Roger Green just put out a retrospective of Billy Preston’s solo work; being the spoilsport I am, I hung a comment on it to the effect that Preston was the only sideman ever to be credited on the label of a Beatles record (“Get Back” b/w “Don’t Let Me Down”).
This, in turn, got me thinking of “Get Up and Go,” which struck me as the one Rutles recording that came closest to being legally actionable:
As it happens, Neil Innes, happy proprietor of the Rutles name and music, did get sued over several Fab Four-alikes — John Lennon had warned him — but not “Get Up and Go.”
Speaking of John Lennon, he wrote “Don’t Let Me Down,” the B-side of “Get Back,” which Rod Stewart appropriated for Part 2 of “The Killing of Georgie.” (“The lawyers never noticed,” Lennon quipped.) “Georgie” was remarkable for its time — 1976 — in that its protagonist was an openly gay man who’d found acceptance, even acclaim. Billy Preston, poor fellow, never could bring himself to come out of the closet until the very end. “Will it go round in circles?” Billy asked. I think it just did.