My Friend, Danny
My Friend, Danny

What: Friendship
Where: New York
When: 1986-92

In the 80s, AIDS was sweeping the world. A lot was unknown about this terrible disease at the time. Danny was the first person I knew to get it. He was a good friend of mine - a very kind and gentle soul. When I would stay at his apartment in New York, he was always concerned about me feeling safe. He would bring out freshly laundered towels and sheets, so I would know everything was clean. At that time, not a word was ever spoken about his dreadful disease, but I could see life slipping away from him with each visit. He was surprised that a straight guy would stay in his apartment, when many of his gay friends wouldn’t even see him anymore. I always joked around, so I said, "The things I do to save a buck!" Making him forget about his current situation was a goal of mine. No matter what, he would always be my friend.

Periodically, I would go to New York with the hope to get a recording contract for one of the many groups that I was recording and producing. In the evening, Danny and I would always go out to dinner, and then hit the clubs to hear the current bands. Walking into the venues with Danny from EMI was great, as we would always get the VIP treatment.

One night I went by his office at EMI publishing, as we were planning to go to dinner. Danny said nonchalantly that he got some tickets for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Music Hall of Fame, and asked if I wanted to go. I started hyperventilating and said, "Do you know The Beatles are getting inducted tonight?" Danny always got a kick out of seeing me get so excited over things he took for granted.

Since neither of us had tuxedos, he called the guy (everyone knows a guy in New York) that could get them for us. Soon, in our semi-tailored tuxedos, we headed over to the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. We were seated at a table near the front, not too far from Mick Jagger, Ringo Starr, George Harrison, Muhammad Ali, and many others. Being there with Danny when The Beatles were inducted was an incredible evening that I will never forget.

Time passed, and I got a call from Danny asking to borrow some money. He said he wasn’t feeling very well, and was going to visit his parents in California. Strangely, he said he didn’t know when he would be able to pay me back. Jokingly, I told him not to worry, but if it took too long, I would track him down. He quietly said, "I hope so." Sadly, I knew that was the last time I would ever speak with my friend Danny.

My Friend, Danny