Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“People who can or can’t handle the truth”)

The other day we touched on lying and why so many people do so. Today we would like to take a look at the truth and why so many people have problems accepting it. A lot of people will tell you that they actually want to hear the truth (and they will say that they can handle it as well) when the “real truth” is that in most circumstances they really can’t. Why is this so? A popular saying is, “The truth is always offensive to those guilty of the infraction.” If you tell someone the truth and they take it in a negative way, does that make you wrong for telling it? When you sugar coat something (instead of being extremely blunt or direct) you may be lying to some small degree just to make sure that person doesn’t end up feeling bad or offended, but would that be misleading? Very few people like to be scolded, reprimanded or even reminded of negative things that they might do (or have done). When they do these things you can choose to ignore the behavior but that never helps anyone. None of us are perfect and we all have flaws of some kind that we need to work on. Not everyone can own up to the flaws they have, however, and not everyone can accept constructive criticism either. So how do you handle telling someone the truth? Do you need to choose your words more carefully if you feel they will get their feelings hurt? If you do have to choose your words carefully then will you be in violation of telling the whole truth “as it is?” There are some people who are “brutally direct” and they will say (what they believe to be) the exact whole truth no matter whose feelings may get hurt in the process. Should these people be considered “bad or good?” I think the answer to that question is in whether or not you can handle the truth… I have found that most people say they cannot tolerate liars, but if they cannot tolerate the truth either then what else is left? It might make a difference in “the way you tell the truth” but if you are not direct with it then can it still be considered the FULL truth? If someone told you a constructive criticism about yourself right now could you accept it without getting your feelings hurt? Right… now please tell me the “truth…” If you think you are not at fault for anything then you are living a lie, because no one of us is perfect. Once you learn who and what you truly are, then you should have less of a difficult time when someone tells you the truth about you… 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

Legendary blues singer Bonnie Raitt in concert with Brett Jolly on bass

Bonnie_Raitt_and_Brett

Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“overcoming television shyness”)

Yesterday I had a television taping on a local channel here in Philadelphia. In my career I have had many to this date. However, I had to overcome several things to get to this point of feeling comfortable when doing a television show. When I first performed on television, I had someone tape it. When I eventually saw the tape, I did not like what I saw. I was playing with my head down through most of the filming, and I could not even tell who I was. At that point I realized I needed to change the way I played. It looked as though I was so shy that I couldn’t face the camera. When I was younger I do admit that I was “extremely” shy. In fact, many of the girls used to laugh at how shy I was (and rightfully so… I was a mess). I had to change this, so the very first thing I worked on was changing the “way” I played. I looked at film footage of other professional players and I noticed that most (if not all) learned how to play their instruments without having to look down at them. That means they could play and keep their heads up without making a mistake. I worked diligently on this and I eventually managed to conquer it. Now I can play my bass guitar while keeping my head up. In fact, I can sing and play, hold a conversation and play and even watch television while playing and not have to worry about missing a note. After this, I had to work on my own psychological state. I had to look confident onstage, which meant that I had to feel confident in order to look confident. For this I also watched how other performers acted onstage. You can learn a lot from watching others. I took it all in. It finally got to the point where I just imagined myself being superior to the audience (not in an overconfident way) and addressing the crowd as though I actually had the advantage. It worked, and now I can honestly say that I am much more comfortable performing in front of 3 hundred thousand people than I am performing in front of 3. I “love” large crowds now, and if there are television crews filming us I will gladly be the “first one” to stick my face in the camera. When I did the touring thing the stage crew gave me my own riser platform where I could do anything I wanted while playing. I would often jump up and down, dance around and make faces with people in the audience. Yes, I was a mess (but a happy one). I still love the stage and huge audiences. Michael Jackson once said that performing onstage is the best feeling in the world (and I would have to say that he was right). When I performed years ago for the Republican National convention the (then) speaker of the house (Trent Lott) told me that I was about to perform in front of 10.5 million people. He then asked me if I as nervous. My response to him was “No… are you?”). I love music, and I love the stage, and I love television. My shyness isn’t gone altogether, but onstage it is no longer an issue. Confidence can go a long way… once you incorporate it.. 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

Legendary blues singer Bonnie Raitt in concert with Brett Jolly on bass

Bonnie_Raitt_and_Brett

Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“The Grammys”)

