Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“Red Bass guitar photo session with Niambi”)

At first Niambi wasn’t sure if she could do a photo shoot. She wasn’t comfortable at posing correctly, but after about 15 minutes of camera shooting she began to settle in quite well. This was a somewhat windy day and we had limited time, but still managed to make the most of the session. Shot around the area of the Philadelphia Art museum, Niambi came away with some awesome pics with the red bass guitar. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought, and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.

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Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“Rape by deception… Can it really be enforced?”)

I came across a topic online that at first thought seemed to be just crazy to me, but then after reading it all the way through it turned out to be legitimate interesting topic. A New Jersey lawmaker wants to make “rape by deception” illegal.  In other words, if you meet up with someone who either lies of misrepresents his or her circumstances then this lawmaker would want that to be a crime if you end up having sex. Here is the link:

http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2014/11/rape_by_fraud_nj_lawmaker_introduces_bill_to_make_it_a_crime.html

I believed this first came about as a result of a lady named Mischele Lewis who met her boyfriend on an online dating site. The boyfriend convinced her that he was some form of British intelligence agent (when he was really a serial bigamist and scam artist) and duped her into giving him $5,000.00 for a security clearance. He was later tried and convicted. The issue here is not so much the money as it is the issue: “Can there really be such a thing as rape by fraud?” Yes, sex needs to be consensual, and of course, if someone lied about who and what he or she in order to obtain sex then that should “not” be considered consent. I found this to be interesting so of course I went even further. The legal definition of rape is “A criminal offense defined in most states as forcible sexual relations with a person against that person’s will.” The problem I have with this definition evolves around the word “forcible.” If there is no force, then can it still be considered rape? Also, if the person “willingly” engaged in sexual relations, then can those intentions be reversed later based on newer information? My first thought was “What would be the limitations on this?” Truth be told, if they uphold this bill then just about “everyone” is going to jail. Just think about it for a second. If you met a woman who wears a wig or false teeth and eventually have sex with her without knowing, does that mean that the woman has created a crime? What about a man who spends a lot of money on a date trying to make her think that he is rich when he is really struggling financially? Should he be charged with a crime if the two of them have sex? At some point just about everyone “misrepresents something,” whether it’s a weave in your hair or saying “I love you” to someone when you really don’t. If the case of Mischele Lewis i think the man absolutely needed to go to jail, but for some reason I have problems thinking of it as rape. It will be interesting to see if this bill even has a chance to pass without some “major” alterations to it. Yes, people should be truthful and upfront about their circumstances at the very beginning of any relationship, but when trying to make a good impression on someone how much of a thin line is it between exaggeration and lying? We all want to impress but to what extent will we go? I plan to keep my eye on this case just to see what they come up with. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought, and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.

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Brett Jolly and television personality Robin Roberts

Robin Roberts and Brett Jolly

Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“My experiences with Patti Labelle”)

Pattie Labelle is a Philadelphia icon. She is a truly awesome singer who has been well known to have ties to Philly. She has had many hits, but her biggest one is a monster track called “Lady Marmalade.” I have had the honor to perform with her on “several” occasions. I remember on one evening we were trying to get ready to play for an event entitled Teddy 25 where Patti didn’t really have time to rehearse. The gig was scheduled to be at the Kimmel Center here in Philadelphia, so Patti decided to hear us play the music “over the phone” while she sang to it. We thought it was hilarious, but hey, it “worked.” On the day of the show, we “rocked” it. On another occasion, we did a major outdoor concert with her at the Art Museum on the parkway here in Philly (same place where they had the Live Aid concert years before). For this event as well, we had no rehearsal with her at all, and didn’t even get to communicate with Patti beforehand. At this stage she trusted us and she already knew the gig would be in great hands. On the evening of the show I was beginning to wonder if she would even show up for her own gig. Just a few minutes before showtime, a white limo pulls up to the stage, and after a few minutes out stepped “Patti.” She waved a friendly “hello” to us as she came onstage and started doing her show as though we all had rehearsed for decades. It was a great moment, and of course I got great enjoyment out of seeing her “kick off her shoes onstage, lay down on her back and sing.” Of course, she had her “hot flash” moments onstage, but that never stops her from giving her all during her performances. Patti is over 70 in age now, but she can still “out-sing” many of these younger upcoming stars. If you like to see “real singing at it’s best” then you need to check out Patti Labelle. I will cherish the moments I have had onstage with her, and I hope you don’t mind me sharing with you today. As always, I wish you the very best that life has to offer. Please make the most of it.

