Terri Nunn and Taylor Dayne Didn’t Betray Us
Posted on January 11, 2021
I sometimes forget I’m not a 15-year-old-boy, mostly when I’m listening to music from the years when I was that age. Or, perhaps, I feel like I’m that age even when I’m listening to an artist from those years who’s continued to release new music. Their voice always takes me back. Fondly. And I have to catch myself when I hear a bit of news about these artists I don’t necessarily agree with because, damn it, I’m 50 years old now–no longer that sweet, innocent teenager. Okay, maybe just no longer that teenager.
Here’s the thing. As an author, I have no control over who reads my books, and I don’t care. I don’t care the color of a person’s skin, their age–provided they are an appropriate age to read my work–their gender, their sexual orientation, religion, or the political party they affiliate with. If they get some enjoyment out of my books, fantastic! The same can be said for a music artist. Should Democrats not listen to Kid Rock or Ted Nugent? I actually like the song Little Miss Dangerous from Nugent, but I don’t own anything by Kid Rock. I just never gelled with his music and I’m willing to bet he wouldn’t give a shit. It’s not like we exchange Christmas cards.
Taylor Dayne and Terri Nunn are two artists I’ve been listening to since my teen years. A LOT of people have listened to these artists. I’ve never had the pleasure of seeing Taylor Dayne perform live, but I hope to. I’ve seen Terri and Berlin play three or four times now, have even met her in person once during an interview, and each time watching them play live is a genuine thrill. Who cares if the crowd includes all walks of life and beliefs? We’re there for the music. Much has been made recently over performances by Taylor Dayne and Terri Nunn at Mar-a-Lago on New Years Eve along with Vanilla Ice, and a touring edition of The Beach Boys. Taylor and Terri have been told they’ve alienated fans, that they’ll be lucky if they ever get an invitation to play another Pride Fest, and various other negative comments.
The event wasn’t billed as a Play For Donald Trump party. If it had, then perhaps I could see some folks ask how the artists couldn’t say politics didn’t play a part in their decision to perform that night. According to a statement by Terri Nunn, the event was presented to her as playing for members of Mar-a-Lago. Yes, Trump’s name is synonymous with that place, but members encompasses more than just him. They include fans of music. It’s been a shittastic past 10 months for bands. Restaurants can’t entertain diners inside their doors, hair stylists couldn’t style, and bands can’t perform. These folks were offered a contract to perform at a Covid-safe event. Who might not jump at the chance?
To say I feel betrayed because I am a gay man and these artists performed at Mar-a-Lago feels…petty. I remember watching Terri break down on stage during Pride Fest in Palm Springs telling the audience about her stylist that day sharing a story about his husband’s favorite song (Take My Breath Away), how his husband shared it with him, and how it was played at his husband’s funeral. That’s not someone who betrays a group of fans.
Now, that being said, do I feel they might have made a more informed decision based on the Covid pandemic, especially because it was Florida, where the song Anything Goes describes the state’s safety measures? Absolutely, and I come at that decision as someone who’s a frontline worker at a hospital. But, who doesn’t make mistakes? Who hasn’t made a mistake during Covid and risked themselves or someone they love doing something they thought would be safe?
So, yeah. Better judgement for health? Taylor Dayne and Terri Nunn are as fallible as we are. But, have they betrayed their LGBTQ fans? Not in my book, and I write those.
Right, I shared my thoughts. Your turn if you want to…
Kristoffer Gair (who formerly wrote under the pseudonym Kage Alan) is the Detroit-based author of Honor Unbound, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To My Sexual Orientation, Andy Stevenson Vs. The Lord Of The Loins, Gaylias: Operation Thunderspell, several short stories featured in anthologies (to be combined in a forthcoming book), the novella Falling Awake, its sequel, Falling Awake II: Revenant and Falling Awake III: Requiem.