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How did Danny Gatton die?

klark1977
March 2nd, 2004, 06:19 PM
Under the advice of many users here, I have been reading, listening and learning much about Danny. I know he passed on rather young but does anyone know how or why?

Dana
March 2nd, 2004, 06:21 PM
Unfortunately he killed himself. By what awful method I don't know, nor care to know.

:(

klark1977
March 2nd, 2004, 06:23 PM
Man that's a shame. As I have learned more about him.... he was a great talent.

NancyK
March 2nd, 2004, 07:07 PM
You ought to get your hands on the book "Unfinished Business" (also get you hands on the record "unfinished Business"). Pretty much Danny's life story, well written and interesting. I don't think anyone really knows the exact reason Danny took his life, but what a shame.
No "image" no "attitude" just a guy with incredible talent.

Tele295
March 2nd, 2004, 07:14 PM
I don't know which is the more upsetting question: the how? or the why?

Suffice to say that several members here were friends of Danny's, and emotions still can run high.

I prefer to celebrate his life, rather than his unfortunate demise. Check my website, The Telemaster Archives, if you like:

http://community-2.webtv.net?RUMBLETWEED/DannyGatton

lenny
March 2nd, 2004, 07:15 PM
he was depressed. you see the hot licks vid? i sorta got sad watchin it. no joy
even listnin to his tunes sorta bummed me out for a little while.
to think a guy with that much talent, and luck, and what a life... but got no joy from it.
i hope he rests in peace

klark1977
March 2nd, 2004, 07:18 PM
I'd say we all have our own issues and only the Lord and Danny know his reasons. Maybe the stress of starting to see fame that was costing him his first love???

GuitarJonz
March 2nd, 2004, 07:55 PM
It's all water over the dam. We all have our demons, and deal with them as best we can. Unfortunately, sometimes the demons win. Danny still lives through his music, and that can still inspire us, and lift us up when we listen to it.

klark1977
March 2nd, 2004, 07:58 PM
ditto, could not have said it better myself.

Flyfender
March 2nd, 2004, 08:42 PM
I may be incorrect, but if my memory serves, Carlos said
"You have to take the time to validate your life" What does that mean? You have to find things that bring fullfillment and meaning to your life. That which may bring validation might be..well...anything. Church, God, motorcycles....and how bout TELECASTERS. I don't want to get too heady, but in a sense, when I play guitar, and some musical magic happens, it helps validate my place in life. That feeling when you "click" with another musician and some really great sounds happen. Just my opinion.

lenny
March 2nd, 2004, 09:31 PM
i'm moved

Teletwang
March 2nd, 2004, 11:02 PM
''

klark1977
March 2nd, 2004, 11:53 PM
That makes sense. What I have been reading.... he was a hands on guy even beyond his love of music.

tahoebob54
March 3rd, 2004, 12:24 AM
"You have to take the time to validate your life" What does that mean? You have to find things that bring fullfillment and meaning to your life. That which may bring validation might be..well...anything. Church, God, motorcycles....and how bout TELECASTERS. I don't want to get too heady, but in a sense, when I play guitar, and some musical magic happens, it helps validate my place in life. That feeling when you "click" with another musician and some really great sounds happen. Just my opinion.

I few years ago I read a story in The S.F. Chronical, about the untimley death Of Elvin Bishop's daughter. Elvin took much heat for going back on stage so soon after the murder. in his defence he said "when I am on stage for the few hours it is the only time I feel like living"

Bob P.

TBoneDeluxe
March 3rd, 2004, 01:20 AM
Someone I know swears up and down that Danny was jailed not too long before he died. I told him he must be thinking of Roy Buchanan...but he and another guy I know are convinced that Danny was jailed too. Anyone know about this?

TBD

Bill E.
March 3rd, 2004, 01:24 AM
Sometimes when I think of Danny, I think to myself " I wish I had thought to quote Marcus Aurelius to him:

"Anything in any way beautiful derives its beauty from itself and asks nothing beyond itself. Praise is no part of it, for nothing is made worse or better by praise."

Boy, I miss him.