The 2016 Grammy Awards were presented last night, and the success of the show will probably largely depend on who you ask. I was literally surprised at the amount of performing artists that I “didn’t know on the program.” That wasn’t necessarily a bad thing though, especially considering the talent levels of today’s stars. I realized that they wanted to cover a lot of ground (and for the most part they did). However, some things (like the tributes to certain entertainers) should have been more extensive than just one song. There was a lot than could have been done for the tribute to the late Maurice White of Earth, Wind and Fire, but to just have Stevie Wonder and Pentatonix sing one acapella didn’t feel fulfilling enough for me. I did like what Lady Gaga did for the tribute to David Bowie, though. Her weirdness was pretty much just like “his.”  She “TOTALLY” changed the key of Bowie”s hit song “Let’s Dance” but it still came off well. I really was shocked that there was no special tribute to the late Natalie Cole. Her career (even with her ups and downs) was worthy enough to be considered for a tribute in my estimation. The Tribute to Lionel Richie was good, and I’m glad that Lionel was able to join in at the end. Here is a link to other facts about the show:

http://news.yahoo.com/2016-grammys-feature-fire-tears-064358848.html;_ylt=A0LEViVlHsNW2H8AxpwnnIlQ;_ylu=X3oDMTByMjB0aG5zBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDBHNlYwNzYw–

Adele was also featured on the program last night, and if you heard her sing then you realized that even the “best” of singers can have an off night. She sounded to me like she was having problems hearing herself in the monitor (and that could very well have been the case). It is also possible that she could have had a cold, but obviously her vocals were hindered greatly when trying to perform that specific song. Alice Cooper was scary when he performed with all the makeup on years ago, and as an old man he is “really scary now.” Nevertheless I enjoyed his performance with the band. Finally Bonnie Raitt and some others who I can’t remember did a tribute to BB King. I have worked with Bonnie Raitt before and she is absolutely one of the nicest people you could ever know. They did one song and I wish they had done a little more as well. Oh, and I cannot forget some group whose name I just can’t recall. The lead musician and singer was an African American lady who looked more like an old school teacher almost ready to retire than a performing artist. She wore weird color lip stick and a white loose shirt covering that only “made her look even bigger onstage.” However, the sound of the group was nice and they performed well. Rihanna didn’t show because she claimed to have Bronchitis (when did she ever sing live anyway? We all know she lip syncs).  I realized that one person’s music can be another person’s misery. How I view the show may not be the way others view it. However I surely respect that the Grammy’s “tried to do.” There was a LOT of diversity and to me that was “cool.” 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

Bonnie Raitt and Brett Jolly in concert

Bonnie_Raitt_and_Brett

Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“My experience with legend Bonnie Raitt”)

One of the questions I get asked a lot is “Who was the nicest celebrity that you ever worked with?” That is not an easy question to answer, because there were several who were really nice and pleasant to me. Bill Withers was great. Celine Dion and George Benson were really nice. Jeffrey Osbourne is still a good friend. However, when it comes to pleasantries, I would have to honestly say that the nicest person was a great blues/country/pop singer by the name of “Bonnie Raitt.” For those of you who are not familiar with her, please feel free to check out the link below:

http://www.biography.com/people/bonnie-raitt-9450875

I worked with her on two occasions and both times we had fun. She sat down with me and told me stories about her shows with John Lee Hooker and other personal things. She was “naturally genuine” and you could feel her positive energy. The only issue with her was the fact that she absolutely did “NOT” like to have her picture taken. She wanted no cameras flashing in her face and was adamant about it. Bonnie was so nice that she actually sent me a birthday card, and that is rare for most celebrities to do (especially if you don’t know them that well). It was great performing with her and it was great chatting with her. I hope you don’t mind, but I just wanted to share this 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:)

WWW.Brettjolly.com
Email: Brettjolly@aol.com
Skype: Brettjolly1

Bonnie Raitt and Brett Jolly in concert

Bonnie_Raitt_and_Brett

Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“When you’re on the brink of “losing it”)

