Dave holds a special place in my life. He is one of West Yorkshire’s most accomplished artists and is the illustrator of six of my past publications; two of them (‘Sleezy the Fox’ and ‘Douglas the Dragon’) selling around 100,000 copies throughout Yorkshire schools between 1990-2002. The late Princess Diana praised these books and read them to the young princes William and Harry when they were aged 9 years and 7 years respectively. Since their own marriages and the birth of their children, I have (with their agreement) sent each of the married princes, copies of these two books, so they can be read to their children when the time comes. So, please be aware, Dave, that the £150,000 profit that I raised from the sales of ‘Douglas the Dragon’ and ‘Sleezy the Fox’ has not only been read by the next King of England but also by the monarch after King William has been and gone. Also be aware that the £200,000 in total raised by 2005, was done by the magnificent contribution of yourself and hundreds of others who helped me in my charitable book-writing and publishing years. You are one of the most accomplished artists I have had the privilege to know in whatever material you choose to work in. Also be aware that any of my 60 plus books sold in the future, that all profits go to charitable causes in perpetuity in the form of free books. All these books can be bought on www.amazon.com and www.smashwords.com in either e-book format or paperback.
My song today is ‘Too Much Love’. Having been singing songs daily now for two years and researching the songs I sing, the singer or group about whom the least confirmable data is known is ‘Bread’. My song today comes from a multi-platinum album of theirs called ‘The Best of Bread’ and was released in 1973. The album contains 12 songs and was released between 1969 and 1972.
‘Bread’ was an American soft-rock band from Los Angeles, California. They had thirteen songs on the ‘Billboard Hot 100’ charts between 1970 and 1977. The band was to experience break ups, alteration to memberships, reunification, breakups and more reunifications in its lifetime.
David Gates was the lynchpin of the group. He was from Tulsa, Oklahoma. He released a song in the late 1950s entitled ‘Living Doll’ on ‘Atlantic Records’. Gates knew Leon Russell and both played in bar bands around the Tulsa area. Both Gates and Russell headed for California to check out the music scene there. Before forming ‘Bread’, Gates had worked with Royer's previous band. The trio joined together in 1968 and signed with ‘Elecktra Records’ in January 1969. The group's first single, ‘Dismal Day’, was released in June 1969 but did not chart. Their debut album, ‘Bread’ was released in September 1969 and peaked at No. 127 on the ‘Billboard 200’ chart. The songwriting on the album was split evenly between Gates and the team of Griffin-Royer
On July 25, 1969, ‘Bread’ appeared in concert for the very first time. Over the years the band’s composition would constantly change. ‘On the Waters’ (released in July 1970 and peaking at Number 12 on the ‘Billboard 200’ chart). This time their efforts quickly established ‘Bread’ as a major act with the ‘Billboard Hot 100’ Number 1 hit ‘Make it With You’ in 1970. ‘Make It with You’ would be Bread's only Number 1 on the ‘Billboard Hot 100’ chart.
Over the next decade, the group would have someone leave it, another would take their place, break up, re-assemble and then break up again. This is probably why not too much pertaining to historical accuracy and facts are available. Throughout, the group would always be in the charts and continue to promote a new album. In 1978 Gates enjoyed success as a solo artist.
I didn’t become acquainted with David Gates and Bread until the 1980s; a good decade after the group entered the pop scene. By that time, my wife had wanted to end our marriage and I was in a new relationship. As happens with all significant changes in life (and they don’t come any more significant than changing wives), a change in musical taste invariably follows.
David Gates represented a new part of my life; a time when I had lost a wife and had found a new love. Despite all the pain and hassle that a bitterly contentious divorce involves, followed by ten years of attending matrimonial courts in respect of securing and maintaining weekly access with my two sons, I had emotionally moved on with my life. I had resisted my marriage breakup for seven years before it happened, but once I’d agreed to my wife’s request to end our relationship and leave the matrimonial abode, I knew that there wasn’t one thing in the world which could induce me to return. Like a caged bird who’d remained reluctant to fly the cage every time my wife opened the door and tried to shoo me away, once I’d flown the cage, there was simply no way I was returning to it, only to have my wings clipped again.
The mistake I'd made in my marital relationship was to love my wife ‘too much’. Indeed, I loved her so much that I made allowances for some of her behaviour that was literally ‘unforgivable’. I allowed her to emotionally abuse me by taking advantage of my nature as a loyal husband and a good father. I know that many people (better Christians than I am today) hold the view that one cannot be too loving, too kind, too understanding and too forgiving to a marriage partner or any significant other. While I too believed that to be the case then, I hold a much more realistic view today.
In my own personal life experience as well as in my working experiences over a 26 year period as a Probation Officer, I tell you that people who love another ‘too much’ are inviting inevitable hurt, They may foster the overprotection of the one they love, and experience abuse and be taken for granted by the one who is loved too much by them.
Human beings who find themselves on to a ‘good thing’, often come to take that ‘good thing’ for granted and to always expect it to be there in the manner they have grown accustomed to.
Imagine a man who marries a woman and the couple are so much in love. Neither partner has had very much of a happy family upbringing and is determined to make the most of their newfound happiness. Their marriage provides each with a happy daily existence. The wife wants and needs to show her love by doing everything she can to make her husband happy. He, on the other hand, cannot believe how lucky he is for having found such a selfless woman to love and marry. The man’s wife cannot do enough for her husband and it becomes too easy for him to let her carry on.
During the first three years of their married life, she has his cooked meal on the table at six pm when he walks in the door from work. As soon as he gets in the house, she greets him with a loving kiss, asks him “How has your day been, dear?” She then helps him off with his shoes, gently puts on his slippers and they sit down and eat and talk together. Even when their two children come onto the family scene and the early morning baby cries begin and cuddling is needed by the child, it is the wife who gets up every time and says to her husband, “I’ll see to the baby, dear. You get your sleep; you’ve got work tomorrow”.
This unselfish pattern by his wife goes on for the first seven years of their marriage. Then, one day when her husband comes home from work at the end of the day, and his wife hugs him but doesn’t kiss him, he quickly realises that something is wrong. Something has changed in their previously established relationship. He has to remove his own shoes and put on his own slippers. Then, when he goes in the lounge, he finds that his evening meal is not on the table ready for him to eat. His expectations that he has taken for granted over the past seven years are thrown into utter confusion. The immediate thought which he cannot stop coming into his head is, ‘What’s wrong?’
He wonders if one of the children has had a bad accident and is in the hospital with a broken leg, or if his aged mother-in-law has died, or if his own wife has been medically diagnosed with a fatal disease? The answer could be ‘Nothing is wrong! Or everything is wrong!’
Why, oh why, does something have to be wrong when you don’t get what you’ve been led to expect?
Too many times during my life have I heard a mother say, “I love my son/daughter so much that I would die for them!” This is an unhealthy situation that does not help your son or daughter one iota. Don’t die for them! Don’t even live for them! If you want them to be truly happy, love them, understand them, assist them but never to the point of disabling them or not allowing them to think for themselves. They must learn to make their own mistakes, and if you show them that you love them and are there to help them up when they fall, you are carrying out your main mother’s role.
There have been many a wife who not only marries a man whom she calls husband but sadly sometimes she marries a man who is still tied to his mother’s apron strings and whose expectations in how he wants to be treated in his marriage life, is to have the new woman in his life to continue playing the roles of both his wife and mother.
Love and peace Bill xxx