Sunday was the ideal day for it. Loaded Gumbo the Hound into the streamlined CRV, rolled down the windows, and prowled the scenic byways, blaring a Donna Summer concert CD at ridiculous volume.
That Summer passed is sad, obviously, but what's wonderful about her music is what's wonderful about the best disco: it's impossible to be melancholy while you're listening to it. For that matter, it's impossible to sit still — unless you're driving, so I did my best to be responsible.
Beautiful, sunshine-spangled afternoon, the Hound with his face in the wind, the CRV speakers up to the task: Donna doing "Love to Love You," "On the Radio," "Bad Girls," "Hot Stuff" and the monstrously great "I Feel Love."
It was a fine way for my own personal gesture of gratitude to Summer, and I had to laugh as I thought back on my relationship with disco.
When disco was "born," I was by musical design, and compelled by peer pressure, to hate it — and so I arbitrarily did. Then something odd happened. It occurred to me that I actually liked disco — or at least some of it. I liked some of it a lot.
I want to say the song that made me blast out of the closet was the Bee Gees' "Nights on Broadway." I'll NEVER get tired of that song.
… And so of course, back at home after our drive, Gumbo and I learned that Robin Gibb had died.
Truth told, we've basically reached that actuarial point in the Big Diagram of Baby Boomer Music where the artists are just gonna die with greater frequency. On May 13th, the terrific and influential bassist Donald "Duck" Dunn also departed — and it seems to me, going forward, I could use this space solely to commemorate the passing of musicians.
Many of my recent posts have dealt with such things: Davy Jones, Dick Clark, Bugs Henderson … My pal Marisa Nadolny borrowed the Aging Rock Dude blog to beautifully eulogize Adam Yauch. Because so many folks are dying, I purposely did NOT write blogs on folks I greatly respect — Levon Helm and Coco Robicheaux, for example — simply because it gets too depressing.
If nothing else, though, these deaths remind us to go back and re-acquaint ourselves with songs and work that perhaps we've overlooked for a while. And that's a good thing. The music IS eternal, after all.