Today I would like to spotlight my own personal involvement with a “great” artist whom I had the pleasure of working with. When I was younger I marveled at his songs (and to this date I still consider one of his albums to be one of the best of all time, and that album is the one entitled “Menagerie”). I was imagining in my head what he would look like when I saw him, because the only pictures I could recall of him were back during his prime, and of course, he would be much older now. As soon as I walked into the room I witnessed a white haired gentleman from the back. I could not see the front of him, but instantaneously, I “knew.” I moved around to the front of him, smiled and said, “You MUST be Bill Withers.” He said it was a pleasure to meet me and reached out his hand to shake. I would have been completely satisfied with that, but then he and I talked more, and that was something I had not anticipated. I asked him what happened, and why did he disappear from the music scene. He said that when the music started to go sour he could no longer take it. When the substance of music started changing for the worse, he said that he could no longer be a part of it. He “retired” a long time ago, and he said that he has no desire to come back. Bill is well into his 70’s now and the zest that he once had for music seems to have evaporated. He said that his label wanted to portray him as a great guitar player, but the truth of the matter is that he didn’t know how to play one. The label decided to bring someone in to teach him a couple of cords to make him at least “look” the part. Well, Bill took the 3 cords he knew and decided to write one of his best tunes and that was a song entitled “Hello like before.” For those of you who are not familiar with Mr. Withers, he had hits like “Ain’t no Sunshine, Grandma’s hands, and Lean on me.” He also had a great collaboration with jazz saxophonist Grover Washington entitled “Just the two of us.” The one thing I admired about my new friend Bill was that he was “no pretense.” He said that if he “can no longer feel it” then that means it’s time to “get out.” For this particular event, we were doing a tribute to him, but Bill didn’t even want to sing any of his own tunes. He had us bring in a new era vocalist by the name of Anthony Hamilton to sing some of the tunes, and then he had his daughter sing some as well. We were not disheartened, though, because even through all that, Bill DID sing, and even at this stage of his career it was an honor to back him up onstage. Periodically I would like to share some of my “music stories” with you, so hopefully today you don’t mind this particular one today. As much as I enjoyed playing for him, I think I enjoyed more just chatting with him. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought today, and I hope your day is an awesome one.
Got a topic? Feel free to reach out to me by email at Brettjolly@aol.com of send me a friend request on Skype at Brettjolly1. Thank you and have a great day.
Bill Withers (far left), his daughter, Anthony Hamilton and Brett Jolly at PIR studios
Mr. Jolly, what is your take on the performance of Miley Cyrus during the VMA’s? People are talking about the stint she pulled with Robin Thicke onstage where she bent over in front of him and simulated a sex act. Many are blasting her over this. What is your take on her performance?
When it comes to the music industry, nothing much really surprises me anymore. This is an industry where “sex” sells and so does “controversy.” Rihanna is hardly “ever” dressed on her CD covers and videos. Lady Gaga is also someone who is willing to strip at a moment’s notice. Britney Spears is also just as shocking. Let’s not forget the men, because some of them promote controversy in other ways. Justin Bieber has had more than his share of crazy news lately. Kanye West is “nothing but” controversy. Chris Brown seems to get “angry” at the drop of a hat. When you compare the performance of Miley Cyrus to these people (and don’t forget Eryka Badu’s naked romp through downtown Dallas and Janet Jackson’s Superbowl performance) what she did seems to “pale in comparison.” A great bass playing friend of mine by the name of Victor Bailey was playing for Maddona, a lady who is “no stranger” to shock events and controversy. I asked him, “Why does Madonna do all these crazy shocking things?” and his answer kind of set the tone. He said that most people don’t realize this but Madonna is one of the smartest people in the music business. She knows that every time she does something controversial it only promotes her name and image more and it means “more money” down the road. When thinking of that, I had to admit that he was right. When she did something shocking everyone talked about her, and in essence that talk amounted to free advertising. Today’s artists are only using that same “business logic” to sell CD’s. Considering the dismal state of the music economy artists have to do something to sell more product. For people like Rihanna, it means she has to go “shirtless” a couple of times. Miley Cyrus may have been clothed for that particular performance, but “barely.” If this stint helps to make her even “more” popular, then don’t be surprised if you see “more and more” up and coming performers following suit. Welcome to the new age of singing. The days of “just being a great singer” are gone. Let’s hope for our sake they can at least find a way to bring back some “quality music.” Thank you for for submitting this topic.
