Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“Are we too busy to notice life?”)

If you notice, most of our lives are dedicated to accomplishing objectives each day. We wake up, we need to fix something to eat before we leave the house. We rush to get there on time, then we fulfill our obligations up to the point where it is time to take a break. Then we adhere to another time schedule to go back to our obligation until it is time to go back home. Then we have other things to do once we get back there. We are a people with so much to do that we can’t find time to “take in life.” Pressure mounts whenever we place emphasis on accomplishing something “by a certain time.” For many of us this is stress that is “self imposed.” For instance, are you one of those people who (whenever you are running late for something) always looks at your watch while trying to reach your destination? If you are already rushing to get there fast, then what purpose does it serve to continually check the time? Will taking note of the time help you to get there any faster? Of course not, but this is a prime example of how we add stress to our own lives. Do you find that you often worry about things that could possibly transpire “but have not happened yet?” When you always “ponder the worst” then you are contributing to your own anxiety or depression. While everyone goes through some type of stress at points in their lives, it is the “amount” of stress that can effect you and can even change you. For many people 9 to 5 jobs exhibit performance measures. In most of these occupations you have things you need to get done (and finish them by a certain time). Depending on the amount of work you do it could all have an effect on your health, your looks and your peace of mind. Whenever I am near an ocean, I love to just stand in front of the tide and just let my mind go. It relaxes me and it lets me know that there is more to this planet than just my responsibilities. I also get the same exuberance when I take a walk at night and gaze up into the stars. There is so much more to this universe but you will  never know if you don’t take a moment to breathe and take it all in. When you have a lot of responsibilities it will weigh in on you in one way of another. Take period moments to get out of your box and explore the things you never noticed before. Be at peace with yourself by not allowing your circumstances to get the best of you. Whenever I see faces of people in early morning rush hour traffic none of them looks happy. That’s because they have things to do and time deadlines to meet. Most of them don’t have time or desire to even smile. Make some time to marvel at life and bring an inner peace to yourself.. I honestly think in the long run you will be glad you did… 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

Harold Melvin’s Bluenotes (“Wake up everybody”) in concert with Brett Jolly on bass guitar

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Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“When great music groups lose their core members, is it still the same?”)

Last night I had my weekly event in Darby. From time to time we get celebrity visitors who come in. A few weeks ago Norman Connors came in to see us and he came back last night to see us again. Also we had a visit from a group that called themselves the “Stylistics Review.” Of course, they did the songs of the Stylistics and the crowd loved them. However, none of these guys was an original member of the Stylistics, so the authenticity of their show could easily have been questioned. This also raises issues about other great groups that are still performing. Death and illness claims everyone at some point in life. While a group can have longevity it doesn’t mean that its core members will always be around to perform with them. When you pay money to see a live show for a group, does it matter to you if they have any original members left? Groups like the Rolling Stones may only have 3 original members left, but the lead singer (and most popular member) is alive and still singing (and that is Mick Jaggar). Would you still view them the same if Mick was no longer with the group? The Temptations were a singing group that featured 5 singing members that had widespread popularity. Now the leader of the group (Otis Williams) is carrying the group on, but he is doing so with fill in vocalists that were never on the original recordings and he himself never had many lead singing parts for people to recognize. Also, there are at least 2 Temptation groups out there, just like there are several Stylistics groups, Delfonics groups, Platters and many more. Even groups like Harold Melvin’s Bluenotes are touring and doing gigs with “no” original members in the band. When you think about it, at some point most of those groups who had been popular 30 years ago will no longer have core members due to age and illness. Because of this there are also many copy groups who are touring around performing the same music but getting paid for it (and in some instances using some version of the same name). Is it right for them to get paid off of the works of the original groups? Whether it is right or not, it is indeed happening. Most people have no idea who is original and who isn’t when they go to see a group. Kool and the Gang has a lead singer who looks and sounds like the singer that made them popular back during their heyday. I am sure that it is more than just coincidence that it worked out that way.  I guess as long as no one complains about it (and still is willing to pay for it) then there should be no backlash from groups that are no longer original. Since time is moving on it will be interesting to see how much longer this lasts. I was trying to figure out how the Jacksons were doing. Their biggest star Michael left them a long time ago and now he is dead. I heard that the group was still performing their hit songs without him, but is it still the same? There may not be a right or wrong answer to this, but as long as people are still entertained, then I guess “no harm, no foul.” What do you feel? 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

Harold Melvins’ Bluenotes (with no original members” performing in concert with Brett Jolly on bass

Harold_Melvin's_Bluenotes_and_Brett_3

Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“The NCAA basketball title game”)

