The Sad Part Of Earth, Wind, & Fire’s Career
via Earth Wind & Fire / Youtube
One of the best musical ensembles ever fusing several genres is Earth, Wind & Fire. Nevertheless, despite the incredible achievements of the band’s leader Maurice White, many of the band’s numerous members experienced great pain and suffering as a result of White’s autocratic leadership style. The issue eventually became so terrible that the band’s vocalist briefly disbanded the group in the middle of the 1980s. The bandmates’ journey is made all the more astounding given all they had to face because the worst of these situations are actually discussed below. Here are some unfortunate facts regarding the band that you should be aware of.
Maurice White Was Attacked Just Before the Start Of His Music Career
Maurice White described one of the harshest instances of prejudice he had to undergo while carrying newspapers for a living in his autobiography, My Life With Earth, Wind & Fire. Unfortunately, as dusk was falling, his journey took him into what in those prehistoric times was thought of as a white neighborhood. Two police officers harassed him by stopping their car and pulling over. The two officers did not stop at calling the adolescent racist epithets; they also attacked him.
The Band Struggled First
White rebranded the band as Earth, Wind & Fire because of their struggles to amass a sizable fan base. After their self-titled debut in 1970 and the subsequent album, The Need of Love released the following year, the band succeeded better as EWF, but they still weren’t able to create anything very successful.
Parkinson’s Disease Caused Maurice White’s Health Problems And Death
When White’s health worsened so he could no longer tour with the group in 1994, EWF played without him for the first time. The great songwriter tragically lost his battle with sickness in 2016, and he died at home in Los Angeles.
Don Myrick’s Murder
According to the Los Angeles Times, when police executed a search warrant at Myrick’s residence in 1993, they mistook him for a narcotics dealer. It was thought that the musician was carrying a gun during the commotion that followed their entry into the house, but all they had was a butane lighter.
EWF was Abruptly Disbanded by Maurice White without Warning
Earth, Wind & Fire suffered one of its lowest moments in 1983 after the album Electric Universe was a commercial and critical disaster and Maurice White decided to put the group on indefinite hiatus. The worst aspect of the news for his bandmates was that none of them had any alternative means of support lined up before the split, making it much sadder for them.
Maurice White’s Control Of EWF Disappointed The Band
As the other band members started to express growing dissatisfaction that their ideas were not taken into consideration, the floodgates of discontent within Earth, Wind & Fire began to open wide in the middle of the 1980s.In his memoir, My Life With Earth, Wind & Fire, Maurice White, who resisted giving up control of his band, described the difficult circumstances as follows: “As time went on, I believe that my clarity about what I wanted to do and how I wanted to do it became a source of some of their frustrations.”
Al Mckay’s Ugly Departure
The 1970s were the strongest decade for Earth, Wind & Fire. However, things changed in 1980 when guitarist Al McKay was frustrated with the severely unequal manner money was handled between Maurice White and the rest of the band. While EWF was on tour in South America, the issue reached a breaking point, and McKay declared his intention to leave the group. Shortly after that, when he objected to flying to their next performance in Mexico, he was formally let go.
A Heart Attack Blew Charles Stepney Out
While Earth, Wind & Fire was recording their album Spirit in 1976, arranger and producer Charles Stepney had a heart attack. Although Stepney was brought to the hospital and survived, it was only the beginning of the tragedy for the band members.