Music Heals

Here is a post that I thought I had entered last year, but I did not.  I have updated it as things in my life have changed.  Enjoy, LDS


September 2015 I flew to NYC to visit friends and to see a concert by a man I never knew much about, or focused on over the years, Bruce Sudano.  I was enamored of his wife Donna Summer who, when I was a teenager, flourished as a award winning singer/songwriter and musical icon.  After his wife passed on in 2012, I was devastated, but I was also happy to discover that most of Donna’s  immediate and extended family all have creative artistic talents, including Bruce Sudano who is an accomplished award-winning songwriter/singer just like his wife was.  And, Donna’s three daughters and grandchildren all exhibit creative talents, singing, acting, crafts, etc.  While the internet can sometimes seem very intrusive, one must be careful what one puts online, I was happy to have discovered countless pictures and videos online of Donna and her somewhat private family.

I never saw Donna in concert, something I deeply regret.  But, in September I decided to attend her husband Bruce’s record release event to support his current album, The Burbank Sessions.  (Here is my iTunes review –  I am no music critic, keep that in mind.

bcs ticket joesubThe story of what happened at the venue where Bruce performed, Joe’s Pub, is kind of funny to me, so I will share it here.  I purchased my ticket beforehand, picked it up at “will call.”  When I arrived inside the club the table I was assigned to was occupied by a couple of people including three gentlemen who were friends.   Tickets were ordered per seat and tables were communal.  I was alone, therefore, I ended up sitting with strangers.

The hostess showed me to my table, but she was upset that some other people were seated there.  The men politely  assured the hostess they had purchased their tickets, but she was very strong and assured them they were mistakenly seated at MY table.  I had to tell her, “Hey, I only have one ticket.”  I was very embarrassed, I am not a fan of confrontation.  The dust cleared and I sat down and apologized to the gentlemen one of whom was Bruce’s brother Barry, a very friendly and talkative man and a bit of a character.

IMG_2724LD and Barry Sudano 9/9/2015

Of course I prattled on and told Barry how upset I was when his sister-n-law passed and I talked about my mom who was then still alive, but very ill.  We spoke only slightly about Donna, but I believe my delivery must have seemed sad to Barry because when his brother’s concert was nearly over Barry asked me if he could pray with me.  Now, besides the fact that I am Catholic, although non-practicing, I normally don’t let strangers lay their hands on me, but…. 

Barry gently placed his hand on my shoulder and he prayed on me, or for me.  I later learned Barry and Bruce have another brother, Father Glenn Sudano.  Perhaps Barry was channeling his brother who did not make the event.  Actually, I did fly back home safely, so perhaps Barry’s prayers work!  I’m being silly here, but in all honesty, I appreciated Barry’s sincere offering.  I also think Barry is genuinely kind and supportive, he proved that by cheering on his brother loudly and often during Bruce’s set.  Barry applauded his beloved brother with a honest heart.  It was a sweet thing to experience.  It is obvious to me that Barry loves his family as does Bruce which is commendable.  I see what Donna saw in the Sudanos.   

Bruce’s set was very well done, very revealing and beautiful, sad in spots for me, but entertaining to say the least.  Bruce is more talented then I knew especially as a writer, he has great command of words and emotion behind them.  Bruce Sudano is successfully re-emerging as an artist and he reminds those of us who did not know him that he is in fact, alive, kickin’, writing, singing and performing.  I personally respect Bruce for being faithful to his family, his wife and kids and to himself.  I respect that he believes in his faith so strongly that he continues to move forward and flourish.  I struggle with faith everyday, if I get a hangnail I literally run screaming for Jesus like someone stole my purse!  (I say this about myself often).   Listening to Bruce’s music makes me want to try harder to be more faithful and positive.  Cheers to Bruce, Barry and their families.

* * * * * * * * *

Life is ever revolving, it does not care that humans are not always ready for “movement.”  Life moves and we must move, quickly and firmly.  We must keep going until it is our time to go like my beloved mother and my biological father.  (photo taken of my parents 1996 at my college graduation).  My father’s older sister and my favorite aunt whom I called “Auntie”  passed on in late February 2016.  (below photo of me and Auntie at her flat in San Francisco I believe in 1961 or 1962).  My world is not getting smaller, it, in my mind, is making room for the latter half of my life to begin.

parents at my graduation edit

Doris Banbury (1930-2015 ) and Clyde Lee Sargent (1930-2014)

me and Auntie_edited-5

Annie Lee  Sargent-Campbell (1928-2016)

