Since The Beatles released their first album in 1963, people have been surmising and projecting who could be referred to as “The Fifth Beatle.”
But who really came close?
a) George Martin
b) Brian Epstein
c) Billy Preston
d) England’s version of “Little Richard”
SCROLL DOWN FOR ANSWER
THE ANSWER IS “D”.
Many people may not know the story of the British musician who appeared with The Beatles onstage in Hamburg, Germany in the spring of 1962.
This successful piano/keyboard player and singer became great friends with The Beatles and legend has it that The Fab Four asked him to join the band right before they got their record deal.
Keep in mind they had been rejected by Decca Records in January 1962, and they did not know they would get a record deal in June 1962 with EMI. From The Beatles’ perspective, this singer and keyboard player, known as England’s Little Richard due to his soulful voice and keyboard talents, would have been a great asset to their band. Add to the fact that John and Paul especially loved the real Little Richard, and it makes perfect sense why they would approach this performer to join forces with them.
This singer recalled playing with The Beatles on stage in an exclusive interview with Daytrippin’:
“You never knew one moment from another what they were going to do. One night we were playing at the Star Club and John wasn’t on stage; nobody knew where he was. I only found out two years ago where he actually was and I can’t say it, but he was around back.
“Paul looked over to me. By the way if you look at that picture, you see how I’m with John on stage right. We would share that microphone. Paul was always in the center and George was always out there on the left. So Paul looked over to me where John normally is and he wasn’t there. So Paul’s going, “Where’s John?” and I say, “I don’t know.”
“So we’re carrying on and John came out with a toilet seat over his head…”
Did this musician who almost became the fifth Beatle have regrets about turning down the offer?
“It’s like having a winning lottery ticket for millions of dollars and suddenly you go to claim it and you lose it – it’s that kind of feeling.”
As Beatle fans have all seen in the GET BACK docu-series, keyboardist Billy Preston really saved the day for The Beatles during those recording sessions in 1969.
Imagine how the history of the Beatles would have changed if they had a keyboardist as an original member of the group!
Want to know the identity of this musician and find out why he turned The Beatles down?
Read Daytrippin’s exclusive interview with England’s “Little Richard” from Daytrippin’ Magazine Issue 3.