Question Time


Josiah Howard is the guy who wrote DONNA SUMMER: HER LIFE AND MUSIC (Tiny Ripple Books, 2003). Since he's a journalist and a writer, one would expect him to be more talkative. Perhaps it's because he works with words that he doesn't like to waste them...



1 Before we start, have you anything to declare?

Who am I to declare anything?!

2 How are you?  

Fine. Very busy working on a second book project. (DONNA SUMMER: HER LIFE & MUSIC was my first book.)

3 Coffe, tea or...?

Coffee is all I need!

4 What's on your CD player right now?

R. Kelly, Billie Holiday, Deborah Cox, a 1970's AM Radio compilation, and a PEACE & QUIET ambient music CD.  

5 What is your fondest memory of Donna?

I wrote Donna's biography because she blew me away with her version of Leon Russell's A SONG FOR YOU (not included on her LIVE AND MORE album, but performed throughout her 1978 tour of the US.)

6 Vinyl records or CDs?


7 Which is the Donna Summer album you play more often?

I rotate them pretty regularly but I'm very fond of THE WANDERER.

8 What is the most appalling thing you've ever listened to?

Many, many things come to mind but the first is anything by Latoya Jackson!

9 Is there a Donna song you just can't stand?


10 What does LOVE TO LOVE YOU BABY mean?

It's a free-association phrase that might come to you as you were looking into the eyes of your lover during sex.

11 When did you last shout ENOUGH IS ENOUGH?


12 You switch the radio on and the disc jockey announces Donna Summer's new single. What do you do?

Are you kidding? Sit down, listen and learn!

13 It's better to read or to write?


14 What do you think of ORDINARY GIRL (the book)?

It's what I expected.

15 Do you have a favourite movie?


16 What is your drug of choice?

Never smoked pot (or cigarettes), never done any drugs - but I like a glass of red wine every once in a while.

17 Do you ever dance to Donna's music?

Not really.


Absolutely SUMMER FEVER (as reported in my book, I think WINTER MELODY is very poor).

19 What's on your bedside table?

Nothing interesting; an alarm clock, a lamp, and two candle holders.

20 Donna (and Gershwin) not being available, who you wanna have dinner with?

Depends on my mood. Lately I've been very impressed by this talk-radio Disc Jockey here in NYC - I think his name is Brian Lehrer.

21 Is love really the healer?

Without question.

22 What is it that makes life worth living?

The desire to be remembered by someone - anyone!

23 If not for Donna...

I would never have gotten my first book published!




Previous Question Time: Steven August Papa