Bill

The Bone
March 3rd, 2004, 01:45 AM
about Danny being jailed.

klark1977
March 3rd, 2004, 02:08 AM
In the reading I have been doing I read nothing about that. But even if he was.... hey spent a few nights their myself lol.

klark1977
March 3rd, 2004, 03:15 AM
Shut up!!!!
Lets talk about your family..

Leave it BE folks

:cry:

What in God's name are you talking about man? I asked a simple question and said nothing but good things about the man.

You want to attack my family when I spoke nothing but good of the man? shoot.... My granny just died... that should be ammo for you to start attacking me for making mention of your GOD!

I have been here a short time and all but a few select people have acted like pricks... is this what this forum is all about? agree with me or get attacked? sheesh.

When someone puts theirself in the public eye they will recieve good and bad feedback, alive or dead. And I have not said one bad thing about DG!

undafonk
March 3rd, 2004, 04:46 AM
I have been here a short time and all but a few select people have acted like pricks... is this what this forum is all about? agree with me or get attacked? sheesh.

No, it is not like that, klark1977 ....
The large majority of people here are the nicest people. There are just a couple of subjects that seem to provoke very emotional reactions - the late Danny Gatton is such a touchy subject.

I have been here for some time now, and have always avoided these 'hot button' topics.

Don't be offended ....

nocasterbert
March 3rd, 2004, 07:03 AM
well said ondafonk.
klark, i`m sure ev`rybody on the forum appreciates your
deep interest in music.
i also think it should be allowed to ask any question for
whereelse could we get the informations we need.
but sometimes it`s hard to discuss on a subject without
getting emotional.
in your earlier topic about gatton`s guitar sound you
sure got an impression how much some of us respect
him.
you touched kind of a hot iron so that`s why some
react that way.

TheGoodTexan
March 3rd, 2004, 09:46 AM
undafonk is 100% correct. I've been around here close to a year now and I've rarely seen people get this wound up. Your posts on Danny Gatton might not have even bumped the radar on most other guitar forums, but the TDPRI is a different kind of place. Just about any body is welcome around here, including you, and we need new members to keep things fresh - otherwise we'd still be talking about Geir's DoubleBound Owners Club!

My first week here, I posted a reply to a Ole Fuzzy post, asking him to type more clearly! That got me into a debate with Paul (the webmaster), and I think Fuzzy has probably still not forgotten it. A year later, I realize how much of a rediculous request that was on my part, and what a large part of the culture of the board that Fuzzy is, including his posting style.

So a word of caution to all new members would be that it's wise to lurk for a short time, and learn the culture of the board, how we treat each other, and what the hot topics are. Your Danny Gatton posts are not "out-of-bounds" at all, it may just be the method in which you've phrased your thoughts.

Skully
March 3rd, 2004, 11:18 AM
Here's a snippet of a Rolling Stone obit on Gatton:

Danny Gatton, an unsung master of American rock guitar who was named Hot Guitarist by Rolling Stone in 1989, died Oct. 4 at his farm in Newburg, Md., of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Gatton's body was discovered in a garage at about 9:30 in the evening by his wife, Jan, who called the police. A medical examiner later ruled Gatton's death a suicide. No note was found at the scene, but a police spokesman says the guitarist, who was 49, had been upset about financial problems.

"I was on the phone with Danny a couple of hours before he died, and he didn't sound depressed," says bassist John Previti, who had played with Gatton since 1976. "We had a nice conversation and talked about gigs we had coming up. I live real close to him. If I'd known he was that upset, I'd have gone there right away."

Here's a link to a Washington Post article about Gatton's death that someone transcribed without making much use of the shift key -- http://www.harpamps.com/micKguitars/Gatton-article.html

hippietim
March 3rd, 2004, 12:34 PM
Someone I know swears up and down that Danny was jailed not too long before he died. I told him he must be thinking of Roy Buchanan...but he and another guy I know are convinced that Danny was jailed too. Anyone know about this?

TBD

You are correct. In fact, Roy took his own life when he was in jail. I'd never heard of Danny ending up in jail.

blue water girl
March 3rd, 2004, 12:46 PM
..

jonny_frethead
March 3rd, 2004, 01:02 PM
I don't see anything wrong with your question at all. People ask me how my mother died all the time and I have never taken offense the question. I read the opening lines and my reaction was positive and I was happy that you were exploring Danny and his music. I am sure that if this thread was preceeded by the first thread, the reponses would of been a little friendlier.