I talked to a young lady vocalist yesterday who was interested in writing and recording. A few years ago she had relocated to one of those “major market places” to pursue her dreams, only to finally realize that this place (and the people) were not for her. She admitted that she came back as someone who had problems trusting others because of her experiences. When she wanted help she only encountered people who wanted to use her for their own purposes. She also said that she tried to find relief “in the church” only to find that even those “she trusted there” were also trying to manipulate her. She was so despondent that at one point she thought she was on the “brink of losing it.” She admitted that her experiences have marked her for life and she now doubts herself in many ways. I had to inform her that “some of the best writers and artists in history lived “troubled lives.” I reminded  her that Marvin Gaye was often a troubled individual who wrote about whatever he felt at that time. Sly Stone was another great writer who was constantly high and had trouble confronting life “head on.” Phyllis Hyman’s life was also tormented. Finally I reminded her of a woman who wrote some “great hits” stemming from her own troubled life, and that woman was Amy Winehouse. I told her that in life most of us come across “low points.” These moments can result in “severe depression” and can often make you contemplate things that you would never normally consider. I also informed her that whenever she feels that way then she only needs to “write a song about what she is feeling.” Sometimes the greatest songs are those that feature the greatest messages. There are many people out there who are heavily influenced by the messages or lyrical contents of tunes they have heard. By “channeling her energy into her music she can “vent” and also “create” at the same time. When an artists feels his or her work then usually the project benefits from it. I told her that she should never just “keep it in.” When I finished talking to her, she seemed a lot more “encouraged.” I do realize that not everyone is a songwriter. I only hope that anyone who feels close to hitting “rock bottom in ANY field” finds a way to “re-channel that energy” into anything positive. Life is filled with “ups and downs” but we don’t always have to succumb to “temporary moments of depression.” Redirect your frustration into something positive and let your misfortune “work for you.” Of course, this is probably easier to say than to do for some people. I learned about this years ago when I was younger. Every time I was severely frustrated I would go out to the basketball courts and take out my aggression on those trying to guard me (and yes, I had some really “great” games). Find your own niche and “make life work for you.” You just might be surprised at the outcome. 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

Bonnie Raitt and Brett Jolly in concert

Bonnie_Raitt_and_Brett

Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (Topic: “Freedom of speech… Does it truly exist?)

I was talking to a good friend of mine yesterday about “freedom of speech.” The issue we both addresed was whether or not that right “actually exists.” It was noted that when the Bill of Rights was established, there was no “digital world” to consider back then. There was  no internet, and there has been no amendment to include it ever since. Are we free to say anything we want? Donald Sterling (who owned the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team) was recorded “without his consent nor approval” while he said some very disparaging things about Blacks. Even  though he was recorded “unlawfully,” he still was brought under scrutiny and forced to give up his team for what he said. What he said was totally wrong, but did he receive “fair” treatment for what initially “should” have been a “private” conversation? Here in Pennsylvania, several high level officials are currently under investigation for receiving porn emails on government operated computers ( during government hours). Their resignations are now being sought. When you  go searching through other people’s emails, isn’t that an “invasion of privacy?” Does anyone believe that through email you can say anything you want without it being subject to being monitored? What about phone calls? We already had an issue where it was discovered that phones were being tapped by government and private messages were being recorded. Once that was exposed President Obama said that they would ease up on some of the spying, but do you really believe this to be the case? There are people in Hong Kong right now expressing what they feel are their rights to a government that is “determined” to “suppress them.” Language is the most valuable asset of the  human race. Through it we are able to communicate, operate and grow.  In many parts of the world  you cannot say anything detrimental about the ruler of your nation without fear of retribution. But what if the ruler is operating in an unethical manner? Should the people just accept it and say nothing? Expression can be our greatest means of advancing but it can also be our greatest root of destruction. “Freedom of speech” exists “only in concept” but “never in principle.” It is obvious that what you say “can” and most likely “will” be used against you.  For instance, when you are friends with someone on a social media site, your friend could possibly be investigated, which also means that the “friends” of your “friend” could “also” be investigated (that would mean “you”). If you have some type of criminal background, where do you think they are going to go to find you? Facebook and Instagram are VERY viable targets to find those who are considered unlawful. I personally would “never” be so naive to think that my words won’t ever be monitored or investigated, and that “includes” my Daily Thought. I’m fine with that because I truly have nothing to hide. However, you might want to pay closer attention to your own online activities. Sometimes believing in the concept of privacy just might give you a very “false sense of security.” If you want to know your “real” rights, then you need to fully embrace your right to “be silent,” because it is “quite” possible that your downfall can be a result of your “own” undoing. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought today, and as always, I wish you the very best that life has to offer.

WWW.Brettjolly.com

Email: Brettjolly@aol.com

skype: Brettjolly1

Blues legend Bonnie Raitt and Brett Jolly in concert

Bonnie_Raitt_and_Brett

Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (Topic: Should relationships be dominating?)

