the person that was taking care of them, they was out partying so they was out partying and they saw me out partying. That’s how it works.
EBONY: But now you’re saying you’ve evolved? You mentioned earlier that you’re more of a preacher of some sorts when you’re not making music?
EL: Yeah. I evolved to that. When I took that look at myself, I realized there were some things that I did not like. You know? As a father, as a man and as a person and as somebody who was supposed to be loving someone … I fell real short. I wanted to be something special -- not as a person, not just as an entertainer, not no star. I wanted to be special as a person. I want to be Godlike. You know what I’m saying? When I say Godlike I mean, you know, I’m a very spiritual person and I think through God I wanted to be like Jesus. You know? Fell way short, babe. Do you know how short? I [laughs and dips his hands to the floor]…I can’t get that far.
EBONY: That’s how short, huh?
EL: That’s how short. So after that, after I stopped evangelizing and stopped preaching to people and stopped and take a look at myself and I saw some things I didn’t like, so I started changing those things. I went through the process of changing. Let that out. Get that out of you. Cut that out. Get that out of you. I’m gonna keep that. And where I’m at now, I really like the person. I really think the person is really trying to be, and is working on it every day. The last song, "You’re Always There" -- that’s really a song that I dedicate to my wife, because she showed me what real people would do for people, how far they would go to make it work. My wife is such a giving person. I tell her, ‘You might be the dog of life, girl, but you done fooled the hell out of me.’
EBONY: You’ve got a big birthday coming up this month. You’ll be 70 on June 16th. What stands out?
EL: The success of my sons. That, to me, was very gratifying. And then the success of Gerald by himself; that was a great moment for me. With the O’Jays … I still remember the first time I heard my record in the middle of Wyoming…
EBONY: On the radio?
EBONY: What was that like for you?
EL: It was like ‘they’re playing my record here where’s there’s nothing but white folks and cowboys.’ That let me know that I had reached into America totally.
EBONY: What is it you would just love for people to kind of walk away from this project thinking?
EL: I just want it to be good music. I just want them to say that it was a good record, and my money was well spent, and Eddie did a good job. I’m 70, girl. Anything I get now is, what, gravy? Yeah, gravy. I’d call it gravy and grace. If you’d a saw me three months ago you’d have been talking about, ‘Man, what the heck is wrong with Eddie? He’s creeping along.’ I’m glad I’m back.