Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“Would this be right or wrong?”)

I know of a female who has plans to go out on a date with some new guy for the very first time (This is a true story). This lady has already said that she will suggest they go to the most best 5 star restaurant she can find so that she can order the most expensive items on the menu. The question that comes to mind is “Why?” Is this an attempt to “test” the man’s money or his resolve to do the best for her? Is she wrong or right to do so? I guess a lot would depend on what her agenda is. If she feels that she is “worth” the most expensive places to eat, then she may just be “right.” However, if this is the case then why suggest anything at all to him? She can simply wait and see if the man decides on his own to take her to a 5 star place. Men like to please women (especially on the first date) and it “could” be possible that he had plans to take her to this restaurant anyway. When a woman makes this kind of suggestion from the start she could win the battle but in the end she could “lose the war.” A man will take note that a woman has expensive tastes, and I can guarantee that if the relationship builds up then down the line that can come back to haunt her. You only get one “first impression” and if you appear to be a gold digger from the very onset then that could set a bad precedent. Down the road he may feel that he can get anything he wants from her as long as he pays for it first. Is it better for a woman to be with a rich man who barely respects her or is it better to be with a man who is barely living up to his needs but yet will give “everything he has?” Does a relationship that hinges on money have any chance to be genuine and happy? Also, if she suggests that they go to the expensive place should he feel privileged to “expect anything in return that evening?” Sometimes that first impression could ignite the wrong response. Please keep in mind that there are no laws or anything stating that a woman has to accept anything less than what she feels she deserves (and there are also no laws that state that she should owe a man anything for taking her out). If she plans to sleep with him after their very expensive date he will probably “appreciate that a LOT.” However, the novelty on this may wear off as they try to build a long good life together. Everyone is different, and what may work for one is not always guaranteed to work for everyone. Respect goes both ways, and hopefully both can show respect for each other when going out on dates. 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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Email: Brettjolly@aol.com

Skype: Brettjolly1

Billy Paul (“Me and Mrs. Jones”) in concert with Brett Jolly on red bass guitar

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Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought ( Caught a little bit of the Grammy’s last night”)

I didn’t even know that the Grammys were on television last night until I was called and reminded.  I probably missed a lot of the show (I used to always watch the annual event each year but the lack of great talent in the industry dampened my excitement for it). However, there were some “interesting points” in the show from what I saw. I missed the tribute to the Bee Gees. I am sorry that I missed that (and I am sorry that I missed Lady Gaga’s performance with Metallica as well). As for the things I actually did see, there wasn’t a lot that inspired me. I watched Adele’s tribute to George Michael and while I thought it was good there were parts when she appeared a little “pitchy” in tune. I think that is why she abruptly stopped the song, apologized to the audience and then started over. If you remember, she had pitch problems at the other big award show about a year ago. Nevertheless, she is  still a great singer (and sometimes singers will have  moments like that). I appreciate her realness and her desire to make sure she represented the song right. She also won “Song of the year” and while she graciously acknowledged Beyonce’s album “Lemonade” she rightfully deserved the award. As for Beyonce herself, I am somewhat puzzled by her performance. I wasn’t a big fan of the song and her performance had a weird-like ambience to it. It might have just been me but it felt like she was performing out of some type of “cult.” I can’t say whether it was great or bad because I admit I couldn’t quite understand it. Her CD “Lemonade” was supposed to be about unfaithfulness in her marriage (or relationship). It was marketed as a tribute to her husband’s alleged bout with infidelity and her anger over it. Considering the fact that she gave homage to her husband and performed visibly pregnant I would have to say that in this case that alleged “inconsiderate bastard” must have “won.” Finally, I will make mention of Bruno Mars. In my mind, he was the best part of the show (even though I readily admit I didn’t get to watch all of it). His original song will probably be a hit (even though I don’t know if it will be as big a hit as Uptown Funk was). While his performance of that song was nice it was his tribute to Prince that actually stole the show. He only did one song (Let’s go crazy) but he managed to dress, move and play guitar just like him (in fact, they both might even have been the same height) (smile). When the Time (with Morris Day and Jerome back with them) performed it was nice, but obviously Bruno Mars was the show topper. I apologize for not being able to give a full assessment of everything. As I said, the show had lost interest to me over the past few years. The new level of talent just didn’t seem to match the greatness of past performers. Busta Rhymes (who looked kinda big, so I now call him Busta Gut) and a Tribe called Quest gave a nice performance as well (there were a few political moments in the program). They also paid tribute to the past great artists that we lost over the past year. Billy Paul (He sang “Me and Mrs Jones) was mentioned (and I am glad they did… I was the last bass player to play for him). Overall the show was good, and maybe now I will want to see it again next year. If you watched it, I hope you enjoyed the program. I thank you for checking out my Daily  Thought, and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.

