American pianist Billy Preston has been referred to as the fifth Beatle. Preston was the only artist to receive joint credit on a Beatles single, on "Get Back". Preston also played the organ on "Let It Be" and "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" and the Fender Rhodes electric piano on "Don't Let Me Down" . Preston had been introduced to The Beatles during the early 1960s, but did not work with them until 1969, when Harrison invited him to join them for recording sessions in order to defuse tensions in the band. Lennon once suggested that Preston join The Beatles, even using the term "Fifth Beatle" but the idea was dismissed by the others.
At the Beatles' 1988 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Harrison at one point stated that there were only two "fifth Beatles": Derek Taylor and Neil Aspinall (referring to the Beatles' public relations manager and road manager-turned-business-executive, respectively).
Stuart Sutcliffe has been called the fifth Beatle The original bassist of the five-member Beatles, he played with the band primarily during their days as a club act in Hamburg.
Pete Best has been called the fifth Beatle: The original drummer of The Beatles, he played with the band during their time as a club act, in both Liverpool and Hamburg, Germany.
Tony Sheridan has been referred to as the fifth Beatle; While performing in Hamburg between 1960 and 1963, he employed various backup bands. Sheridan was the bigger name, with The Beatles as his backing band.
Others who have been called the fifth Beatle include; Drummer Jimmie Nicol, and Eric Clapton.
Originally "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" had only the first guitar solo in the song off of the album. However Harrison thought that it sounded weak, and was lacking something. He called in Clapton to perform the lead guitar on the song and it was decided to cut one verse entirely and add another guitar solo towards the end of the song. After the Beatles broke up, Clapton became one of the few musicians to appear on solo recordings by each of the four.