The most gratifying result from all the time spent assembling this site are the occasional messages from readers. Given his stature as one of the greatest musicians of all time, it isn't surprising that Danny-related email dominates the responses. As I haven't asked permission to post full names and email addresses I won't post them here. But I don't mind flouting a few excerpts. As always, please feel free to email me with your comments.

CURT writes in from AOL:
I enjoyed reading your Danny Gatton tour log, epilogue and feedback. I hold the music and artistry of Danny Gatton at the highest level and enjoyed learning more about Mr. Gatton. Thank you for taking the time to put it together and bless the web for allowing it appear on my CRT.

I was scrolling through the feedback portion, sorry that Danny is no longer with us and was very touched by Manfred (the German guy's) simple yet pure take on his personal sense of loss.

I wept. No Manfred, Danny will never be playing.

Great art, by definition, produces emotions...

Anyway--thank you!

AL from Baltimore checked-in:
I'm a 48yr. old guitar player who grew up in Baltimore... and really didn't discover (Danny's) music until it was too late to do anything about it but scour the record shops for a bit of his stuff. As a fan of his music, I was very happy to find your reflections of touring with him on your webpage, and I have to write to tell you that your accounts are very entertaining and well written. By reading them, I feel I am getting to know more about what a great guy he was, and how unfortunate I am not to have gotten to hear him live or meet him. Thanks very much for publishing your story and thoughts about Danny, and for sharing them with us.

DIANE from sent this reminiscence:
I am a huge fan of Danny's. I saw him twice in Minneapolis. ... I was in the second row, Danny threw his beer soaked towel on the edge of the stage, I thought about it for about 5 seconds, then threw myself up there to grab it! During intermission, people were coming over to touch it! It's my greatest rock and roll souvenir. I miss Danny a lot... Thanks so much for the Website. I'll be visiting often.

DENNY from Vienna VA writes:
I just read your tour journal. That was wonderful insight & nice writing. In the mid 70s I saw Danny many times. I was impressed not only by his musicianship (the best), but by his philosophy. He was a gearhead & approached the mechanics of playing that way too... In the late '60s when I was too young to go to bars, I used to sneak in to see Roy Buchanan at a club called My Mother's Place, in Washington DC. I remember thinking then that his breaks were too long, because I had to be home by midnight, and I wasn't getting to see enough of a master's wizardry. That's the way I always felt after seeing Danny. I was never ready to go home. Thanks.

BILL checks in, from
Hey Man—Im a friend of [fellow Gatton drummer] Timm Biery's out here in California. I read from top to bottom your Gatton tour story- It's as if I was there with you, having been in a lot of those situations myself. I will share this with others...

MARK writes from
Thanks so much for putting you diary of your tour with Danny on-line! As a guitar player who's HUGELY influenced by Danny, my biggest regret is that I never got to meet the man and thank him for sharing his talent and inspiring me as he continues to do - in a way, through you sharing your personal recollections, I almost feel that I have. Thanks again.

BOBBY from Gaithersburg MD writes:
Danny was a good man. I always wondered how any person could spend so much time practicing and playing the guitar. He did it SO well. I also had fears that behind this great guy, whom I naturally trusted with my "precious" guitars' repairs, there may be, despite his incredible ability to relate via the instrument, frustrations maybe having to do with the inability to "get it all out" in other areas of this (not always so fair) life. He was a "good ole boy" whom I perceived to be of extaordinary intellect, but being around Danny was all light fun, with his pet raccoon usually around overseeing it all. My heart, as well as the ears of generations to come, is respectfully at a loss; I bet he's where GOOD is, though... playin guitar.

(Bobby Manriquez is a musical associate and official member of the "most-smokin' guitarist" club, a musician whose credits and professional associations reach far beyond the local music scene. Bobby's first solo CD is a killer: another shade of blue(s).

