BootLeg Betty

Liz Smith Remembers Donna Summer’s “Last Dance” At Hulaween 2003

chicagotribune.com
Donna Summer — we loved to love her, baby
By Liz Smith, Tribune Media Services
May 21, 2012

Photo: Barry Shermer

“GOD HAD to create disco music so I could be born and be successful.” — Donna Summer

DIM ALL the lights … what a shock — Donna Summer’s death from cancer last week. A little bit of my relative youth gone. How well I recall nights at Studio 54, and other clubs of the ’70s and ’80s, with Donna’s groundbreaking music blaring.

In 2003, I attended Bette Midler‘s Hulaween Ball. Donna was the special guest entertainment. She had been laying low for a few years. The audience was tense with anticipation. Donna appeared, gorgeous. She opened her mouth, began to sing and it was Studio 54 all over again. Still magnificent. The entire audience went berserk. By the time she finished, delirium had set in.

Shortly after this, I read Donna’s frank, no-frills, no-dish autobiography, and reviewed it positively. The morning the item appeared Donna Summer herself phoned to thank me for the review and for my previous writing about her appearance at Bette’s gala. She was a doll — charming, funny, appreciative. In fact, she seemed much like the title of her book, “Ordinary Girl.” And the very next day, she sent a lovely note and a CD of her greatest hits.

That’s my Donna Summer experience. She was way too young for her “Last Dance.”

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