THE BEATLES AT SHEA STADIUM!!!!!
Aw!!! It's The Beatles! At Shea Stadium! With John playing the Organ! If this don't make you smile, ain't nuffin gonna shake dem blues. This just makes me really, really happy. Enjoy!http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sv6RRBeR0Ko
Billy Preston 1946-2006: The Fifth Beatle
A couple of years ago I bought a very ropey bootleg video of The Beatles infamous 'Let It Be' documentary from a record fair in Doncaster. Most people I meet, even Beatles fans, tell me they don't really think much of the LP, but since watching the film that day I've always replied 'Ah. But you've gotta see the film to really understand it.' 'Cos I'm a pretentious jerk. But I'm also right.
An old friend of The Beatles since their Hamburg days, black American keys player Billy Preston was invited to play with the band during the tense and fractious Let It Be sessions at George Harrison's behest, the Quiet One believing that the laid back organist's presence would force everybody to be on their best behaviour - the same had worked during the White Album sessions when George drafted Eric Clapton in for 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps.' I loved watching Billy in the documentary, 'cos he just seemed to be so damned happy to be playing funky RnB music with the Fabs, at a time when the Fabs themselves had long forgotten how to do the same. I identified with him - this, you felt, was exactly how you would feel if you'ld been invited to jam with the Beatles. You couldn't even imagine being Paul or John. But you could easily imagine how it might feel to be Billy; a little nervous maybe, not wanting to take sides or step on anybodys toes, wary of Paul's snake charmer charm, warier still of John's violent temper...but also quietly confident, desperate to help the Beatles make some great soul music, your music, and if possible just have a good time, drink some wine, play your piano and JAM WITH THE BEATLES!
'Let It Be' is a flawed LP (like The White Album, that's a huge part of it's charm for advocates of it like myself), but it also contains some of their greatest RnB groovers, notably 'Get Back' and 'I've Got A Feeling,' the latter being one of my all time fave raves. Preston is integral to the dry, laidback funk they nailed on these tracks, and was awarded for his wonderful electric piano break on 'Get Back' by being only artist ever to recieve a co-credit with the Beatles, the single baring the legend: 'The Beatles with Billy Preston.' Pretty cool, huh? From the same sessions, his playing on 'Don't Let Me Down' (another fave) - heard on Anthology 3 - is magnificent. And he played with them during their last ever live performance on top of the Apple building. Pretty cool, huh?
There's a scene in 'High Fidelity' when Rob has made his 'Top 5 jobs', and lists 'Musician' at No1 - with the caveat that he would be happy being 'one of the Memphis Horns - not asking to be Hendrix.' That's how I felt about Billy when I watched 'Let It Be.' I'm not asking to be Macca, but it must have been nice, even preferable, to have been Billy Preston during those few weeks. Many have their claims to Fifth Beatle status, Billy deserved it more than most. He passed the audition.
IN PRAISE OF THE MIGHTY BOOSH
"Comedy Is The New Rock & Roll," or so the NME claimed during a particularly bad dry-spell in the post-baggy Pop Will Eat Itself/Wonderstuff early 90s era. Jeez. The Mary Whitehouse Experience was selling out Wembley. "You know the guys who performed postmodern irony drenched anti-comedy comedy to a stadium full of students? That's you that is
." How we laughed. Of course, Comedy wasn't the New Rock & Roll at all. Izzard came close; big tours of plastic ice-hockey palaces. Loud techno music. I saw the guy a couple of years ago at Sheffield Arena, I though I'd wandered into a 'Zoo' era U2 gig. The Bowie of comedy...allmost. But The Boosh have nailed it. Someone finally did it. Noel Fielding is WAY more rock 'n' roll than mosta the rock 'n' rollers out there; better lookin', better dressed, better hair...and Julian, shit, he's justabout the coolest cat in Shoreditch, a John Coltrane diggin' muvva with a moustache. They are the Zappas of Comedy, a jazz-freak and an indie kid who have Keith Richards' messed up blood runnin' thru their veins. So far ahead of the pack it's almost a joke. I don't even know how much I LOVE the Boosh, summfin' 'bout 'em still sorta niggles at me (ie: second series...too much adventure, too few laughs, p'raps?)...but I know they're untouchably good. Stupidly good. There are moments of banter between the two of 'em that are easily the equal of Python, Cook & Moore, yadda yadda yadda, The Boosh is the best comedy we've produced since Spaced (better than Spaced? Tricky...) and I'll happily stand on Ricky Gervais' coffee table and shout that claim with all my heart & soul. I've come to the Boosh party late, but that's sorta par for the. I only heard the first Libertines LP last week. The Mighty Boosh deserves everything everybody says about it & more. Mr Ben + Captain Beefheart + Spaced = Boosh. That's the sorta math I like to do.