Rick Danko

This site is all about Rick Danko, the charismatic bass and acoustic guitar player and one of the three lead singers for the legendary rock group, The Band. Rick's iconic plaintive tenor, his ethereal, one-of-a-kind harmonies and his loping, melodic, percussive bass playing were a large part of The Band's signature sound. Equally integral to The Band's mystique--and to their secure and enviable perch high atop the upper crust of rock and roll--was Rick's magnetic, larger-than-life persona--part innocent country boy, part wandering troubadour, part reluctant rock star.

Rick Danko was about music. He was about melody. He was about harmony. He was about authenticity. He was about vulnerability. Rick was--and always will be--the epitome of unadorned, unaffected, unparalleled cool.

I worked with Rick for many years. He was a dear friend and a major influence who "taught me how to seek the path." This site is part of a promise I made to him a long time ago. I hope you enjoy it.

Please note that all content on this site is copyright-protected. All articles, essays, and other written materials (c) Carol Caffin, unless otherwise noted. Do Not Reproduce.

Rick "Inside Reading" Interview

You'd never know it by the quality of some of the interviews that Rick did on the fly--like, when a reporter would catch him as he was walking off stage, or when someone from the "media" would get hold of his phone number and call him directly--but I really did have a screening process for interviewers who wanted to speak to him.

There were no hard-and-fast rules but, unless Rick or I knew someone personally, or they were referred by someone we knew, or they were well known in the industry, I generally asked for press credentials before setting up an interview. Some interviews were not advisable for Rick to do, for a number of reasons. It is that way with most artists.

Tour publicity, however, was different. When you are promoting a show, you generally try to do as many interviews as possible to get the word out. Sometimes, particularly in smaller markets, that means an artist will do an interview with a media outlet that he or she might not do otherwise; your goal, in those cases, is very specific. The interview is scheduled to promote the show and is very targeted to the demographic market area.

There are some secondary markets--like Albany, Poughkeepsie, and other upstate New York areas--that have lots of concert venues and clubs, so writers at modestly sized newspapers there get the opportunity to interview stars they would not get to interview otherwise. In some cases, small entertainment guides are a primary information source in an area, and the writers at these publications often luck out and get to interview big-name artists and celebs.

That was the case when Rick performed at the Roxy--no, not THE Roxy, just "a" Roxy, in the vicinity of Allentown and Reading, Pennsylvania. This is the somewhat amateurish (and error-riddled)--but interesting--Q&A that resulted from an interview that I set up for Rick with a free weekly entertainment guide in Reading called Inside Reading. Of course, I'd set up interviews for Rick with the fairly large Allentown and Reading dailies, but also with this guide because 1) it was widely read in the area, 2) it had a longer "shelf-life" and 3) it was necessary to help sell the show.

Here it is, from March 2, 1993. Anybody who knows anything about Rick will get a chuckle out of the ending: the interviewer obviously talked a little too long for Rick's comfort zone, and he was looking for a gracious--and quick--way out. I guess "clicker" is the 1950s American Heartland lingo for "remote."

1 comment:

  1. very cool interview. I hadn't seen it before. Especially interesting was the part where he said he just finished writing a couple songs with Robbie Robertson. Thanks for this great site