billbarol tweeted about Peter Cetera today and immediately I was taken back to a time long ago when my neighbors and I would put on lip-syncing concerts for our parents. We’d pick these disgusting under ripe cherries from the tree of an unsuspecting neighbor and serve them to our captive audience while Trent, Greg and I sang into the microphones from my parents record player/stereo and Julie pretended to play keyboard on the ironing board covered by my baby blanket. Our last performance came one hot summer of eighty-something. We’d been rehearsing like mad for our first outdoor concert where I’d planned to perform a stunt on the swing set. After several attempts at running, launching myself onto the crossbar and trying to sling myself onto the stage (front lawn), I caught my palm on a screw and tore off some skin. We got together and argued about what to do, now that the stunt was an impossibility because of this horrible, disfiguring injury. Then, as all quality performance groups do, we argued some more until one of us quit. Trent was supposed to “sing” a duet with me to Friends and Lovers by Gloria Loring and Cal Anderson, just after Greg performed his hit number Glory of Love by Peter Cetera, but our set list was in shambles because Trent got mad and started to cry and said he was quitting. After deliberations among the remaining group members, we moved the concert indoors and scaled down. Trent sat among the audience as we performed the last of our childhood lip sync concerts (because without all original members, a group is never as good as they once were. See: Spice Girls). There was no performance of Friends and Lovers, but we did play the song with Julie’s Fisher Price radio (or was it a record player?) during intermission.
After I was paralyzed by the horrors of childhood memories, I quickly Googled Gloria Loring, to see what she was up to after so many years apart. I remembered that she had been on Days of our Lives, a show that Greg, Trent, Julie and I watched regularly during the summer, but not always together because sometimes their mom would make them come home for lunch and watch it without me. She never liked me very much.
As it turns out, Gloria Loring was once married to Alan Thicke of Growing Pains fame. They co-wrote the theme songs to Facts of Life and Diff’rent Strokes. Gloria sang the Facts of Life theme after the first two seasons, which featured the cast singing. Gloria played “chanteuse Liz Chandler” on Days of Our Lives. I have to admit here, I thought chanteuse meant whore, and I was going to start using that because I thought it sounded so old timey, but alas, it is just a woman who sings in a nightclub. Sure, maybe that nightclub singer is a whore, she probably is, but you can’t judge them all. In 1985, Cal Anderson appeared on Days of Our Lives with Loring to sing their hit song, Friends and Lovers.
And thus, we have come full circle.