More Aly Sujo

I know it must feel like this blog is all Aly Sujo all the time.  I’ll stop soon.  But with email help from friends of friends (thank you Stewart Bronaugh) I’ve started digitizing the Leisure Units songs.  Jeff also pointed me to Aly’s death notice in the Times today:

SUJO–Aly, of Woodstock, NY and Caracas, Buenos Aires died suddenly on Sunday, October 5, 2008 near his home. Devoted husband of Laney Salisbury and loving father of Sophie Salisbury-Sujo. Also survived by his mother Clara Diament Sujo, his brother Glenn R. Sujo in London, his niece Kim S. Sujo and her husband Carlos Marrero of Caracas, as well as their families and friends in the United States, Venezuela, England and Argentina who pray for his peace in heaven forever more.

I also scanned a few more photographs.  The first two are of Aly and Jeff and Phil and Carol Zaleski at a beach in Massachusetts somewhere in the late 70’s.   Aly isn’t in the third one but Mike McClintock is, along with the Zaleskis and Mike’s girlfriend at the time (I can’t remember her name). Mike was the first Leisure Unit to die.

Stacy Horn

I've written six non-fiction books, the most recent is Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York.

View all posts by Stacy Horn →

13 thoughts on “More Aly Sujo

  1. I read your blogs from time to time .. they are an excellent way to start the day – so uplifting!
    You wrote a very nice tribute while taking the time to understand this complex person.He must have been very lucky to have friends like you. So sad that he is leaving behind a family – he could not have been married very long

    Also a surprise about Mike McClintock. I wonder if he died here or in France, where he spent a lot of time…

  2. He did die in Paris, I believe, although I forget what year. I want to say early 1990’s, but I’m really not sure. Did you know all of them?

    And thank you for the compliment about my my blogs.

  3. I was the engineer at Hometown Recording for most of the Leisure Units recordings. I have a CD of most of the songs which I will be happy to send to anyone interested.
    Martin Balk

  4. Stacy,
    I heard of Aly’s death from Steven Policoff ( who told me about your blog)
    My heart went still and though I have know many people who have died in the past years, I really cried when I heard about Aly. I had not seen Aly for many years but we had spoken some years ago and he sent me a tape of his new music.
    I first met Aly with Michael(McClintock in 1976. We all first met at Magoo’s Bar in Tribeca ( Deirdre English was there who I knew and who knew Aly and Michael from Wesylan). After about 1 hour Aly left suddenly but returned soon blaring his horn of his Yellow Cab and proceeded to take Michael and me on a grand tour of downtown NYC and we all ended up at the Lower Manhattan Social Club and left about 3 am and Aly drove us down to the dunes on the river (now the new financial district) and watched the sun come up .
    I saw a lot of Aly then as Michael and I were going out. I was living in Baltimore then and Michael was living in DC as his parents had died and he was back form Holland to deal with the house, et al. Michael played lead guitar and vocal and sure enough out of nowhere Aly would appear, more often than not out of the bathroom with that fabulous hair and playing the fiddle and singing. In 1977 we all rented a house in Truro, Mass., where we had a place on the beach. Everynight we had huge dinners then huge spliffs and then played music until the early am. and spent the day on the beach where we spnet most of the day building forts for Aly to sit under because he could not take the sun.I did often feel like Wendy to the “boys ” I guess many of us did in those days.But it was so much fun and I remember it so clearly
    By the way, just for the record I named the band THE LEISURE UNITS, a
    perfect moniker and name for all of them. Proud of that one .
    I remember some long nights at Hometown and performances at the Peppermint Lounge, and ….
    Aly was a beautiful man and talented artist . I treasure having known him. We witnessed a lot of joy and pain and heartache together in those days and the days that passed afterwards.
    I did talk to him after he married and he was so happy and he had called me to tell me about his daughter. He felt so blessed considering how close times had been in past .He sounded so happy and he must have been when he left us all.
    I still listen to the music .They were good… He was great and will be missed as is Michael ( who OD’d in paris )To David Young (if anyone is in touch) all my love

  5. I just sent your beautiful post to Aly’s niece. I know she would love hearing this, and getting a glimpse of these days.

