Oh Eldra… Could that really be you in both of these photos? Say it ain’t so.
El DeBarge, the love of my life from like 1985 thru 1997, has been arrested yet again on drug possession charges. He’s been in trouble a lot in recent years, and I’m really hoping he can get it together and make a comeback! Hahaha… I am so kidding. Although a few years ago when he was performing at this little lounge in DC, me and a couple of my girls were super geeked to go out to see him. But we only wanted to hear the old stuff. His stuff was classic, Rhythm of the Nite, I Like it, You Wear It Well, All This Love… El DeBarge (and DeBarge as a whole) is one of those artists you don’t want to hear anything new from, because if it’s not fantastic it could taint their near-perfect discography. I feel the same way about Frankie Beverly and Maze. Just keep touring with the hits — put out another greatest hits album with the songs arranged in a different order and I’ll buy it. Just don’t go back into the studio!!!
El was clearly hopped up when we saw him… but he sounded damn good. It’s so sad to see your favorite artists go thru tough times, but then you remember they’re just normal people. Everyone has an addict relative that can’t get their stuff together. My friend Herbie does a joke about how we need to stop being outraged when athletes commit crimes and recognize that criminals sometimes have other skills. (I’m paraphrasing here… but it goes something like…) “We need to stop saying ‘I can’t believe that basketball player assaulted that woman’ and start saying ‘Wow, that rapist has a great jumpshot.'”
And it’s so true. We don’t know how long he’s been at this. I’m sure he didn’t start getting high the first night he was arrested… Perhaps we shouldn’t look at El DeBarge (or any other artist in his situation) as a singer with a substance abuse problem. Maybe we should look at him as a drug addict with a nice falsetto.
I hope you get some help, El! We miss you man.