Listen to LIttle Worlds

May 16, 2017

Prince, Madonna, Michael Jackson and Bono

Prince was my hometown hero. As a musician I got to play in the same places as Prince, Replacements, and I know I am missing several more Minneapolis artists. To play on SNL or be interviewed on Letterman was the bomb.
Ask any of them, they will tell you back then the goal was to get signed by a major label. Some of us did and you know the rest of the story by how many Minneapolis bands are famous now.
When I was signed by WB, I felt my competition was the Biggest Musicians of the time. Prince, Madonna and Michael Jackson. Don’t laugh, but I thought my message of being honest with yourself and trusting God in amazing musicianship would win over expressing yourself and immorality. Cuz I thought that’s how everyone felt in their quiet moments. In hindsight, I wasn’t very clear, and they had better songs.
WB was gunna drop 2k a day to record the Dan H Band record at Paisley Park, so I had free reign of the place I guess. Prince and i shared a love for pinball, and he had one in the short hall from his private elevator to the backstage of the sound stage where he was shooting some extra risqué music video I was told later. He stepped off, and I thanked him and stuff and asked him if this was his high score I was beating.
He made sure I wasn’t beating his high score, and left. I didn’t.
Fast forward 25 years later, he won. I never beat his high score. And he stepped off of that elevator again, and was no longer with us.
Having more of the success he had, I believe I would no longer be with us. He fought hard for the success he had. And then he had to deal with still being Prince, but with no arenas to fill again. By now he could, so could Michael Jackson. But the only way they could function was with opiod or happy pills to kill the pain, even though they were both anti drug guys, and technically, neither of them used illegal drugs. So Elvis.
Women are stronger, Madonna lives, and God bless Bono.

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May 7, 2017

Grace under Hay?

I wanted to earn some big bucks , the farmer was paying five cents a bale for as much hay as we could bring in.

So at sunrise we took the tractor to the field and ran around collecting hay.

At the end of the day, we had a trailer full of hay higher than I had ever seen. We were all exhausted. As we gathered together watching the sun go down I said, “you know, I think we could still fit a few more bales on right here, there and there.”

With our second wind we stuffed the trailer, and when we were done I was finally awarded the “best” job of driving the tractor. They show me how to put it in gear and where the brake is, and as I drive that tractor towards the farm with the fullest load of hay any city kid had ever seen I feel like the king of the world, humbled at the honor, and elated at the accomplishment.

Then I turned left to get on the highway and everything turned into slow motion. The hay fell off.

Depending on where you are from you might expect to be yelled at, cursed at, or heard a “hey its ok, its not your fault.” But this was some farm boys from North Dakota, so all I heard was, “well, let’s load it up again.” We did, i felt less bad soon. Was that Grace?

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December 16, 2016

Encounter Muslims

On my first band tour of Europe I was told by some young men that they felt it was their duty to kill me after a show we did in Schoonhoven at a coffee bar. I had written about 500 songs at this point, but I still wanted to communicate with the audience by talking to them between songs about why I wrote them.
After several weeks on tour and hearing every ones opinions of the US politicians, most who I had never heard of, I was impressed that they knew who ours were. The news in Europe was so different than the news in the US, I couldn’t believe how many wars were going on that I had never heard of, and they showed footage of it.
I can’t remember the song I was about to sing, but I wound up talking about the news that the US had crashed some helicopters on the way somewhere and joked that apparently the ayatollah Khomeini didn’t have much to worry about and then I did the rest of the show and talked about other things.
I would often go and talk to the audience after the show and when I went up to one group of teens the leader said, “We are muslims, and we decided to kill you, but after we listened to the rest of your show, we have decided not to.”
I said, why did you want to kill me?
We don’t want to anymore, we have even bought drinks here now. But the ayatollah Khomeini is our spiritual leader and we didn’t like how you talked about him.
I had no idea he was a spiritual leader, I just thought he was the head of some government. I liked hanging out with those kids, other than the killing me thing.

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November 14, 2016

The Jerk

Singapore pool photo
Why was I such a jerk when I was young
A doctor invited me to his house to eat supper
He spent his own dollars to travel to underdeveloped poor nations
To help heal the sick who had no money
His teenage daughter was dating my bass player
So we show up, had a nice meal in a nice house
Then it happened
Understand that I knew the Dad was not a fan
Of his daughters romantic interest at the time
Who was my friend and I was fond of
So the older alpha male invited the younger to play a game of pool
We bantered about who should break
I conceded to his arguments and put the white ball where it should go
I pulled back the stick and let it fly
It was the best break I had ever seen, a ball went in a pocket
And the rest of the balls were scattered all over the table
Please understand that my dad had a pool table in his basement
It was in a house owned by a Baptist church
a couple of church members
Felt that my dad should not have a pool table
To keep the peace, my dad should have buckled under and removed it
He did not, so we had some wonderful times playing pool and ping pong
So I sank my second shot at the Doctors basement
Who had no one telling him
That as a Christian he should not have a pool table in his basement
I will bet you that folks were thankful for his service
Third shot went down
We were laughing and having fun, and asking each other questions
Fourth shot was successful
There may have been a little unease in the room at this point
I line up and drop the fifth and sixth
There was tension in the room by this point
I was not trying to be a jackass, but I was by now telling him
Don’t worry, you will get a shot in
I am patronizing him unknowingly
The seventh ball drops
All that’s left is the eight ball
And it’s a clear shot
I have no choice
I drop the eight ball
I was all like, thanks for the meal, thanks for the game
It was great being here, we gotta go do something
Sorry you didn’t get a shot in, I normally don’t play this well
I’m sure you would beat me on any other day
No I can’t play another
I was kind of a twenty year old jerk

