I'm proud to preview the upcoming VH1 documentary GREG BRADY: BEHIND THE MUSIC. If you thought their Lori Partridge special kicked ass, wait until you see this intriguing gem.
The eldest of the Brady siblings, Greg has lived through triumph and tragedy. From the mysterious death of his mother, to a near fatal surfing accident in Hawaii, his life experiences have made him into one of the world's great musical voices. Imitated by many. Equaled by few. Greg Brady's story is a special one.
As a songwriter, Greg is one of the most versatile in the business. Rock critic Kurt Loder once
wrote, "I remember once when those kids were supposed to record a song and Peter's voice started changing. Greg took a problem that would have floored a
lesser artist for months, and actually worked it into a masterpiece."
On September 14, 1973 The Brady Kids went to audition for an amateur TV talent show. They had won an earlier competition as "The Silver Platters" and were sure nothing could stop them. Music agent Tami Cutler identified the talent potential immediately. The problem for the rest of the kids, was that she only wanted Greg.
Little brother Bobby was furious. "It was pretty upsetting. I was working hard on my drumming for so long and Greg just left me in the cold. I hadn't felt that bad since I broke that vase when I was playing basketball in the house. Mom always said don't play ball in the house."
Tami Cutler thought long and hard for the right gimmick, before she came up with Greg's new persona. With the jacket of a matador, and the attitude to match, "Johnny Bravo" was born.
But the success of Greg's solo career was short lived. After learning that Cutler planned to release the album with someone else's vocals, Greg said "Adios, Johnny Bravo", and quit. But Bravo's impact lives on to this day.
Many credit the rise of Hispanic music to Bravo.
Puerto Rican singing sensation Ricky Martin says, "I owe everything I have to Johnny Bravo. Without him, I'd be "Living La Vida Crapa", if you know what I'm saying."
Monkees front man Davy Jones also sings the praises of Johnny Bravo. "When I wrote 'Girl Look What You've Done to Me', I was thinking Bravo all the way. If only I could have captured half the magic that Bravo did, I could have prevented years of hanging out with Peter Tork."
In 1974 the show was canceled. Greg and the rest of the Brady Kids got work as cartoons on the cleverly titled cartoon, "The Brady Kids". Though Greg was able to crank out some tunes, he regretted sharing the stage with the manipulative Marlon, the magic talking bird. After an uncharacteristically intense night of drinking, Greg, in a fit of drunken rage, broke in to Marlon's cage and tore him to bits with his teeth. Greg was fired immediately by the show's producers, but the magic was gone. The show was canceled and replaced with reruns of H.R. Pufnstuf.
It was at this time that Greg sank into a deep depression. Turning to drugs and alcohol, Greg's downward spiral brought out a dark side to his music that surprised many. His songs "Sam The Butcher", "Pork chops Applesauce and Maggots!", and "Me and You and a Dead Dog Named Boo" got little radio airplay, and sold horribly..
Everything began to fall apart. His dog Tiger was hit by a car, his father Mike died from AIDS, and sister Marcia's paternity suit left him broke and destitute. And to add insult to injury, Bobby and Cindy used his flashlight to sneak beans to a poor Indian kid in the Grand Canyon.
The dark grasp of heroin soon choked Greg Brady violently. On the verge of suicide, fellow musician Danny Partridge intervened, and helped Greg kick his addictions, making him the clean and sober rocker loved by many today.
For the whole story, make sure you tune in Sunday at 9PM to see "GREG BRADY: BEHIND THE MUSIC" on VH1!