The Embarrassing Early Years    |    Mick Fitzgerald: An Appreciation

The Embarrassing Early Years

Starting in 1971, Danny began searching for ways to get on stage and play music. As half of The Asparagus Brothers (with college roommate Bill Nail), he received enough encouragement to play at coffeehouses from Irvine to San Anselmo and to start writing his own songs. To the relief of many, none of these early songs survive in recorded form.

After graduating college and relocating to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1974 and before hooking up with Chris Caswell in 1979, Danny joined a series of bands. Here are three of them. Youthful indescretions? Learning experiences? Feel free to judge.

The Little Big Band

The LBB was already well-established when they hired Danny to fill the vacated fiddle spot. He made up for wretched fiddle licks with his harmonies and exhuberance. Danny stayed with the band from 1975, through several personnel changes, till it broke up in 1977. Other members included Ove Veggerby (banjo), Danny Morrison (guitar), Blake Richardson (bass), Steve Bonuccelli (drums), and Bill Hybert (electric bass/guitar). Everybody sang. Danny Morrison is still out performing with some of the good old crowd. Click here to find out what he's up to.

Willie & The Hit Men From France

This band lasted about one month but was gangs of fun. Danny, Bill Hybert, and Steve Bonuccelli from the LBB joined up with Alex Call (one of the world's truly under-appreciated songwriters) and Johnnie Ciambotti from Clover to play ‘50s and ‘60s rock and roll. (The band name was Alex’s idea.)

The Barbary Tars

A shameless piece of period theatre concocted for the Dickens Christmas Fair in 1977. Sea shanties and mugging were specialities du jour. The leader of the band was the legendary and nearly deafening Cody Grundy, who dwarfed his concertina and looked like he’d just stepped out of an 1870s photograph. Simon Spalding and April Stockley filled out the band.

Back to Top