Big Danny
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Big Danny Gallagher and Bruce Springsteen in Dublin, Ireland 2003.
Photo by: Daan Sleiffer



Red Fusion, Asbury Park, New Jersey 2/11/07
Photo: Rod Gallagher 11/19/92
Stop Music

WEBSITE UPDATE: Hi everyone, I just returned from New Jersey last night. I'm jet-lagged at the moment, but I'll do my best to get all of the pictures my wife and I took at my uncle Danny's tribute at the Red Fusion on the site today. Bob Jahn has also sent in pictures that I will add as well. I will be redesigning the photo section on this site today, so that you will be able to stop, pause, skip ahead, etc.. I plan on spending a lot of time on this site now that I'm back, so please check everyday for new updates.

I just received an e-mail from Stringbean that I will be posting shortly. He also sent some great pictures. Thank you very much Stringbean. We love you man!

Monica Baldwin sent me some amazing pictures of Big Danny & The Lost Leader Band. I will be getting them on here today as well. Thank you Monica.

I have been having a little problem with my storage quota for the e-mail address I gave out and I have not received every e-mail that has been sent to me while I was in New Jersey. I called my cable company this morning and I'm in the process of trying to retrieve any e-mails I did not receive in my Outlook while I was away. If you do not see your letter or picture on this site in the next day or two, please resend it to me at

My Uncle Danny's tribute was magical. I will remember that day for the rest of my life. I would like to personally thank Eileen Chapman, Vini Lopez, Lee Hefter, Guido Scano, the owners and staff of the Red Fusion in Asbury Park, all of the brilliant musicians that played their hearts out for Danny, and to everyone else that was part of putting together the best tribute anyone could've possibly imagined for BIG DANNY GALLAGHER. My uncle's irish eyes were smilin' that day and he was there with us all. We love you Danny!!!!!!!!

Love to All

Rod Gallagher
February 13th 2007

Stringbean at Big Danny's Final Farewell Tour Tribute 2.11.07
Photo: Larry Pickover

I loved Big Danny and I am so sad to see him go. I have faith that we'll meet again, but that doesn't change the way I feel, truly broken hearted. I can't stop thinking about him. All of my thoughts and experiences are being filtered through his memory. I wish I could have said good bye.

Big Danny was an Old Bluesman. That is the highest compliment that I can pay. It implies a secret knowledge and a hard-won wisdom, the honing and polishing of a God-given talent, a generous spirit, and a magical ability to connect with people on a deep level. Danny had all of that.

Big Danny traveled the earth. His comings and goings were shrouded in mystery. He could express both sorrow and joy in a single note. He was an Old Bluesman. He chose a path with heart and followed it to the end. I'm glad that I was able to walk a few steps with him.

February 13th 2007

Big Danny Gallagher was not just a great friend, great musician, great person but he was MY FATHER...... A very long (Dont ask me how long) time ago he and I were driving down Ocean Avenue in Deal on our way to Asbury Park and we ran out of gas......needless to say it was COLD (freeze your butt off cold) and I was far from Happy which was aggravating the crap out of my dad. So finally he turned around and quite loudly told me to Shut Up and sit down, light a cigarette and relax...and you know what happened of course.... someone drove along and saw his "Stop Traffic" profile and did just that.. we were in asbury in 5 minutes...JUST LIKE THAT!!!!!!!! One of the many lessons that I actually listened to over the years that I can honestly say has become a chief part of my character... When I first got the call about my dad I was far from Happy.... I have since sat down had a smoke and relaxed and I know that Big Danny Gallagher is in a great place with great company and if there is any justice in this world or the next one we will all meet again one day...
BUT until that day comes......... I MISS MY DAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Kimmi Gallagher
February 14th 2007
Photo by: Rod Gallagher 11/19/92

A few things about Danny Gallagher that should be remembered. Danny never had the greatest of luck in the world. Yet, he could put things in perspective and laugh at his problems as well as find a positive spin on why they occurred. The best was yet to come according to Danny, no matter how disappointed he was about the present state of affairs.

Danny was well read and had a wisdom which he could relate in a story or an anecdote over a cup of tea - he had a way to make one feel comfortable in the darkest of moments, he was an optimist without losing his perspective on the bleak reality that was facing him.

Life wasn't easy for him and the blues were real when he sang them. He was fond of reading Ralph Waldo Emerson and Mark Twain. Danny Gallagher was a light on this mixed up planet that will be missed. Very few really knew the depth of his Soul and the comfort he brought to those that took the time to listen.

He was both big in size and spirit and the best is yet to come as he travels to the next stage, smiling as he goes...

Bill Arneth, Poet & Musician
January 27th 2007

Photo by: Ken "Stringbean" Sorenson


Never needing an introduction or an engraved monument his angelic spirit and songs said it all!

Big Danny Gallagher received the ultimate award on 1-25-07. A gold star and a place in Rock n’ Roll Heaven.

Danny passed on while dreaming in Boulder, Colo.

Throughout his mission on earth he touched the lives of many here in the US and in Ireland.

Always singing about HIS HOME TOWN, Asbury Park, and about dreaming.

This legend can not be replaced nor duplicated.

I take this moment to say Thanks to the Big Guy, my friend, my buddy and the biggest PIA I ever knew.

No report card needed


Sandi Baker - Herig

Photo by: Guido Scano



Big Danny…talk about a gentle giant. He was one of the nicest people I’ve ever had the pleasure to know. Not a speck of ego, arrogance or meanness in his very substantial being.

I had known Big Danny casually for quite a while, I’m not quite sure when I first met him, but it was probably at the UpStage. But, I really got to know him when we were both elected to the board of directors of the Society of Associated Performers. This was the organization founded by Margaret Potter and others for the purpose of supporting and nurturing the arts at the Jersey Shore.

Most of our meetings were held at Romeo’s Landing, Margaret’s beauty parlor in Asbury. And, is was there that one of my favorite memories of Danny occurred on a regular basis. While the rest of us sat on chairs in the back of the beauty parlor, Danny always chose to sit on one of the large, padded hair styling seats. The sight of Danny’s large frame with his long hair and beard, seated in the throne of beauty with its hair dryer folded back was downright surreal…kind of like seeing John Wayne in a tutu…it just didn’t add up. It was a sight that always made me smile. But then, it was hard not to smile when you were around Danny.

Gentle as he was, he could, when really pissed, become a bellowing mountain of a man. In all the years I knew Danny I only saw him like that once and it was amazing. I just thank God that I was not the target of his wrath. The recipient of his anger was, right before my eyes, reduced to a quivering, whimpering, shapeless form that barely resembled a human once Danny was done with him. All this without once threatening violence…using just his voice and incredible, physical presence. And, I must say, the subject of Dan’s rage absolutely deserved what he got…Danny did not use his formidable powers in a cavalier manner.

As a performer, Danny was as honest as one could be. He knew of what he sang , for he sang of what he knew. And he knew a lot. His stories were unlike any others and his advice, while given freely, was never preachy and always stemmed from his own life experience. His insight and counsel helped me through one of my life’s darkest chapters and I can’t thank him enough for that.

I could go on and on relating all manner of experiences shared with Danny and stories learned from him, but I won’t. It would require far too much space and there is so much to say, I wouldn’t know where to begin.

Suffice it to say that Danny was a very special soul on this Earth, more highly evolved than most of us, and those of us who were fortunate enough to call him a friend certainly got the better end of the deal. Thanks Danny, you were one of those truly rare individuals who, simply by their presence, made this planet a better place to be.

Godspeed my friend.

