“I feel more alive now than I ever have in my life. I have a chance to live, as I’ve dreamed.” – Nina Simone in July, 1968
Lilian Terry had a national radio show in Italy–everyone from Ray Charles to Duke Ellington appeared on her show–and there was one person she always wanted to interview: Nina Simone.
But Lilian had heard Nina didn’t enjoy speaking with white people. Thankfully Lillian had a confidant in Max Roach, the legendary jazz drummer, who introduced Lillian to Nina at the Newport Festival in 1968.
“Lilian Terry comes from Egypt, ” Roach said. The was was true; Lilian was born in Cairo to a father from Malta and a mother from Italy.
With that simple introduction, Nina waved Lillian over. Soon they were talking about nefertitti and the pharoahs.
Nina even told Lilian she thought she’d been in Egypt in a previous life.
A few days later Lilian went to Nina’s house in Mt. Vernon, New York. They sat by the pool, the tape recorder was turned on, and the conversation continued.