GENE from shared these very warm and Danny-like anecdotes:
Thanks for the tour diary. I saw Danny once in Scottsdale, AZ... I went around to the tour bus and met Danny. Great guy, very likeable and down to earth. Had a photo taken with him and he joked that "I hope you have a wide-angle lenses on that camera!" A buddy of ours, who is a guitarist, had to work that night but Danny signed a poster for him, writing "Mike, Thanks for teaching me all those great licks! —Danny." You can imagine Mike was thrilled to get that poster. The concert was great of course!

MARK from sent this poignant message:
I moved from Oregon to New York in 1994 and one thing on my mind was a trip to DC's burbs to see Danny live. I made the trip to DC, however a couple months too late. How tragic to lose him. You have a keen and interesting insight. Thanks for unselfishly sharing your memories.

FISH checks in from
brian: that's a great tour diary you wrote there - i hope you have been able to spend some more time on other writing as you definitely have a knack there! (thnx fish! --ba)

MANFRED from Germany braved the language barrier to write:
Hi, Brian - My name is Manfred and I write you from Germany. I`ve got only a short message, because my english is not so good. I am also a musican and Danny is a great influence of me. I am so sad, that he will never be playing. Thanks for your website and good luck for all the Danny fans. Greetings from Germany.

STEVE writes from Northern CA:
Brian - thanks for the fine journal. I appreciate your writing style and your ability to observe and tell the whole story. I imagine it would have been easier to simply do a 'gee whiz' chronicle of Gatton licks in various ports of call, rather than convey the feel of the entire experience so well -- the interminable bus rides; the days in strange towns with nothing to do; the shortlived excitement and intensity of the gig; the afterglow on a good night and the soul- searching on a questionable one; even the racial and ethic lunacy that you just can't seem to get away from in this country.

Anyway, I was fortunate to have met and played with Danny in the late '70s... I'd been playing since '63, but within a couple of weeks, Danny's enormous talent had literally changed my entire approach to the guitar and showed me what a Telecaster could really do... I think about Danny all the time...

TOM writes from the Bay Area, CA:
...then i go further in your page to find you PLAYED w/ F**Kin' DANNY GATTON! wow! what a story for the grandchildren... Gatton was a truly unreal guitarist. Danny Gatton was, indeed, amazing. I love the CDs I have thus far and will, eventually, have all that I can find anywhere.

JON writes from Cambridge MD:
Very nice website you have here...I was a major fan of Danny. There were and are times when I put on his CD's and the world improves I guess due to the logic and emotion in his playing.

BILL writes from Southern MD (via Arizona):
Really enjoyed your on the road story. I grew up in La Plata MD, and went to U of Maryland when Danny and friends (Liz meyer, etc.) used to hold down Thursday nights at the Italian Gardens. I still have the red vinyl Redneck Jazz LP...I lived in Charm City till June 90... and I used to live at Swan Point not far from Danny's in 85-86... We cherished Danny, maybe not enough did. Thanks for telling people about our local hero.

JIMMY from Youngstown State University writes:
My first real experience with Mr. Gatton was a Hotlicks video I bought called "Learn Rockabilly With The Greats!" There were six guitarists featured on this video, however Mr. Gatton was the only guitarist I felt like I could identify with... he just seemed so easy going and up for a good laugh!

I know that I will probably never be as good as Mr.Gatton was (I don't think ANYBODY ever will be) but I think it's really wonderful how he has inspired so many of we budding guitarists; both by his technique & his easy going personality. I suppose in a way you could say Mr. Gatton really showed us that a person could be a phenominal musician and still remain human.

I am really really really hoping to find a copy of the episode of Austin City Limits in which Mr. Gatton appeared. Would you happen to know if and where I could a acquire a copy of that episode? Any help would be greatly appreciated...

JOHN writes from AOL:
I enjoyed the Gatton tour piece. I'm not a musician (though I am a huge Gatton fan), and that piece certainly demystified the tour experience. Thanks for the insight.

J. writes from
Thank you for sharing your story. I was fortunate enough to have seen Danny Gatton on two occasions, once with Johnny Seaton in Baltimore at the Marble Bar (he actually used my Heineken bottle that night, but wouldn't give it back to me. Said it was nice and smooth and he'd like to hang onto it. Signed a set list instead) and once at Max's Broadway in Baltimore. Both times he was the friendliest, most easy-going cat in the world, and he played the guitar for all it was worth. I miss him terribly. Again, thank you for your very entertaining and well-written tour account.

