Thursday, June 21, 2007

A Sad Thing


I hate it when this happens.


I have lost another dear friend.

Ever since - - oh, 1982 or so - - I have followed the music of a Chicago Blues band called Deluxury. Over the years, I got to know the band members - - "EZ" Dave, the lead singer/sax/harmonica player; Gil, the guitarist extraordinaire; Mike ("Aldo"), the bass player; Kent ("Coop") on drums, and "Sweet Daddy" Denny on the keys. When I started dating Steve, he became a big fan of the band also, and we went to many, many shows together.

Over the years some of the members have come and gone, but Steve and I have remained friends with Dave, Mike, and Denny. A few years ago, Denny left Deluxury and struck out on his own. But, he still played at times with Mike and Dave as the "Hired Gunz", usually at the Mill Race Inn in St. Charles, Illinois.

NO ONE played the keys like Denny. No matter where he performed, he gave his all, and more. It didn't matter if it was Von Maur, the Mill Race, or anywhere else. When he played, his face would light up - - it was so obvious that he truly loved what he did, making music to make people smile and feel good about themselves.

Denny recorded 2 CD's, "Songs In Black and White" and "Tornadoes and Dreams." Of course I have both of them, and Denny was kind enough to sign them for me one night before a performance. I will keep them and cherish them always.

About 3 years ago, Denny was diagnosed with a brain dementia, which turned out to be a hereditary thing. Dave kept us updated on Denny's condition over the years. Things progressed from bad to worse, and he was eventually placed in a home.

Dennis A. Daniels, "Sweet Daddy", passed away last Thursday. The Memorial Service is this evening, and unfortunately, there was no way I could get up there to attend. That is really bothering me right now. I wanted to be there for his family and friends, to give my condolences and best wishes. And I can't be there.


Rest in Peace, My Dear Friend. I will miss you, your music, and your million-dollar smile. But the memory of you and your friendship will be with me always.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It made me sad to read your story...i also put a blog about him on my myspace page. I met Denny in Florida in the 90s when he was visiting his Mom. They came into the club we were playing and his Mom asked if he could sit in. He was awesome, and we became fast friends. He & Dave & Mike arranged for us to come up that way to play some gigs, which we did for 3 yrs in a row. I had not seen Denny in several years when i heard of his condition. I spoke to him on the phone when he was in the Home, but it was a limited conversation, and very sad. I spent 3 summers , my band & I stayed at his apt across from the Mill Race.....i will also miss him dearly...
Wendy Rich, Wendy & the Soulshakers