For the record, I am a huge basketball fan. When I was younger I used to wake up at 5:00 or 6:00 am just to go out to the courts and play. I would be there all day until my mother had to come get me when it got dark. Now I just watch the sport occasionally (I hardly have time to do much of anything else). However, even though I had a gig that night, I just had to watch the NCAA title basketball game on television on the big screen at the place where I was playing. For those of you who don’t know, the NCAA tournament is a “one loss and done” series where if you don’t bring your best A game you will be finished for the year. It is truly exciting to see and this year’s title game was no exception. The two top teams left were North Carolina and Villanova. North Carolina had some really tall guys that could play awesome ball. They also had a very famous alumni from their school at the game by the name of Michael Jordan. Villanova was a scrappy team that had “great chemistry” and “relentless defense.” If anyone got to watch this game it was heart stopping several times for whichever team you were rooting for.  I was going for Villanova because the university is located not far from where I live. The Villanova Wildcats were underdogs for much of the tournament. One of the reasons I like the team so much is because unlike so many other teams, this team is not based on a select number of superstar players. These guys “play and win like a team.” They are unselfish when it comes to passing  the ball to each other, and they love the system that coach Jay Wright installed. While none of the players will be considered “high draft picks for the NBA” they still managed to play well “together and win.” The lesson that I hope other teams will learn from this is that when you are a “unit, then it’s never just about YOU.” You win or you lose as a team and as long as you work together you can overcome most obstacles. This game was a prime example of how well teamwork can make you a winner. North Carolina played an awesome game and it was a shame that one team had to lose. Congratulations to the Villanova Wildcats for being this years NCAA Basketball Champions.

WWW.Brettjolly.com

Email: Brettjolly@aol.com

Skype: Brettjolly1

Harold Melvin’s Bluenotes and Brett Jolly in concert

Harold_Melvin's_Bluenotes_and_Brett_3

 

Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“Depression and erectile dysfunction”)

I got a call from an old female friend of mine. She has been “happily married” for years but yet she has been having an issue with  her husband that she thought I should write about. This is her story: When she and her husband were in a full relationship, they would “consummate the relationship” on occasion (“not a whole lot” according to her, but at least periodically). However, once they got married it took them “over 2 weeks” before they even celebrated the marriage sexually (I’m sure you can figure this one out). Since then, they have been having problems enjoying the “sexual” pleasures of being a married couple. Of course, the first question I asked her was whether or not she thought he might have been cheating on her. She said that she was fairly sure that he wasn’t, but then some other facts came out. At first he told her that he had an “enlarged prostate” and that was the reason he couldn’t perform. She then “made him” go to the doctor, who pronounced him “fit as a fiddle.” The doctor ran some other tests and determined that he was  probably having issues with “erectile dysfunction.” Hey, it happens for a lot of men over or around the age of 50. For the most part this could be somewhat “treatable” but the problem was compounded by the possibility that her husband also seemed to suffer from “depression” on top of it. From a “male ego” standpoint, depression can make “erectile dysfunction” even worse, because once a man’s ego is damaged then it could actually “take away” his “desire to even try” to please his wife sexually. The more you jump on your man the more you could actually drive him away. I told her that in order to get past the “physical problems” they would first need to address the “psychological problems.” Depression is prominent in a LOT of people (men and women alike) and most people do not realize to what extent they actually have it. In a world that seems “unacceptable” to people with depression they are often known to lie about their circumstances in order to get past them. That “could explain” why he lied to her. I told her to see a counselor with her husband and that might help them get to the root of his depression. However, from “her” perspective she was obviously “not happy. The main problem was that he lied to her about having the enlarged prostate in the first place. Also, she did not know that he was “taking those pills” during their relationship before their marriage. I asked her if he could just continue to take the pills for  her satisfaction but she said the pills are starting to “lose effect now.” That “could” be a result from his depression. She said that she felt misled when agreeing to this marriage and she would like for him to find a way to get her needs met. “Desire” is an “extremely important” factor in a man when it comes to engaging in sexual activity. The man has to at least “want to.” A counselor can at least help. The key would be to isolate the cause and source of his depression. Believe it or not, a “hypnotist” might be one way to find out. Depression is a major disease that plagues a lot of people. When you combine that with erectile dysfunction it could make the problems feel much more magnified. I will try to keep you updated on the progress of this situation. “No one” is perfect, and our bodies and minds are never guaranteed to operate and function perfectly forever. It helps to have an understanding of what you are dealing with. Hopefully this case will have a “happy ending.” 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

Harold Melvin’s Bluenotes and Brett Jolly in concert

Harold_Melvin's_Bluenotes_and_Brett_3

Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“Gone close to 30 years for murder… Can anyone accept him back?”)