(Max's on Broadway, in Baltimore's historic Fell's Point, was the last place I played with Danny, in December 1991.)

JIM writes from Toledo OH:
I've just discovered Danny... Your tour log was great! I've played a few bars myself, and your stories and observations sure ring true. Hope to hear you play someday.

FRED writes from
You have managed to describe life on the road quite vividly. I never met or saw D.G. live, but his influence inspires me constantly. I headed over to the D.G. website, looking for a title for a blues tune I have written as kind of a tribute. The Humbler seems appropriate. When I get my group to record it, I hope we are able to capture some semblence of the power,sincerity, and humor that were the essence of Mr. Gatton's music.

JOHN writes from AOL:
I enjoyed the Gatton tour piece. I'm not a musician (though I am a huge Gatton fan), and that piece certainly demystified the tour experience. Thanks for the insight.

JIM writes from AOL:
I just read your page and enjoyed it very much. I have been a fan since the first time I saw him at the Flood Zone in Richmond, about 5 or 6 years ago. I have all of his official releases... Thanks a bunch and take care.

GLENN "Smitty" SMITH sent these nice comments:
Great Danny Gatton story. I've turned everybody I know (both of 'em) on to your story. We're pro players and had the privilege of meeting Danny some years ago. He was such a wonderful artist, such a waste. Oh well... I know you're quite proud of your association with him. You're a very talented and entertaining writer. Thanks again for the article and continued success.

GANTT from Silver Spring MD writes:
I just read your story about the Gatton tour, and it reminded me of how much I miss the guy... I never took a lesson from him, but he certainly taught me how to play the guitar.

(A respected member of Washington DC's musical community, Gantt is both an accomplished guitarist and session producer. Visit his studio's website, Gizmo Recording.

JON from Rochester NY writes:
I found your Danny Gatton tour diary very personal and interesting. As a member of a working band that does the occasional "van" gig, I chuckled at your decription of road life, and the people you meet in the music biz. My guitar teacher turned me on to Danny in 1990. I saw (him) for the first and only time in April 1991... I stood right in front of him. It was weird walking out of the place without even listening to the main act's opening song, but why take a chance on contaminating the experience?

Thanks for the personal glimpses.

PETE sent these comments:
Danny Gatton certainly was awesome to say the least. He's right there with Jimi and Stevie Ray as the greatest guitarists ever... Thank you for the Forum.

STEVE from Chicago IL writes:
Thanks for a great insider's view of the master, and a literary look at life on the road... I have just about all of Danny's CD's (I particularly love Cruisin' Deuces) and wish there were more out there. Anyway, keep playin'(and writing!)...

SAM writes from central IL:
hey i love reading about your tour with danny. i'm a guitarist in an r&b band... your stories make me want to get back out on the road. like you i have a love/hate relationship with touring but you've got me thinking about heading back out there sooner. after all is said and done it really is a lot of fun... i never saw danny play but i love his stuff, what a blast it must have been to play with him.

DAVE from Abington writes:
Many thanks for taking the time to share of the experiences you had with Danny Gatton. I was on the verge of giving up guitar playing (after playing gigs on weekends for twenty years) until I saw his performance on Austin City Limits. Your observation that Danny "raised the bar" for musicians he worked with was insightful His performance inspired me to make my own Tele and learn to play using Danny's unique plectrum and fingers picking technique.

I hope you are able to maintain this site so that other devotees like myself can get a little glimpse into Danny's life and times.

JIM writes from AOL:
Thanks for a great insight into the "glamorous" side of the music business... I never had the chance to see Danny in person but I am amazed at how overlooked he was. Your description of Danny's sense of himself and his character were very gratifying to read. I'm sure I'll get back to re-read your material quite soon... Good luck to you in the future and many thanks...

STEVE, curator of The Official DANNY GATTON website writes:
Just wanted to let you know that I read your Concert Tour journal and I think it's great! Not many people were able to experience what you did, including myself. I always saw Danny before the tour, sometimes during the tour, and after the tour ... I really do enjoy the journal.

