Dan Gisvold at Bear Creek

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Band

Dan's first wife, Diana, was as stunned and devastated as the rest of us when she heard of Dan's death. The news sent her into the boxes where her past resided in photos and letters and other paraphernalia that we all keep. She has been reading this blog and so she was surprised that I didn't know that Dan, at one time, had sung in a band. It was while they lived in Sacramento and I was in North Dakota (that's a whole nether story) and San Diego. He had told me but I had forgotten. Diana sent me the following email:

"Actually, Gael, Daniel did have some experience with singing during our early days together.  His good friend Jim Krantz was a very talented musician and somehow convinced him to join Jim and their friend Bob Soto in forming a group.  Jim taught Dan a few chords he could strum on an old 6-string and gave him singing lessons.  Dan was the bass in the trio, and they sang a variety of Randy Newman, Jimmy Buffett tunes, like "Shoot Low Sheriff, He's Riding a Shetland," and other fun stuff.  Dan and Bob were the back-up singers -- they referred to themselves as "the colored girls."  They practiced in our garage, and Jim would warm up by singing several minutes of "Kyrie Eleison" a cappella (he was a former altar boy and sang in the church choir).  It was always really breath-taking.  They also played a few gigs in some of the nice little bars in Sacramento for tips.  One of their songs had the words ". . . throw your rubbers overboard" at which time they threw handfuls of condoms into the audience, some landing in people's drinks.  That always brought great shrieks and laughter.  I worked at Planned Parenthood at the time, so it was my job to procure them, take them out of the packages and wash the lube off.  I wish I could recall what they called their group.  It was all great fun, and Jim's wife Valerie and I were their biggest fans."

And here is the proof that Dan was in a band. If I remember correctly (and we now know that is in question) I said he looked like Willie Nelson. He was not thrilled with the remark.

How I would have loved to have been in that band.

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