Sunday, August 10, 2008

i've waited a long time to hear Bill Withers in person

and i finally witnessed a sliver of his soulful perfection last night at the prospect park Celebrate Brooklyn tribute. although i had no idea when i'd ever see him sing live, i KNEW i would. (and though it wasn't confirmed that he'd actually sing at the tribute, as soon as I heard "Grandma's Hands" I knew he'd be coming out from the audience to sing it. and he DID!)


speaking of seeing legend's in person, it is not a coincidence that i got to see isaac hayes perform on the same prospect park bandshell stage, about a month and a half before his passing this morning. my first thought was that this has indeed been a sad weekend for black entertainment with isaac hayes and bernie mac's unexpected transitions. but a friend reminded me that there's no need to be sad, "Sad!? Celebrate that them those brothas were here!" and though i feel especially for Bernie's family who fully expected his complete recovery, i do find inspiration in how his career really took off in the past 8 years in light of his humble beginnings (which lasted well into his 30s.... speaking of humble beginnings lasting into one's 30's, this interesting telegraph interview from 2006 also points out how Bill was 33 before his first record deal....) anyhoo, i've been blessed to see a # of the greats before their passings (Nina, Tito, Ray, James...) and now Isaac Hayes has been added to that list.



darinstrauss said...

I was there, too. It was great -- such a diverse, ahppy crowd -- and some of the performance were wonderful. But I must say, I really wanted to hear the man himself. And the five bars of Grandma's hands showed he could really sing. When he went onstage for lean on me, and then Jut the Two of Us, I thought he could have been generous enough to belt out a few lines.

You weren't disappointed -- even a little bit?

Mai~Goodness said...

let me tell you, when you understand and know that a entertainer such as Bill Withers just does not perform anymore, then you appreciate the five bars of Grandma's Hands as a possible once in a lifetime opportunity, or certainly one that doesn't come around very often! i read in an interview that Bill showed up to a something back in April, i think it was, and didn't sing AT ALL! Not even a lil bit. Got someone else (Hall from Hall & Oates) to sing the song for him!!! So, wishing he'd sang more, SURE! Grateful to have heard him sing anything at all, PRICELESS ;)