Bill Newman
January 31st 2007

How I will miss him. I first met Danny 37 years ago when we lived together in a commune, the Dorsett Youth Hostel, in Ocean Grove, NJ. The last time I saw him was at the farewell party in Asbury Park at a bar on Main Street before he was leaving for Ireland.
I am so sorry ..... for the world .... with Danny gone there is a huge hole

Big Danny ~ goodbye ~ until our next trip through ~ Barb
January 31st 2007

My name is Anders Martensson, I'm a Swedish author who had the great pleasure of meeting Big Danny Gallagher for an interview at the Berkeley Carteret in Asbury Park on November 2004. We sat with him in the lounge for three hours and he was very open hearted and friendly, telling the greatest stories. Danny was kind enough to do this interview for our book "Local Heroes - Asbury Park, NJ" which was released in Sweden, with Danny on the cover, on September 3rd 2005. Now, this book is up for US release, in an extended version. Relase date is not set, but it will most likely take place in the spring of 2008.

I was very sad to hear about Danny's passing, and I feel very strongly about publishing his interview the way it was originally written. This way myself and photographer Jorgen Johansson can contribute to keeping his memory and great spirits alive. The book will also be especially dedicated to Danny.

I will keep you updated as work proceeds.

Anders Martensson
January 31st 2007
Photo by: Janus Dreaming


We were sadden to hear of Danny's passing. My name is Ralph Irons and my wife is Cathy (McLaughlin) During our years in Asbury High, Danny, Jimmy McCudden, Lizzie Geiselman, Pat McKevitt and us were a group of inseparables..

After high school, Danny entered real life, the rest of us went off to college. Although Cathy and I lost touch with everyone else, Danny kept popping up in our lives over the past 40 years..

I could write volumes about Danny, Mike and Pat....To this day, I recite stories about my times in Asbury with them all.....Some might call their story an American Tragedy, they all faced real tough going, and sadly Mike checked out too soon. In later life, when I would sit with Danny we would talk about being survivors. Survivors of death, drugs, and booze..but survive we did....Danny indeed was the gentle giant. He was an inspiration of spiritual survival. He never lost his love of music and life, or his sense of humor. ...And that laugh.....We would get on a roll, telling stories, and laughing till "the brew ran out our noses!" That booming laugh of his will be sorely missed,....It could stop a horse in its tracks!

Way back then, I knew Danny would embrace music...We would sit at his house, his old man Ed, would be slamming back the booze, (which we participated in) Danny had this old tenor guitar, I initially grab a kazoo and graduated on the mouth harp..and Danny with the sweetest voice, we would belt out funny "I'm in love with a big blue frog"..and "My old man is a fireman, and what do you think about that!"......Another great thing about Danny was his I knew really didn't exist..At numerous dances, he was the first one out there on the floor, floating so rythmatically to the music...his size disappeared.....

I have so many stories about his 'street nature" ..I grew up in Avon, a milktoast town of kids that didn't fight....Danny grew up on the streets of Asbury...I learned a lot about standing up for family by knowing Danny....All of the Gallaghers, never stepped down from a street challange.

I could run on for hours....As I write this my tears are for sadness of losing Danny, but they are also tears of rememberance of the fun, joy, inspiration, of growing up with Danny...from our young years, two old men....I will miss him.

Please pass our condolences on to Ann.....and the rest of his family


Ralph and Cathy Irons
Brielle, New Jersey
January 31st 2007


My name is Bobby Chirmside. I was Bruce's Road Manager from 76 to 1980. My encounters with Danny were always ones to be remembered. He was a mountain of a man with a heart of gold. I loved being regaled by his fabulous stories, especially after we had downed a few pints. God bless him. I will be honored to attend his Final Farewell Tour.That in itself should be a great story !! Big Danny will never be forgotten by myself, my wife and the many musicians at the Jersey Shore that had the pleasure of his aquaintance.

Bob,Carol and Rory Chirmside
January 31st 2007

Albee Tellone at Big Danny's Final Farewell Tour Tribute 2.11.07
Photo: Larry Pickover
I knew Danny from the Upstage Club and the Dr Zoom Band - but I really got
to know him when he and I were hired to be the first roadies for Bruce. I
was given a room at his and Cindy's  apartment and I was treated like a
brother. He and I bonded during those 6 months of being together constantly
on the road or at home. He even fixed me up with a few ladies. We used to
sing some of those funny songs that Ralph Irons mentioned in a previous
email. We both shared a love of country music which we kept quiet among our
rock-n-roll friends. He used to like to try and do a country version of a
motown song and stuff like that. He had a great musical imagination and
talent for things like that.

He and I both grew up in catholic families so we had a common background. I
grew up in Newark, so Asbury didn't seem so rough to me. I thought it was a
laid back town ! We used to always hang out at the Empire Bar with Bruce and
Vini when we weren't on the road.

I spent the summer of 1977 living in his bus out in front of his "house" in
Nederland, Colorado. He and Cindy and the kids (with Finn on the way) lived
in an abandoned saloon right in the middle of the town. We worked up tunes
with his dobro and my mandolin and had a blast doing it. Nowadays, Nederland
has been yuppiefied and his old place is now a restaurant. I ate there in
1997 and it was almost too hard to imagine the way it was when Danny lived

A lot of people don't know that when Bruce was down on his luck and needed a
place to stay, Danny took him in. A lot of great songs were written in that
apartment. Bruce lived there during the recording sessions for the GREETINGS

Good memories.

Stone Pony 1986
Photo: Billy Smith

Hi Rod--- I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed your website and the well-deserved tribute to Big Danny. I owned "The Asbury Park Rock & Roll Museum" and we honored all the "unsung heroes" from the Shore music scene. Danny was very involved with the Museum, once he even played "unplugged" inside the Museum for a TV crew. Whenever we needed a "local legend" to come for an interview for a newspaper or TV station when they were reporting on the Museum, we could always count on Big Danny and Vini Lopez. Funny guy, lots of great stories, always in a good mood. He always had funny sayings, like "it's a
small world... but I'd hate to have to paint it!". He was given a gold record by Bruce for "Greetings" which he later smashed to pieces when fighting with a girlfriend. Man, he twisted that metal record, which is like gold-plated tin. Of course, he later regretted this. I told him to give me all the pieces, and I'd see what I could do. I flattened out the record as best I could, and glued it with the gold plaque and mini LP cover on a matte and framed it the way it was, and it looked pretty good! Danny really appreciated this, and we were always close after that. I always loved hearing Danny sing the blues, he could really belt out a song. We'll all really miss him, he was one of a kind.   Thanks for listening.   

Billy Smith
February 1st 2007

A photo and some of his favorite items dorn a chair on stage in memory of longtime Jersey Shore musician `Big Danny Gallagher' at Red Fusion in Asbury Park, Sunday, February 11, 2007.
Photo: Mary Frank

Vini Lopez introduced me to Big Danny sometime in 1968 or 69... We became friends on the spot... I owned a Head Shop called "Creeque Alley" which was located on the porch of the "Inkwell" in West End, Long Branch. The joint was usually open all night long. Sometimes it wouldn't even open until the bars closed down... but most of the local musicians who stopped by for a stick of incense or a pack of Zig-Zag ended up hanging around and jamming in the black light poster room in the back. Big Danny spent many a night partying and playing in that room. He was always known for his big laugh... ever ready with a yarn... some outrageous story... and a song.

Over the years we shared the bill on so many gigs... too many to remember them all, but too precious to ever forget.
Danny's path took him far and wide in this wild world... but he always came back to Asbury Park. Long before Asbury Park became a place of myth and legend, it was a special place of the heart for all of us Jersey troubadours... and Big Danny's heartbeat was part of the beat that made up the true, and real Sounds of Asbury Park.

I remember when Danny and his family ran a late night Bar-B-Q stand across from Mrs. Jays. Big pots of homemade bar-b-q that you could smell all the way down the boardwalk. I think that Big Danny was his own best customer... I might have been the second. I don't remember how it started, but it became a private joke between us. Whenever we would run into each other over the following years I would say "Hey Danny, Where's my Bar-B-Q sandwich?" He would laugh his big laugh and say, "Wadda ya want... Beef or Pork?" We would hug, have a laugh, and head for the bar.

