The Alternative Universe of Daniel Patrick And The Meaning of Everything

Posted In: Arts & Entertainment, National Music, Artist Feature,   From Issue 671   By: Robert 'Bo' White

06th November, 2008     0

As the front face of Gone Daddy Gone to the manic power drumming in the Acoustic Fields and his strategic utility with the Haskels, Daniel Patrick has been a force to be reckoned with – not content just to play 'em straight, Patrick leaps past the staid and predictable and pushes the veil in a righteous attempt to reach his audience in an unconventional way.

This cat looks way "normal" but inside is lurking a most unusual perspective. He scaffolds tall tales and dirty lies with truth. His humor and irreverence is paced like Robin Williams doin' Mork and he's just as naughty. Like some of the more iconic entertainers of our time – George Carlin, Lenny Bruce, Flo & Eddie, John Sinclair and the aforementioned Robin Williams – Patrick has a way of using humor – and he's laugh-till-your-belly-aches funny - to make some serious statements about our life and times in the post-modern apocalypse. He's a bear in a bunny suit.

There's much more to Daniel Patrick than his peripatetic hilarious performances. He's a world class song writer. He's written well over 100 songs and demoed most of them.

Listen to 23 Miles, an undiscovered Nashville Star masterpiece that is a rockin' tribute to the road, written while Patrick was driving down to Florida with his wife and kids. Anyone whose made that trip from Michigan, knows that it gets just a little tedious and the urge to "hurry up" is  strong. In that vein, Patrick decides to speed through Tennessee. He figures that if he does 85, he'll blow through the state in 2 hours. But as he's screaming through the dark dreary night, he looks up to see a road sign, KNOXVILLE 23 miles – a new song is born.

Another great song She's Hot is a rockin' soundblast based on the book I Love You Beth Cooper. The author is Larry Doyle who just happened to write for the iconic TV cartoon/comedy The Simpsons - seems that Mr. Doyle loved She's Hot and put it up on his website. Check it out.

Patrick writes serious songs that are (typically) fiction and funny songs that are (basically) true. Patrick gave this example, "I was in love with the Mexican foreign exchange student in my ninth grade Spanish class. It's a true story based on a real experience. So I wrote this song entitled I Was In Love With The Mexican Foreign Exchange Student in My 9th Grade Spanish Class." True story filled with rip-my-heart-out-of-my-chest teenage angst though the song is an absolute hoot.

Then there's the majestic country twang of "Dandelion Wild", an almost wholesome take on a story about a girl leaving her derelict heroin-addled boyfriend when she gets pregnant – total fiction.

The song Nashville was inspired by a conversation with Michael and Scott Robertson and is somewhat linked to his appearance on the first episode of television show Nashville Star. They used footage of his performance in all of the commercials of the show yet were edited out of the premier. The producer said he loved Patrick but the people in "LA" didn't. Check out the vitriol within the humor…

Meet your producer, he's top rate
Just be sure you swallow on your first date
Walking funny that's a shame
But it's all part of that Nashville game
Talent here is second act
You buy your songs, shake your ass
Nickel here, penny there
Always comes out of your share

Onstage…Dan is kitted out in full country alt fig, sweating like aunt Bertha at a summer barbecue, gnawing at a slab of ribs, face moist and caked full of that tangy BBQ sauce. Dan sings his ass off when he isn't talking and storytelling. One night he used all 414,825 words in the English language during his second set. Whew!

But his little pocket-sized stories are magnificent and unlock the keys to his universe. You never know what he'll say or do onstage.

One night Dan starts this rap about Viagra…"I don't need it 'cos…well, I don't have a problem down there."

But he wonders to the audience if it really works so…

He pretends to take a little blue pill out of his pocket, pops it in his mouth and washes it down with a PBR and a shot of El Toro…half way through the next song, he takes out his cell phone, calls Covenant Hospital, "What can I do for a four hour erection"? To which the ER nurse deadpans, "Sorry, I cannot give medical advice over the phone." Patrick replies (desperately), "But, ah… what should I wear…sweatpants"? Click.

Later in the set he sings Sorry, an original alt-country rocker inspired by Jim Frey.  You may remember that Frey was the author of One Million Pieces, a book championed by Oprah Winfrey as THE BOOK THAT KEPT OPRAH AWAKE AT NIGHT - only it was all a fraud. So… Daniel introduces the song with a story, really a travelogue about driving around the world in a min-van with a crescent moon window and air-brushed art work on the sides.        

He starts a faux rant, "Biggest punishment the guy gets is millions of dollars…it's like the Milli Vanilli. It's ironic 'cos he's probably down in the tropics as we speak,  sippin' on a Pina Colada and getting' his nails done."

"I should start something – The BROphra Show, a book club just for guys."

A highlight of his show …at least for Mongrel's bass player Marx Dundas is a song Patrick wrote just for Marx on the occasion of his birthday. Patrick sure as hell was NOT gonna but Marx a gift. Hell No. Instead he wrote a song driving down the road listening to Tom Petty after playing hockey with the Reed Brothers (Andy and Jason). Anyway, Patrick had worked up quite a sweat and was feeling a little damp downunder, so he whips off his trusty boxers – "Free Ballin" is born

Taking a cue from the "Palin" playbook, Daniel Patrick agreed to this interview… but I couldn't ask any questions. It seemed like an impossible task especially if I hoped to find out his views on such important issues as the Wall Street bailout or the ascendance of karaoke.

But like an aging road warrior coming out of the trenches to save our country, I soldiered forth and prepared myself for the toughest interview of my life


Review: How…

Daniel Patrick: OOPS – NIT, NIT, NIT – no questions, please sir.


Review: Ahem…I'm sorry…Nice day

Daniel Patrick: Nice day? Like my agent says - and I give him all of the credit in the world – I'm convinced it's a nice day, sometimes but I'm not always sure and I've opposed not-so-nice days before it was even popular to say so not after the fact like the media says.

Review: What?

Daniel Patrick: Read my lips - NO QUESTIONS ….

Well, ok…you can ask questions - but only 5 of your very best questions. OK?


Review: Do you think the Beatles will ever get back together?

Daniel: Absolutely. Science is AMAZING. Their agent could be Walt Disney, freeze-dried and ready to go!


Review: Hmm, I see.  What's your favorite song?

Daniel: Hands down – Mustang Sally. I musta played that sucker over 500 times and you know what…I HATE IT. It's like someone shoutin' out a request for Freebird for the umpteenth time. What's the point?  When does that joke get old and who thinks it's funny?


Review: How do you prepare for a show, do you throw up like John Lennon at the Toronto Pop festival in '69 or do you ease your psychic pain with smack or get the creative juices flowing with massive quantities of LSD?

Daniel: No smack, no acid - but I enjoy tossing my cookies – 4 or 5 times before a show – and I apologize 'cos… I always use the urinal.  And you know, I hate grabbin' those damn urinal cakes thinking it's a bar of soap. That never has a good ending


Review: Do you play solo because nobody will play with you?

Daniel: What kind of question is that…what have you heard? You know, it's lonely up there by yourself (a tear forms). Nobody's got my back and they yell for Freebird. If I could find someone who plays the Zither – a master zither player, I'd think about forming another band. Don't know what a zither is. If someone hit me over the head with a zither and they'd ask me what did he hit me with, I'd say I don't know but it sounds really good.


Review: Are there any questions you want to ask me?

Daniel: Do I get the cover?


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