P.S. did you check out the gallagers clip in the video section of Danny's site....so casual but very cool licks and pretty good sound.

hippietim
March 3rd, 2004, 01:10 PM
undafonk is 100% correct. I've been around here close to a year now and I've rarely seen people get this wound up. Your posts on Danny Gatton might not have even bumped the radar on most other guitar forums, but the TDPRI is a different kind of place. Just about any body is welcome around here, including you, and we need new members to keep things fresh - otherwise we'd still be talking about Geir's DoubleBound Owners Club!

My first week here, I posted a reply to a Ole Fuzzy post, asking him to type more clearly! That got me into a debate with Paul (the webmaster), and I think Fuzzy has probably still not forgotten it. A year later, I realize how much of a rediculous request that was on my part, and what a large part of the culture of the board that Fuzzy is, including his posting style.

So a word of caution to all new members would be that it's wise to lurk for a short time, and learn the culture of the board, how we treat each other, and what the hot topics are. Your Danny Gatton posts are not "out-of-bounds" at all, it may just be the method in which you've phrased your thoughts.

Sorry, that's a load of BS. Klark1977 has asked some legitimate questions. There is no "thou shalt not speak of Danny" rule that I know of. You folks have to remember that to most of the world (including Telecaster playing guitarists) Danny was just another guitar player.

Nor is there a rule that says you can't bust Fuzzy's chops for his posting style. Fuzzy has gotten the question and criticism before here. He'll get it again I'm sure. He's a grown up and I'm pretty sure he can take it.

Having said that, Klark1977 saying people have acted like pricks is not going to endear you to anyone around here. Show some more manners.

TheGoodTexan
March 3rd, 2004, 01:20 PM
Sorry, that's a load of BS. Klark1977 has asked some legitimate questions. There is no "thou shalt not speak of Danny" rule that I know of. You folks have to remember that to most of the world (including Telecaster playing guitarists) Danny was just another guitar player.

Nor is there a rule that says you can't bust Fuzzy's chops for his posting style. Fuzzy has gotten the question and criticism before here. He'll get it again I'm sure. He's a grown up and I'm pretty sure he can take it.

Having said that, Klark1977 saying people have acted like pricks is not going to endear you to anyone around here. Show some more manners.

Come on, ...BS?...really? Specifically, what was it that I said that is BS?

I actually specifically said that Klark's posts were not "out-of bounds"...which is very close to your statement "There is no "thou shalt not speak of Danny" rule that I know of".

What did I say that was BS?

Joel Terry
March 3rd, 2004, 01:27 PM
and I have no problems whatsoever talking about it.

Does this mean I possess the perfect attitude about such sensitive topics as suicide, death, and grief? Certainly not. What it means is that people deal with grief and death in a myriad of ways.

Before I got into my family's business, I was studying to be a funeral director/undertaker. One of the first things you study in the funeral sciences is thanatology, the study of grief. One of the first things you learn from thanatology is that there's no one way to grieve; grief is as individual as people themselves.

So, I understand some people's reaction to questions about Danny's death; however, in this forum, I believe Aubrey's question is a legitimate question that deserves a legitimate answer. Aubrey's question wasn't insensitively prying or, for lack of a better word, prurient; I personally took it at face value, as if he were to have asked how Jimi or SRV died.

Joel

brassnuts
March 3rd, 2004, 04:02 PM
Hey GoodTexan....don't pay hippietim no mind...he just likes to mix it up occassionally. He's pretty outspoken about certain pickups also.

klark1977
March 3rd, 2004, 04:09 PM
Thank you for the kind responses guys. It really is not meant to trash danny, just trying to learn more about him.

blue floral
March 3rd, 2004, 04:15 PM
Thank you for the kind responses guys. It really is not meant to trash danny, just trying to learn more about him.