I raise my glass to Big Danny Gallagher... and I urge all of his friends to do the same.

There are damned few of us left.
Rest in Peace Big Danny... you will be missed.

Paul Whistler
Seattle, WA
February 1st 2007

Eddie Gallagher & Eileen Chapman at Big Danny's Final Farewell Tour Tribute 2.11.07
Photo: Lisa Gallagher

I think I spent more time at my dining room table with Danny than any other person on earth. He’d call and ask if he could come for tea, which usually turned into lunch and often dinner and talk about his kids, his band, his music, religion, the world, his friends, books…..and as much as he enjoyed serious conversation, he also loved to gossip…he’d giggle like a kid.

I miss those times and I miss Danny’s sincere and loyal friendship.

Before Danny left for Dublin the second (or third) time, he asked his friends to pen some parting words in his journal.

It was a new journal and he was anxious to fill it with hometown memories and meaningful sentiments. Well, he hounded me for a week and I kept telling him that I wanted to be the last person to write in his book. The truth is that I am not a writer and I don’t do well with “Good-byes” and I didn’t want to do either. So I kept going back to a Jackson Browne song that reminded me so much of Danny and on the last day at the very last moment before he had to leave I entered the following….

“The great song traveler passed through here
And he opened my eyes to the view
And I was among those who called him a prophet
And I asked him what was true
Until the distance had shown how the road remains alone
Now I’m looking in my life for a truth that is my own
Well I looked into the sky for my anthem
And the words and the music came through
But words and music can never touch the beauty that I’ve seen
Looking into you -- and that’s true”

Eileen Chapman
February 1st 2007

The saddness of Danny's passing is far outweighed by the joy of having known him.

He was the most insperational influence on my music and one of the greatest times ever was danny helping me with my songs -------"try it this way" said Danny and a song was complete that evening he would sit in at an open mic with me and what i had been trying to do for months suddenly happened. love you Danny

Jay 420 and the Slydells
February 1st 2007
Gregory Schwartz at Big Danny's Final Farewell Tour 2.11.07
Photo: Mary Frank
now they sing out his praises on every distant shore
but so few remember what he was fightin' for
oh why sing the songs and forget about the aim?
he wrote them for a reason why not sing them for the same

now he's bound for glory all his own
now he's bound for glory

hear the sledges with the bells silver bells
what a world of merriment their melody foretells
how they tinkle tinkle tinkle in the icy air of night
all the heavens seem to twinkle with a crystalline delight
keeping time time time with a sort of runic rhyme
from the tintinnabulation that so musically wells
from the bells bells bells from the jingling and the tinkling of the bells

Gregory Schwartz
February 1st 2007


My name is Rod Gallagher. I put this website together as a tribute to my Uncle Danny. I can't tell you how much it means to me and the entire Gallagher family to see so many people writing their stories about BIG DANNY and saying goodbye in their own way. That is why I made this website, so that whenever you're really missin' Danny you can just come here and it will be like he's right there next to you. I'm trying to gather everything I can so that there's something from everyone that was close to Danny. I only wish I would've done something like this when he was alive so he could see it, but I truly believe he's up there smiling down on us, knowing how many people loved him and he's feelin' alright. He's finally been reunited with his brother Michael (my Father), his parents, grandparents, and my cousin Michael "Pip".

I would like to give a BIG thanks to Kirk Budelman for sending in 3 studio tracks from Big Danny & the Asbury Park Fear Fighters and my favorite Uncle Danny song of all-time "Irish Lullaby". I can't thank you enough Kirk.

A musical memorial service is being planned to honor the memory of my Uncle on Feb. 11 at Asbury Park's Red Fusion, formerly Harry's Roadhouse on Cookman Avenue. I will post more information on the News page as soon as I receive it. My brother Michael and I will be flying from Hawaii to attend this event. We hope everyone can make it. My cousin Eddie told me that Vini "MadDog" Lopez will be singing Irish Lullaby and many other artists that were friends of Danny will be performing as well. I couldn't think of a better way to honor my Uncle. Nothing could stop me from being there, not even 6,000 miles and anyone that knows me knows I'm petrified of flying.

I miss my Uncle more than words can say. I'm very thankful to have known him and I have nothing but fond memories of him. I really wish I got to spend more time with him later in life, but people go their own way and you always think there will be more time. I feel the same way as a lot of Danny's friends that have written to me...the world will never be the same without Danny in it. I love him and I miss him a lot.

Goodbye Uncle Danny...I'll see you on the other side.

Rod Gallagher
February 1st 2007

Big Danny, Stringbean, Vinnie Roslin, Al-Vis - Mrs. Jays 1988
Photo: Al-Vis

Hi Everyone-

The year was 1987. JP Gotrock was up in Brewster, NY for a weekend of rehearsing and performing.

We were staying with our drummer, Vini, who had just moved up to Brewster
from West Belmar, and booked us at a club in Danbury to announce his arrival
in the area.

In fact, the local paper did a full-page feature on Vini, which I still have a copy of, somewhere I think.

A few months earlier I had met Danny Gallagher through Vini. We started
performing together in the fall of 1986, in an acoustic band called the Granola Heads, featuring Lee Hefter and singer Amahl Ardito, and someone Danny had introduced me to named Helyn Chrobocinksi (see my Clearwater page).

We were supposed to meet Danny at the train station in Brewster, but earlier
in the day he had called and said he had missed his train.

When he finally showed, he told us why: a group of Japanese photographers
had gathered around him, and all he could hear them say was "ZZ Top!", "ZZ
Top!". They wouldn't let him go to catch his train.

We all had a good laugh and later on that night Danny joined us onstage for
several songs.

Danny was in GREAT form that night. On the intro to one of his songs, he gave a long rap about drinking and driving, scolding the government for coming down so hard (this was the early days of MADD and that movement) with sobriety checkpoints, etc. "Its getting so a guy can't go to a bar anymore!!!"

I remember so vividly what our keyboard player David Shearn said to me afterwards: "Danny is a great talent but I'm not sure that I agree with his
ideas about drinking and driving!"

Anyway, David himself would be gone in two years, succumbing to a heart-attack at age 34.

I have so many great memories of performing with and hanging out with Danny
that his death leaves me with mixed feelings. So much sadness for him and all of his friends and family, yet, so much gratitude and reverance for being part of his life and talent. My music career and my life was blessed with Danny, and though I do regret not being able to perform with him more, I am grateful for the time we had together. Twenty years later, I have such great memories of our times and our music together, and these I will carry with me until we meet again in the great beyond.

And if St. Peter confuses you with "ZZ Top", Danny, at least now you don't have to worry about missing any trains.

There is a special tribute planned for Danny at Red Fusion in Asbury Park on
February 11 at 2 PM. Also there is now a tribute site for Danny:

And don't forget to visit my pix1, pix2 and Clearwater pages for my own great memories of Danny.

I will see you at Danny's memorial service - and my deepest sympathies to Danny's family.

February 1st 2007

David Meyers at Big Danny's Final Farewell Tour 2.11.07
Photo: Robert Jahn

I believe Big Danny would encourage all of us who loved him so deeply to celebrate life. To recognize that if death teaches us anything, it should teach us to live more fully in the awareness of the precious nature of each day. To love more and judge less, to treat others and ourselves kinder, lighter. To try to not get caught up so much in the dramas of our lives and take more time to breath in deeply, slowly and mindfully. Ultimately, it seems we are all traveling alone within this lifetime and deep within the silence of our heart is the presence of God's still small voice which whispers to each of us that we are never truly alone. I will so very much miss Big Danny. His loving presence, most of all. His witty comments and humor. I'll miss looking over at him on stage as we melt into the strong grove, world class music, playing to cold empty rooms in the late nights of the Jersey shore, going down that lone highway.


