When it comes to performing, it is always a plus to overcome any apprehensions you may have. Some people get extremely nervous when doing a show. I remember years ago, Celine Dion once said that she got nervous before every show she did. However, she still managed to overcome those fears and go out to perform. I used to perform with my head down all the time. When I saw a taped version of myself on television I changed my outlook. I couldn’t even tell if it was me or not, and at that point I decided that I needed to do something. I watched videos of other well known performers and saw how they performed and decided to emulate them. The first thing I learned to do was play my guitar without having to look down at it. This took some time, but it helped me in many ways. First, I have a better feel for each note when I play it. It is no longer about placement, but “how well” I am hitting the note now. Also, this allows me some dexterity. I can play now and do just about anything I want, even sometimes hold a conversation with someone without missing a note. I can even watch the game on television while playing. During the times when I was really tired, I could lay down and shut my eyes while playing and not miss a note (I couldn’t go to sleep, though). Finally, I can now sing without having to focus on playing. This has allowed me to at least “attempt” anything because now I can do 2 things at the same time. It doesn’t make me a better singer, but it allows me more freedom to reach out vocally. Now I keep my head up when performing, so that people can “see” who I am. If a camera comes around me, I proudly “stick my face in it” and smile while playing. I strongly suggest that anyone who wants to be a fully rounded performing examine how they play and make any adjustments needed. It’s never “what” you play but rather “how” you play that makes the difference. There is a difference in having a strong ego and confidence. Believe in yourself always, but don’t get conceited. Please remember that there is always someone “better than you.” I know of many musicians who have ego problems. They are legends in their own minds. I’d rather hear someone else tell me how good I am rather than broadcast it myself. It feels better when other people talk about how good you are. Stay humble, and your career will feel much better… Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought, and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
Actress Gabrielle Union with Brett Jolly
The Delfonics are one of those groups who have withstood the test of time. They were big stars starting in the 1960’s and they are well known. They have had some major hits such as “La La means I love you, Hey Love, Break your promise, Trying to make a fool of me, and Didn’t I blow your mind this time.” As with most groups, there is yet another story behind these guys. The original group consisted of William “Poogie” Hart, Wilbert Hart (These 2 guys are both brothers) and Randy Cain. Over the years, they have split up and taken on different members. I know these guys and the biggest problem they have is that Poogie and Wilbert cannot work together. The amount of disagreement between them is huge. While a lot of people still love the group, the hatred between them is huge. I am actually a part of history. The “very last” time the “original members” of the Delfonics performed together, I was the bass player for them. They actually tried to act civil towards each other for this show, but it was only temporary. Not long after this show Randy Cain died, so now there is no chance of the original group ever getting back together again. William “Poogie” Hart has his own set of Delfonics (and I believe he even owns the name now) but refuses to work with his brother again. Wilbert has his own set of Delfonics. Wilbert Hart told me that he wishes his brother and he could work together again, but Poogie has his mind set. I am appreciative for being able to work with these guys, but I wish they could just “get along” and make money. Poogie can’t sing like he used to and most of the songs he does are in different keys now. They have been around a long time so there is no telling how much time they have left to make amends. I sincerely hope they do. I just wanted to share my experience with the Delfonics with you today. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
The Delfonics in concert with Brett Jolly (standing) on bass guitar
I found it and here it is. Rick Springfield sat in with us last night at the Hard Rock Cafe in Atlantic City. We did Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition.” Had a great time. I am wearing the blue shirt. Thanks for checking out my Daily Thought and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
Last night I was performing at the newly opened Hard Rock Cafe in Atlantic City. For most of the weekends during this summer I have been there. Last night was going along the same way until there was talk that someone wanted to do a song with us. This person wanted to to sing one tune and liked the band. I had no idea who this person was, but the song that he chose to do was “Superstition” by Stevie Wonder. When he came up to us I asked him what key? Normally Superstition is performed in E flat (but some artists like to perform it in E). He told me he would do it in E. His drummer came up with him. Normally the song starts off with the drummer, but this guy started off the song with the guitar riff. It didn’t make a difference to me. I simply played the song and the crowd went crazy snapping pictures of this guy. I am still oblivious to who this guy is while all this is going on. For the record, the guy who came up to perform with us last night was Rick Springfield (He had a big hit entitled “Jessie’s girl”). For those of you who are not familiar with the song, here it is:
