Born in London and brought up in Peckham South East London, my love of music, has a wide range, from Jazz Funk, to Country and Rock. I started singing a lot at primary school and had the opportunity to sing at the Young Vic in London. I was very fortunate at secondary school to play a few times with a guy called Andrew Roachford, (Cuddly Toy also was a front man with Mike and the mechanics) in school performances, as we both went to Thomas Calton school in South East London, the upper school in Peckham and lower in East Dulwich.
I was always into music from a very young age and managed to keep it alive with my love of being a DJ as a hobby, I didn’t have much music but managed to get a few second hand records and a few nicked of my uncles and of I went playing stuff on two cheap record players and a Realistic mixer, pretending to be something great. I was getting to be well known in all the night clubs by the age of 19 not so much as a DJ but as a dancer, I stated to jazz dance, all self thought as most of it was street stuff, bit of popping and break dancing, as I was not so good at the body popping stuff but I could really move my feet when it came to funk and jazz, people started to call me swift foot Dan.
Then it happened, I had a serious car accident at the age of 19, I was 21 days in a coma, punctured lung, broken collar bone and six months in hospital. This was very unfortunate as I was offered a record deal with a producer called Walter Samuels, (He produced for Tina Turner, Van Morrison among many others) it took me at least two years to recover and my dancing and singing days were nearly over.
So what was I supposed to do, at the age of 21 I decided to move to the sea to improve my lungs and landed in Hastings and started an engineering apprenticeship, but this didn’t last very long as I was not very good at it and got fired, what made it hard is that I am severely dyslexic and I found the college part of the apprenticeship very hard. Also my love of dancing had come back and I was back in the night clubs of Hastings. I stated a job at Tesco and I worked in a night club collecting glasses.
One thing that did happen before I left college was that I managed to get on Camp America, as a student I got a visa and worked out there for two years, in the summer, in the camps and in winter on the ski resorts making snow, I loved every minuet of it. This is where my love of country music began, I even started to play the harmonica, never really played it before but I did manage to carry a tune. I was in a bar in Vermont, where I DJ’d for a summer to pick up some extra cash, where members of a band called Deep Purple popped in, I really didn’t have a clue who they were but I did managed to do a couple of blues numbers with them as they jammed. I love playing blues, rock and country harmonica and really did get a lot of my influences, like the Eagles and Hank Williams, Willie Nelson, loved Jonny Cash, my time in the states and Canada was amazing, managed to see the Rolling Stones on their opening night of their Steels Wheels tour in Philadelphia a magnificent night. In Canada I went to the Montreal Jazz Festival, that was an amazing 7 days of music, I will never forget.
Anyway I came home to England and was back in sunny Peckham on Sea, where I needed to start to make a new life, I began to study again but I was back in the night clubs dancing and I also started karate and managed to get pretty good. I was back to my old self, doing a little singing and rapping to. I can remember the nights at the Fridge Brixton and the Brixton Academy, saw Jamarquia there and Gill Scott Heron there to. Saw soul to soul a lot to, mostly just hanging in the Fridge, Jazzy B was huge then.
Now I needed to get an education, in between studying I managed to get back into painting and decorating, something I did after I left school but I could not do it for long as my chest could not put up with it. So I then concentrated on my study and managed to get into a collage, called Plater Collage, in Oxford, no longer going, sadly. This is where I really started to play my harmonica as many of my fellow students were musicians, so we used to jam as much as we could in the evenings. I also started to play in a lot of the pubs in Oxford, at that time there was a big blues, rock and country culture.
After passing my diploma in social studies I was offered to do an Oxford degree in theology at Westminster College Oxford. This is where my music and harmonica playing came into its own. I had a band called Dr V Love, I also played with a band called Clarion a folk band, that played at Cropidy Festival with Fair Port Convention. Later I played with a band called the Box Hedge Clippers, this was a band of many talents. At this time I became the entertainment secretary and organised all the Balls, for the college, I managed to book Desmond Decker and many others to play at them. I also started my DJ work as it kept my collage fees down, the money was very good and I became a pretty good funky house DJ, my name was called Bad Boy D. I also played with a guy called Richard David O'Rourke,, an outstanding musician, producer and film maker.
After getting my degree, I started an entertainment business, still a DJ but also having a few DJ’s working for me and organising bands for events, did the sound for Bad Manners also played after Cortney Pine the Jazz musician. My harmonica playing was a bit of a challenge at that time mainly down to no time. I did play a bit now and then but I really needed to concentrate on my business but again that was just a job and I needed more, so I became a teacher and done a PGCE and was now a RE teacher in Oxford, I played a bit with a few bands but mostly work took over, I then moved to Northamptonshire to teach, I’ve been there ever since, played again with Richard a few times but had the pleasure to play with a guy called Lee Wilma from a band called Serpentine, very big in Europe as a folk Rock band. Played with a fellow called Andrew Guy a very talented musician on the folk scene in the 70s he toured with Fair port convention and Jasper Carrot the comedian musician. Had the pleasure to jam and play with an outstanding percussionist called Sandeep Raval who is huge in the Indian music scene and has toured all over the world.
Now I am happy to say that I member of Stuart Rolf and the Daylight Stealers and I am really looking forward to our years to come.