David Meyers
February 22nd 2007

Albee Tellone at Big Danny's Final Farewell Tour Tribute 2.11.07
Photo: Larry Pickover
Here's a setlist that Big Danny would have loved

I Hate Every Bone in Her Body But Mine.

It's Hard to Kiss the Lips At Night That Chewed My Ass All Day.

If the Phone Don't Ring, You'll Know It's Me.

I Liked You Better Before I Got to Know You So Well.

I Still Miss You Baby, But My Aim's Gettin' Better.

I Wouldn't take her to a Dog Fight 'Cause I'm Afraid She'd Win.

I'll Marry You Tomorrow, But Let's Honeymoon Tonight.

I'm So Miserable without you, It's like You're Still Here.

If I Had Shot You When I First wanted To, I'd Be Out Of Prison By now.

My Wife Ran Off With My Best Friend and I Sure Do Miss Him.

She Got the Ring and I Got the Finger.

I Ain't Never Gone to Bed with Ugly Women, But I've Sure Woke Up With a

Albee Tellone
February 2nd 2007

Stone Pony 1986
Photo: Billy Smith
Hi Rod--

I would like to share a personal memory of Dan.

In 1984, a friend and I were following Bruce's "Born in the U.S.A." tour around the country. We had plans to meet up with another traveling companion in Asbury Park on a Sunday in late October in preparation for a long cross country drive to Vancouver B.C. As it happened, this guy Scott with whom we were rendezvousing was a friend of Dan's.

We met up with Scott and hung out for a bit with him and another friend of his--Steve Schraeger--at J.P Maloney's on Main Street and then headed over to the Stone Pony, where we saw Bruce jam with Cats on a Smooth Surface.

As it turned out, Scott was also friends with Dan, and had arranged for the three of us to spend Sunday night at his house in Asbury, and so around 2 a.m. that night we arrived at Dan's house. Dan didn't know me and my friend from a hole in the wall, but because we were friends of his friend Scott he graciously made space for us at his place. We sat up and talked for a bit that night, and he told us a little about himself. I particularly remember that he told us the story about how Bruce had written "Rosalita" one night and had played it for him the following morning. As I recall, I slept on his couch, and I remember being awestruck that I was in the same house where Bruce had stayed all those years ago.

After seeing some more shows on the tour, I returned home to Washington DC, but returned to the Shore often, and I saw Danny play with his band several times, most often at Mrs. Jay's. Me and my friends spent many a (hung over) afternoon at Jay's drinking beer and listening to Danny, Steve and the guys play the blues.

I was sad when he left the area because I knew I wouldn't be bumping into him at a show or just out walking. I live in Ocean Grove now, and there are still times when I halfway expect to turn the corner and see him.

Dan was a sweet, generous man. I barely knew him and he barely knew me, but he opened his home to me and my friend once when we needed a place to stay, and I will never forget him.

Lisa Iannucci
Ocean Grove NJ
February 2nd 2007

"Big Danny" was a good friend with a big heart and we'll miss him. Here's two classic shots I snapped back in the days of "Big Danny and the Boppers" and "Renegade Blues Band".... with sympathy from Robert Jahn, Mantoloking, NJ

John Cavallo at Big Danny's Final Farewell Tour Tribute 2.11.07
Photo: Larry Pickover


The big guys hit us with a one two punch last week that I'm not sure how to recover from...

I got a call telling me that Scott Bigelow, a friend since we were 10 or 11, had died. A couple days later-in the midst of commiserating with some of Scott's other musician friends and getting ready to play in tribute at his funeral-I was told of Danny's passing.

There are some people who seem bigger than life, even when they are sitting alone in a room with you. There are others on whom you count to make everything seem right with the world, pillars of your memory. Danny & Scott, for me, were in both those categories and I'm less sure of the world now that they're gone.

Danny was funny and insightful, caring and thoughtful and often looking for a good place to nap. I never played in a band with him, but he sat in with every band I was ever in, starting at Mrs Jays in the '70s. A voice that sounded of experience-sweet and painful but full of joy.

He usually didn't mention a name for the song--just "shuffle in d" or something--and then he began telling a tuneful story, like having a conversation. He made it look easy, but he always seemed to have a reason for singing that particular story. He sometimes let us in on it, but most times he'd just walk away with a smile on face.

A smile I'll remember for the rest of my life, and I’m sure the same is also true for you.

John Cavallo
February 3rd 2007


After listing to Danny's stories and music for years at Mrs Jays. I was delighted to see and here him again in the Stone Pony at a benefit to save the caracel.. It really brought back memories. Well in 2000 I was in Dublin walking around not having a clue where I was .I walked into a bar off Grafton Street and sat down to have a pint. Music started down stairs and I said to the bartender" that's sounds like a guy I know from the states, big Danny. He told me he's big alright. The name of the bar was BruXelles and I missed the last bus back to my friends farm that night..... I didn't know him but I shook his hand that night and said Greetings from Asbury Park. We talked for awhile. He was great!

Jerry Fields
Neptune City
February 3rd 2007

Vini "MadDog" Lopez performing "Love Gravy" at Big Danny's Final Farewell Tour Tribute 2.11.07
Photo: Lisa Gallagher

From Upstage Forums 01/28/07

The first time that I came in contact with Danny was when I went to Holy Spirit Catholic School in AP. My bus stop was on the corner of Grand and 3rd aves. as I was walking to my stop I noticed a croud of people gathered around in front of Kathy Gilvaries house. What had happened was that three dudes from Newark wanted to beat up Big Danny. He had Quite a rep. Well, needless to say, Danny twirled them around like they were battons, then he left them all in a pile. You didn't mess with him in those days. They didn't call him Big Danny for nothin'.

His last vocal recording is on my CD "The Dead Sea Chronicles" He was gracious enough to sing backgrounds on those recordings. Danny will always be in my band. (

I was one of the first to find out about his passing. I got the call from Little Vinnie the afternoon he died.
Danny was one of my oldest fiends and will be deeply missed.
God Bless


Lee Hefter at Big Danny's Final Farewell Tour Tribute 2.11.07
Photo: Larry Pickover
Margaret Potter of the Upstage got me the gig playing solo acoustic
sets in the second-floor coffeehouse, and I vaguely remember this
bruiser that her husband Tom had hired to work the door. That was 1970,
but It wasn't until 1982, when my lady love Barbara and I moved back to
the Shore from Tucson, that we really got to know Big Danny.

Being political animals at heart, we had hooked up with some Citizens
Party people just before we left Arizona, and when we hit New Jersey we
had some contacts. One of them led us to a meeting in Highland Park. As
we arrived, we couldn't help but notice the two most imposing people in
the room. We took them for a couple, but after the meeting broke up and
all were headed home, we learned their names, Danny and Helyn, and that
they were our neighbors at the Shore but not together. That was our
introduction to the Monmouth County Friends of Clearwater. We later
found we had some friends in common from the Elberon Ranch. Much porch
playing and general merriment followed.

Barbara and I also became active with the local Coalition for the
Homeless. A statewide rally was held on one of the coldest days of the
winter 1986-87, on the steps of the Capitol building in Trenton. After
all the speeches were done, with a generator putt-putting a backbeat
and snow blowing sideways, a band of volunteers played for the small
but enthusiastic crowd and our unsmiling uniformed guard of honor; Bob
Killian, Amal Ardito and myself on guitars, Danny on his National
Rosita, and Cornell Green on bass. When we played "Amazing Grace," we
had them all singing along. Then Danny cued us into into "Blues Stay
Away," and the memory will never fade---of that little crowd, some of
whom were not going back to a warm dry room later, as they began to
stir, to pick up the beat and dance and smile, if just for those few
minutes. A reporter from NJN asked the name of the band, which until
that moment didn't have one, and Amal answered "The Commie
Granolaheads." The reporter left immediately.

Danny traveled a lot during the ensuing years, and we kept in touch as
best we could.

