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.

Goodbye and God Bless Maurice "Junior" Danko

I am sad to have learned that Rick’s oldest brother, Maurice Danko, Jr., known to family and friends as “Junior,” passed away on Tuesday (January 19) at the age of 69.

Having been predeceased by his mother, Leola and his father, Maurice, Sr. (“Tom”), Junior had been the patriarch of the Danko family for many years. Though Junior, born in 1940, was less than four years older than Rick, he had an almost parental role in Rick’s life in many ways.

Rick adored his brother and, in fact, less than two weeks before he died, Rick asked me to send Junior The Band CD, Jubilation, and his own CD, Live On Breeze Hill. He was eager to hear Junior’s opinion of both but, sadly, never got to do so.

Junior was a pragmatic, kind, straightforward, wise man who loved his family more than anything. A talented musician himself, Junior had spent his life, together with his beloved wife of nearly 50 years, Joyce, and raised his family on the Simcoe farm that housed what Band fans know as the “backdrop” to the “Next of Kin” photo on Music From Big Pink.

Over the years, I’d developed a deep affection and respect for Junior. During the course of my research for the biography of Rick I am working on, Junior has helped me immensely, and I’ve always known that, whenever I was in doubt about a fact or a story, I could call Junior—who, I felt, loved Rick in almost the way a father loves a son—for the true story.

Junior was down-to-earth, very likeable, and funny—he had a great sense of humor—and had a very rural, salt-of-the-earth mentality. He talked a lot about his parents with great affection, referring to his mother as “Mom” and to his father as “the old man.” Something about his hearty laugh, and a few of his inflections, reminded me a bit of Rick, but he spoke in a quicker cadence, his words peppered with country phrases like “as the crow flies” and “the last horse at the trough.”

I last spoke to Junior shortly before the holidays, when we talked for a couple of hours, and was hoping to talk to him again soon. I’m so sad that I won’t get that opportunity. But at a more appropriate time, I will feature here some snippets from one of my interviews with Junior.

Junior Danko is survived by his wife, Joyce and their three grown children Lori, Maurie, and Sue; his grandchildren Kate, Jackson, and Jonas; and his younger brothers, Dennis and Terry.

God bless you, Junior. I will miss you. I wish peace, love, and healing to your family. XOXO

1 comment:

  1. very sorry to hear about rick's brother. carol: how can i get a copy of your bio on rick?