I have performed for “many” nice big name celebrities, but one that stands out to me is the one that I originally thought was “unapproachable.” Recently I was saddened to hear that Olivia Newton John’s cancer had resurfaced and spread to her back area. For those of you who have not yet heard the story here is the link:
Years ago I performed for a big program in Washington, DC for the Susan B Komen Foundation for breast cancer awareness. I remember that on this show I had to play for Stephanie Mills, Lynda Carter and Olivia Newton John. When we first met Olivia, she came across as someone who didn’t want to be besieged by autograph hounds and picture takers. We did sound check and she immediately left to go back to her dressing room. However, her musical director, Amy Skyy was still around so I asked her if there was any possibility of getting a picture with her and Ms. Newton John. She told me that she would set it up and she was very true to her word. I waited for about 10 minutes and both of them came out. Ms Newton John was “very friendly” and told me that she herself was a breast cancer survivor. She informed me that she loved the way I played and was looking forward to this show. I thanked her for the picture and she thanked me for asking. To me that was a special moment. Cancer is a tough thing to deal with. I lost my mother in 2004 to ovarian cancer and I have seen on too many occasions what it an do to those diagnosed. I sincerely hope that she can fully recover from this setback and resume touring. Today I just wanted to share my experience with you. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
Olivia Newton John, Brett Jolly, and musical Director Amy Skyy
Recently the famed golf icon Tiger Woods was arrested for driving under the influence. For those of you who do not know, Tiger was once one of the most respected names in sports. As a teenager he dominated the field of golf and miraculously turned every event into magic. He was the Michael Jackson of his sport. For those who have not heard about his recent downfall, here is the link:
People have wondered how anyone on top of his or her game can fall so far from such a great height. Tiger is only 1 of a list of notable stars who “literally had it all and virtually lost it.” Mike Tyson, Allen Iverson, Burt Reynolds, MC Hammer, Whitney Houston are just a few of those legends who were at the very top of their games and fell from grace. Tiger stopped winning in 2008. He has had to endure personal issues in his life that may have contributed to his downfall. When the issues of his infidelities came out he was “villain-ized vehemently” in the press. Yes, he was guilty, but for some reason his infidelities were publicized much more than those of other celebrities (You can come to your own conclusions as to why). Is there a lesson in this? It should let you know that big name celebrities are just as human as the rest of us. They have problems, they have issues, and they may even have more drama going on than we do. Tiger should still have his place in the sports hall of fame. His accomplishments were legendary. I applaud the fact the he says he will not retire from golf. I will applaud him even more if he can manage to get back to his glory days of winning. You never know what someone else is going through until you walk in their shoes. Whatever he is dealing with I wish the best to Tiger, and I wish the very best that life has to offer for you as well. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought and have a great day.
Here is the United States many of us will celebrate Memorial Day. To my understanding, Memorial Day was established for honoring those servicemen and women who died in the line of combat. While that should be the central theme of this day many will honor it by celebrating while vacationing at the beach or having cookouts. I’m now sure if that is the proper way to acknowledge the loss of life but as long as people remember the concept then that is important. War has no winners. Maybe one day we all will be civilized enough to end all war and live peacefully. Until that day gets here we need to continue to have special days like today. Happy Memorial Day to all of you out there who understand the concept of what this day means. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
Dexter Wansel (far left with cap on) in concert with Brett Jolly on bass
Sometimes you can get great results from something that is rushed. I think Violet and I had the shortest photo shoot in history when we took these pictures. I had a gig in Atlantic City with a 20 minute break and she happened to be in the area at the time so we took the pictures at night as quickly as we could during that time. Considering how rushed we were I think the pictures turned out rather well. Hope you enjoy them. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
Very simply put: I love music. I love good harmonies, I love nice grooves, I love great arrangements and I love when it all blends together. This group probably had too many people in the band, but the music they put together was awesome. This is one of the few groups where it didn’t make a difference what lead singer they had. They sounded great based solely on the instruments they had (but they still featured great vocalists anyway). I would love to see big bands like this make a comeback, but it seems “money” and technology have practically dissolved that concept. Either way, I hope you like this song as much as I do. This is a live version and I think the singer they have on this version is “phenomenal.” Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
There is an interesting story that I just came across. A man spent 24 years in prison for a murder and was recently released. The reason? He had an alibi at that time and other relevant information was ignored at his trial. Why did it take 24 years? That’s a good question. Shaurn Thomas has no bitter feelings. He is grateful to be a free man. However, when you take 24 years of a man’s life I just don’t think that it should be dismissed as insignificant. If you would like to check out Shaurn’s story, here it is:
It is great to know that this story finally has a happy ending. However, this also exposes a deep concern. Trials are done to determine guilt or innocence, but most times the outcomes are not based on truth but rather on who has the best lawyer. Innocent people have been jailed for crimes they did not commit. Some are still in prison now. Several wrongly convicted people were even put on death row. The “innocence Project” may not be popular but it could be something that you or I will need one day. If one innocent man or woman can be put behind bars, then the rest of us can be too. If this innocence project can save the life of one man, then maybe it could save others. I know a lot of people don’t think about those imprisoned in society because I believe most people think that “they got what they deserved.” No one who is innocent should ever be jailed for crimes they did not commit. Until the system is proven to be perfect, then the chances for wrongful convictions will continue to exist. When someone hires the best lawyers then their chances of a court finding in their favor usually increase. When the court appoints a regular public defender for you then your sentence will depend largely on his or her expertise. Great lawyers should be available for those who need them, not just for people who can afford them. Justice only works when it results in the correct ruling. Hopefully the Innocence Project can save those wrongfully convicted. I realize a lot of people won’t really care about this, but you will if it should ever happen to you. Let’s hope that it doesn’t happen. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought, and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
The Whispers in concert with Brett Jolly on bass guitar