When considering how much divine destiny plays in producing an artist, no argument is complete without starting with the two great composers of all time: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, born 1756 in Salzburg; and Ludwig Van Beethoven, born 1770 in Bonn. Although their collaboration and respect they had for each other’s talent was never a question, they couldn’t have been further apart in their moral status and beliefs. It set the stage that all through history men are given gifts by God and He is not a respecter of persons.
When I first started out in the business in the 60’s, not really having any strong belief system to ground me, I started noticing among my peers that artists like Gladys Knight, Luther Vandross, Lou Gramm, BJ Thomas, Darius Rucker, and the list goes on, all had something unique about their voices that could no be imitated. The same for musicians, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Billy Preston. Etc, etc.
Over the course of touring throughout the world with about every type of artist and personality you can imagine, I have come to the conclusion – we really are not “driving the bus.”
Like a clear blue sky or a moon-lit night I have become a little more secure in seeing my life as just another part of the puzzle, but unique – “When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained, What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him? For You have made him a little lower than the angels, And You have crowned him with glory and honor.” Ps. 8:3-5
One of my favorite movies is “15 blocks” by Bruce Willis, the theme of the movie is all about how people can change regardless of the circumstance they were born into or the messes they have made of their lives.