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Elvis Sings Billy Preston

Wed Jun 07, 2006 3:50 pm

In his Providence Journal Bulletin review of Elvis' May 23, 1977 concert at the Civic Center, critic Tony Lioce wrote that "Elvis' set included a song by Billy Preston, the most pretentious of current rock performers."

That line has always been a mystery to me. I attended the show. I have three different audio recordings of the show, as well as ten minutes or so on film. I was sure Lioce was mistaken. Perhaps the Sweet Inspirations did a Preston song in the opener? I sure didn't hear Elvis sing one.

This morning, my favorite morning radio team was announcing the death of Billy Preston. A bit of Nothing From Nothing was playing in the background. I instantly recognized the keyboard riff as "Bobby Ogdin's solo" from the spring of '77.

There WAS a Billy Preston song in the Elvis show! My apologies for doubting you all these years, Mr. Lioce.

Wed Jun 07, 2006 4:44 pm

Would it have been a reference to Get Back or Something?

Wed Jun 07, 2006 4:53 pm

KiwiAlan wrote:Would it have been a reference to Get Back or Something?


I doubt it, as it was 1977. The Ogdin riff has been playing in my head all morning. I'm pretty sure that's what he heard.

Thu Jun 08, 2006 12:12 pm

Unless Elvis jumped in during Odgin's solo bit, the reviewer's comment was misleading, a crucial failure in a concert review.

Thu Jun 08, 2006 12:15 pm

Many times these writers new nothing about Elvis or the songs he was performing. Thus these errors resulted. I wouldn't call "Everybody Loves Somebody" or any of those 100 one-liners songs either, to me they are just... snippets.

Thu Jun 08, 2006 12:59 pm

Billy Preston died a few days ago at the age of 59. He had a good vóice and was a splendid keyboard player.

regards//Björn