The Donna Summer Tribute Site

NY Daily News 

October 15, 2003

Donna recalls
Summer-time blues

Clear the dance floor: Disco divas Donna Summer and Chaka Khan are going head to head with tell-alls about how they survived that decade of decadence known as the '70s.

Summer recalls having more to cry about than that cake left out in the rain in "MacArthur Park." The Bad Girl writes in "Ordinary Girl" that she was inches away from suicide in 1976.

Depressed about an abusive relationship, Summer opened a window of her Central Park South hotel room and climbed up to the sill.

"I hoped the weight of my loneliness would send me crashing 11 stories to the sidewalk below," Summer writes. "I put my right leg out [and] my left foot somehow got caught as the drapes bunched around the curved radiator pipes ... The door swung open and in walked the maid ... Flooded with shame, I was shocked back to reality."

It didn't help that the year before, a doctor had prescribed an amphetamine that "had no shut-off valve" that allowed her to "easily go three or four days without sleeping."

Yvette Marie Stevens - aka Chaka Khan - hit the drugs even harder. As late as 1999, she was with a "'Mr. Right' [who] loved keeping me full of crack," she admits in "Through the Fire."

And she says some of her celebrity pals didn't like an earlier husband, Richard Holland, because he was white and Jewish.

"A lot of people took issue," she writes. "A drummer of note" threatened to kill him in a late-night phone call.

"Another musician - unfortunately blind but unfortunately not color-blind - let him know in no uncertain terms that he was triple-p--," she says.

Later, the couple ran into this sightless musician at a party with a white woman on his arm.

"'Dude,' said Richard, 'You know the girl you're with is white?'" 

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