I have two grandmothers whose memories are in varying stages of reliability. But every time one of them confuses a story, or calls me by another name, I remember one of my favorite stories about Byrne. It comes from one of my very closest sisters-by-Byrne, Lisa Lepionka.
Lisa was a tireless supporter of Byrne – she even kept tabs on Byrne’s daughter Alison until she died a few years ago. One of the many things Lisa did was help organize Byrne on concert days. Byrne herself would be juggling so many last minute details that if she didn’t have Lisa looking after her she might have arrived on stage having forgotten to dress. Not that that would have been a big thing – you’ve seen the photos of her.
One day, Lisa asked her then-teenage son Franz give Byrne a heads-up phone call, letting her know that Lisa was on her way to the house to pick Byrne up for the concert. It wasn’t until days later that she and Byrne had a chance to decompress and talk about the performance.
Lisa still laughs about it. Byrne told her “I had a lover once named Franz, and I had no idea why he called me last week.”
Cheers – to a life filled with so many lovers you occasionally mix them up.