Tuesday, February 14, 2012
I'm not looking to jump on the bandwagon of publicity about the untimely passing of Whitney Houston or attempt to speculate on the cause, but I do want to take a moment and reflect on a supremely talented woman who created the soundtrack of the mid-eighties and early nineties.
I was at work at General Motors in Flint one spring day in 1985 when I went to lunch with my friend Teri. As I slid across the red leather pillowed seat of her 1979 Oldsmobile Regency Diesel, she turned the key and the 8-Track player began playing Whitney's self titled debut album. Teri raved on and on about how talented she was. Everyone else seemed to agree, because shortly after that her music was everywhere.
Nowhere was her music more in evidence that in small town midwestern gay bars. It seems it wasn't possible to come out in the Midwest in the eighties without Whitney's videos as a backdrop. Her "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" was more to me than the first hit off her second album, the one that went to #1 on the charts the week the album was released- it the song playing at the Copa when I asked Dave to dance that summer of 1987. Thus began my first relationship, and "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" was our theme song. He had the steeliest blue eyes.
Years go by and lives change, but those early memories are held tightly. Thanks to Whitney for being the musical accompaniment of that era in my life. May you find the peace that seemed to evade you on Earth.