Dinner with Dion

FullSizeRenderNormally, I keep a safe distance from celebrities. They have their space, I got mine; they make movies, I watch them. This is my policy because I know how hard celebrities work to get to their spaces. They are extraordinarily talented people as well. In other words, I have never bought the argument that celebrity is an accident “right time at the right place”. From Elvis’ photographic memory to Taylor Swift’s managerial skills, most superstars are stars because God gave them special luminosity and capabilities. Of course, the other challenge with celebrities is communication: lots of us simply don’t know what to say to people with extraordinary gifts and successes. A friend of mine told me his mother once ran into Cardinal Ratzinger (later Pope Benedict XVI) at St. Peter’s and was sure to tell him “You write good books.” (“Wow, I never realized…”)

Well some of my personal myth-makers were seriously disappointed recently, as I had opportunity to visit and share table with Dion Dimucci and his lovely wife of 52 years Susan. A Rock and Roll Hall-of-Famer since 1989 (inducted with Stevie Wonder and the Rolling Stones) Dion formed, in the words of Bruce Springsteen, “a bridge between Frank Sinatra and us” in the earliest hours of rock music. His accomplishments and life journey is so incredibly interesting that I recommend reading about them in his own words Dion: The Wanderer Talks Truth written with Mike Aquilina (also pictured). Dion is still ferociously active artistically, focusing mainly on song composition and production, and his voice is strong and smooth as ever, and yet persons fill his life with joy, meaning and inspiration. As we walked the New York streets, Dion personally greeted a janitor, a couple of security guards, waiters and owners of restaurants, and me ( I even got to play his iconic Martin guitar). Dion uses his talents and gifts for the others, because he knows the source of all gifts and goodness: the Living God. God is the cause and end of all celebration, and this forms the deepest meaning of “celebrity” a celebrated life. In this way, a celebrity’s life is like everyone’s to a certain extent: we are each given all we are capable of giving back… and that’s something to celebrate!

If you are not sure what songs Dion performed, try this 1959 classic for starters…

6 comments on “Dinner with Dion

  1. Mike says:

    Thanks for hawking the book, Father Marty! The time in NYC was glorious.

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