Then one day a few years ago, our friends Jeff and Pat asked if I'd
play a benefit in Jersey City for their El Salvador support group. I
said sure, but I haven't played in front of people for a long time, so
if you have no objection I'll call in some backup. The harmony trio
"Flying Hearts" grew out of that, with Danny on tenor, myself on
baritone, and Bonnie Johnson on alto. We played once a week at the
Berkeley Cartaret for tips for a while, and drew some decent crowds
after a nice writeup by Rich Skelly. In the spring of 2004, Danny, my
wife and I took a trip to Europe (Bonnie couldn't get away): seven days
in Denmark and ten days in Ireland, and everywhere we went, we were
treated like family by friends he had made. He and I played in the
streets during the day and in the pubs at night; riding the trains and
buses, hanging in people's kitchens and getting a taste of what real
life is like away from the tourist traps.

We'll hold dear the memories of the time we spent with him, and we'll
cherish the friends that we met through him.

Robert Lee Hefter and Barbara L. Hoelle
February 3rd 2007

-whose kids and grandkids remember Danny and Mario and Bird from M&Ms
(music and margaritas) on the porch on Wanamassa Point.

Photo: Scott Parry

Dear Rod,

Thank you for such a wonderful tribute to Big Danny. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and his family and he will be so sadly missed by all who knew him.
I first laid eyes on Danny at Mrs. Jay's and ate often at his BBQ joint. Some years later we literally bumped into each other at the Stone Pony. Danny looked down at me and said, "Look what we have here!" He picked me up and sat me on the bar, turning to Bruce and saying, "I found me a little Queenie." Through the years we kept in constant touch, me staying in his tiny green room over Maloney's or he coming to Pennsylvania to visit. He so wanted to take me to Ireland and the last time I saw him was before his last trip there.

In September of last year I had the chance to travel to Dublin and the first pub I went to I inquired to a gent by the name of Ronan if he had ever heard of Big Danny from the states. "Aye, a big man, 72 stones and carries a stick. He's been living with a friend of mine!" Ronan then called his friend and put me on the phone with him. I can't remember the friend's name, but he told me Danny had just moved back to the States three weeks ago. I was crushed. There was nothing more I dreamed of than to have Danny show me around the country he so loved and I had just missed him.

Back in the states I had no way of finding him, just hoped I would run into him in Asbury Park. The news of his passing hit me like a truck and there will always be a void in my heart knowing I never got to say goodbye to my King.
I will always remember him with love.

Queenie from Pennsylvania
February 5th 2007

Big Danny 1986
Photo: Billy Smith
Hi Rod,

My story is a little different than most of those posted. I grew up around the corner from the Gallaghers and have known Danny since he was 12 and I was ten. We went through the early times together. I remember him as the "bad boy" of grammer and high school but for whatever reason, we were always very close and he was truly one of the most sincere and and dedicated friends one could ask for. From singing Do Wop in the boy's room at Asbury High to playing tackle football on Sundays, Danny was always a pleasure to be around. I even remember babysitting for his first child with my ex-wife.I used to drive him to the Upstage in my Austin Healy Sprite, the smallest car known to man. Had to put the top down ( even in the dead of winter ) to get him in. We went through the music scene and some other unsavory scenes together over the years but there was always a bond between the true " Asbury Parkers" and the ones who came later. He will truly be missed.

Bud De Santis
February 5th 2007

Danny in Dublin, Ireland 1995
Photo: Moey
It was a memorable trip. My sisters Patty and Janie, and my sister-in-law
Tiger took me to Ireland in 1996 to celebrate my 60th birthday. I had
told them of my larger than life friend Danny and we made arrangements
to meet him at a bar in Dublin. When he wasn't there we took a chance
and walked the Temple Bar area. Suddenly Tiger called out, "there he
is". She had never seen his picture, but from my description she knew
that red haired giant walking towards us could be none other than Big

What a delightful time we had with him and his friends, downing a few
pints of Guinness, riding in a horse drawn carriage that took off
before we were settled (Patty swung out over the street, but held on
tight to the door and righted herself), and later going to an after
hours club where we all drank and sang those old irish tunes we had
sung around the piano as kids.

Eight years later, Danny, Lee and I traveled together for 17 days.
Danny just took everything in his stride, even the never ending trip
from Copenhagen to a little town named Give in Denmark. We found a
"Wild West" bar near the train station, which had saddles for
barstools, and Lee and Danny pulled out their guitars and entertained
the customers while we waited for our ride.

In Dublin, the new "No Smoking" law had just gone into effect, which
drove Danny nuts. You could drink inside the pub, you could smoke
outside, but no more drink and smoke together. So they divided their
time. In for a drink, out for a smoke and busking on the busy streets.
The Dublin shoppers were quite generous.

It was a wonderful and memorable trip, and this is for you, Danny
"We'll always have Stanstead".

Barbara Hoelle
February 5th 2007


Ragin' Cajun', Belmar, NJ 2004
Photo: Colleen Ireland


Although I only met him once in Dec. 2003 right across the street from the Upstage Club in Asbury Park, it was enough to last a lifetime. I didn't know it then, but I was chatting it up with one of the biggest characters in this saga! Later on as I learned more of the story of Upstage and Asbury music, my appreciation grew for that solitary meeting! How I wished it were recorded for posterity, for no amount of words can capture his true ambiance and presence! I really appreciate this website and others like it that point to what was done by Big Danny and friends, it is very comforting to have memories recorded.

I am a religious person and I know that Danny will be missed and is in God's memory. I cling to several scriptures I'd like to share that might bring others comfort right now, they are pretty self explanatory but it has to do with the resurrection hope laid out for us and for Danny.

ACTS 24:15;
15 and I have hope toward God, which hope these [men] themselves also entertain, that there is going to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous.

I look forward to the time I will see him again along with my grandparents here on earth as brought out at ISAIAH 45:18
18 For this is what Jehovah has said, the Creator of the heavens, He the [true] God, the Former of the earth and the Maker of it, He the One who firmly established it, who did not create it simply for nothing, who formed it even to be inhabited

I believe in the scripture at 2 PETER 3:13 and I hope that it helps everyone in this time of loss.
13 But there are new heavens and a new earth that we are awaiting according to his promise, and in these righteousness is to dwell.

I hope that in the future we can all get together on a happier note to remember the glory days just for the fun of it, and make some more memories! Until then…

Carrie Potter and family
February 5th 2007

Michael Gallagher at Big Danny's Final Farewell Tour Tribute 2.11.07
Photo: Lisa Gallagher

" Legends of Uncle Danny"

It's August 1972 and my father Michael Gallagher had just suddenly passed away. I was seven, my brother Scott was 5 and my brother Rod was 2. We were staying in Granddad Cook's house in Interlaken, N.J. just outside of Asbury Park. Uncle Danny came up and towered over me and said to me (like uncle Argyle in Brave heart) Don't be scared, I will always be there to keep an eye on you and your brothers cause that's what my brother would have wanted". 35 years later I can honestly say he is, always has been and will always be, the leader of our family. Where ever he roamed, and roamed he did, he always touched base with me,asked about my Mom and my brothers and kept in touch. Never did he disappear from us. He always checked in made it a point to call whenever he traveled. In times of crisis he came a running as fast as he could no matter where in the world he was. My brother Scott almost died in Philly 5 years ago and Danny was there in 24 hours His knees and back were shot but he kept on walkin. Laughing at the pain as we slowly made our way to the closest Irish pub to the hospital.

Many times we sat together at bars in Jersey and pubs in Ireland and I listened mesmerized like everyone else but also proud that it was my Uncle who was the Giant pied piper who led us all down a path of merriment away from our own demons. How many people literally pissed their pants laughing when Danny got on a roll? Danny always said "Laughing makes the pain go away, and if not, at least no one will know your crying"

He told me many times, "My mother taught me the most important thing in life is to live by the golden rule and now I'm tellin you, there is no other way to live" and he always did live by the golden rule and I have tried my best to do the same ever since that day.

