Swamp Cabaret: A Conversation with Suze Lanier-Bramlett - Page 3
You know, even though it was awful it still gave me the feeling of a creative rush and ever since then I’ve dabbled in songwriting. I found out later that my love for it went deeper than just “dabbling”.
My mother passed away last April and as I was going through some of her things I found poems that she had written all through the years that I never knew about. Her father was also a poet and was actually related to Tennessee Williams.
gJg: Really? Tennessee Williams?
SLB: My grandfather was Thomas Lanier and Tennessee Williams’ birth name was “Thomas Lanier Williams”; cousins of some kind. I got to work with Tennessee. He was so gifted and intense.
gJg: So it runs in the family!
SLB: Yes it does. But the music didn’t really come full circle for me until I met Delaney in 1977. He was always in the recording studio and I occasionally would toss out a lyric or two. That’s the way it started and then we eventually began working on songs together.
Later, in the mid-80′s, I formed my own band and performed regularly at The Palomino Club in LA and a bar called The Rose Tattoo, which at the time was the second most popular cabaret bar in the US. Both of those places are closed now. I had a great West Hollywood following.
Around 1991 I decided to stop performing in clubs. It’s hard keeping a band together and I was doing well as a photographer. So I put music on the back burner.
gJg: How did the “Swamp Cabaret” project come about?
SLB: After being away from music for years, Delaney and I started co-writing again. We had been working on some songs for his album.
One night I went to a salon performance party at a friend’s house who was preparing to do a cabaret show in Hollywood.
Her director recognized me from the old days and asked if I’d be interested in performing again. It was truly flattering but I politely explained to him that I thought “that ship had sailed”. He gave me his card anyway and said: “Lets have lunch.”Continued on the next page