El DeBarge Still Believes In Second Chances
Posted by Michael St. John on Aug 21, 2014 - 5:07:40 AM
AMERICA!—In 2012, singer/actor EL DeBarge was released from drug rehab excited about rebuilding his music career. He even signed with the David Geffen Record Company and produced a hit song “Second Chance.” Life seemed on the high ground again and El believed that he finally had licked the demons of death that were slowly smothering him into utter distraction.
When I spoke with my old friend he quickly let me know that it wasn’t easy to escape his addictive habits, especially when the “industry you are a part of is so recognized for fostering superficial emotional levels of stability.”
“Man,” he offered, “it’s a day to day thing. When the thing that can easily destroy you is on every corner practically, it takes everything you have inside to walk away from it. It’s not easy. At times you want to lock yourself in a closet and not come out because of the feeling that makes you feel as if you’re on top of the world, at least for a while.”
One wonders with all the success someone like El DeBarge had during the 70s, why he would fall prey to the drug lords who were always ready to feed the needs of anybody in the music business who could afford it?
“I found that even though my career was going great and I was in demand everywhere, I still felt lonely and lost. There was something missing. There were times when I didn’t want to wake up or get out of bed or even take a shower. It was hell to see daylight. Drugs magically, in my mind, made life and all the demands I was experiencing professionally tolerable.”
After his “Second Chance” record hit, there were numerous requests for appearances all over the country. He was even offered several acting roles in films and television. El DeBarge felt alive again and believed he was strong enough to see some of his old friends in the business again.
“It was a mistake,” he said. “Being around the old gang only reminded me of the old feelings I had during the early days of my career. I weakened and it was another visit in hell. The difference was that I realized that I had to get away from all the temptation that was just there for the taking. The next day I admitted myself back in rehab.”
El DeBarge is currently out of rehab, but he has decided not to rush into recording or performing again until he is convinced he can deal with the demands and pressure that the music industry demands.
“I’m having to learn to walk again,” he said. “I feel that I don’t have to prove anything to anybody anymore. I only have to feel comfortable with myself.”