It's 1995, I just got divorced ( Danny always said Gallagher's didn't have much luck with women but that never stopped us from trying), I cashed out my savings and went on walk about for 6 months, my 1st stop, was to go see my Uncle Danny in Ireland. Too many stories to tell but what memories, I will never forget.
Here's one: "So you want to go and see your roots?" says Danny to his nephew Michael As we pound pints of Guinness in a pub off Gaffney street in Dublin.
I say laughing "Uncle Danny, I came all the way from Maui to see you, isn't this it? Haven't I already found my roots right here in this pub?" Shot of whiskey and another pint Danny says" Tomorrow we go to Donegal, home of the Gallagher's, where all Gallagher's came from" I ask "How far away?" "7 hours by bus through Belfast on a godforsaken road, but I want you to see where I wrote Irish Lullaby and meet some real close friends" says Danny. So we went and we bounced off every bump at the back of the bus and even though I know his back was killing him we were laughing our asses off telling jokes the whole way. It had been over 7 years since he had been there and no sooner had we gotten off that bus that his friends were arguing over where we would stay that night. But of course all they really wanted, was to hear him, playing the guitar, singing his songs and the best, telling his stories and jokes. That 1st night, with smell of the peat fire, the sound of his old acoustic, and his stories through his songs that warmed everyone's hearts, that night I will never forget. "I know you're out there somewhere"

Its 1984 and me and my friend Benedetti decide to paint our faces for Halloween, cook at the Yankee Clipper Restaurant in Sea Girt then go to Mrs. Jays to see and hear my Uncle Play. What dumb kids we were walkin into Mrs. Jays in Asbury looking like a couple of "Kiss" rejects. It was like Eddie Murphy in 48 hours. The music stops, the bikers get off their bar stools and start circling us. I know were in for a mean beating and then all of a sudden every thing goes back to normal and it is as if we were not even there. But there is my Uncle Danny standing behind us, not a word spoken. Every one went back to there own business. We drank, we talked and Uncle Danny sang.

I spoke with my uncle a few weeks before he left us and he was still dreaming of coming to Maui to see his nephews and swim in the Pacific ocean. He said my Grandma always wanted to go and so did he but they never made it. He loved the fact that I surf and swim with my twin daughters and couldn't wait to see us. He always said don't stop the dreamin" and I listened, I always listened, real good, still dreamin to this day

Danny once said to me and he meant it
"God's Driving! not me and not you, so enjoy the ride"
You will always be a part of my life Uncle Danny the best part
I miss you so much, man
Can't wait to see you on the other side


Michael Gallagher Jr.
February 5th 2007

Scott Parry and Big Danny Gallagher.
Photo: Scott Parry

Tears, sometimes mine

We spoke to each other in favorite of yours was always

'Allow us our Differences'

In a life as large and colorful as yours I feel that words can't say but I'll try...

Like, taking your Uncle Bordie and 'little beauty' to Port Authority to look at all the ladies

A half day on Vini's fishing boat too sick to fish from our night of fun

Eating seafood platters nephew Michael would serve us out the back door of his restaurant in Sea Girt

Talking from dark to light at the foot of the archangel on Ocean Ave

Prowling New York City with Steve in your Cadillac all night long, invisible to the world

Late night talks at the outdoor tables at Jays with all the people laughing and singing

Your soulful voice singing 'Blues stay away from me..."

You, me and he in a dark thunderstorm by the beach while being crowned a 'strange individual'

My last look in the cornfields of Iowa of your face in the window as you pulled away on the Amtrak

And, our deep deep laughter when we realized that we are the "Grizzlies from Hell"

I'll watch over Eddie, Kim, Amanda and Finn - Danny, I know you would like that
Eddie is handling this very well, you would be proud of him, we talk alot on the phone sometimes it's like talking to you for all those hours. He has said some things that make me realize that it is going to be ok. You know, first there was a mountain, then there was no mountain, then there was.

Pal, you've made me cry, that's not like you--when last we spoke you took one of my lifelong phrases and said it to me,I can't believe that the last words I ever heard you say was

"Life Ain't Over Yet"


Scott Parry
February 6th 2007

Big Danny Gallagher
Last gig in Galway, Ireland
June 2006
Photo: Joe Gogarty


May I extend my deepest condolences and sympathies to Danny’s family, and close friends.

Danny was well known in Galway, and was always a big attraction when he played in the local bars and clubs.

I got to know Danny as we collaborated together on “Big Danny ain’t losing the Blues”.

He had an infectious way of drawing you in, when reminiscing on his musical escapades.

Yet he always demonstrated love and loyalty when it came to discussing family and friends of times gone by.

I have enclosed two photos taken from Danny’s last gig in Galway.

Kind regards,

Joe Gogarty
February 7th 2007

Uncle Bill & Big Danny
Photo: Bill Shropshire
"Hello, I'm Danny's Uncle Bill. I guess this makes me the oldest one to
add my two cents' worth.

It was 1948, and I was home on leave from the Navy. My mother (Danny's
grandmother) told me my sister Betty had given birth to a beautiful
son---and a real heavyweight champion. What his twin brothers Michael
and Patrick had in length, Danny made up in width.

My mother was stricken with cancer in 1951 at the age of 49, and I
received my discharge from service. I was around the kids as they were
growing up, and those were great times to be growing up at the Shore.
The kids never knew my dad, who passed away in 1936, but they had other
relatives of that generation living in the Berkshire Mountains around
Windsor. Family get-togethers were lots of fun, full of singing harmony
and shooting pool over a few drinks. Danny spent a lot of time with his
Aunt Em at 1104 First Av. in Asbury Park.

Danny's father Edward B. Gallagher passed away in 1963. He was like a
father to me. Big Ed starred in football at Washington & Jefferson
College under the legendary Coach Heismann, and went on to play for the
New York Giants. He enlisted in the Navy during World War II, and
attained the rank of Chief Petty Officer in the Construction
Battallions (Seabees). Upon his discharge he rejoined the Iron Worker's
Union Local 373 in Perth Amboy, and eventually he, his three sons and I
were all working out of the same local. I remember putting up a
building with Danny once when the whole frame started to rock---then I
heard a voice booming above me: "Hey Unc, look at me!" It was Big Danny
walking the beam, just testing it you know. Fortunately the steel
stayed up, and so did he. He wasn't so lucky a few years later, when a
fall ended his career.

Of course he made lot of friends through his music, and he introduced
his mom and me to many of them when she or I would go to one of his
local gigs. His mother, my dear sister, passed away in 1997, at the age
of 73, after a long bout of kidney disease. Danny was always getting me
into some project or other, like the time we built the back stairs at
the Fast Lane so it could pass code. We welded it all up out of scrap.
We made a set of tracks on top of the bar too, for a miniature
railroad. His father always told him, "As you go through life, be kind
and loving, never hurting anyone." And that was Danny---a gentle man,
always ready to help a friend.

The last time I saw him was just before he left for his daughter
Amanda's in Texas. He loved my wife Justine's cooking, and we broke
bread together and toasted each other's health. Danny was a humble guy,
never asking anything for himself, but giving joy to so many. Now his
passing has brought the family together. I know in my heart he's with
the ones that went before him, and that we'll all be singing together
again some day.

Take care of each other now. Life is precious. Let that be his last

Uncle Bill
February 8th 2007



My brother, what can I say? When you visited me at rehab on your return from
Ireland, you said you'd be sending me your new address- I never expected it
to be in heaven.

I was feeling pretty sorry for myself that day, being laid up in bed, with
no weight bearing at all, after shattering my right femur in October of '05.
At that time, neither of us realized that I would need the other operation
before I could even approach walking again. Neither of us realized it would
be the last time we would see each other.

Hopefully, someone will put that wonderful photo of you on your web site. It
is a fitting tribute to your image, bother noble and angelic.

