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Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Exclusive Q&A with Sarah Dash ~ part 2 of 2

In part 2 of my Q&A with the one and only, inimitable Sarah Dash, we discuss her work with Keith Richards and The Rolling Stones, Megatone Records and Sylvester, the possibility of a Labelle reunion, and much more. On a personal note, I first met Sarah after a show at the Laurie Beechman. I had just come back from Floida after my mom had died. When my good friend, Kevin Scott Hall, invited me, he told me it would be good to get back out. He was right. During her patter, Sarah talked about her own mom dying and it touched me deeply. At the meet-&-greet after the show, we talked about our mothers' passings. There were tears and hugs and I was surprised at how warm and loving Sarah was. I indeed felt Lucky Tonight that evening.

Sarah Dash: Are you all right?
Buddy Beaverhausen: [Recovering from a coughing fit.] Just my sinuses. They're really bad today. I read on Twitter you have a cold eye?!
SD: Yes. I thought I had a cold but it's allergies. And, of course, at 54 Below, I was crying tears of joy and rubbing my eyes from the paper napkins on the table, so that might be how I picked up pink eye. The other thing is, at the hotel, I was sleeping on feather pillows which I'm allergic to. But I was so tired when I got into NYC, I just crashed!
BB: I heard you didn't even take your make-up off.
SD: Well, that was after the show, on Sunday, I just passed out with a full face of make-up on after talking to my sister on the phone. I was zonked! And when I woke up, I was like "What's wrong with my eyes?"
BB: Aww, that's horrible.
SD: I'm usually very conscientious about my health and my skin care and my scalp.
BB: Well, it paid off. You certainly don't look 70 by any means.
SD: Thanks, I think it's paid off. 
BB: I recently turned 63, so maybe I need some tips from you.
SD: No way! Baby, you look good! I thought you were 40-something.
BB: Bless you!

BB: I understand you'll be singing with Keith Richards again. He's said your version of "Time Is on My Side" is the best he's ever heard. Please tell us about working with Mr Richards and with The Rolling Stones.
SD: You can hear my voice on The Stones' album Steel Wheels. I love working with Keith and, yes, we have something new planned for everyone but I can't say much about that right now. I've recorded three times with Keith, and all these songs are being made available on cd. His newest, Crosseyed Heart, is being released this month sometime. I don't get to do a duet with him this time. Nora Jones does, and Aaron Neville as well. But getting to sing and work with Keith, who is amazing because he's a musical genius. Keith is an amazing guitar player and I cherish my experiences of working on the stage with him. He embraces many musical styles that I sing: jazz, blues, rock. I'm doing symphonic music now, singing Duke Ellington. I had my first live concert with a philharmonic, 50-piece orchestra this past July.
   But, getting back to Keith, when you sing with him, you get to work with the best and to shine with the best of your ability. He's a master musician and there are only a few who compare.

BB: Keith is also good friends with another '60s girl-group diva, Ronnie Spector of The Ronettes. (I think they're neighbors.) Have you and she ever met?
SD: We've never met but I admire her so very much. I haven't seen her onstage since her Brooklyn Fox days. As a talent and a unique voice, ever since I was with The Bluebelles. But also as an incredibly strong woman, to have gone through everything she's gone through and come out alive. No woman should be treated the way she was. She is a true spokeswoman for domestic abuse and I've dealt with that myself but nothing near the level of what she did.

BB: "Low Down Dirty...," "Lucky Tonight," the now-classic "Sinner Man." What was it like working with Patrick Cowley and Megatone Records, and Sylvester?
SD: I didn't actually work with Patrick because he was sick at the time. I dealt with his life partner. I remember his last name was Blackman. But he pioneered the San Francisco disco sound and we were originally to do an album together. But Blackman actually produced "Lucky Tonight" and Sylvester came to the studio and was asked to sing back-up.
BB: What was it like to work with Sylvester?
SD: He had been following Labelle when we got back from London. And he just loved the group, and he especially adored Patti and did his version of her song, "You Are My Friend." I loved him and he always came to our shows. And, once the group split up, Sylvester and I got closer and he even gave me pieces of his clothing. He was so much bigger than me, I could wear his tops as dresses. We toured some of the discos together. I love and miss him very much. When he died was right around the time my mother did, so I didn't get to see him, but Patti did.

BB: Is Labelle going to be like another great '70s group, ABBA, shutting the door on any future concerts together now matter how much money is offered, or is that not totally out of the question?
SD: I say never say never. Who knows? I heard that a producer told one of the other girls "You shouldn't be doing this and that." I recently heard from a producer interested in another reunion. But I haven't yet had the chance to talk with Nona and Patti about that.
BB: Wow, that's fresh news!
SD: See? I told you I treat you as family! I think a lot of our fans would want that and it still surprises me how much love they have for us as a group. I'm not sure if we'd be like ABBA, I'm not sure if we'll ever do another show, but I certainly won't say no.

BB: What can fans expect from Sarah Dash in the near future? And when can New Yorkers see you perform again?
SD: I'm writing a play about my life called Sarah Dash: One Woman, and I have a producer named Curtis King, who has produced people like Ruby Dee. I hope to be showcasing my artwork. I'm the Trenton musical ambassador for the Grammys and I have many other things on my plate now. And I'm preparing to get back in the studio and record again.

BB: You have such a long and stunning career and my blog consists of LGBT readers around the world, '60s girl-group fans, disco fans, Labelle fans. Any final shout outs to all of them?
SD: Thank you so much for your support, the amazing love you've shown. Thank you, Buddy Beaverhausen for this interview, thanks to Melvin Johnson and my management, and God bless you all. Much love!

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