Okay, so just imagine “this” scenario. Last night I am rehearsing with a bunch of guys in a band, and the one member looks at his phone and then stops playing right in the middle of song. He says that he has to leave immediately, because his wife is expecting him to be “home” by an “exact” time. He sounded distressed, and he sounded worried. I was joking with him and told him that I highly doubt that he will turn into a pumpkin at midnight, but he said, “You just don’t know my circumstances. If I am not home by a certain time I will be locked out of the house for the entire night.” I found it difficult to even believe that he could be serious. After he left so abruptly, the other members of the band were talking about how bad his home life must be. Then one other member said that he could “never” have a wife like that. The question here is, “Should a wife be able to control her husband like that?” Should she punish him whenever he doesn’t do exactly as she says? Naturally, on my way back home, I had to ponder this. I then wondered what would make a man even take this stance in his relationship. Should he be considered the ultimate gentleman or the ultimate punk? It is one thing to love your wife and want to do all you can for her. It is another to be scared whenever you “can’t” do something for her because she happens to be so controlling. Then I started to wonder what could possibly have made him this way.  One scenario I thought of was that maybe he was at one point caught either cheating or doing something wrong, and this is his wife’s way of making sure it never happens again. The other thought I had was that maybe he really “is” just a punk who actually “likes” to be controlled or dominated. If the former is true then I could probably understand this a little bit better. Still, how can a man get locked out of his own house? To me, that would mean that she doesn’t even allow him to have the key to get in. Just the thought of that is troubling to me. If he is one of those men who just “likes” to be controlled then maybe I can learn to accept that as well. There are people in this world who love to play the role of subservience and he just might be one of those who do. Normally when you hear a story like this, it is usually the woman who is being controlled by the man in this matter. I hate to hear those kinds of stories as well. Whatever the case, we had no choice but to let  him go. Before he left he said that we will all get to meet his wife when we play this gig, because she will be the one bringing him there. Again, my mind began to ponder that maybe she is bringing him to the gig so that she can monitor his behavior and make sure that no females look at him or come up to him. Needless to say, I am “very” much looking forward to meeting “her.” A one sided dominating relationship seems so wrong to me, but if that is what both parties like then who am I to say anything? As long as both parties are happy then that “should” be all that matters, right? Stay tuned on this one, and I hope you all have a great day today.

 

WWW.Brettjolly.com

Legendary Blues Singer Bonnie Raitt and Brett Jolly in concert

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Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (Topic: “Halloween”)

Today is officially listed in United States tradition as “Halloween,” a time when people (usually  young kids) dress up in costume and go to doors soliciting candy and other treats from neighboring households. I have noticed that each year around this time it seems as though “less and less” children seem to be taking part in it. I am not sure as to why this tradition seems to be evaporating but I have heard different stories from parents who used to participate. One story involves the initial origin of Halloween. It has been proclaimed to be something that somehow “supports the devil” and has a negative side to it. In fact, it is believed that the concept of wearing costumes was done to either mimic or appease the evil spirits. When it came to “trick-or-treating” the underlying concept was that if no treats were offered then a “trick” was supposed to be played on the homeowner. As Halloween evolved over the years it has incorporated less of a sinister mentality, while still holding down the principle of “fun” for the kids. However, there  had been incidents where homeowners had “tainted” the candy with some kind of toxic or poison that would do harm to the kids, and that may be the reason why Halloween doesn’t seem the same anymore. I don’t know how this year will turn out, but if you are one of those who celebrate this tradition, I sincerely hope that you have a safe time, and by all means, be careful.

 

WWw.Brettjolly.com

 

Bonnie Raitt and Brett Jolly in concert

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Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (Topic: A moment with Bonnie Raitt)

