I wanted to reminisce about a time I had a few years back where I had a long conversation with a musical idol of mine. His name is Bill Withers and when I first met him I only saw the whiteness of the back of his head (and his tall stature) but somehow I just “knew” it was him. My only recollection of him was pictures of him much younger with “no” grey in his hair. Of course, he was much older now, and to my surprise he was “very eager” to talk to me. We conversed about a lot, but one of the main things he mentioned was that he felt it was “time” to get out of the music business when it started to change for the worse. He said that record labels no longer cared about writing songs that pertained to life itself. They were willing to degrade their products just to make a sale. If you ever listened to Bill’s music you will find realness in his lyrics. He always had a story to tell. I told him that my favorite song of his was one that was actually “not” one of his biggest hits, a song simply entitled “She wants to get on down.” He told me that I loved the song because of the great bass line that’s in it, and I couldn’t disagree with him. However, I just found a song of his that also was not a big hit that I truly like as well. It has to be one of the shortest songs on record but the lyrics to this are truly powerful. The song is entitled “Better off dead” and here is the link to it:
I learned a lot about the old music business from him (some things I can mention and some things I can’t) but I enjoyed my time (over an hour) chatting with Mr. Withers. I have heard people say that they have had extreme difficulty trying to find him to get an interview. He gave me an awesome one that I will always treasure. Bill’s voice is just about gone now. He is retired from singing (in fact, I just “might” be the last bass player to have ever played for him… That’s how much he doesn’t want to sing anymore). If you ever get the chance, please Google the name Bill Withers and check out his music. If you like soulful music with great lyrics then you won’t feel cheated at all by him. It was my pleasure to perform with him and thank you for allowing me to share my memory with you today. Thanks for checking out my Daily Thought, and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer today.
Bill Withers (white hair to the left) his daughter, Anthony Hamilton and Brett Jolly in rehearsal at PIR studios