The other day I performed at my Wednesday night open mic event and was having a really fun time. I often mess with the audience, dish out a few sarcasms and play a “lot of music.” This past Wednesday someone had come into the club and looked “vaguely familiar.” He came up to me and said “Remember me?” He was a drummer from way back in the day who had played professionally but had “disappeared from the music scene.” I had not seen this man’s face in close to 30 years. There was a reason for that: “He went to jail for murder…” I won’t mention his name, but many years ago this man was playing for a professional group but before this one big gig he decided to visit a female DJ and get high with her. She was brutally knifed to death, but right afterwards he went to play the gig. He was wearing her sweatshirt and had blood stains on him. The police arrived there and patiently waited for him to finish the gig before arresting him. While he was in prison a vicious rumor had been put out that he was stabbed and killed in prison. Naturally, when I saw him I wasn’t sure of what to say to him. As good as it was to see him again, I just couldn’t put the thought out of my mind that this guy was a convicted murderer. He told me that he had done 28 years and he was now free. Of course, he appeared much older and a little more sedate (He had a wild personality before and got agitated easily). Now he was trying to let everyone know that he was “back.” The places he used to play before his incarceration were no longer in existence. The original members from the professional group he used to play for were all deceased now. The world he once knew was now extinct. He obviously wants to get back into the music scene, but will anyone let him? There are a plethora of great younger drummers out here, and their skills are much more precise than his. I allowed him to play a number with us that night, and while he played the song correctly, his skills still needed to get some of the “rust off.” We talked for a little after the gig was over, and he told me that he is just trying to get back into the music scene. I wish I could hire him for something, but I already have a cell phone full of great drummer’s numbers that I can readily call (and I know they can cover the gig). When someone goes through an experience like that, how easy would it be for you to accept him or her back? Do you think you could feel comfortable working with someone who did time for manslaughter? I try not to judge anyone, because I feel that no one is perfect and we all would like second chances. He wasn’t that great of a friend to me 28 years ago, so it feels uncomfortable trying to accept him as my friend now. I will give it a shot, though. I may not have any gigs for him now, but if he can make the adjustment to his new freedom then I would definitely consider him in the “not too distant future.” Sometimes a little time can make for a proper healing. The easiest thing in the world to do is judge someone based on his or her past. It’ a new day… With it should hopefully come a “new spirit…” Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought, and as always I wish the very best to you that life has to offer.

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

Harold Melvin’s Bluenotes and Brett Jolly in concert

Harold_Melvin's_Bluenotes_and_Brett_3

Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“Criminal Background checks… Does this allow for second chances?”)

Let’s say that a man made a bad choice (or a bad mistake) in his life. If he broke the law and got caught, then under normal circumstances he would pay for that crime by doing time in prison. That would be considered his way of “paying his debt back to society.” However, once he finishes paying his debt and actually “wants to change his ways and live a clean and honest” life, what chances does he really have of doing so? Even if he has the very “best” of intentions, once a possible employer does a “criminal background check” on him or her the record will usually be a strong determinant in “denying” the opportunity for employment. Once someone has already paid his or her debt to society, should this be considered fair? If you take the time to really think about it, once you take away a man’s chance to make an honest living, what other resort does he really have other than to “go back” to a life of crime? I fully understand employer’s concerns as well, because if they actually “hire” a known felon and he commits a crime while employed then that could make them liable for litigation. If we are to believe in the concept of “second chances” then we need to allow opportunities for people to “get them.” I recently heard that some states may actually start “banning” that little box on applications that asks for an applicants criminal history. I think that is an excellent idea (if it actually happens). No one is perfect and for those who live long enough we ALL make mistakes. The issue is whether or not we will be given the chance to “atone” for the mistakes we made. When I was an apartment manager years ago, I had an man apply for the position of janitor. He was honest and admitted to me that he had done time in prison for murder. He was an old gentleman who had spent most of his life in prison and he only wanted the chance to live the rest of his life honestly. He pleaded his story to me and was believable enough that I wanted to hire him. The landlords of the place told me that I absolutely “had” to do a background check on him. Once the results came back they informed me that I could not  hire him. I know deep in my heart that he would have been a great employee. Criminal background checks are designed to protect the job place, but do they? Just because a man has done time in prison doesn’t necessarily mean that he hasn’t learned his lesson. The fact that he is even “applying” for a job should mean that he at least “wants” a second chance. Desperate people will do “whatever it takes” to make a living. Once we start denying people that second chance then can we really blame them for “going back” to a life of crime? We will never know if someone has turned a new leaf until we give them the chance to do so. If the states can shield job places from being sued for hiring felons, then that could be a great “starting point.” I hope we can find a way… 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

Harold Melvin’s Bluenotes and Brett Jolly in concert

Harold_Melvin's_Bluenotes_and_Brett_3

Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“Reposting the video for the Sound of Philadelphia”)

I had been asked to repost this video. Years ago i did a PBS special in Atlantic City where I performed behind the Three Degrees, The Soul Survivors, Harold Melvin’s Bluenotes, Jerry Bulter, Jean Carne, the Delfonics and many more. Here is a segment of that show. I can be spotted at the .38 mark standing while playing my red bass guitar. There are other closeups at the 2:40 and 2:47 mark of me as well. For some strange reason, the band for the O’Jays is the very last feature on this segment. This song was performed at soundcheck and the O’Jays aren’t even in it (and neither am I). However, I hope you enjoy the rest of the clip.