WWW.Brettjolly.com

Email: Brettjolly@aol.com

Skype: Brettjolly1

Billy Paul in concert with Brett Jolly on bass

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Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“The year in review… The very last live rendition of Me and Mrs. Jones by the original artist Billy Paul”)

This past year had some great moments, but it also had some sad ones. One of the greatest songs ever recorded (“Me and Mrs. Jones”) lost the original artist who made that song so great. Billy Paul was one of the most considerate and complimentary artists you would ever meet. He was always receptive to talking to everyone. I remember him joking just about all the way down on a 10 hour flight to Brazil. He had stories about him, Marvin Gaye, Sly Stone and Richard Pryor all hanging together. In fact, he had stories about everything. He was a good friend, and it was an honor and privilege to perform (and tour) with him. This past  year Billy Paul died at the age of 80. This video clip is the very “LAST” rendition of “Me and Mrs. Jones” performed by him, because he died soon after. I had the honor of performing with him on “this very last live version of the song (I am the only one playing guitar next to him).” You can tell that his health was not great on this clip, but Billy was not going to get cheated out of life. He sang it the way he always knew how to sing it, and that is what made him so special. I hope you don’t mind me sharing this with you today. Thanks again to Billy Paul for allowing me to be a small part of his career. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought, and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.

Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“Should you always harbor hatred towards your ex?”)

Love can be so complicated at times. People are “supposed to love from the heart.” However, if you break up with someone can you actually “make” that love stop? If it comes from your heart then how is that even possible? Relationships are often complicated as well. The same reasons you love someone can eventually be the same reasons you end up hating him or her. The question then becomes “Should you hate your ex just because the both of you broke up?” From what I have heard of most people (not all) there tends to be quite a bit of hatred from those who “used” to be in a relationship. Why? Was it necessary? Every situation is different, but I found that most breakups occur when “love is betrayed.” Things like cheating, infidelity and lying seem to be the most common factors. “Money and trust” have also broken up quite a few relationships as well. However, once you have broken up with someone can you still keep a civil and friendly relationship with that person, or should you forevermore harbor animosity? With my past relationships I harbor “no” hatred. Anyone can talk to me and I will always remain friendly and cordial. It doesn’t mean that I forgot what happened between us. It only means that I have “forgiven” what transpired between us. Once I start spewing hatred then that means that I have allowed someone to push my buttons and alter my heart (and subsequently have some form of control). No one deserves the right to have that much power over me. No one is perfect and everyone is flawed, and that includes me. I prefer to see the flaws in you and move on. From time to time I still receive contact from my ex’s, and I gladly talk to them about anything (even when it comes to their new relationships). I feel good about that and I have no reservations concerning it. When it comes to dealing with a romantic interest in your past could you do the same? Is it possible to still be friends with someone you were once in love with?  While the love you had once made you happy, does that love now have to make you bitter? Whatever the reasons were for your breakup, “it’s still over.” Rehashing anything in your mind won’t make you feel any better about it. Part of the healing process is to find a way to “let go.” Once you stop looking over your shoulder at the past you might be able to see the great things ahead of you. There’s nothing wrong with “moving on with dignity.” Try it, and you may improve your own aspect on life… 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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Email: Brettjolly@aol.com

Skype: Brettjolly1

Billy Paul and Brett Jolly live in concert in Tunisia

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Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“Raising hope for others in need”)

