30 October 2010

Billy Preston at the Concert for Bangladesh: "That's The Way God Planned It"

Three performances that most shaped where my musical tastes would wander are all from one concert film and album -- the first rock superstar benefit concert of its kind -- The Concert for Bangladesh (1972). Those performances were from Bob Dylan, Leon Russell and Billy Preston. Here's a little taste, Preston's song for the two Madison Square Garden shows in the summer of 1971.

Preston, the keyboard power behind the Beatles (at the very end) and the early seventies Stones, shows his gospel roots on this one, with all the hip rockers thinking they are in heaven. For me, when the movie finally did hit town, I was in heaven too.


whiteray said...

I saw Billy at an open-air concert during the spring or summer of 1973, and - given the festival-like nature of the event - Preston's performance was remarkable and his stage presence truly amazing. I was lucky enough to see him twice more in his life, backing the Stones in 1973 and Ringo Starr in 1989. He was, well, wow!

Paco Malo said...

I saw him live with the Stones in '75. I was just learning about the Stones at the time, so to my untrained ear Preston's contributions basically made the show. As you note, whiteray, Billy Preston on stage was really something to see.