This must be big since the topic of this blog is not about food, school or an irritating fellow student. Some of you may know that I’m a total disco freak, I only have disco music in my iPod and I think all other music sucks. With that in mind, I was stunned, saddened and really bumbed to discover as I was checking email this morning that Donna Summer had passed away. I quickly glance at what was trending and noticed that Donna Summer was #1. Before I could stop my reflex, I had clicked over to email so I forgot about it until I was done. I was so curious to see why #1.
Growing up on Maui in the 70’s was a blessing and a curse. I am still alive as a result but it was incredibly boring. In high school, my goal was to be a Certified Public Accountant. Talk about being a nerd! One day as school, we had what is known as Career Day. I remember the exact location and I almost remember what I was wearing. I don’t remember the other stops that I made except for the room with the pulsing rhythm. I knew it was a hair salon from Oahu and they were doing a hair fashion show. Up till this point, the music that I listened to was America, Three Dog Night, Elton John and Boston. What was this spacy, hard driving electronic music with a woman singing vocals? I stood in the back and watched the glitz and glamor of a real fashion show from the “big city.” I kinda felt like Jethro in the Beverly Hillbillies. Beautiful people, pulsing music and lights….I was sold. When people ask if there was ever a transformational moment in your life, that was a life changing event, that was the moment for me and Donna Summer’s “Try Me” was the song.
I was so amped, I asked someone who looked important who was the singer. They gave me all the information and I headed out to the record store to get a copy. To my amazement, they had it. It was quite odd though. It was LP sized but there was only 1 song on each side and the songs were both approximately 17 minutes. This is where it gets fuzzy…I don’t remember if it was the B side to Love to Love You Baby. That was the first disco song that I ever heard and the first 12″ disco single of many that I ever played.
It was at that moment that I knew there was a bigger life outside of Maui and I started counting the days to my move to Oahu. Within a few months of starting college, I had changed my major from accounting and became a dance major. Who knew that Donna Summer indirectly played a part in my dance career which led to my real estate career and now my life as a culinarian.
I also have to say that the first concert that I ever went to was on Oahu and it was either her Bad Girls or Once Upon a Time tour. I remember how excited I was to see her perform live. Her music was a constant with me all through the late 70’s. I remember waiting for her albums to get released. They had become these amazing double album sets that were theme based. The cover artwork was amazing and she was photographed by the best photographers, including Francesco Scavullo. She got a little weird and Christian in the early 80’s but relaxed a little. She had some good songs in the mid 80’s and 90’s. It wasn’t until 2008 that she released her first full length record in 17 years. She has an amazing collection of songs that so many people don’t know about. Most people know the radio hits like On the Radio or She Works Hard for the Money. There’s some amazing stuff on her Live and More album and Bad Girls.
She also played an important part when I met Stephen. She was the topic of one of our first, if not first conversations. I knew this would work because of that! We were fortunate to have seen her two more times. It was in 2008 at the Los Angeles County Fair (I was shocked to see that she had put on some weight and worse yet, was wearing flats!). We also saw her at the Hollywood Bowl with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. Her voice was still so amazing.
In closing, I will leave you with 2 songs; first Try Me, which is still a selection in my iPod and another one of my favorites which is a slow song, There Will Always Be A You. This song would make me tear up just listening to it, now there is a reason. One of the most amazing voices ever.