Man shares his grandfather’s amazing secret gay love story
The college romance between one man’s grandfather and Broadway legend John Kander goes viral
image @SamaanAshrawi via Twitter
words Eve Walker
Californian filmmaker Samaan Ashrawi has gone viral after sharing the heartwarming story of his grandfather’s relationship with the legendary composer John Kander.
Ashrawi posted the details on a Twitter thread that will make you jump for joy this pride month.
Shortly before passing, Fisher told his grandson that it was Kander's dreamy eyes that made him realise he was gay as a freshman at Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Ohio.
During his extensive career, Kander composed half of the songwriting team known as Kander and Ebb, alongside lyricist Fred Ebb. Best known for their work in musical theatre, the pair wrote the score for 15 musicals, including Cabaret and Chicago, which were both later adapted into films.
Kander had a bunch of impressive awards under his belt, including three Tonys, two Grammys, two Emmys, and a Laurence Olivier Award. He also wrote the theme song to the Martin Scorsese film New York, New York, originally sung by Liza Minnelli and later immortalised by Frank Sinatra.
But before the fame and glory, Kander fell for Dave Fisher.
“I always thought that was so cool, that grandpa and this guy Kander were in love, but during the pandemic I noticed something on a bookcase,” Ashrawi explains in the thread.
“It was a bookcase I walked by a dozen times a day, maybe more. Why had I never noticed this 7" vinyl poking out of one of the shelves? I pulled it out. It was a custom pressing and written in pencil was: ‘Our Boy,’ the year, ‘1951,’ and the composer's name: ‘John Kander.’”
Ashrawi decided to reach out to one of Kander’s relatives. What did he discover? This wasn't just any song. This was part of a one-act musical called Our Boy written when Kander was just 22, and he wanted Fisher to play the lead.
The family went to meet Kander over lunch. Ashrawi’s mother hadn't seen him since she was a child.
Ashrawi continues in the thread, “Over lunch (and an Arnold Palmer) John opened up about their relationship. “We were honest with each other,” John told us. “Not in terms of not lying, but honest about who we were and who we were becoming. [Your grandfather] was a great gift to me.”“
We‘re not crying... You are.