No offence should be taken, and yeah, I got a little wound up in the earlier discussion, and for that I'm sorry.

some one posted that its like saying they didn't like Vai's playing. I disagreed because Vai's life didn't come to a sensitive, tragic end.

Anywho, I know he commited suicide, not sure how.
I've heard stories, but they are just that and will not be repeated by me.

I understand he had lost his best friend and his record deal very close together time-wise, and was severely depressed about it.

Skully
March 3rd, 2004, 04:40 PM
some one posted that its like saying they didn't like Vai's playing. I disagreed because Vai's life didn't come to a sensitive, tragic end.

You're essentially saying that one can only critique a deceased artist's work if the person in question died of natural causes. This position seems A) extreme, and B) illogical.

blue floral
March 3rd, 2004, 05:14 PM
some one posted that its like saying they didn't like Vai's playing. I disagreed because Vai's life didn't come to a sensitive, tragic end.

You're essentially saying that one can only critique a deceased artist's work if the person in question died of natural causes. This position seems A) extreme, and B) illogical.

My basis is that the Tele and Danny were inseparable.
Tell ya what.. try going on the Jag-Stang Boards and comment about how Kurt Cobain's tone sucked.

Guarantee it'll take 2 posts to be called a troll or worse.
Yeah everyone has an opinion and things they hold dear.

Its America.

Skully
March 3rd, 2004, 05:33 PM
Let me phrase this as a simple question: Why should the nature of an artist's demise have a bearing on whether or not we critique their art?

blue floral
March 3rd, 2004, 05:37 PM
Let me phrase this as a simple question: Why should the nature of an artist's demise have a bearing on whether or not we critique their art?

Real world answer?

It shouldn't.

But ya know that sometimes it does. Rationality can go out the window where art is concerned.

Kevin
March 3rd, 2004, 05:37 PM
That was me who made the Vai comment.

I don't understand how someone's death has any bearing on whether we can criticize something about their work.

No one ever said anything bad about DG as a person.

klark1977
March 3rd, 2004, 05:57 PM
In NO way am I saying DG was a bad person or passing judgment on his life and death. I never met him and am just now learning more about the man beyond the music. No I did not care for his tone and style, was he a huge talent YES! But hey many people loved his tone and style and the color of taste is what makes this world great. I am more of an Albert and Brent kinda guy but that is just my taste and who I choose to learn from. That is in NO way taking credit from DG's talent or value as a player, husband, father and friend.

blue floral
March 3rd, 2004, 06:03 PM
In NO way am I saying DG was a bad person or passing judgment on his life and death. I never met him and am just now learning more about the man beyond the music. No I did not care for his tone and style, was he a huge talent YES! But hey many people loved his tone and style and the color of taste is what makes this world great. I am more of an Albert and Brent kinda guy but that is just my taste and who I choose to learn from. That is in NO way taking credit from DG's talent or value as a player, husband, father and friend.

I am sure ya didn't klark.

I was trying to make the point that it IS hard to discuss DG around here as he was/is a great benchmark to alot of us TeleHeads.

Its like trying to critique how Picasso held his brushes wrong. :shock:

heeeheeheehee
No offence taken, yeah I did get a tad close to the issue as DG is one of my favs.

No harm, No foul.
*sendin ya a Email BudLight or your fav. frosty beverage*

klark1977
March 3rd, 2004, 06:45 PM
cool stuff man, whiskey sour would hit the spot :shock:

blue floral
March 3rd, 2004, 06:48 PM
tell me about it.

I've had 3 monday's in a row.

lenny
March 3rd, 2004, 06:58 PM
lol i was ready to break up the argument but now everyone is all warm and fuzzy by themselves
:P
in this post i saw no reason for anyone to get upset. some things said unclearly perhaps misinterpreted is all i saw.
i have no problem dfiscussing danny's suicide either
i myself have pretty serios depression and i know how hard it can be, and like i said b4, i hope he rests in peace now.
the stuff people said about being shocked at his death doesnt surprise me it's not as if you can just bring it up in casual conversation.. o yea i've decided my life is more pain that anything else and im gonna kill myself. it's very very lonely
being depressed like that i bet he didnt think he could tell people what he was thinking. people dont know how to react to it
anyway
good if a little sad, thread
:(

klark1977
March 3rd, 2004, 07:15 PM
yes we are playing nice now but there will be no warm group showers :roll:

Heaven only knows why DG took his life, but without there having been a note or sign of this, I would say "allegedly took his own life".