Remember that Christmas season in the '80s when a group of us went to sing
for the boys in detention at Project Youth House on Officers Row on Sandy
Hook? We went on to sing carols to them and followed up singing CSNY "Teach
Your Children Well", then on to the Everly Brothers' "Dream". The sweet
harmonies calmed their tensions. You had a special way with those kids. They
all flocked to you. You spoke directly to them in a way that was neither
condescending nor patronizing. It was your way.

You were exceedingly generous to all of us at Clearwater, always giving of
your time and talent. No matter how often we called upon you-you were always

Don't know if this is the time or place for this story, but why not, you
were never one to stand on circumstance. One year at the Clearwater festival
you and Cindy were "talking" in front of the Bay Stage when all of a sudden
she hauled off and punched you square in the jaw. I said to myself, "UH-OH!".
My estimation of you immediately went up a few octaves when you rubbed your
jaw, shook your head in disbelief, and walked away. Thank you for that,
Danny. And thank you for taking me to the Bruce show at Capital Center in
Washington DC, introducing me to our dear friend Scott Parry, and for a
thousand other things over the 30+ years it has a been my pleasure to know

Thank you for lifting my friend Jacques above the crowd at Mrs. Jays,
announcing to the group pf locals who were already looking askance at this
man, who truly looked like a fish out of water, saying "This is Jacques, he
is my friend!". After that introduction people were patting Jacques on the
back and buying him drinks, where as a few minutes before he was in danger
of being kicked to the curb.

That was part of the secret of your success. Everyone wanted to be your
friend and with rare exception, you allowed them to be.

Thank you very much Dear Danny for allowing me to be your friend.

Love, Helyn
February 8th 2007

P.S. I haven't cried yet.


My deepest sympathy to the Gallagher family and Friends. What a loss! Although I was not close friends with Danny we did know each other through his good friends Alison and Ronnie. I saw him play many times with Ronnie playing drums.
He was a wonderful person and musician. GOD BLESS him for making life a better place for many people.

Always a fan, Trish Cosentino
February 9th 2007

p.s. We will be there feb 11th.



Just wanted to offer my deepest condolences to you and the rest of the
family. I met Big Danny when I moved to the Jersey shore in the last
half of the 70's. In the 80's he used to regularly honor my band, The
Acme Boogie Company, by joining us on stage at our weekly jam session
nights at Mrs. Jay's.

Over the years, when people ask me about the Asbury Park music scene,
Danny has always been a part of my description. He represented the
epitomy of storytelling and attitude that I most fondly remember about
the musicians in the area. Some musicians and people become legends in
their own minds, but Danny was a real honest-to-God legend in all of our

I always hoped that somebody would do a cable television mini-series or
a movie about Asbury Park's bigger-than-life characters and that they
would get a chance to talk to Danny, not only the lover and performer of
cool music but also the master weaver of story. He would have had a
plethora of tales that are of mythical proportions...and he was a
participant of many of them.

The last time we got to play together was for a benefit at the Stone
Pony sometime in the 90's (a fuzzy photo exists somewhere in the depths
of some boxes in my house). The last time I saw him was at one of the
Clearwater Festivals of recent years. He always had a warm smile, even
when he was feeling under the weather. Knowing that I won't get to see
him on this earth again still seems surrealistic, but I know none of us
gets out of here alive.

Attending the memorial yesterday provided many heartwarming moments.
Thanks for allowing us to collectively celebrate Danny's life.

Sam Cooper
Jericat Music LLC
February 12th 2007


My heartfelt condolences to all.

I met Danny in the late 60's when I was about 16 or so. He used to "smuggle" me and a guitar playing buddy into the Upstage. Yeah, we snuck out of our homes and to be honest, I don't know how I got there or got back, but I sure do remember the really late nights there. The music was pioneering and hot. Once, Bruce Springsteen was calling out for a keyboard player and Danny practically picked me up and threw me on the stage but I was green and regretfully didn't go up. Hey, I just learned that Monkees organ riff from "I'm A Believer" which was huge for me at the time, so I was not good enough to be up there yet. Over the years, we remained friends and did alot of gigs together most memorably that lost weekend at some bar in PA with Vinnie Lopez, Vinne Roslyn, and a few other cats.

He asked if I would play piano on the title track, "Don't Stop The Dreaming" which I did. I never heard the whole CD so I don't know if he re-recorded the song, but
if not, that's me on the piano. I have the tape of that song home. In return, he sang a song of mine called, "Down But Not Out" which I forgot about and dug out yesterday. It sounds great considering it was done on one take and more than one beer. We also did a Video together on Bob Killian's song, "I Love The Jersey Shore' featuring great area players. I also have alot of photos. If you want, I can make copies and get them to you. Boy, gonna miss him.
The best to you and yours,

Richard Mitchell
February 12th 2007


Hello Rod Gallagher from Michele & Smitty in Murphy, NC -- I knew Big Danny at Holy Sprit School, and then my husband knew him from the Biker Scene. We loved to hear his music and have a drink with him in many places in Asbury Park. We actually had him come to our children's graduation party (one from high school and one was from grammar school), and he played for the party in our yard in Neptune City. The whole neighborhood came when they heard the music - even the Methodist minister who lived on the corner. It was a great time.

We will miss him.
Michele & Richard Smith
February 12th 2007


Driving down from East Brunswick to Asbury Park for Big Danny's musical memorial service yesterday, I had 'Sign of Faith' in the CD player in the car. The sounds and production values on this record continue to astound me. Good songs, good singing, great guitar playing, great harmonica playing. It's an extremely good recording, among the best recordings by a group of local Asbury - area musicians that I've heard since it came out in 1993.

I first met Big Danny at the Clearwater Festival at Sandy Hook, it must have been 1983, when he was part of the Renegade Blues Band. I have a vivid memory of sitting on the side of the chapel at Sandy Hook, in the sun, but with the cool bay breeze blowing in, with Danny, Steve Schraeger, Bill Lilley and Billy Hector. Danny told funny stories as we all sat around drinking Budweiser in cans.

Some time later, probably the following June, as a young college kid very taken with this band, I went to see them at Mrs. Jay's Beer Garden in Asbury, driving down in the pouring rain one Thursday or Friday night from New Brunswick. Someone was out back of Mrs. Jay's, blowing off M-80's on the patio! I remember wondering, 'what the hell kind of joint have I come to? '

Somewhere here in the archives of radio shows I've been doing since 1981 is a show with Big Danny Gallagher. I'll look around for the tape in coming weeks so we can post it to the website. [ I only tape shows when I have guests on.]

Big Danny was a good guest on the radio and he became a good friend through the years, through his performances and help at many Clearwater Festivals.

More recently, I really liked what he was doing musically with his folk-blues trio at the Berkeley-Carteret Hotel, and I enjoyed several Friday evenings of music there before that gig fell apart.

Richard Skelly
February 12th 2007

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Hi Everyone-

This past Sunday I was honored to perform at the Danny Gallagher Tribute at
Red Fusion in Asbury Park.

John Cavallo, Pat Killeen, Bobby D'onofrio, Vini Lopez and yours truly did a
four-song set in honor of Danny, and I am thankful that I got to say goodbye
to Danny in this way. I met Danny through Vini 20+ years ago and I got say
goodbye with Vini right there with me.

Other performers at the event included the remaining Danny's Lost Leader
Band, Lee Hefter, Albee Tellone, Vini Lopez and Steel Mill Retro, Kenny
"Stringbean" Sorenson, David Meyers, Vinny Roslin with members of his band
Blue Plate Special and many, many others. It was also great to see Ellen,
Gina, Guido, Wolfman, Danny's kids and JP Gotrock's 2 lead singers, both Don
Erdeman and Tim Cusack.