(Visit Steve's page, for an extensive discography of Danny's work, a photo collection, news of upcoming releases, information about the signature Gatton telecaster and ordering information regarding a variety of merchandise.)

LINDA & JEFF from Seattle WA write:
I was looking for someone who had recorded "Harlem Nocturne" as I wanted to play it on a radio show I host here in the Seattle area. I looked up the song title and among others saw Danny Gatton's name ... I ordered the cd "Cruisin Deuces". I immediately loved it. My husband and I have listened to it over and over, amazed at all the genius he exhibits on the guitar ... He truly is (among) the greatest [un]discovered guitarists. I am so sorry he is gone...

JEFF from London England writes:
"I don't know if you are still in touch with Danny's family and friends, but I hope they take some comfort from the fact that Danny's musicianship is still much appreciated all over the world and there is no doubt in my mind that he will continue to inspire future generations of guitar players for many years to come. Once again, thanks for a very interesting and entertaining article..."

(Jeff, also a guitarist, works the London scene in a group called "Slim's Cyder Co." Feel free to visit their page.)

JENNY from College Park MD writes:
"Hello there! Thanks for all the cool Danny Gatton stuff on your webpage. My boyfriend... was one of Danny's friends and Danny was his hero... he taught him how to play... Take care and thanks for keeping Danny's name alive!"

TONY from New York NY writes:
"I wanted to thank you for the wonderful inclusion of your personal journal illustrating your time with Danny Gatton... While reading your journal I had the chance to go back, to the time I met Danny (May '93). I was very nervous because he was my hero. I remember he had such small hands and that he was so damn normal... I'm very grateful for having the chance to meet Danny and Billy."

GEORGE from Washington DC writes:
"Just read your Gatton Tour -- great stuff, I appreciate your taking the time to write it up... For a drummer, you seem remarkably sane..."

JIM from Baltimore MD writes:
"Really enjoyed the Gatton story. I did a show w/ the Gatlin Bros. back in '93 and had a chance to meet Shannon. I think band did maybe one tune on which the drummer could stretch on... I remember thinking that it must be hard to keep your chops up on a gig like that."

KENNY from Kensington MD writes:
"I always heard a certain emotion in the voice of friends who were (are) fans of Danny Gatton's music. It was very similar to what I've seen in Beatle documentaries where the Liverpool fan club president laments that the Beatles will become known world-wide and leave Liverpool forever."

ARTHUR from Leesburg VA writes:
"Howdy Brian, I was glad to find your web page, especially the Danny Gatton tour - extremely interesting... Like so many other guitarists I was profoundly affected - basically he made me stop listening to Clapton, Page, etc. and start digging up records by Les Paul, Chet Atkins, Charlie Christian etc. and I've had a ball ever since."

JOHN from '' writes:
" I too am a drummer... I met Danny, Shannon, John and Bill in St. Louis. I had the opportunity to co-promote Danny at the Sheldon Hall in St. Louis. One of my responsibilities was to line up some '32 'Deuce hot rods to use in a video shoot. This show was one of the highlights of my life. I would just like to say thanks for your stories about Danny.

MARK from Annapolis MD writes:
"Hiya, Brian! I'd heard about Danny from time to time... but I never heard him play until a gig at Tornado Alley... After that I didn't miss any gigs in the DC area... He was a fine human being and an awesome master of the guitar and banjo. I was shocked by his death and continue to be amazed at how little-known his work is...

MIKE from Rockville MD writes:
"I just wanted to tell you that I throughly enjoyed reading your article about your tour with Danny Gatton and if you know of any other web sites and/or books/magazine articles that might have old stories about Danny, please let me know..."

Introduction || A Hot Band || The First Gig || Tour Plans
Day One || Day Two || Day Three, pt. 1 || Day Three, pt. 2
Day Four || Day Five || Day Six || Day Seven
Day Eight || Day Nine || Days 10-11
Epilogue || Feedback


© 1991, 1996 by Brian S. Alpert. All rights reserved.