Last night my group did a small tribute to Bobby Womack, the late and great R&B singer who just recently passed away. I sang a couple of his songs and talked a little about his life. I mentioned that he was a great songwriter who happened to be “heavily addicted” to drugs at a point in his life. Today’s Daily Thought is not so much about him, but rather about some of the “other great” songwriters and performers who also happened to be drug addicts. Whether we want to admit this or not, some of the world’s greatest music was actually “written and/or performed” by people who were probably “under the influence of something” at the time. Rick James, Amy Winehouse, Sly Stone, Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson, Bob Dylan, Bobby Womack, Billy Paul, Janice Joplan, and Whitney Houston are some of the names that come to mind when you combine greatness and addiction, and these people had some really “major” hits. Does that mean that there is some “correlation” between writing an awesome hit song and drug usage? I realize that as a songwriter you have to often leave out of your own spirit to “feel and create” something truly unique. I myself love to write songs, but I prefer to at least “be coherent” when I do so. Since I don’t do drugs, I have no idea of what a “drug induced” state can do for a songwriter (and I never expect to find out either). However, I don’t think that anyone can “ignore” the accomplishments of those well known star addicts. For the record, there have been some prominent actors in the movie realm who have also battled drug addictions. While we are at it, there are also some great sports athletes who have gotten high before a major event and performed admirably. The problem is that if getting high can produce such “great results” then what incentive does that create for some new up and coming performer to use drugs as a crutch? Granted, most of the people I just mentioned are dead (but not all) and in most of their cases it was determined that drug usage played a part in their deaths. However, is death “enough of a deterrent to stop people from abusing drugs? It seems that some people are willing to risk trading a “great today” for a “short lived tomorrow.” I am proud to say that I am “not” one of them. Life is great, but “quality of life” is even greater, and while our time on this realm is never guaranteed for anyone I aim to make the most of the life I lead. If I never achieve the stardom of these people I just named then I can “live” with that. I hope that you can too. Thank you for checking out today’s Daily Thought, and I wish you all the very best that life has to offer today.
Billy Paul and Brett Jolly in concert