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 Heading Up to the Stage at Woodstock '94

Photographically speaking, this is not a particularly good picture. But I love it for many reasons.

I didn't take a lot of photos at Woodstock '94. There was just too much happening and I was trying to soak it all in (which I did, literally, as it rained quite a bit). But I did manage to take a few. This is one of my favorites.

Rick is walking up to the massive stage, in his "comfortable clothes" and a baseball cap. I remember seeing him walking up the stairs, alone--though, of course, the guys were together, they did not all "file up" to the stage at the same time that day--and, for some reason, it touched me and I took a picture.

It struck me that he was alone with his thoughts, that he had a few seconds of solitude in a crowd of scores of thousands, and I wondered: Is he nervous? Anxious? Excited? Happy?

That morning, he had called to wake me up--at an ungodly hour, though I don't remember exactly how early--long before we were due to meet at the Band bus at Levon's. My husband (then boyfriend) and I were sharing a house with Country Joe and the Fish--and the "Fish" were scattered about sleeping on the floor and on futons, when the phone rang and woke everyone up. Rick sounded happy and hyper and I'm sure he probably called everyone he knew that morning because, like a kid, he couldn't keep his excitement to himself. It wasn't "excitement" about performing at "Woodstock," per se. Rick performed all over the world and it wasn't the size (or lack of size) of the crowd that ever fazed him. I mean, he'd performed at the original Woodstock, and, as we all know, The Band did not consider it to be one of their best performances.

This was a different kind of excitement. A Christmas morning excitement. It was excitement about performing for his fans, seeing friends and family, and making sure that everyone was happy and having a good time.

That was it for Rick--"Are you having a good time? Did you get something to eat? You want a beer?"--keeping everyone else happy.

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