I am now recovering from a marathon weekend. I had to play 2 hours away from me in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania on Friday night, got home around 4:00 am only to have to play for a special event at 8:00 am. Then I had another gig after that, and Sunday morning I had to play for my church services at 7:45 am. Needless to say, I am “so” glad to be on this side of the equation right now. I was severely exhausted this past weekend. While the gigs were good ones, the one I treasured most was the one on Saturday morning that had thousands in attendance.  It was done outside  by the river here in Philadelphia and it was for a very special occasion. The event was entitled “Recovery Idol” and yes, it was named after the former talent search program “American Idol.” This operated under the same concept except that this event was targeted for “recovering drug addicts.” This program may not have been any near the level of the talent that would normally be featured on American Idol, but that didn’t matter. What this accomplished most was it gave recovering addicts an outlet to celebrate their victories over their demons. If you have ever known a seriously addicted drug addict, you already know about the struggles they go through. Each addiction is different, but some will steal, commit crimes or even kill just to satisfy their cravings. Even though I have never personally taken drugs I had friends who were in dire need of help. One of them just recently passed away, and that was my good friend “Billy Paul.” He sang the hit song “Me and Mrs. Jones” and “Your song.” I played for him (and toured with him) for years and he often talked about his conquest over being addicted. He also talked about how he used to do drugs with his friends Sly Stone, comedian Richard Pryor and Marvin Gaye. The good news was that Billy managed to “win over” his demons and remained drug free until the day he died. Some of my other friends are still struggling with it, but at least most of them are still here. Recovery Idol many not have the same fame that programs like “The Voice and American Idol” have, but for the thousands of people who overcame their struggles this was bigger than life. There are “many” people around the world who are addicted to drugs and in need of an outlet. I perform for this event each year and it is my honor to do so. For the Philadelphia faction, Rick Ford put this program together, and my good friend Doug Lyons was the musical director for it. I was just glad to be there and wanted to share my experience with you today. If you get the chance I invite you to read up on it by yourself. 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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Email: Brettjolly@aol.com

Skype: Brettjolly1

 

 

Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“Billy Paul’s last recorded live version of Me and Mrs. Jones”)

A promised, here is the last version of Billy Paul singing his classic hit “Me and Mrs Jones” with me, Brett Jolly on Bass (and my brother Bill Jolly on keyboards). This was done at the Clef Club on March 8, 2016 and Billy passed away April 24, 2016. This song is one of the greatest classics of all time, and he will be sorely missed. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought today and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer

Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“Remembering my personal experiences with Billy Paul”)

Legendary singer Billy Paul just passed away at the age of 81. He was a former boss of mine who I traveled and toured with for quite a while. He had arguably one (or two) of the biggest hits in history with “Your song” and his classic “Me and Mrs. Jones.” While he accomplished a lot musically, he also was a great humanitarian and he would give the shirt off his back to just about anyone in need. He was never too big to reach out to someone to encourage them, and everyone who ever worked with him will tell you that. He was born “Paul Williams” but the bosses at Philly International records thought his name was “too plain,” henceforth they reversed it around and named him “Billy Paul.”  Billy was brought up on the streets of North Philadelphia and at some point he became a product of that environment. Billy had a great career, but he also had a major “drug habit.” He told me many stories about him hanging out with Sly Stone, Marvin Gaye and Richard Pryor (all well known drug addicts) and getting high together. There were times when he was so high that he had to be “directed to the microphone” just to sing his show. The great thing about life is that it is not about “how you start” but rather about “how you finish.” Billy had been clean and sober for years and was a great role model for those suffering through the vices of addiction. Billy was “funny.” On a 10 hour plane ride to Brazil you could hear him cracking jokes the “entire time.” My cheeks would hurt from  laughing so hard. There is not enough time in a day to tell you “all” the great stories about him, but I think the most important thing to know is that “Billy cared.” He was caring to a fault some times, because he never wanted to turn anyone away. Overseas his career was “much bigger” than it was here in the United States. Overseas he would perform in huge coliseums and here in the states he would do much more “moderate gigs.” He was still a prankster and a joker, one day asking me to store a bottle of wine in my bag for him. I told him that I was the worst one to trust because “everyone knew that I didn’t drink” and they would eventually figure out that I smuggled the bottle for him. The ironic part of his career was that even though he had major drug issues he still managed to “outlive” most of the other artists at Philly International “records. His last performance was a little of a month ago, and I played for him at the Clef Club here in Philadelphia. I saw the video but I can’t figure out how to upload it yet. Once I do, I will post it here. In the meantime, I am posting an interview that I actually videoed at Phillycam here in downtown Philly. My camera filmed this video and it is a very in depth interview of Billy Paul. I hope you enjoy it, and my deepest condolences to his family. May he rest eternally in God’s hands.