I have been able to find a clip of Danny's performance at the JP Gotrock
performance in Danbury, CT from Feb 1987 and have posted it online for a
limited time at:

Here's the disclaimer: I make -0- $ from my web site. I am posting this
recording without any intent of profiting from it. I merely want to share it
with all of you who would appreciate it. I will remove it from my site after
a short period of time, unless forced to do so before this. I hope that all
of you appreciate the spirit with which I am sharing this with you. All
associated copyrights apply.

The recording is relatively legible, considering the age of the source tape.
Danny was in GREAT form that night, on fire, in fact. Also featured on it
are keyboardist David Shearn, who passed away in 1989. Other performers were
Vinnie Roslin on bass, Don Erdeman on vocals and harmonica and Vini Lopez on
drums and vocals.

Sadly, this was to be the last regular JP Gotrock performance. We broke up
after this and though we did re-unite a few times, it was in fact the end of
JP Gotrock II.

Please feel free to comment on the recording or anything related to Danny if
you want. And don't forget to visit Big Danny's Web Site:

which is loaded with great stories and tributes from all over.

February 13th 2007

It was July 1970 during the riots in Asbury Park. I was with Danny and Norman Adams and we were heading to the Highlands to pick something up. It was around midnight and Danny was driving a 442 Olds convertible with the top down. I remember it being a beautiful night - we had the radio on and despite the sadness of the riots we felt pretty good. I had heard on the news that there was trouble on the Long Branch board walk and that it was a good idea to avoid that part of town so instead of heading down Ocean Avenue we took Second Ave. to Broadway and then headed north on Liberty street.

There was a small crowd by the Second Baptist Church and as we passed by something smashed into the side of the car just below the top of the door, just missing Norman’s head. Someone had thrown a brick or a large rock. I remember telling Danny to “Step on it!” which is exactly what he did only he stepped on the breaks and not the gas. Danny yelled “Who threw that?” – you could have cut the stillness with a knife – nobody stepped forward! What was only a couple of seconds seemed like an eternity. This was before Danny’s “Golden Rule” days.

Richard Bamberger
February 14th 2007


Big Danny's in Colorado

Because you're here, those who couldn't are amongst us.
Regaining thirst in a taste of rain.
Across the universe, all things must pass.
From it's silence appears enough love to change the world.

Leave yesterdays newspaper emotionally broken.
Honor properly an expression; Ah dharma wave.
Day light upon the shoulder, great tomorrows are ever present.
Doing for others, that just keeps us human.

The gypsy heart goes against casting judgement.
What's worth more then being that giving.
It's in our best interest to be insulated from a mysterious blizzard.
Oh precious time spent patching the ceiling.

Waiting, it's never to late.

Gregory Schwartz

RIP Big Danny Boy

Oh Danny boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling
From glen to glen, and down the mountain side
The summer's gone, and all the flowers are dying
'Tis you, 'tis you must go and I must bide.
But come ye back when summer's in the meadow
Or when the valley's hushed and white with snow
'Tis I'll be here in sunshine or in shadow
Oh Danny boy, oh Danny boy, I love you so.

And if you come, when all the flowers are dying
And I am dead, as dead I well may be
You'll come and find the place where I am lying
And kneel and say an "Ave" there for me.

And I shall hear, tho' soft you tread above me
And all my dreams will warm and sweeter be
If you'll not fail to tell me that you love me
I'll simply sleep in peace until you come to me.

I'll simply sleep in peace until you come to me.


My name is Ronnie Brandt, Jersey Shore Singer Songwriter, I remember VERY clearly the first time I met Big Danny it was summer of 1980. I was 19 years old and was playing solo acoustic on the stage at Mrs. Jays Beer Garden in Asbury Park, I had no idea WHO Big Danny was at the time, Harry Gick and Mike Bourbon used to manage the place. I was kind of new to the scene at the time and kinda new to playing in clubs actually. I was strummin' guitar and blowin' harmonica and doing a very fast & bluesy number of Hank Williams " Move it on Over" . I saw Danny watching me and watched as he started walking towards the small stage there at Mrs. Jays.He was headin' right for me, then he started yellin in that big voice, yea! yea! just keep on playin! Don't stop!" I was a little shaken, and then he stepped on the stage ( from the left side, as your standing your facing out to the bar, for those of you who recall Mrs. Jays) he just kept sayin, dont stop playin'! so in fear of my life and the unknown, I did what he said. I kept playing . He walked right up to just inches away just looking down at me. This towering man with a beer in his hand, for a minute there I thought I was in real trouble, Danny stood there , then started to tap his foot and grabbed the mic and started singin. It was just great.

In the years that follwed I had the great pleasure of knowing Danny through clubs, living room jams and many great memories of the Clearwater festival, every Aug. ot there at Sandy Hook.

The last time I saw Danny he was playing "Pancho and Lefty" by Townes Van Zandt at The Wonder Bar and he was leaving the next day for Ireland. We laughed about the first time we had met and even now I can hear his voice as clear as day shoutin at me, "Don't Stop, keep playin !" Well .... I intend to keep doing what Big Danny told me to do. "Song" they say, is the highest form of prayer, Danny, you and your family will always be in mine.

God Bless Amigo. Adios.

Ronnie Brandt
February 17th 2007

Dear Rod,

Late last week my buddy Ronnie Brandt, up in Jersey, emailed me the sad news of Big Danny's passing. Since I moved to NYC in '98 and then here to Houston in 2001, I haven't been in as close a touch with the Jersey Shore music scene as I use to to be, but I usually make it "Home" once or twice a year, and always make it a point to get down to The Pony, Wonder Bar, Walt Street Pub, et al and check out if any of my old friends might be playin' that weekend.

Big Danny was a great one of those old friends. Though we didn't really hang out a whole lot,"back in the day", every time I'd run into him he always made me feel like we were the very best of old friends. And that's how I always thought of him as well! He just had that way about him. He loved and respected life and everything and everyone in it, and music was one way of sharing that feeling with the world. As a performer, he was a wonder to watch, belting out rock & roll and blues with reckless, joyous abandon, stompin' and shaking the stage, literally, to the ground..even when he was sittin' down!!... Someone told me recently that he was back livin' in Colorado. Since I travel up that way a few times a year, I was thinkin' about lookin' him up on my next trip to Boulder this March. I'm sure we would have had us a time!

So anyway here's a little Big Danny anecdote to add to the list.

It was back in 1983.or was it '84?.... I had just finished up a great 4 year run playin' bass with Sonny Kenn, and was kinda hangin' around Asbury tryin' to figure out the next step, when Danny asked me to come down, one afternoon, to Ryan's, on Main St in Asbury, and rehearse with a new band he was puttin' together. I seem to recall Vini was the drummer and it was going to go in a country rock direction..I also remember it all sounded really good!...How could it not be?...and great harmonies!... But, after a couple rehearsals I felt I wasn't ready to jump back into the rock & roll wars just yet, and/or maybe I just needed to go in another direction, so I passed on the opportunity. But before I left, I handed Danny a cassette with some songs I thought might be great for the band to cover. One of those songs was the Emmy Lou Harris version of the Rodney Crowell song "Ain't Livin' Long Like This"..well Danny just loved that song from the moment he heard, it and immediately added it to the band's repertoire, and it became one of his signature songs. He really made it his own! For years afterwards, whenever I'd run into him, he would always thank me for turnin' him on to that song. To me, that was what Danny was about, and what the Jersey Shore music scene was about. Musicians helpin' each other out. playin' and sharin' great music with each other and with the world and feeling grateful just to be a part of it all. Big Danny was a very big part of that history and tradition and will long be remembered by those he touched so deeply.

Hank Woji
Houston, TX
February 19th 2007



©2007 All Rights Reserved

Website designed by Rod Gallagher

"Irish Lullaby" performed by Big Danny & The Lost Leader Band. Lyrics by Danny Gallagher. Recording courtesy of Kirk Budelman
Any unauthorized reproduction of this recording is forbidden without the express consent of Major League Baseball

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