We kicked out the song tremendously, and after we finished Rick turned around to shake my hand and told me how great we were. Only after the set was over did I find out who he was. People asked why he didn’t do “Jessie’s Girl. I figured it was because he has to get paid for doing any big hits, so his contract wouldn’t allow for him to do it. It turned out to be a great time last night, and even though I unfortunately don’t have any pictures I still wanted to share my experience with you today. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought, and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
We had another packed crowd last night, and it was a really fun evening. We did a lot, and this particular song was “requested.” If you are ever in the Philadelphia area on a Wednesday night, I hope you come down to the Crab Tavern, 201 North Macdade Blvd in nearby Darby, Pennsylvania between 8:00 and 12 midnight. We have a live band and a great atmosphere.There is no cover charge. Get there early or you may not find a seat (this is not a joke). Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought, and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
Now people are asking me about how it was when I saw Beyonce perform. To be honest, I wasn’t overly thrilled about it. It wasn’t a bad performance at all, though. Unfortunately, when I check out someone’s live performance, I do it through musician’s eyes and ears. The first thing I noticed was how light skinned she appeared onstage. When looking at the television monitor she actually appeared darker. If you listen to Beyonce’s music (especially in her earlier years), there are a lot of vocal tracks going on. I was actually surprised to hear how much she “didn’t” sing in concert. For the tune “Crazy in Love” I heard ton’s of background parts (even though I didn’t see any background singers on the stage). Aside from the band, she only had 4 dancers. All the background parts I heard sounded authentically like Beyonce’s tracked voice. When it came to her singing, I only saw her do the ad lib parts while the song was playing. She didn’t sing the meat of the songs. Throughout the performance she seemed to do the easier parts of the songs so that she wouldn’t wear her voice out. I could understand that perfectly. If you listen intently to her songs you could understand how difficult it would be to sing all parts. Yes, some of her show is taped, and rightfully so. During that time she had an all female band (with 2 drummers). There was an oriental keyboard player who tried to slide underneath my bass during soundcheck and I accidentally hit her in the head with it. I apologized to her and she was able to finish the rest of the show. The band appeared to be playing along with the track as well. Overall, her show was great. A lot of people have their shows pre-recorded, so I don’t blame her at all for that. I didn’t stay long enough to see the entire show, but it was nice. I did, however, manage to talk to her mother and father (they were both there). At least I can say that I witnessed her performance live. Many think she is now the top rated act in music. I would not disagree with that at all. Since people have asked me about it,I thought I would share my experience with you today. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought, and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
I have performed with a lot of different celebrities during my career. I have also been on the same show with certain celebrities. I have been on the same show with Beyonce, Jeffrey Osborne, Run DMC and many more. Of all the other performers who were on the same show, 3 come to mind as being just incredibly awesome. George Benson was on the same program years ago in Cincinnati, Ohio years back, and he was just “incredible.” His band was good, but George actually killed the show all by himself. I don’t think there was even one note on his guitar that he didn’t hit. He was incredible to watch (and he sang great as well). It was a pleasure to just meet him, but to see him play was even more of a treat. Next, there was this guy from Washington DC named Chuck Brown. He had this concept called Go Go, and he knew how to work it tremendously. I was performing with Jean Carn at some war Memorial and Chuck opened up for us. In my opinion, we should have opened up for him. He ran “all” of his tunes together and his band was “incredibly tight” with all their hits and accents. His show was great. The deep part was that many years later I had the chance to play for him, and he actually “remembered me from that show.” He said that his memory was great. He has passed on since then, but I hope you had the chance go see him perform live. The last one on my list was a group called the Whispers. They have been around for over 50 years. I was performing