Sunday, February 12, 2012

A Sad Weekend

I am saddened this weekend by the loss of two famous people.  Whitney Houston died yesterday afternoon, cause unknown.  Glen Campbell has not died yet, but he is dying slowly of Alzheimer's disease.

Whitney Houston had a fantastic singing voice, and she was beautiful as well.  She has left behind an incomparable singing legacy, and she even performed well as an actress in the movie "The Bodyguard" with Kevin Costner, a ground breaking movie at the time because of the interracial relationship portrayed in the movie.  Yet she paid a heavy price for her fame and talent.  Perhaps if she had a little less talent and a little less fame, she would have been more able to pay the price for her talent and fame, and Whitney Houston would still be alive today.  It is sad when someone dies so young (she was only 48 when she passed after all) and with such a talent, but it is even sadder to think what the drugs and alcohol did to her, that they caused her to lose that talent, and maybe ultimately, her life.

Glen Campbell has a great talent of his own, a talent for singing and for playing the guitar.  According to CBS Sunday Morning,  Glen Campbell played guitar on many recordings, including at least one recording of Frank Sinatra.  He even was a Beach Boy for 6 months before making records of his own and hosting a TV show for 4 years.  He has had many hit songs, and he acted with John Wayne in "True Grit".  He is 75 now, and last year he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.  Not only is there no cure for this disease, but it robs a person of who they are, their ability to remember things and remember people.  It robs people of their personality.  Glen Campbell is on his last concert tour, and his last album is now out.  Three of his children play in his band, including his daughter who helps him stay on track, especially during the concerts.  His life is slowly ebbing away, and it is so sad to see that happen to Glen Campbell.  It is so sad to see that happen to anyone.


Katherine Mercurio Gotthardt said...

That Campbell's family continues to play in his band means he is leaving behind a living legacy, not something all celebs can be proud to have done. And he has used his talents throughout his life, retiring because of disease, not drugs. While Alzheimer's is a horrific illness, especially for the family, it is not something that could have been prevented, like drug abuse. When people end their own lives through self-destructive habits, it's a particular kind of tragedy--suicide versus a more natural death.

Something you said about Houston particularly hit me: "Perhaps if she had a little less talent and a little less fame, she would have been more able to pay the price for her talent and fame..." Is there such a thing as living beyond one's means when it comes to talent and fame?

Brad Tomlinson said...

I did not watch Whitney Houston's funeral yesterday, but I did see on YouTube part of what Kevin Costner said at the funeral. Whitney had a lot of insecurities. She always wondered if she was "good enough". There certainly were high expectations on her. She had set such a high standard, and a lot of people expected her to perform at that standard, or even at a higher level. That is lot to ask. It may even be unfair to ask this of someone. Apparently she couldn't handle having such a great talent and great fame. The level of expectations was too much for her. My guess that is the reason why she turned to drugs and other destructive habits. She could escape the expectations and the insecurities.

I think she was living beyond her means of being able to cope with having such talent and fame. At that level, not many people do. You have to have a good support system to help you handle the bad aspects of being talented and famous, the expectations, the media, the demands on your time. Perhaps the people around Whitney did not help her, or were not able to help her. From his reputation, Bobby Brown, her former husband, was not able to help her. It seems in fact that he enabled the bad behavior.

Who really knows all the reasons someone chooses the wrong path. In any case, it is still very sad that someone with such talent died so young. To quote Kevin Costner, "Whitney, you don't have to worry about singing before the Lord. You are good enough".