Diana Ross Time Machine

Diana Ross Central Park 1983

Diana Ross on stage in Central Park, 1983. Fighting a storm, singing.

Recently, while driving in slow traffic I listened to the best songs of Diana Ross on the stereo. Before leaving I had picked the cd of a shelve, not really thinking. I used to love her. Her records were my psalm book. The music played, and the car slowly became a time machine and I was back in college. 1980’s.  {Funny how fashion now trends similar features: quiffs with shaven details for the boys, skinny jeans, wide tops, geographic patterns, and bright fluorescent colours.}

Back then I was black. I listened to soul music since my first album ever, being the K-Tell masterpiece ‘Souled Out‘. Full of funky cries from the soul -which I played non-stop on my suitcase stereo- it introduced me to my first crush, Gloria Gaynor: I Never Can Say Goodbye. From the top of my 10 year old lungs!  (It was not a stereo, but mono: the lid was the mono speaker of the case cum turntable)

Diana Ross was a queen of Eighties’ soul music. (She was really a Sixties Soul Diva, that’s the era of her birth as a superstar, but in the Eighties she had that Chic thing.) And while slowly driving on a sunny day, it all happened again; I’m Coming Out, Reach Out And Touch Somebody’s Hand, It’s My House, Endless Love with Lionel Richie…volume 40, loud. Listening to the lyrics, I was a teenager in high school again, thinking it was all about me.  I started to sing along. Some strung out chords tapped into the joy and wishful anticipation and ofcourse the horrendous insecurity.

When I nearly reached my destination I had to stop at the traffic lights, where my eighties boombox got some stares and I was zipped back. Very selfconcious I turned down the volume. {classic}

But looking forward to the journey back.

Look them up:

Reach Out And Touch Somebody’s Hand, Diana Ross in Central Park in 1983, when a storm rages over the park and the weather becomes a situation. Rain pours down, Diana’s hair goes down, the camera gets in trouble towards the end and in between the crackles in the sound, behind the static she says: “Don’t worry! It took me a lifetime to get here, I’m not going to leave!”. And the crowd loves her.

I Never Can Say Goodbye, Gloria Gaynor in 1975. The clip was shown in a German Cult show. That about says it 😉

About Wilson Tichelaar

relentless hunter gatherer of soothing beauty, great and small
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