Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“My third concert with Teddy Pendergrass”)

People asked me to re-share my experience being the bass player for Teddy Pendergrass. The interesting thing about it was that when I was first asked to do it I really wasn’t interested. The bass player that Teddy already had “reneged on him” with 2 days to go for a gig they were supposed to do in Mobile Alabama. They brought me in for an “emergency rehearsal” and Teddy threw his entire show at me to see if I could play it. I had no idea what to expect so I came in with a “whatever” attitude. Nothing much was said during the rehearsal, but after we finished the very last song Teddy called me over and said “You came in here cold with no preparation whatsoever and you played my entire show better than my regular bass player. Would you like this gig?” I paused for a moment, and a smile came on my face and I said, “Sure.” I had no idea what a turning point it would be in my career. Teddy was a big star who had been paralyzed in a car accident 19 years before. He was the voice behind many big hits. Obviously his voice was not the same anymore, but he was still “Teddy” and people still loved him. This particular show was only my “3rd” performance with him. In essence they “threw me in the fire” because even for this concert I was not sure of what we were doing. However, I am one who “loves the spotlight” and whenever I have a big audience I love to “show my tail.” After a couple of years touring with Teddy I found this gig to be a happy one. We all would joke in the airports about a lot of things and I found out things about Teddy that most other people didn’t know. Unfortunately his health began to deteriorate and we had a show in Detroit (with Chaka Khan on the program) where Teddy had to leave the stage 4 times. After the show was over I could see Teddy swaying back and forth with his doctor (he had his shirt off). His eyes were rolling up in his head and for that moment I said to myself “This is it.” Luckily he managed to survive that night but for that moment it didn’t look good. “Not being able to finish a concert” was Teddy’s “biggest fear” and he retired again after that. This particular video clip is long (an hour and 9 minutes). You may not be able to sit through all of it. I am the guitar player wearing red suspenders with all black. From facing the stage I will be the guitar player on the “left side.” I hope you enjoyed me sharing my experience with Teddy today. There are a LOT more stories I can tell, but I will leave it here for today. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer. Hope you enjoy the video.

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