I have been asked to share another experience with one of the celebrities I have performed onstage with, so today I figured I would give you a short story about Bonnie Raitt. A lady with a tremendously “beautiful” spirit, I had performed with her a couple of times on different occasions. On one of those occasions we had the chance to talk about some of the things she had done. She mentioned that a lot of times when she played duets with the legendary blues singer John Lee Hooker that he would “rarely” tune his guitar. He just preferred to pull it out and play, and she would just do her best to not let it bother her. Even when his guitar was not tuned properly, he still managed to make it sound great. Then she revealed to me something that actually shocked me. She informed me that she does “NOT” like to have her picture taken. I told her that she is so famous that how could she possibly “avoid” having her pictures taken, and she just responded by saying it is something that she just doesn’t like. If someone puts up a camera to her she has no problem at all telling him or her to put it away. She told me that she really loved the band that I was playing with (My brother, Bill Jolly, was the musical director of it) and that she loved performing onstage with us. When talking to her, she just comes off like someone real and genuine, and not a lot of celebrities give you that aura. I guess my biggest surprise came when my birthday came around. I received this card in the mail from a PO Box and I had no idea who sent it or where it even came from. When I opened the contents I was pleasantly surprised to find out that Bonnie Raitt sent me a happy birthday card. That was real special to me (even though I don’t think I can find the card around my home right now). By the way, if there are any of you who reside in the New York City area, my brother, Bill Jolly, is the director of a play that is worth attending. The play is entitled “Lady Day” and it reflects the life and times of the legendary singer Billie Holiday. If you are living in or residing anywhere around the New York City area I hope you take the opportunity to check it out. Thank you and please have a great day today.

WWW.Brettjolly.com

Bonnie Raitt and Brett Jolly in concert

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Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (My recent experience for Hillary Clinton)

Today I wanted to share with you a recent experience I just had. This past Tuesday I had the honor to play for a function for Hillary Rodham Clinton. For those of you who have no idea who this woman is, she is the wife of former President Bill Clinton and part of Present Obama’s team on National Security, and she is “very much” in line to be the “next” President of the United States (and first female President). For this event she was being honored with a “medal of liberty” here in Philadelphia and I was asked to perform with 2 choirs (a little girls choir from Princeton and a choir from Bright Hope Baptist church here in Philadelphia).  The song we had to perform was R. Kelly’s “I believe I can fly.” We actually performed the song at 7:00 pm but from 2:00 until about 6:00 pm we rehearsed this song “until my arms were about to fall off.” In all my musical years I don’t think I have EVER practiced one particular song “so” much. This ceremony was done “outside” at 6th and Arch streets in Philadelphia and yet no one could attend this event without prior invitation. The deep part for me about this presentation was dealing with the Secret Service. These guys are “extremely” thorough when it comes to protecting big political figures. They camp out “everywhere” and they take their jobs VERY “seriously.” I remember years ago performing for the Republican National Convention and having to deal with them. They had the entire group come in ONE bus, and then had us exit the bus while they had “specially trained dogs” enter to sniff out any “bombs.” They then had circular mirrors placed on long poles so that they could search “underneath” the bus as well. They had previously checked “everyone’s” social security number and they made sure to keep us all “in one area” until they were ready for us. For this particular event I “told” them that I had another gig to go to right after we finished, so I needed to leave “immediately.” They told me that they had to “escort” me out of the building for security sake. Personally, I wasn’t excited at all about Mrs. Clinton being there. I had already sat one person from her a few weeks ago when she and her husband attended the funeral for William H. Gray. In fact, when she sat in the front section she very nearly “stepped on my foot.” After I FINALLY managed to leave the building I had my suit on and my guitar in my hands walking towards my car. People were walking by looking at the heavy entourage of cars with heavily tinted windows and police escorts and wondering what was the big deal. They looked at me and I just told them that Hillary Clinton was in there receiving and award. Promptly one of the CIA people said “Go ahead and just make our job more difficult for us. You don’t have to let the entire world know.” I immediately let this woman know that first off, this ceremony was being “televised live.” If there is ANYONE alerting the world that Mrs. Clinton is here you can blame “ABC news.” Second, I informed the agent that “You are bringing your own attention to this area by the HUGE amount of security that you guys have posted “all around” here. Finally, I told the agent that I was headed to another destination and if you feel that national security was “threatened” by the two people I told by random chance then this job might be a little too “stressful” for you. I then smiled and said “I am sorry, and you won’t have to worry about me telling anyone else while I am on my way to my next gig. However, there WILL be a television set there, and I fear that the people watching might deduce for themselves that she is here.” I think I got a rather sarcastic look from the agent at that point, but it made no difference because I was leaving anyway. When I arrived at my next gig I told the band that the one song we will NOT play tonight is “I believe I can fly.” If that happens, then I am going to “seriously hurt someone.” I hope you don’t mind, but I just wanted to share this story with you today. I thank you for checking it out and I hope no one was offended by my portrayal of the secret service. If anything, I actually got a good laugh from it. Thank you again and have a great day.

 

WWW.Brettjolly.com

Blues singer Bonnie Raitt and Brett Jolly in concert

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