The other day I played at the Trocadero here in Philadelphia. It was a tribute dedicated to the music of Jimi Hendrix. For those of you who are familiar with the legend of Jimi I was actually supposed to play the part of his bass player in the “Band of Gypsies” segment whose name was Billy Cox. They dressed me up in a hat and 60’s-ish garment so that I could look the part. There were other musicians there to play the parts of the other band members and it seemed like a great event to me. However, once I got there the other bass player and I met up in the green room. We said hello and he immediately talked about himself (for about 25 minutes nonstop). He mentioned that he had met with legendary bassist Stanley Clarke and he talked about how he played for 9 years with someone who I think was a “relative” of the Allman brothers. For some reason it felt as though he wanted to impress me with his accomplishments. He even tried to tell me how to correctly play my songs. For the record, I don’t consider myself to be cocky or even conceited. I like to respect everyone’s ability and I wish everyone the best. However, in my view this man went overboard. I “calmly” waited for him to finish up about all his exploits, and then he finally managed to ask me about my career. I started off slowly by telling him that I was the bass player for Teddy Pendergrass, and then I went through in a couple more names of people that I had performed with, including Paul Shafer, Janet Jackson, Billy Paul, Aretha Franklin, Bonnie Raitt, Dionne Warwick, The Whispers, Ashford and Simpson, Tom Petty, Eddie Money, Lalah Hathaway, The Stylistics, Delfonics, Harold Melvin’s Bluenoses, Jill Scott, Bon Jovi, Chaka Khan and Usher. I couldn’t remember all the rest of the people I performed with at that time, but I did invite him to check out my website which has most of them listed (with pictures). I told him that I appreciated him telling me how to play, but I had perfect pitch, which means I can hear bass notes perfectly and what he told me wasn’t exactly correct. I said all of this to him politely and courteously and after I finished his tone came down tremendously. As I said, I do not like to appear arrogant or self centered. However, this man should have checked my credentials before he decided to impress and unload on me. Needless to say he was “much more quiet” after that. For the record, I love people who are confident and dedicated. I am that same way myself. I just don’t feel that I need to blow my own horn. If I am good enough, then people will tell me about it rather than me tell them. As for the gig, it went really well. There was a moment when they spotlighted me onstage and let me venture off into my own solo. I truly enjoyed the event, and for some reason I could find the other guy after my part was finished (smile). The lesson here? “Be humble, because you never know when you might be bragging to someone whose career is much bigger than yours.” Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
Brother Bill Jolly, Jon Bon Jovi, and Brett Jolly