Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“When people want to come back into your life”)

I think just about everyone will at some point in their lives get “the call.” That call is usually from an “ex” of some kind who just wants to have a brief friendly conversation with you (that somehow never turns out to be “brief”). Normally as the conversation goes on they want to talk about the “good times” that you both had together, and if you still manage to stay on the phone with this person long enough then at some point you know you will get “the pitch.” That is when you hear the line “I have missed you.” Keep in mind that this thought “never existed” during the time you both were “angry and breaking up.” Why is it that people realize how nice you were right after the relationship is over and you’re gone? Usually those same conditions that caused your breakup in the first place have not changed, but yet somehow this person feels that dealing with those same conditions will be “much better the second time around.” The truth of the matter is that  “without change” you are subject to having history repeat itself and you would only be “reigniting an explosive situation all over again.” I do admit that some people can change for the better. Some people “can and do” learn from their mistakes. However, when you automatically know there is no change in this person, do you dare go back to the same circumstances that caused you so much stress before? Usually “ex’s” because ex’s for a reason… Once you take this person back then people will look at you as though you are “crazy.” The sad part is that they just might “be right.” If someone throws a brick at you and hits you in the head that would be wrong on their part. However, if you decide to give that person another brick to throw at you (after being hit already once), then you are the one who is at fault. How many bricks would it take for you to realize this is NOT a very sound idea? Many people do not always do what we know to be right. That shouldn’t mean that we continue to strive to do wrong. Before taking anyone back in your life, ask yourself if there is “anything significantly different” about this person. If you can’t find any type of reasonable change, then you might want to strongly reconsider any type of reunification. You can do bad all by yourself, and you know that. If you can’t make someone happy, there’s no sense in making the both of your miserable. Find joy with yourself until the right one comes along, and never settle for anything that won’t love you back… 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

Teddy Pendergass in concert with Brett Jolly on bass

Teddy_Pendergrass_and_Brett

 

Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“Music star in the Industry: Blessing or Curse?”)

Yesterday I posted a story on George Michael, the excellent singer who died and never really felt comfortable with the music industry. He had it all, or did he? When you think of it, how many other great stars struggled with issues while dealing with fame? Marvin Gaye’s life may have been great onstage, but his life problems were well chronicled with drugs, depression, and even his divorce. The good thing is that Marvin’s music showcased everything he felt and all that energy was re-channeled into his hits. Amy Winehouse was a walking drug time bomb. The people who managed her knew about her addictions and probably could have ordered her to get help (but of course, she never got it). She died a victim to her own demons. The same could also be said for Whitney Houston. Her life went from the very top to the very bottom and I just can’t imagine that no one could help her (or even offer). Her people had to know about it. How could they not? Years ago, Phyllis Hyman suffered from depression and drug use. I played for her memorial service and it was so sad, because people seemed to struggle trying to say good things about her. How is it that someone on top of the music world could have so many problems dealing with life? Many of us have probably wished we could have been recording stars, but considering what has happened to a lot of them would we still feel the same way now? One thing I have deduced is that wealth and fame do not necessarily guarantee happiness. If it did, then why have all these people struggled and suffered? Rick James died from drug overdose. Janis Joplin died from overdose. Bob Marley died from overdose. Jimi Hendrix died from overdose. What feels unfathomable to me is that 2 of the greatest stars ever (who both were extreme heath nuts) died the same way. Michael Jackson “seemingly” died from an accidental drug overdose and Prince died the same way. Does that seem “too coincidental” to you? With all of this happening why does it feel like in order to be a pop star you practically have to “sell your soul to the devil?” I have been a part of the industry for a while, even though I have only played for some of those who were headliners. While it is easy to wish you could be them, we don’t really know what they have to contend with whenever they come “offstage.” I do know that whenever one of these celebrities dies “someone who owns the rights to the music gets paid royally.” Maybe there is a story there…. On second thought… maybe not… 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

Teddy Pendergrass and Brett Jolly in concert

Teddy_Pendergrass_and_Brett-1

Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“My third concert with Teddy Pendergrass”)

People asked me to re-share my experience being the bass player for Teddy Pendergrass. The interesting thing about it was that when I was first asked to do it I really wasn’t interested. The bass player that Teddy already had “reneged on him” with 2 days to go for a gig they were supposed to do in Mobile Alabama. They brought me in for an “emergency rehearsal” and Teddy threw his entire show at me to see if I could play it. I had no idea what to expect so I came in with a “whatever” attitude. Nothing much was said during the rehearsal, but after we finished the very last song Teddy called me over and said “You came in here cold with no preparation whatsoever and you played my entire show better than my regular bass player. Would you like this gig?” I paused for a moment, and a smile came on my face and I said, “Sure.” I had no idea what a turning point it would be in my career. Teddy was a big star who had been paralyzed in a car accident 19 years before. He was the voice behind many big hits. Obviously his voice was not the same anymore, but he was still “Teddy” and people still loved him. This particular show was only my “3rd” performance with him. In essence they “threw me in the fire” because even for this concert I was not sure of what we were doing. However, I am one who “loves the spotlight” and whenever I have a big audience I love to “show my tail.” After a couple of years touring with Teddy I found this gig to be a happy one. We all would joke in the airports about a lot of things and I found out things about Teddy that most other people didn’t know. Unfortunately his health began to deteriorate and we had a show in Detroit (with Chaka Khan on the program) where Teddy had to leave the stage 4 times. After the show was over I could see Teddy swaying back and forth with his doctor (he had his shirt off). His eyes were rolling up in his head and for that moment I said to myself “This is it.” Luckily he managed to survive that night but for that moment it didn’t look good. “Not being able to finish a concert” was Teddy’s “biggest fear” and he retired again after that. This particular video clip is long (an hour and 9 minutes). You may not be able to sit through all of it. I am the guitar player wearing red suspenders with all black. From facing the stage I will be the guitar player on the “left side.” I hope you enjoyed me sharing my experience with Teddy today. There are a LOT more stories I can tell, but I will leave it here for today. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer. Hope you enjoy the video.

Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“Video of Teddy P in concert: When Somebody loves you back”)

After the post of the Teddy Pendergrass song yesterday I was asked if I could post another video song of Teddy performing live (or course, with me playing bass guitar on it). I was trying to see if I could find one that I had not posted before, and I think I have. This is a tune that we did in Los Angeles years back. The song is simply titled “When Somebody loves you back.” Teddy and the rest of us used to jokingly call this song “When somebody loves you from the back.” On this video, you will catch your first glimpse of me in the background of Teddy at the at 50 second mark, and there will be more throughout the song. I am the one playing the red bass guitar while wearing red suspenders (We all wore black for this). My only real closeup shot will be at the 7 minute and 6 second mark. If you are facing the stage I will be on the left side (Teddy’s right side). We had a lot of fun touring with Teddy, and I miss him very much. Life goes on and I am just glad that I am still performing music (which is what I love to do). It was a blessing to perform with him, and I am very thankful for that opportunity. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought today, and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.

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Email: Brettjolly@aol.com

Skype: Brettjolly1

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Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“A strong message from Teddy Pendergrass in song”)

Sometimes a man’s message can be reflected through his music. While there have been many different stories about the legend of Teddy Pendergrass, there may be some things that you don’t know. When I toured with Teddy, he knew that he had been offered a second chance in life. For those of you who don’t know, Teddy’s career had been cut down by a tragic car accident that left him paralyzed. While he had limited movement and mobility, he found himself in a position where (according to his own words) he could not even commit suicide if he wanted to. He was at the “very top” of his career and “the world seemed to open up for him” until this tragedy happened. After 19 years of being incapacitated Teddy wrote a song entitled “Truly blessed.” He recorded the song, and even though his voice was never the same the message in this song was truly powerful. It can be extremely humbling for a man to be “so powerful” one day and the next day be reduced to “a fraction.” This particular version of this song was recorded “live” in Los Angeles at the Wiltern theatre. It’s not the singing performance that makes this song great. It’s not the musical arrangement either. In order to fully appreciate this song you need to “listen to the lyrics and the message.” Oh, it’s also okay if you want to listen to the bass player as well (especially since I am the one playing bass on this track… smile). When you hear this man’s story in song it could have a major impact on your own life. Check it out for yourself and you can be your own judge. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought today, and as always i wish you the very best that life has to offer. Here is the song entitled “Truly Blessed:

Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“How long should funerals last?”)

Yesterday I had to attend a funeral for one of my relatives. He was a really good man. He was a Mason and he was a pastor as well. As much as I wanted to pay my last respects to him, I felt more uncomfortable as the service went on. You see, when you have to sit down for about half a day for a home going service it can have a big effect on you. Because of the fact that he was a pastor, there were “many other” pastors attending this service. I think that most of us realize that when it comes to churches and pastors, some of them can get “really long winded” when it comes to preaching. While the messages relayed were “awesome” the time it took to convey them seemed overly “excessive” to me. The service was designed to start at 10:00 am. It was not over until somewhere close to 4:00 pm. People were there for so long that some even got sick. The seat that I was sitting in began to feel majorly uncomfortable and painful after a while, and even I had to take a break and go outside. Should a funeral last that long? Needless to say, the service was truly a good one. I have no complaints about the quality of it at all, but for the sake of people who only want to pay their last respects I think it would be beneficial for these kind of services to be no more than 2 hours (sometimes it can be stretched to  2 and a half). Diabetics have to eat at certain times of day, and there were many in attendance (including my father). The church was at Enon here in Philadelphia and it is one of the biggest churches in the city (I believe it holds up to 4,000 people). I played for the funeral of Teddy Pendergrass at this church. I just didn’t want this service  to turn into a showcase for people who felt the need to exploit their preaching skills. After a while that is exactly what it started to feel like to me. I don’t want to sound like someone who doesn’t like church. I am in church a lot. I just thought that six hours was a little bit too much. 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

Teddy Pendergrass and Brett Jolly in concert

Teddy_Pendergrass_and_Brett-1

Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (Video of me and Teddy Pendergrass performing “Do me”)

For today I figured I would share with you a song/video that I did with Teddy Pendergrass years ago in Los Angeles, California. The song is entitled “Do me” and unfortunately, there are no close ups of me in this video. However, you can see me in the distance starting around the 54 second mark and periodically throughout.I will share one small story with you. One time we performed this song, and Teddy altered the lyrics to say “Do me, do me, do me, do me, screw me… do me”). I heard him “crystal clear” through the monitors and told him after the show that he should have known better. He looked at me with this cat eating grin and said, “Did I really say that?” I told him that I heard him say it “firmly” and he said, “Well, I guess you caught me” with a big smile on his face. I hope you don’t mind, but today I would love to share the video of this song. I have the red bass guitar wearing red suspenders and I am on the left side of the stage (Teddy’s right side). Thank you, and as always, I wish you the very best that life has to offer.