Pete - Barnes and Noble connection

Brian Cady brianinatlanta2001 at
Sun Feb 25 06:45:43 CST 2007

>From the Sunday New York Times: 

A STAR IS BORN Shoppers browsing at the Barnes & Noble store near Lincoln Center in Manhattan on Monday were in for a treat. Rachel Fuller, the British singer, performed several of her recent recordings.

Why at a bookstore? Because the songs were based on the poetry of Melissa Riggio, the 18-year-old daughter of Barnes & Noble’s chief executive, Steve Riggio, and his wife, Laura. Melissa has Down syndrome, and her work is being featured in a series of “storytime” events, including the one with Ms. Fuller, at Barnes & Noble stores.

Ms. Fuller came to know Melissa’s poems through her friendship with the Riggios. Her partner, Pete Townshend, lead guitarist of the Who, met and befriended Steve Riggio at a concert by Taj Mahal and Dave Van Ronk in 1993.

Mr. Townshend said Melissa Riggio has “a lovely voice” of her own.

“As a producer,” he added, “I can’t see any reason why with a bit of time, she couldn’t make an album utterly of her own right.”

That is music to Steve Riggio’s ears. He said he and his wife are “big advocates” of including children with Down syndrome in regular schools and activities. JANE L. LEVERE 

-Brian in Atlanta 
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