Whatever the case and rather one liked his music or not it is a shame for such a huge talent that was full of life and innovation to be gone so soon.

klark1977
March 3rd, 2004, 07:47 PM
No note, talking to friends about gigs hours before etc... just dont add up. But sometimes life don't add up.

cft3
March 3rd, 2004, 07:59 PM
Well, the storm seems to have blown over since I checked in this a.m. But I wanted to say this: Danny Gatton is/was a public figure, someone admired and discussed by many, and klark1977 innocently asking how he died is a fair topic of discussion in a public forum. To those of you who were his personal friends my heart goes out, but I'm afraid that's the reality.

Especially as the question was asked in the context of a post that was otherwise very favorable toward DG, no one should take offense.

deanzat
March 3rd, 2004, 08:08 PM
...and I assure you I prefer the mature and thoughtful exchanges here on TDPRI!!!

Because of this site, I too just purchased my first taste of Mr. Gatton. I got the Hot Rod Guitar compiliation and 88 Elmira.

Reading the Washington Post article in the HR set made me pretty sad, although it was long before his death. That someone so talented had to worry so much about providing for his family really touched me, especially knowing what we know now.

I don't know much about technique (just hear me play!); I'm a totally visceral listener. Either the music carries me away, or it doesn't. Let me just say that Mr. Gatton made me a very unsafe driver this morning!

I suppose there are people who can explain exactly what he was playing and how he applied technique, etc. There are also people who can explain how waves fly through the air, hit an antenna, and fire electrons to make a television work. Well, you may be able to explain it, but it's still magic to me.

Or as Iris Dement said, I prefer to let the mystery be.

Watch out Ventura County drivers: It's almost time for me to go home!!! DZ

inge
March 3rd, 2004, 08:17 PM
"all we can do now is listen" :cry: i did not discovered danny until a coupla of years ago but i will listen as long as i live,the main thing is that he is not forgotten /inge

Shnook
March 3rd, 2004, 09:06 PM
You ought to get your hands on the book "Unfinished Business" (also get you hands on the record "unfinished Business"). Pretty much Danny's life story, well written and interesting. I don't think anyone really knows the exact reason Danny took his life, but what a shame.
No "image" no "attitude" just a guy with incredible talent.

I love Danny's music, but to say this book is 'well written' is...well... subjective. IMHO, this is one of the worst written books I've ever read. The author uses eBay as 'sources of proof,' and his chapter headings are useless. The chapter will be titled(example) '66-68, but then skip all around into the 70's and 80's. This happens almost every chapter. Why bother with a timeline if it's gonna be crossed 20 times within the chapter?

After reading the book, I knew the name of every person who ever played in Danny's bands, but didn't really learn about him as a person. Extreme detail went into areas that aren't really that important, leaving Danny, the man, as mysterious as he was before I read the book.

Holly came off to me like a pre-teen, then I realized she was in her 20's during the writing of the book. Jan Gatton 'speculating' this and that, and appearing very much a victim at every turn. The book was supposed to be about Danny's life, not theirs.

I've learned more about Danny by listening to his music.

String Stinger
March 3rd, 2004, 09:28 PM
...I love Danny's music, but to say this book is 'well written' is...well... subjective. IMHO, this is one of the worst written books I've ever read. The author uses eBay as 'sources of proof,' and his chapter headings are useless. The chapter will be titled(example) '66-68, but then skip all around into the 70's and 80's. This happens almost every chapter. Why bother with a timeline if it's gonna be crossed 20 times within the chapter? ....

