I didn’t know Diane Izzo well and yet I felt close to her. She was a regular customer in my coffeehouse in Taos, New Mexico and one of those rare people that I automatically connect with and feel as though I’ve known forever. Her partner/lover Marco Zas was also someone I felt a deep connection with. For the two years that I knew them, both were struggling with health issues. Marcus had kidney problems and Diane was battling brain cancer, but I had no idea how severe Diane’s cancer had become. She died this past Friday at the young age of 43 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Diane released an extraordinary album in 1999 called One. It should have brought her the kind of attention bestowed upon Patti Smith and PJ Harvey. But it was not to be. She retreated from the music scene and ultimately ended up in Taos where she took care of a ranch that once housed Aldous Huxley. But she was still determined to make her mark musically and in film. At the time of her death, she was working on a film project with Marco, Black & Gold, which provides an inspiring glimpse of the magic that Diane was still conjuring in the last year of her life.
As Diane’s cancer progressed she was struggling to retain her ability to speak. For a singer, losing your voice is of course a nightmare. But Diane was extremely determined to keep her tongue in tune with her thoughts. It required effort, but you can hear in this video that Diane’s singing was something she was not going to let go of. Her strength, humor and optimism was awe-inspiring. I regret not spending more time with her when she was around. I blew it. She was special.
Diane’s album One is available on Amazon. Get a copy here. It’s time for the world to discover the beauty of this extraordinary artist.