OK, so it's over to Donna's first adult 'Year of Revolution' at 24 (Dec. 31st, 1972 to Dec. 31st, 1973). What events happened then that may have been her new age/direction? This was in the period of her living in Munich, Germany and singing as back up for 'Three Dog Night', when in 1973 she met the legendary producers Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte. This led on to signing a deal with the European label 'Groovy Records' and the release in early 1974 of her first album 'Lady of The Night'. Although not released in the US, it reached number 1 in Belguim and her career was launched. In 1975 her iconic world-wide hit 'Love To Love You Baby' was written by Summer, Moroder and Belotte. Also 1973 saw the birth of her first child, Mimi, and marriage to her boyfriend Helmuth Sommer (from whom she took the surname Summer). So 1973 certainly qualifies as a year of new beginnings.
Now let's go to her age 31 'Year of Broken Pathways' (Dec. 1979 to Dec. 1980). What challenges and direction changes might have happened then? Sometimes I think this must be me who secretly writes the bio, but that's not possible. Anyway her story is that in 1980, she wanted to branch out into other musical styles, in addition to disco, but this led to tensions with 'Casablanca Records' and in 1980 they parted ways. She signed with the new label 'Geffen Records' started by David Geffen. Her first release was 'The Wanderer', which replaced the disco sound with elements of New Wave and Rock. It achieved gold record status and reached number 3 in the US.
Finally let's have a look at her age 36 'Year of Revolution' (Dec. 1984 to Dec. 1985). By this time all her major hits had been released. Was there some new chapter in the life of Donna Summer starting in 1985? Well I'll tell you one thing, it isn't listed in her standard bios or musical higlights. It is stated that during 1985 she wanted to take a break from show business to focus on painting, a hobby she just begun. She was a very credible artist and her first work sold for $38,000. She eventually made around $1million from the sale of her art over many years, so this was far from a mere dabble, that a number of other music stars did. Her initial exhibition of lithographs at the 1989 New York Art Expo was with the world renowned artisan Jean Pierre Remond and in 1999 she was included in the American Century Exhibit at Whitney Museum. In 2001 her work was presented by special engagement at Sotheby's. So this is, by every definition of the term, a new age/direction for her, even though she did return to recording.
Oh yes, just in case you think I always just quote the lucky bits, I decided to trawl through many articles to get an early picture of her at her 'Year of Broken Pathways' at 19 (Dec.1967 to Dec. 1968). In 1968 she was in New York rehearsing for a part in 'Hair', when she met a man with a long white beard who told her:- "You're going to meet a man, you're going to pass a test. You're going to cross the waters and you'll meet another man there". This is her direct quote by the way. This is what happened. She didn't get the role in New York, but was offered a role in Munich, Germany and as you now know, she met and went on to marry a man named Helmuth Sommer, who was a member of the troupe. Is this fateful direction change or what?
So that's Donna. I like music bios, because I'm a frustrated amateur songwriter myself. Don't forget 'The Life Cycles Revolution' because it will come to pass. After all:- the truth is the truth and the evidence is the evidence.