I will have to agree with this about the book, the time line chapters the lines were blurred. I'm currently rereading it, simply because he's a favourite and I'll read anything I can get my hands on. The book does shed some light and some cool insights in particular when others shared stories and memories. I'm not sure what others thought of it who knew him but I'll take what I can get.
There is or was a cool websight of a drummer's journal of being on the road with Danny that was pretty cool read. ( I think it was Shannon Ford , you might get the link from the Danny Gatton web sight.)

ss

chris m.
March 3rd, 2004, 09:44 PM
It's so hard to know precisely why people commit suicide. I think usually there's more to it than the immediate circumstances or crisis. My grandfather committed suicide shortly after surviving WWII, probably partly due to post-traumatic stress syndrome. My father was basically a self-medicating, undiagnosed manic-depressive who killed himself by age 59 of lung cancer, through a combination of chain smoking and alcoholism.

Sometimes I find myself sliding into a depression, often for no real reason, and I have to work to pull myself out of it...and for me it has never been that bad compared to people who get seriously depressed. When I'm bummed out it lasts a few days and I can get past it by talking it out with friends, but some people can be severely depressed for months on end. Most of the time I'm on a pretty even keel. But I know that I have to watch myself since it runs in the family...

NFL Hall of Famer Terry Bradshaw has recently gone public about his depression demons, which occurred even at the peak of his career. I think Winston Churchill called his periodic depression "a visit by the black dog". In the U.S. and many countries clinical depression is something that is not widely discussed, and men in particular try to be stoic and not seek help from friends, family, or professionals.

Fortunately, I think awareness of this serious problem is growing, and more guys will seek help before going too far down into the hole. Teenagers are perhaps the most susceptible-- I would definitely think about trigger locks on any firearms if I had any morose teenagers living in my house. If you or anyone you know starts feeling or mentioning suicidal thoughts, please take it seriously and get help. When things are really bad, everything looks gray and ugly, even the most beautiful music, the most beautiful Tele, the perfect surf, or the most beautiful woman. You have to realize what is happening and get proactive about it.

Kingpin
March 3rd, 2004, 11:34 PM
After reading the book, I knew the name of every person who ever played in Danny's bands, but didn't really learn about him as a person. Extreme detail went into areas that aren't really that important, leaving Danny, the man, as mysterious as he was before I read the book.
Those are my thoughts too. A lot of facts and dates were presented but not much in the way of in depth interviews with close friends who could have shed more light on Danny's development and musical thought process. By the end of the book I didn't feel like I knew him as a person or understand what problems may have led him to make such a tragic decision.

The Bone
March 4th, 2004, 01:28 AM
but I have to admit that I have also speculated that perhaps Danny didn't purposely kill himself. There are first person accounts in the book of him holding a gun to his head and threatening, and other example of him saying "maybe I'll just kill myself" (paraphrasing). If I'm not mistaken, one of the main members of the band Chicago died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, and friends that were present swear that he didn't really mean to do it, he was just messing around.

Danny had a plate of dinner before he did it, and flung his plate into the sink. Why would anyone that was going to kill themselves bother to eat dinner?

Anyway, these are just thoughts that I have had.

I wonder if Danny just rigged up the gun and was "practicing", not really meaning to do it? I don't think it makes any difference, he is dead, but I must admit I wonder.

I have also thought perhaps Danny was depressed because he felt he "sold out" with the Electra deal. It, IMHO is clearly not his best work, and in the book, it talks about how Danny tried to make the Electra stuff "perfect" and perhaps more commercial. He is quoted as saying to Les Paul "don't you hate playing what you don't want to" (again paraphrasing). Maybe he wasn't depressed that he wasn't making it big. Maybe he was depressed about not making it big by trying to play music he didn't want to play.

I have often thought about going down this path on this board but have not had the will to do so. Since the discussion is open, I'm now going to participate.

I had a good friend that killed himself, and he left a very "rational" note about how nobody could understand what was going on in his head, and he apologized and said he was in to much pain to go on.

It doesn't seem to me that Danny felt this way, based only upon what I have read... :cry:

klark1977
March 4th, 2004, 01:42 AM
Bone,

Those are some great points. I did not know DG at all and I know many here did and can offer far more fact than I. It is just that as I look into and read more about DG he seems to have been one tuff cookie that stood tall when the winds of life blew and maybe there is more to his death than him just being bummed out.

Hell until I came to this board I thought he OD'd as that is what some locals told me. I am learning a lot about the man behind the music. Seems he was a very interesting and kind hearted person.