with Teddy Pendergrass when they opened the show. Their show was incredibly tight and great. It wasn’t until years afterwards when I had the chance to perform with them that I discovered their secret. Their show will actually “play by itself.” In other words, there are a lot of recorded events happening in their show, which makes it a lot easier for them to perform. When I performed with them, we did a song called Chocolate Girl, which had a harmony note at the end. At sound check, that harmony note sounded really bad, and at that point I asked them, “Are you guys alright?” Nicholas turned to me as said, “We forgot to bring our voice samples.” I understood and I told them they might want to tighten up on that note for this performance. Of course, there are others that I could mention, but these 3 stand out to me right now. Thank you so much 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
Marc David Chapman decided on December 8, 1980 to execute famed singer (and member of the Beatles) John Lennon to death. He was sentenced to 20 years to life for the killing and has been denied for parole consistently. Yoko Ono, famed wife of Lennon, believes that Chapman should remain incarcerated for her safety as well as his own, citing there are still Lennon fans out there who would love to hurt and kill him. Should he still continue to remain in prison? I am a firm believe that no one is perfect, and I also believe that people “can” change as they grow during their lifetimes. I don’t know this Marc David Chapman, but after all this time I’m sure his prison guards “do.” If his behavior has been ideal for a prison inmate and he seems to harbor a different mentality then why keep him locked up? If what Ono says is true then he will have his own challenges during his release. He could wear an ankle monitor bracelet to make sure he never comes close to Ono. I’m sure she hasn’t talked to him over the years to see whether or not this man has changed. If he has paid his dues and done the time then what is the sense of keeping him longer (especially after he has shown a strong willingness to repent)? I’m sure there are people out there who would disagree with me on this, but most of them would do so based on the severity of the crime (and not because they know the inmate). Here is the actual article on the man:
As I have said, I don’t know the man personally. I can not guarantee his behavior no more than anyone else can. The issue here is whether or not anyone can notice any change in his mentality. That determination belongs to the people who know him best, and that would be his detainers. Nothing can bring John Lennon back now. At what point do we all move on from this? Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
Gary US Bonds (“Danced until a quarter to 3”) with Brett Jolly in concert
Last night I had two gigs. On the first gig I actually was the “opening act” for Spyro Gyra, the great jazz group. Unfortunately, when we finished at 9 o’clock, I could not stay around to watch them because I had to play in Atlantic City at the new Hard Rock Cafe at 10 o’clock. Atlantic city takes well over an hour to get there. I literally had to speed just to be only 14 minutes late (My GPS said that it should have taken me an hour and a half to make it there). The group waited for me to get there, so I am glad it worked out for last night. The point of today’s Daily Thought is that a while ago I worked with this group that I am not longer with. The guy who was in charge of the group was not always friendly with me. In fact, we bumped heads on a couple of occasions. Like with anyone else, I did not want to cause any scene and only wanted to respect others while being respected. Needless to day, life took us both in different directions. Recently I found out on Facebook that he started treatments for cancer. He then put out pictures on his page of people that he really enjoyed playing with (along with little captions telling how he felt about working with them). He had my picture up there with a really nice and sentimental tag about how much he enjoyed working with me. I sent him a personal note on his private email stating how I love him and I am praying for him. When it comes to life and other people it is sometimes easy to harbor animosities with others. I didn’t want to judge this man based on past experiences, because none of us are perfect. It is easy for me to let go of the past because that portion of my life is over. Could you do the same for anyone in the same situation? Can you forgive? I didn’t write this for any other reason than to state the truth. For me it is never about where you came from, but rather where you are headed that makes the biggest difference. I wish we all could think that way. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought, and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
Jean Carn in concert with Brett Jolly on bass guitar
We had a “packed” crowd last night and it was so much fun. Someone requested this song, so we “did it.” Each Wednesday at the Crab Tavern (201 North Macdade Blvd in Darby, Pennsylvania from 8:00 pm to 12 midnight EST) we have musical fun. We are not afraid to play requests and try out something new. I hope you enjoy this clip as much as we did. I am singing the lead. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.