R E M E M BR A N C E — I've loved Aretha Franklin since I was about 10 years old, which would have been 1967. I used to eat dinner and then go to my room and open up my little record player and spin Aretha and Motown 45-rpm records 'til it was time to put on my pajamas and brush my teeth. Much later, I shared this love for music with my late, best buddy, Andy. I loved Andy, as a kindred spirit and as the brother I should have had, from the minute I met him in 1978, a friend of a friend from Vassar. We ended up being roommates in West Hollywood for a short time, and remained best of best friends for the next 22 years. He bought us tickets for an Aretha show in Atlantic City for my 35th birthday, 1992, and Teddy Pendergrass was in the front row in his wheelchair. I can't believe it's been almost 20 years since that crazy, awesome, night. I can't believe Andy died more than 10 years ago, now. I can't believe his birthday would have been this month; we should have shared our "fabulous NOT Fifties," and our "seriously NOT Sixties," together. Ain't no way it's been that long. Ain't no way I'm the one left to meander this rocky Earth alone. Ain't no way.
It's not that much of a video, lol, but it's the best recording of the song by Aretha I found on YouTube.
For my new readers unfamiliar with my work, this is a portrait I did of Andy from a photograph taken ca 1980. It measures 24" x 24" and is now hanging in Andy's mother's home. We used to do The New York Times' crossword puzzles for hours on end, and we spent a lot of time on NYC's subways. This is an homage to those checkerboard puzzles, the intricate tilework in original NYC subway stations, and to the multi-colored rainbow ways we viewed the world and led our lives.