And in my latter life I will always believe that music heals and it helps people to move forward.  I enjoy and respect artists who not only exhibit their talents, but they share their lives of pain in song.  It is encouraging how the music plays out and how the artists’ words resonate a bit of hope for me and for that I am grateful.  Cheers!  LDS

IMG_2693Joes pub with B Sudano 9-9-15LD with Bruce Sudano 9/9/15

Here is the link to Bruce’s concert footage at Joe’s Pub, NYC.  Bruce shares the cool story of the origins of the Multi-platinum song “Bad Girls,” written by Donna, Bruce and his Brooklyn Dreams band mates Joe Esposito and Eddie Hokenson.  What’s Cher got to do with the “Bad Girls” song? Find out at 36:29 on the Joe’s Pub video.

“Two Birds, One Stone”

I never really enjoyed hearing the phrase “kill two birds with one stone,” I could never be so cruel.  But, it’s only a phrase, you’re doing as much as you can with what little time you’ve got. I chose to use the phrase as title for my latest video, a brief bit of travel for business, or as the hip-hoppers say, “being on my grind,” and some fun.  The business or “grind” deals with my upcoming fiction book, “Girl With the Upside Down Guitar.”  More on that later.  The “fun” was supposed to be a visit to the Grammy Museum to see the Donna Summer exhibit, featuring some of her costumes, writing and art work.  I believe these contributions were given their blessing by Donna’s husband Bruce Sudano and Donna’s three daughters, Mimi Dohler, Brooklyn Sudano-McGlafin and Amanda Sudano-Ramirez.  sisters and the Gaines family and respective families.  And I believe the exhibit got the blessing of Donna’s sisters and the Gaines family and respective families.

Now that I think about it, “kill two birds?” after having viewed the personal belongings of legends such as Tupac Shakur, Mike Jackson and Donna Summer?  OMG, what an idiot I am!  I might have phrased that better.  ~sigh~  Wow.  I think what I am trying to do with my life now is grab passion, work hard for passion and live life with as much passion as possible.  That’s all I want to do right now, not kill two birds.  I want to live my life to the fullest and do as much as I can with what time I have left. Perhaps that is what my title should have been, “life and passion,” not “two birds, one stone.”  Well, who cares, too late. Geesh!  :c(

Visiting the museum was not exactly the thrill I thought it would be.  The museum is a nice site nestled amongst a thriving bustling downtown Los Angeles, wow!  I had not lived in LA since the 80’s, what an expansion!  But, how could the fun really be fun when I can’t Tweet or Facebook or Instagram such wonderfully talented artists as Pac, Jackson or Summer and thank them for their contributions?  So, I was a bit sad about having to see their pictures behind glass showcases rather than in person.  But, ah Donna, well she was special to me.  I was a teen a when she flourished musically, I tried to sing like her, my voice back then sounded only slightly similar, and I mean ONLY SLIGHTLY.  And, I had no idea Donna was so gifted, so “deep” and so tall!  And Donna spoke German, she left for Europe just out of high school, very impressive.  Just a few things I learned about her from reading her book and viewing her online videos.  Great lady. 

I admired Donna because she was not only a talented singer with a huge vocal range, alto, soprano, etc., but Donna took chances and she was a wife and mother; a life that I never got to experience.  The exhibit showed off Donna’s beautiful paintings; pencil renditions of costume design, her writings and a couple of videos showcasing her musical abilities and dramatic flare. I believe Donna had it all and I admired her for her drive, risk taking and passion.  My passion?  Well, it left the building years ago. but I am working hard to get it back.  I am not aiming to become the iconic star Donna was, but I would not mind inspiring people like I think she did for me.  To be passionate, take chances and live the life you set out to have.

Until I write again, hopefully with a clearer head for blog titles, enjoy the video and the song at the end called “I’m a Fire” from Donna Summer’s album, Crayons.  It is a remix created in 2008, by someone named Matty Soulflower.   I chose the song to celebrate Donna and her “transition” as it took me this long to deal with her death, not mourn her life.  The version of her song is very San Francisco club mix. In honor of Miss Donna and others who have left far too soon, enjoy.

Cheers! LDS


I believe that given this ever-changing internet era, it is a good time to be alive, yeap it is.  It is especially a good time when contacting with “noted” folks, or celebrities. Some of us on occasion, in my case only occasionally, like to write, tweet, Facebook celebs and immediately connect with celebs which is pretty cool. But, I have learned that the difference between literary and visual connection is way different. When you write, you run the risk of misunderstanding and misrepresentation. But, when you speak face-to-face you don’t need to clarify yourself with winks, LOLs or happy faces. You simply speak your mind and the person you spoke to gets it. Or not.

