Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Fab Four....And Billy

The end of school is drawing near. As always, I will miss the kids, some who I am closer to more than others. The end of school makes me nostalgic; the following, from June 7, 2006, is a nostalgic piece.

Billy Preston died yesterday. The musician, once tabbed The Fifth Beatle, became famous in the late 1960's for playing on several albums as a teenager with John-Paul-George-Ringo. After the breakup of the boys from Liverpool, Preston went on to a notable career in his own right with a number of hits, including Nothing From Nothing and Will It Go Round In Circles? Preston is also noted for having penned of one of the great love songs of the seventies, You Are So Beautiful, which became a smash for Joe Cocker. (I once sent a rose to a girl I was dating with that song title as the only inscription on the card. Utterly romantic...and not very expensive!) Billy Preston had a distinctive keyboard sound coupled with a unique voice, combining to create records that were easily recognizable. He was only fifty-nine at the time of his passing, having been comatose since last November. Years of alcohol and substance abuse led to attempted rehabilitations, kidney failure and subsequent transplant, and ultimately, death. In the end, the drugs won by a knockout. Billy Preston was not able to answer the bell one last time.

My first car was a 1970 Nova. It had belonged to my brother, Dave, who inherited it from my Grandfather Hawley when Grandpa could no longer drive. Of course, it had an eight track player and Dave, always the connoisseur of fine tunes, had a Billy Preston tape. Billy Preston, turned up extremely loud, transformed that gold, rust-covered Chevy into Carnegie Hall on wheels. His signature song was That's The Way God Planned It, taken from the album of the same name. It was a nice song, speaking in platitudes about a better world that could be brought about by cooperation. On the day after his death, it seems very ironic to reflect on Billy's much younger voice singing,
That's the way God planned it;That's the way God wants it to be.Obviously, that is not how the Lord wanted it to end for Billy Preston, one of the most gifted musicians of recent generations. In the oft-quoted Jeremiah 29:11, we are told:
"For I know the plans I have for you," declare the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Look at the the promises God gives in that verse: PROSPERITY, SAFETY, HOPE, A FUTURE. All are contradictory terms in relation to drug use, the demon torturing so many lives around the world. We mourn for the family and friends Billy Preston left behind and will mourn again for others who fall into the same treacherous trap. Satan's temptations have grown more elaborate since the Garden of Eden but they still lead to the same deadly conclusion.

To hear one of the great songs of all-time, copy and past the link below of Billy singing Nothing From Nothing:

Applicable quote of the day:
"I do believe that God has his hands on me and that he has work for me to do."
Billy Preston

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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1 comment:

David U said...

Great post Steve! I too was a Billy Preston fan. I will bookmark you blog, brother!