemble, where his pyrotechnics can’t be a distraction from the divas up front. Worse, at the ballpark, where we don’t even see the guy at all!

Frankly I think Billy Preston got The Beatles through the “Let It Be” sessions. Without him they’d have torn each other’s skin off.

2 comments on “The fifth Beatle Hammonds it up

  1. ericjbaker
    June 8, 2014

    Any chance this will lead to a Booker T and MGs post in the near future?

    • Kevin Brennan
      June 9, 2014

      Great idea! I’ll see what I can dig up. A live clip with Steve Cropper on “Green Onions” perhaps?

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This entry was posted on June 7, 2014 by in Music and tagged , , .
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