Growing up in the 70's there was one unalienable, unavoidable truth. Disco. Loved it or hated it, it was very prevalent and helped shape an era. I think above almost all else that is one of the things I held dear, which helped shape me and meld me into the person I am today, was the music. You cannot mention disco music without speaking of the Queen: Donna Summer.
I can remember going to Toronto to visit my Uncle in November around, near or on the weekend of my Dad's birthday (November 6th). Every year Toronto has a massive Santa Claus parade and we would always go. This one weekend happened to be my Dad's birthday. I have a memory of going to the Eaton's Center (a mall downtown) with my family (2 uncles, an Aunt, Dad, 2 cousins my sister and myself) and going down the street into a Sam the Record Man (This MASSIVE store on Young Street) with my Uncle Jim, cousins and sister. This store was HUGE. I've already blogged about my love of the vinyl, but this...THIS was my holy land. My wailing wall, my Vatican.
I can remember flipping through the records with my Uncle trying to find the PERFECT gift for my Dad. I'm not sure why we ended up selecting the Donna Summer album ("Donna Summer: Live and More") or who in the end, made the final decision as to which album we were getting. I can remember thinking that this woman, who I had never heard of ; as far as I was aware; looked so extraordinarily glamorous on the front of the album and I was intrigued to know what she sounded like. I knew my Dad would want to put the album on once he unwrapped it and I couldn't wait!
It wasn't until much later that I found out the impact and what an icon she had become for the gay community. To me (even now) none of that matters, I try not to get into the politics when it comes to music; if at all possible; if a musician is good, that's all that matters. The music. And hers was unbelievable. I always liked Donna Summer, but I think hands down; for sentimental reasons; my favorite song was "Fairy Tale High" followed closely by "Enough is Enough" a duet she did with another gay icon; the incomparable, Barbra Streisand.
I'm sad today because it feels like a piece of my childhood has died with Donna's passing. However she left us one fantastic legacy and gift to remember her by. The music.