Back in the day you wrote letters to your favorite stars and were lucky if they were not returned to you unopened. But, in the internet era celebs actually connect with you! You write your thoughts, they see your thoughts and they know how you feel! Cool, right? If you are lucky you might catch a celeb in mid-tweet, or on Facebook, Tumblr, etc. and garner a response right on the spot. Whoa!

The upside is that the celeb might “favorite,” “re-tweet” or even reply, ever happen to you? They may “like” or make a small comment to an earnest response you made to their work, their music or their role with a, “cool,” or “nice,” or “thanks.”  Feels good being acknowledged by a celeb, right?

The downside, depending on what you write, might get a negative response, something that is misunderstood without a happy face, wink or sidebar. That ever happen to you? You end up feeling like you did something wrong, “gosh, did I actually upset the singer/actor/whatever whose music/movies I support?” How many of us write to our favorite celebs only to have them misunderstand our tweets or Facebook/Tumblr/etc. posts? How does it make you feel? Do you still like the celeb after they ripped into you?

I recently tweeted about a married duo I have come to enjoy and whose music I purchased, JOHNNYSWIM. Actually, I think I only connected to them because of the wife’s mother whom I adored, Donna Summer. I grew up listening to Donna’s music and Donna’s husband’s music, Bruce Sudano, solo artist who occasionally performs with Brooklyn Dreams. Took me almost two years to accept that Donna passed since she did not share with fans that she was ill, which is fine, some things do not need to be shared. I’d like to think Donna brought me to her daughter and her husband, this is an amazingly talented duo. But, I digress, I always do. Anywhoo, I don’t know who moderates J.S.’s Twitter account, but whomever he/she was, they did not like a comment I made about a venue J.S. will appear at.

 4:06 PM – 18 Apr 2014

@LDSargent: “JS will appear in SF in June at a 1914 bldg that was a mortuary refurbished into restaurant/bar.”

@JOHNNYSWIM  “Info I could’ve gone w/out?

@LDSargent: @JOHNNYSWIM  “Quoted what was on their website, figured you knew since you’ll be there. No worries, have a great tour.”

I simply stated a fact and a bit of what is historically part of my hometown, yet someone read in it something bad, I think. Or maybe they were being smart-ass and I could not tell since there was no wink or happy face. I finally realized the idea of mentioning a mortuary might have set them off, but LOSS is everyone’s burden, not just two young folks who were talented enough to bleed out their pain with great writing and music.

I am not angry at being misunderstood, I will continue to support the duo, but my suggestion to any noted person, any celeb out there and/or their moderators who pick and choose whose tweets, etc. they respond to, and READ THIS CLEARLY, if you don’t like what you read from a fan/supporter, simply don’t respond.” It is the mature and probably the safest thing to do and it will prevent confusion and hurt feelings. My suggestion to us peons, us “regular” folk, write whatever you want, but keep in mind some celebs might write back. ;c)   As for you folks who marry into “royalty,” in this case marrying noted folks or their children, good for you, you are in a very tight-knit cliche.  But, keep in mind, life is not always fair and it does not last forever.  Karma, however, does last, so watch your back and try not to disrespect those who support you.

This is a good time to be alive and to connect with celebs, but be aware of what and how you write, that’s what I have learned. Or, write what you want and feel comforted that a celeb is “feisty” enough to write his/her disagreement with you which makes them more human, than “noted.”  As I deal with my nearly non-existent ailing mom; my aging cats; and my lack of having my own family, I choose to live in a positive, happy environment with anyone out there who chooses the same. We all suffer loss, however, I choose not to live with the pain, but to live regardless of it. Like Johnhnyswim says in one of their songs, “…I’ll die when I’m done.” Well stated, ‘cause I sure ain’t done LIVING.  In closing, I am happy that there are people out there, including celebs, who allow me to speak to them through my fingertips and share with them comments or recipes or videos or pictures, etc. from one human being to another.

Have a great week ahead, back soon! Lorrie  

A few artists who appreciate ALL their fans; Dwight and Nicole (Great band, great folks); AloeBlacc; LoNero ☆Guitarcore☆ The Sam Chase; Orianthi (this busy gal actually follows ME); The Mystro Power of Music Band, etc.