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Patti Labelle and Brett Jolly in concert

Patti Labelle and Brett

Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“Remembering famed bassist Louis Johnson”)

Over the weekend I heard the stunning news that Louis Johnson from the great classic group the “Brothers Johnson” had passed away. During their heyday they were under the wing of Quincy Jones and had R&B toppers like “Stomp, Strawberry Letter 23, and Get the Funk out my Face.” George Johnson usually sang lead and played guitar, while his brother Louis was usually featured in  just about every song of theirs with some kind of funky bass rift or solo that other bass players (including me) loved to emulate. Louis had patterned himself after the style of Larry Graham (from Graham Central Station) and would slap and thump the bass. He was an amazing player. For those of you who are not familiar with his work, one thing that you might recognize was that he was the one who played (and created) the famous bass rift at the beginning of Michael Jackson’s all time classic “Billie Jean.” While he also played on “many other” famous projects he kind of faded from view after a while. His style of playing seemed to no longer be fashionable but yet he had already made his mark in musical history. When watching a recent interview of his online the one thing he said was that no one should ever expect to make a living off of music. He said that it is great to improve your craft, but he had to do other things because the music business was not a very profitable one. He did police work, odd jobs and even was a property manager at one point (I was also one at one point). I had heard that the brothers were not getting along and maybe that was the reason why they were no longer touring. I would have loved to have seen them in concert again (I saw them years ago at the Spectrum in Philly and they were awesome). I invite you to Google Louis Johnson and see for yourself some of the famous tracks he actually played bass on and check out his fantastic style of playing. He was one of my inspirations in music and his life will always be celebrated by me. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought, and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.

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Sheldon Reynolds (formally of Earth, wind and fire) James Ingram, Brett Jolly, and Johnny Croom (formally of Boyz Ii Men)

James Ingram

Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“Honoring those who lost their lives in battle today”)

For today here in the United States, many of us are celebrating Memorial Day, a day where we pay tribute to all those who are veterans of war and gave their lives to make our world safer. While I have  never liked the concept of war I fully appreciate those who sacrificed for the sake of my family and our well being. Hopefully a miracle can happen and one day ALL wars will be over, and peace will reign throughout the entire world as it should. However, until that miraculous day comes, we will continue to be people that believe that the answers to all our problems lies in killing other people. Even if a time should ever arrive for peace, we cannot forget about those veterans who helped pave the way for us. If you have “any” relative who died in battle, you have my deepest sympathies and condolences. If you don’t celebrate Memorial Day where you live then I hope you find some “other way” to pay tribute to those who fought and lost for you. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought today, and as always i wish you the very best that life has to offer.

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The Emotions (“You got the best of my love” and “Boogie Wonderland”) and Brett Jolly in concert

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Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“Red Bass Guitar photo shoot with Ronnie”)

Ronnie has a real sweet spirit. She always seems to bring a smile everyplace she goes. She is in the entertainment field and she was more than happy to do a photo shoot with my red bass guitar. She doesn’t sing, but often you can find her behind the scenes. Hope you enjoy her photo shoot, and as alway, I wish you the very best that life has to offer.

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Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“What is the future of music?”)

What is the future of music? Right now, the industry seems to lack any real identity to me. During the 80’s there was mostly disco. During the 90’s was the emergence of rap. For a while now music as we know it has had some good moments, but not hardly enough to change the state of the industry. A lot of people don’t even have to buy music with the ability to steal off the internet. Many record labels that were once big over a decade ago have dissipated. While conventional radio is still around, there are many satellite and internet stations, apps, and other stuff that have emerged that are competing with them (and may soon end up putting them out of existence). To some degree, that could be a welcome change, because maybe that will result in an infusion of more talent and variety rather than the same ones that are “always” being promoted. There are a “ton” of great artists out there that “no one knows about,” and that is because these artists lack the money needed to be promoted on conventional radio. In the meantime, we continue to be bombarded with music from the same sources whereby just about everyone’s music sounds the same (with a few exceptions here and there). It would be nice for artists to get paid from their work. While media such as Spotify and Pandora will feature other artists I have heard horror stories about how the artists they feature don’t get their royalties the way they feel they should. There needs to be change. Naturally, if you can’t make sales off your own product then that can take away the incentive to write and perform music. If the regular radio industry crashes and burns I don’t think too many people will actually miss it. I know I won’t… I like variety and quality in my music. I realize that I am from an older generation, but why can’t I listen to what I want? My regular radio station in Philadelphia that I grew up to has decided that it wants to attract “younger” audiences, so it is playing more music that can be heard on other regular stations. That is why I am now exploring my other alternatives. I have no intention of waiting to see if these people will get back to catering to my generation. I am searching for new music that “lifts me.” The future of music will be interesting to see, but if they don’t start making changes now there may not even be a future for it anymore. i guess we will just have to see… Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought, and as always i wish you the very best that life has to offer.

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Actor/singer Tyrese Gibson and Brett Jolly

Tyrese and Brett