  6. Beautiful, beautiful Aly. I met him when I was at Sarah Lawrence & knew him later at Wesleyan. I remember him briefly in my dorm room with a flower in his lapel and his elusive beauty. I am so sorry to know of his death and wonder if Deirdre English and Jessica Harper know. Thank you for the photos. Katy

  7. You’re welcome. I know that Jessica knows, she was at the memorial, and I’m certain that Deirdre knows. They remained lifelong friends, I believe. She may have been at the memorial too, but I don’t remember what she looked like.

  8. Stacy,

    This seems like a very personal blog – based on reading the above page only. I just finished reading “Provenance” – I’m a carpenter/musician and a customer lent it to me – As I was reading the acknowledgments and thanks from Aly and Laney to the parents for “babysitting” while they were researching abroad for the book I had this immediate picture of family in my head. Then as I was reading the jacket sleeves was stopped dead in my tracks to learn of Aly’s death. I don’t even know these folks.

    After reading this book and reading your posts a true artist and family man has passed. He and his family will be in my thoughts and prayers.


  9. I have just now learned of Aly’s passing on this web site. I am pretty blown away. I was the drummer for the Leisure Units, Mike McClintock (also RIP), David Young, and Robin Eaton. The Leisure Units were one of the most original sounding bands I’ve ever heard, and I consider it a privilege to have played with them. I remember gigs we played at CBGBs, My Father’s Place, Trax and Irving Plaza to name a few. They were all talented, funny, sexy and intelligent guys. The one who has always stood out in my memories is Aly. He played the violin as soulfully as anyone I ever heard. He wrote lyrics and melodies that painted pictures as stunningly vibrant as any of the impressionists. He had this innate ability to draw from his South American influences. He had that Cumbia rhythm in his blood. He was a natural, intuitive musician who could play great drums and outstanding rhythm guitar. And then there was his singing! He was both merciless and fearless in the way he pushed his voice around that incredible range he had. He had this interpretive imitation of Lou Christie that could crack me up one second and then give me chills the next. His falsetto in Caroline and his subtly urgent delivery of Givin’ It Up For Harry. The greatest thing about his music was that he never, ever took it too seriously. He never forgot to have fun with it! Oh, Aly. Anybody who ever knew you at all, has to miss you. We emailed back and forth once or twice after I ran into Robin Eaton one night in Nashville while I was playing a gig with a friend at “The Basement”. Robin told me about Mike’s passing, of which I had already heard. But everyone else, he told me, was fine. He gave me Aly’s email address and so I wrote to him. He wrote back and we talked about getting together. I was in the Albany area, and he was in Woodstock, so how hard would it be to make that short trip of about an hour? But we never did, and now the trip to visit him is one I am far from ready to make. And Aly had an effect on women that was pretty amazing! Sometime in the late 80s, I was walking through the west village one day with a girlfriend, a beautiful Asian dancer. We crossed paths with Aly, and I introduced him to my girl. Her immediate infatuation with this man was so obvious even though I knew she was trying not to let it show. We said good-bye to Aly (I am now realizing that this was the last time I would ever see him), and I asked her, “Are you okay?” She said, “Oh wow! Who was that? My palms are all sweaty!” That was Aly, Alyjandro Sujovolsky, raised in Venezuela, been around the world, phenomenal musical artist. This is sad news, but I am feeling thankful for having known Aly and to have had the pleasure of making music with him.

  10. Hi, randomly.came across your blog in searching for Clara Diament Sujo. I had the absolute joy of CDS Gallery from 1982-85. I was a newly married office temp from South Brooklyn whose art education was severely lacking. Assigned as a two week receptionist, I never left. I grew to be the office manager who proudly called both Clara and Aly friend. As unlikely as it was, Clara took me into her art world and I straightened out the office and the financial systems of the new Gallery. I am sad to hear of his early passing. He brought a lightness to our days and a spark to any room he entered. There is more to the story but I don’t know if the blog is active so I will leave it here for now. You can reach out if you’d like.

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