Thursday, March 26, 2009

March 26: Teddy Pendergrass (b. 1950)

R&B singer Teddy Pendergrass, born on this date, was paralyzed in a car accident in Philadelphia in March 1982. Two years ago, he celebrated the 25th anniversary of his survival with an all-star concert, and gave this interview in connection with the publicity surrounding that:

I don't have a full transcript, but the passage that interested me most starts around 3:00, where Pendergrass talks about not emphasizing the "cure" goal--instead, he says:
"I feel obligated to help those with spinal cord injuries realize their life's ambitions and be able to live life as independently and productively as possible, through education and employment opportunities.... I don't want to foster cure. I don't think that's a real thing to foster. For me, I'd rather foster and emphasize quality of life. I think that's more important.... research is important, [but] what do we do in the meantime?... I will never step up and step on the cure bandwagon, I'd rather be realistic, I'd rather live life the way life goes."
(The interviewer seemed to expect a different answer to his question about celebrity advocacy.)


william Peace said...

Awesome! With dignity and style Pendergrass put not only the interviewer but Reeve in their place and pointed out the flaws with the cure business.

Jodi said...

That was great. Thanks for posting.

Mike Dorn said...

Happy Belated Birthday to Teddy! MD