I was blessed and lucky enough to play for Teddy for 6 years. I had a lot of fun and I can’t believe I almost turned the gig down. The scenario happened like this: Teddy had a bass player already in place. He was a friend of Teddy’s but with 2 days to go for a gig in Mobile, Alabama he “pulled out” because of a prior commitment. Teddy needed a “fast” rehearsal and I was called in “cold” to play. For me, I wasn’t really worried a lot about it much, because I play by ear, and I had heard a lot of his tunes already. Since I have perfect pitch I can play just about anything that I can hear well. When we had the rehearsal I played his “entire” set list down without any mishap. He pulled me to the side afterwards and said to me, “You came in here cold without any warning and played my show better than my regular bass player. Would you like to have this gig?” I looked at him and simply said “Yeah, why not?” I then realized that I was supposed to play for another gig that same day, and I had a conflict, but then found out later that the gig wasn’t happening anyway. Teddy was a great superstar who suffered from being paralyzed. While he wanted to go on he mentioned to me that he was somewhat scared about how people would perceive him in a wheelchair. I told him that the best way for people to accept others is to just go out there and show them how well you can do it. I told him about Stevie Wonder. I said, “Just imagine how uncomfortable it was for people to see a blind man performing.” I’m sure there were some people who just couldn’t go through a concert like that because they wouldn’t understand. I told Teddy that just he was in a position to change the views of the entire world through his performances. Granted, he had a sexy style of singing that had been changed drastically through his circumstances, but he also had the chance to make things great for other paralyzed people across the world. Needless to say, Teddy did his thing and his audiences “loved him.” The women still threw panties on the stage Teddy was very well accepted. Life can change instantly for people. Your skills should never be diminished by your circumstances. If you have a great skill, then as long as you have it you should still use it. Detours in life are not the same as roadblocks. Make things happen for you that will open the eyes of others. In the end, you will be the one who comes out looking positive. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought, and as always I wish you the absolute best that life has to offer.
Teddy Pendergrass in concert with Brett Jolly on bass guitar