2020 needs to just stop.
It’s enough. I give up. Okay?
Yesterday, I woke up to the news that my friend Bryan Miller is gone.
I haven’t seen Bryan in many years – I moved to Northern California and he moved to the Palm Springs area – but he was such an important part of my life in Los Angeles.
Bryan was an amazing talent – singer and pianist. He was the crown prince of piano bars. Wherever he was playing, so many people gathered to enjoy his playing and singing; and the many talented folks who came out to perform with him.
I first met Bryan when he was playing in a piano bar called Mr. Mike’s – not too far from where I was living in Silver Lake. I had sung at other piano bars, but there was something special about getting to sing with Bryan. He already had songs in his repertoire that I knew; and he was a master sight reader, so I could bring along new music and he could just play it. And he was always so welcoming and so encouraging.
There were other singers that I just loved hearing; but mostly I loved Bryan. I am a big fan of esoteric songs and Bryan was a treasure trove – songs like The Princess Papooli; Dorothy; Ragtime Cowboy Joe, his own special rendition of Don’t Cry for Me West Covina, and so many others.
I had always wanted to make a duet out of Moonglow and Blue Moon, and I was finally able to do that with Bryan. He understood the concept immediately.
Later, I would meet with Bryan weekly to work repertoire.
The funniest thing too – I met Bryan in LA; but I first saw him in NYC. Bryan appeared in the off-Broadway musical Let My People Come; which I saw during a trip to New York City! Such a small world.
Bryan met the love of his life, Gilmore Rizzo and they had many (but I am sure not enough) years together. I am so glad they found each other.
I knew that Bryan was fighting cancer and for awhile, he was doing pretty well; but eventually the cancer won.
It makes me so angry … and sad.
I can’t conceive of the ten dazzling fingers of Bryan Miller being forever stilled. That his twinkling brown eyes are closed and that his curly head is forever laid down to rest.