A piece of my conversation with Rick Danko

Thanks to everyone for all the positive feedback I got about my Rick Danko story. My good friend Marty said that he would like to hear the interview. If you have not yet checked out Marty’s website, please do so: www.aguywalksinto365bars.com. Marty, groovyrick likes to make dreams come true, but as I started to transcribe the interview for this blog entry, I found it to be just too long to include here. The interview runs a little over 16 minutes, and I had already written about twice what I normally write, and wasn’t even halfway through. BUT, what I will do is give you highlights from about the last 3 or 4 minutes of the interview, and fortunately, I continued to roll tape afterwards and it caught our conversation. You’ll see what a genuinely nice gentleman he was:

(starting at about 10 minutes 47 seconds into the interview)

RH-Wow, you’ve really had quite a career, Rick, and I just have one last question here for you and I’m gonna let you go. Um, what do you see yourself doing, like, over the next 20 years. Are there any fields that you haven’t gotten into musically that you still want to try?

RD-For the next 20 years, you know…hmm, now that I’m clean and sober…a little rehab, I must confess, 8 months ago and it’s kinda good to be out of that fog.

RH-Well, I’m glad it worked out well for you.

RD-You know, me and my wife, it should give us another…you know, I’d like to get another 50 years out of this life. You know, if George Burns can do it…

RH-Hey, why not? (laugh)

RD-What’ll I be doing 20 years from now? Like talking to you about coming to an intimate setting there in the Normal…Bloomington area? (laugh)

RH-That sounds great! You know, Rick, you sound like a man that really truly enjoys, not only recording, but getting out on the road and seeing your fans, and letting them see you.

RD-Well, performing…a lot of people don’t like to perform, you know. But, uh, as long as you don’t run it into the ground, it’s always been a very gratifying experience for me, you know. And I get to share a lot of emotions with the people, and they also get to share emotions right back, it kinda goes both ways. Like I told you yesterday, you know, I’m too old to know that I’m not gonna change this world, but I’m definitely there to help the neighborhood…the neighborhood definitely helps me.

RH-Very good. Well, continued success to you, we look forward to seeing you on the 21st at The Gallery, and we really hope they’re going to add that second show. Let me keep you on the line here for a little bit and I’m going to get you to do a couple more things for me. But for right now, can’t wait to see you, Rick!

RD-OK Rick, good! It’s good to hear your voice!

(interview ends, tape continues to roll)

RH-Ok, let’s start, let’s cut a couple of liners like we did yesterday.

RD-Alright…it’s a little better than yesterday, right? (laugh)

RH-Oh yeah. Man, that was a great interview! I appreciate it.

RD-Well, I’m glad that you accepted my call and let me do that again, because it’s just…it’s a little more upbeat.

RH-Oh yeah, definitely sounds better than yesterday. I really wasn’t at my best, either, so I’m glad you called back. It really meant a lot.

RD-Yeah, I spoke to this guy, he kept me on the phone for about a half hour, from Scandanavia…Denmark, actually, Copenhagen. And he’s writing this set-up, I think, for all of Scandanavia.  And he really must have done his homework, because he really made me feel great. And, uh, actually got my juices flowin’, so I figured I’d better call you while my juices were flowin’! (laughter)

(we cut some station liners, like “This is Rick Danko, and you’re listening to 101.5, WBNQ.” He cut several without me ever asking to repeat one)

RH-I love it, man. Hey, I’m hopefully going to be able to come back and connect up with you at the show.

RD-Oh, come on back and give me a holler, man.

RH-I sure will, I can’t wait to see it.

RD-Great. And THANK YOU for re-doing this for me, I really appreciate it.

RH-No problem, it was a thrill for me to talk to you.

RD-Well, I’ll see you on the 21st.

RH-Alright, thanks Rick!

RD-Alright, thanks good buddy.

Postscript: I didn’t make it to the show on the 21st, but I really wish I had, just to meet him and chat with him in person. I’ll bet the show was great.

This is perhaps one of my favorite Christmas songs. It was written by Danko’s bandmate Robbie Robertson. It’s from The Band’s “Islands” album, and I’m pretty sure Rick is singing it.

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About groovyrick

I live in a small town in Illinois with my wife and three kids. I am a part-time musician, part-time writer, and full-time dreamer.
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One Response to A piece of my conversation with Rick Danko

  1. That was great! Thanks for going to the trouble of doing that, Rick! He was my favorite one in the Band and it’s cool to see he was a down-to-earth, nice guy. It was a little chilling reading about him being proud of being clean and sober, seeing that he died from heart failure due to drugs. I think I’ll watch The Last Waltz again tonight in his honor. To the two Ricks: Danko and Halberg!

    P.S. Thanks for the shoutout!

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