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Good People, Bad People


This is an illustration of Good and Bad people with two different stories.  One involves me, the other involves my wife, Adrienne.  The stories are based upon actual situations.  These are what in literature are referred to as morality stories and are set in a background centered around music.


The first story is mine.  I once played in a band which included two brothers, one played rhythm guitar, the other drums.  The elder was the guitarist.


The guitarist was OK, basically good enough to do the job but not talented.  Like most people of that level he believed he was much better than he actually was.  He would never listen to anyone, he always knew everything he did was the right way to do it.

Same old song…


The drummer was the best I have ever known.  He could bury any other drummer I have ever played with.  He had talent in capital letters and like most people with actual ability was fairly modest.  He was the main reason I stayed.  He was more than good musically.


The drummer also had a serious problem.  He was bipolar which is a physical mental condition, a mental problem caused by a physical imbalance.  This meant in addition to all the recreational drugs and alcohol he was on psychiatric medication.


The guitarist never gave the drummer his due.  He always treated him as his inferior.  Not only was the guitarist a mediocre musician, he was a Bad person.  Eventually he became so insufferable that his brother and myself both stopped playing with him and everyone went their separate ways.


The second story involves my wife, Adrienne.  As you probably know we had a live events company, Spellbound Creative Concepts, working together for fifteen years.  Usually we worked together although sometimes there were scheduling conflicts and we were in different places such as in this story.


One of the worst experiences of her life was meeting and working with Elton John.  She says he was an absolute nightmare.  It was for a charity, Aids Project Los Angeles, APLA.  She says he was bitchy, entitled, and cost the charity more in expenses than he brought in.  


APLA wanted him badly.  They wanted him so badly they did things she advised them not to do.  Adrienne had been in The Business since the 1970s.  She was sitting in the bar at The Rainbow on Sunset with Led Zeppelin and their manager Peter Grant while I was still in college.


Elton John demanded a choice of two suites at two different 5 star hotels to choose from upon his arrival.  This meant the charity lost the deposit on one of the suites since it was not a 24 hour ahead cancellation.  These are $3,000 or higher nightly accommodations.


He got first class airfare from London to LA and back on a very exclusive flight which was approximately $10,000 each way.  He got a limo everywhere he went whether it was show related or not.  The Rolling Stones do not ask for this type of transportation.


He demanded a special type of cheese which was not available locally and someone had to drive south almost to Orange County to get it.  Then he did not eat it.


He  got a fully stocked bar including expensive wines with a full buffet in his suite for every meal and several other perks.


What the charity got turned out to be a 30 minute show and an enormous bill for his expenses.  He soaked a charity and gave them almost nothing in return except for the use of his name.  This is an example of a very Bad person.

Edited by Clay Anderson Johnson

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