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 – https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-burbank-sessions/id1034595908). I am no music critic, keep that in mind.
The 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.
LD 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.
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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.
Doris Banbury (1930-2015 ) and Clyde Lee Sargent (1930-2014)
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
LD 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.