Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“Why are we losing so many performers to drugs?”)

Cuba Gooding Sr. was a great singer with a very rich voice. He was the father of the actor Cuba Gooding and he was 72. Most people may not remember his name but might be able to place his voice through his music. He was part of a group

 

years ago called the “Main Ingredient.” He was the lead singer. Recently he was found in his car stumped over and not responding. Even though his cause of death had not yet been determined alcohol and drug paraphernalia were found in his car with him. I had never worked with him before, but I remember about a year ago being at a rehearsal spot and listening to him next door. He was rehearsing  his own set of musicians for a show and he was “brutal.” He kept stopping the band constantly and we could hear him chewing his band out loudly for not playing the music  correctly. He screamed and he cursed at them a LOT. I remember telling my own band members that if he ever hollered at me like that we would have a major battle going on.  By the way, here is the story of his death:

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-cuba-gooding-sr-20170420-story.html

Even though the cause of his death is still undetermined the fact that drugs were found in his car could very well signify that he died a drug addict just like so many other star performers. Why is that? There is a long list of entertainers who died from drug overdoses, such as Elvis, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse, Whitney Houston, Rick James, Michel Jackson and Prince, just to name a few. What is it that propels stardom and drugs? When I first started out touring with a big name artist I was really excited. I was playing for Jean Carne and I was as happy as I could be. However, after about 4 days on the road reality caught up to me. We were doing 2 shows a night, and often I would get in around 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning to my hotel room, only to have to wake up at 5:00 or 6:00 just so I could catch the next flight to the next destination. After only the 4th day of touring I found myself performing at some outside venue called the Riverbend theatre in Cincinnatti, Ohio. We were opening up for George Benson and while I was playing my head kept nodding and jerking up and down. I was “literally falling asleep onstage while standing up playing.” It was a horrendous feeling. From that experience I actually began to understand why entertainers turn to drugs. Even though I never did it, drugs could possible help people deal with lack of sleep and energy. I had to make an adjustment immediately. I never tried drugs (and never will) but I had to make sure I got sleep in whenever I could after that. Now if I travel anywhere to play I make sure I get my rest in whenever I can. Drugs are probably a crutch to most entertainers who need them to get through. It would be nice if rising stars could be educated to the effects of what drugs can do to you. Until that happens there will probably be even more stories with similar results. My condolences to the family of Cuba Gooding Sr. 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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