Left Coast Voices

"I would hurl words into the darkness and wait for an echo. If an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight." Richard Wright, American Hunger

We’ll Never Have That Receipe…Ever – Donna Summer RIP

Earlier this month, Donna Summer passed away, may she rest in peace. I was never into the disco scene; rather I saw it as a (generally unsuccessful) opportunity to pick up a member of the opposite sex. Compared to today’s analytical on-line dating, what we did in the 70’s and 80’s seems practically cave man.

Disco music often seemed superficial as though it’s sole aim was to get you strutting your funky stuff out on the discothèque floor. Coming from a guy who was headbanging to Led Zeppelin and Rainbow, or trying to find his place in the punk music of the day (Boomtown Rats anyone?), I admit this is somewhat ironic at best.

But there was one Donna Summer song that resonated with me as I left England, the country where I was born and had grown up. It occasionally rains in England and this song offered a finality that has stuck with me in everything to do with my birthplace (family and soccer apart, of course).

I really don’t know much about Donna Summer and resisted lifting snippets of other people’s articles on her life and personality. Ms. Summer gave me a gift that traveled with me through three decades and three continents. MacArthur Park resides in my all-time Top Ten. For that reason alone, I want to take a moment and honor her life.

Donna Summer – R.I.P 1948-2012.

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Alon Shalev is the author of The Accidental Activist and A Gardener’s Tale. He is the Executive Director of the San Francisco Hillel Foundation, a non-profit that provides spiritual and social justice opportunities to Jewish students in the Bay Area. More on Alon Shalev at http://www.alonshalev.com/ and on Twitter (@alonshalevsf).

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