Got a topic? Please feel free to contact me via email at Brettjolly@aol.com or send me a friend request on Skype at Brettjolly1. Thank you and have a great day.
Janet Jackson and Brett Jolly
I just met up with someone and at first everything seemed like a nice fit. However, I keep getting the feeling that I am being stalked by him. I had not told him the address of where I work and yet he was there afterwards to greet me the other day. Recently he has been questioning me about things posted to my Facebook page even though I had not accepted him as a friend yet. Whenever he calls me and cannot reach me he repeatedly calls back within minutes and always wants to know why I couldn’t answer his call the first time. What do you think of this, and how should I handle it? Thank you.
Behavior left “unchecked” is often considered behavior “condoned.” I can’t say for sure that you have a stalker, but you definitely have someone with a “stalker mentality.” His behavior will only get worse unless you “check him at the door.” No one should want to feel like they have to be accountable for “everything” they do and no one should want to feel like constantly being interrogated over “every small thing.” As long as you let him get away with this, it will only get worse and NOT better. This man has a problem with “insecurity” and that can pose problems for your relationship down the road. You NEED to let him know that he is making you uncomfortable with his actions. It sounds as though he has been through past relationships where the other party cheated on him, and that baggage is now being brought into your new relationship. Sometimes it is difficult for someone to discard the bad things that happened in a prior relationship, and if this man has that problem then he may need to seek help. If your lover cannot trust you, then your relationship will always be “strained.” You need to let him know that his way is not working for this relationship and see how he responds back to you. If he gets even more excited and suspicious of you, then you might want to consider this to be a “serious” red flag. Men who are “insecure” about themselves have been known to be manipulative, controlling and sometimes abusive. Make sure you take heed to the warning signs “now” rather than “later” and be prepared to “stop him before he gets started.” Facebook is one of those media places where people can post anything they want, whether it be right or wrong. If you are going to be continually judged by a “Facebook lover” then you will find yourself to “always be on the defensive.” As long as you have voice mail on your phone then there is “no need” to continually “blow up your phone” if you don’t answer the very first time. Stalking you at your job is a definite “no-no.” A lover can only get away with what you allow him or her to get away with. Unless you are enjoying his “controlling issues” then you need to take a stand now. Good luck to you and please enjoy this amazing testament from the Phantom Poet:
I started a new relationship and in the beginning it was a source of much enjoyment
That is, until he started stalking me and showing up at my place of employment
I try to ignore his actions and often I don’t want to put a lot of thought in it
But if he can’t reach me the very first time, he calls back a lot within a minute
I may not have a stalker but if I look at this situation in reality
I think I do have someone that has the stalker mentality
He questions me all the time as though he doesn’t believe me to be true
And he behaves just like someone who is considered a stalker would do
And then, he gets furious and really starts to go into a rage
whenever someone posts anything “suspicious” on my Facebook page
This relationship is getting strained and I think we are now at the border
It may be about time for me to think about getting a “restraining order”
His wild accusations are upsetting and I need for his wild behavior to cease
Because right now I find I can’t even go to the ladies room in peace
To him everything I do is suspect and it appears he will always have doubt
So I told him that I went to police, and now he needs to check THIS out
I presented him with this retraining order and told him to read it in its entirety
And make sure to abide by it, and stay at least 500 yards away from me
“Don’t ever approach me and don’t ever try to contact me again
Unless, of course, you don’t mind doing five to ten”
If you feel like violating this order, then know this to the contrary
You will be allowed to check my Facebook page… from the prison “library”
“Rousing applause, please, for the Phantom Poet”
Got a topic? Feel free to contact me via email at Brettjolly@aol.com of send me a friend request on Skype at username Brettjolly1. Thank you and have a great day.
Rapper Chuck D (from Public Enemy) and Brett Jolly in concert