Bill Withers is a living legend. He is unquestionably, the most regular famous guy, I have had the fortune to talk to. When Sony/ Columbia Records released a greatest hits collection of his music titled, “The Best of Bill Withers: Lean on Me” back in 2000, I had the honor of doing a phoner interview with him.
We talked about his upbringing, life, career and hits including: “Lean on Me,” “Lovely Day,” and “Ain’t No Sunshine,” among others. Earlier this year, “Still Bill,” was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Stevie Wonder and John Legend had the distinct pleasure of performing in tribute to the man, that accepted his recognition graciously and humbly, as anyone who knows him would expect.
Years before I got to speak with him, I remember hearing him in an interview, on the radio while driving. His recurring phrase throughout the discussion was, “It just don’t get me off,” referring to the glitz, glamour and polotricks of Hollywood and being popular. The movie “Lean on Me,” based on a true story that starred Morgan Freeman, is about high school principal Joe Clark. The film’s title was inspired by Bill’s hit song, and it featured covers of the classic, including versions from Thelma Houston & The Winans to Big Daddy Kane.
The highlight of this interview for me, was Mr. Withers talking about acquiring items for his house, from Home Depot. So without further adue, I hope you’ll enjoy the conversation, as much as I did having it…