Billy Preston's Day in Court



Billy Preston, 51 year-old keyboard artist, Grammy winner and onetime 5th Beatle, is living the lyric of his own hit song these days. His day in court came at the hands of a judge who sentenced a weeping Billy to the maximum 3 years in prison for cocaine possession. The judge, rejecting pleas for leniency, had the unmitigated gall to say he was saving Preston's life by sending him to prison! Excuse us? What is prison? Prison is the place of unspeakable brutalities. Prison is where gangs, extortion and drugs flourish under the "watchful" eye of guards. Prison is where inmates are beaten, knifed and given the advent of AIDS, raped to death. Prison is where nourishing food and needed medication are virtually nonexistant. Prison is most certainly not where you send someone to save their life. Not only is there no treatment for drug abuse in prison, there's no abstinence either since drugs are more easily attainable on the inside than they are on the outside! So let's cut the crap shall we? Prison is where substance abusers and other nonviolent offenders, male and female, are sent to fill quotas. Privatized prisons are big business. Existing and projected prison industry even bigger business. Florida and Oregon lead the pack in profits from prison slave labor. Prison slavery (forced labor of convict made goods) is not new but it is rapidly escalating with more and more states scampering for a sweet piece of American prison pie. If you think unemployment, cutbacks, displacement and homelessness is bad now, you ain't seen nothin yet. Soon, "Made In USA" will mean "Made In USA Prisons" just as "Made in China" really means "Made in China Prisons". Wake up America! While you're daydreaming, corporate America is mobilizing big time. It's a dream come true for industry. A captive workforce (government sanctioned and implemented) that works twice the hours, twice the work, no OSHA, no medical, no workmen's comp, no pension plan, no grievance procedures and no pesky union. Billy's not the only one who should be weeping about being sold down the river.

       Musician Indicted

Billy Preston, 52, already incarcerated for a probation violation on a cocaine conviction, has been indicted by a Los Angeles grand jury on 22 counts of insurance fraud amounting to over a million dollars. One thing leads to another as they say . . . . Sad but true. It's ironic that Billy won two grammy awards in 1972-- one for his hit single, "Outa-Space". The compulsion to get drugs that altered his life has undoubtedly controlled his destiny.