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October 13, 2016

Rooms Don’t Define Me

At times I have been
The only white person in the room
The biggest in the room
The only American in the room
The only strait person in the room
The tallest in the room
The only man in the room
The poorest in the room
The richest in the room
The least generous in the room
The strongest in the room
The weakest in the room
At times I was uncomfortable
But mostly, I was glad to be in the room

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October 3, 2016

Life in America

arie dad dateMy girl bought a new car, our county does not issue temporary license plates any more, so we snuck to the government required emissions testing, The government employee said we needed a new gas cap. The young woman paid her and said can i come back today with a new gas cap and not have to repay? Yes! we snuck back five miles to the AutoZone, and bought a new gas cap. Snuck back to the emissions testing. The new gas cap was acceptable to our county. Snuck back to our house. Got into a legal car to drive another town thirty miles away to get her new licence plates. The line was backed up outside of the door. As we got closer i said, “look at that sign, it says, “We no longer perform marriages.” I didnt know they ever did perform marriages, but my girl said, “its probably because of the gay marriage act.” Who is she. As we got closer, i pointed out the sign that said you were not allowed to use any cell phones while in line. She goes, “Well the government already knows everything we are doing.” And i go, “Yes, but maybe this place doesn’t want the federal government to know what They are doing.”

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September 11, 2016

No one ever said No

Dans mom and dad
Where ever I went with my dad people shared about their lives with him and their concerns. He would ask them if they wanted to pray. For all I knew some were church members, but I knew many were not, and they all said “yes.”
When I was traveling around the world as a musician or International rep for Sony/BMG/Provident I met so many cool people who shared their lives with me. I guess mostly at Airports, Concerts, and Hotel Bars and on the streets.
So occasionally when I heard their dilemma, I would just ask them, “Do you wanna pray with me?” Every one of them said, “Yes.” And sometimes it seemed like a desperate prayer on my part just asking Jesus to help them in their struggles. And other times it seemed like they were also communicating with God.
The worst was the couple of times they were hustlers and God shut me down after, “Dear Lord.”
There was a time that I felt God was telling me to speak to a military gal who was crying in the Tokyo airport. I told Him, I am tired and exhausted, the last thing I want to do is start a conversation with some girl who won’t even want to talk to me. Not that I could have helped her, but I fell I said NO to something God wanted me to do.
Whoever reads this, talk to Jesus about what he wants you to do, trust him or at least talk to him.

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September 8, 2016

I wanted to move to Mexico

Lynette and Dan on KLM youngI took my lover to on a flight to Acapulco, Mexico to get away from it all. The air was incredible and as an asthma ridden kid, I felt I could breathe for the first time, maybe it was the ocean air. We stayed in the old hotel that all of the famous people stayed forty years ago where the cliff divers risked their lives for tips.
We ate five course meals for two bucks and drank coco locos as the ocean came up to the seats of our chairs. We walked for miles and skipped the long line for the restaurant the Americans were in and went on for a couple of blocks and ate where the locals ate. We drank too many fruit drinks and learned about Montezuma’s Revenge.
We rented a jeep, drove out to explore and after an hour I turned left into a farmer’s house cuz I saw a dirt road behind his property. It was a small trail next to the mountain that I thought would end in a few minutes. After a half hour of driving the trail washed out and we debated having to drive backwards for a longer time on the narrow road.
I walked ahead and saw the trail resumed after forty feet and I thought if we put our left wheels onto the mountain, we could inch ahead and make it to the resumed trail. We sat there for a while and discussed it.
We went for it. Another half hour with no turn around spot, and knowing I could not drive this whole road backward by now, I was feeling some panic or apprehension. But I couldn’t show it cuz my lover was more scared then me I think. My guess is that both of us may have been praying by the minute.
Then we turned another corner. The first thing we saw was a chapel, like in the movies, a two story Alamo looking front of a chapel. Encouraged we drove on. As we got closer we realized that it was abandoned and as we drove on we saw a group of twenty children all dressed in blue running up the mountain to meet us. I knew immediately that this was the most cinematically beautiful thing that I would ever see in my lifetime.
They were coming home from school to the village we were entering. They were the happiest kids we had ever seen. They kept touching us and our hair and yelling in excitement like we were the first TV people they had ever seen in person. We did not understand their language and they did not understand ours.
This was a Norman Rockwell mountain town. The guy walking his pig on a leash, the woman sweeping the dirt entrance to her home and smiling kids greeting their parents all seemed so happy and content. The most persistent boy pulled us to his home to meet his mother.
By now I was thinking I wanna make it down the mountain before it gets dark so we met the mother. She lived in a corrugated metal, wood and brick shack with a color TV. We were as polite as we could be, but I kept pointing down the mountain when she motioned that she wanted us to stay for dinner. I shook my head and motioned we would like to drink something in a bottle. She took us to the little store which had a few bottles of coke, we bought two and I thought “how did they get this coke up here.”
We made it back to the hotel by twilight and it was like we were returning to a different world. The next day we got on the flight back to Minneapolis and felt like we returned to another different world. Now it seems like every place we visit or move to is a different world, and my lover told me recently, “This world is not our home.”

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August 31, 2016

Biker Bar, Red Light District, Amsterdam

We played anywhere we could on off days during our early EU tours and one of the shows was in a dope smoking biker bar in the red light district of Amsterdam.

We played our hearts out and during the break I sat with the owner and for the first time, I apologized to someone for booking us, based on the unenthusiastic crowd response.

I said, “I’m sorry, we are giving everything we got but it seems that your customers don’t like us. He goes, “What are you talking about? They love you!”

I go, “How can you tell?” He goes, “They haven’t thrown anything at you.”

I think he booked another 5 or 6 shows during a solo tour I did. As far as I could tell, the crowd loved them.

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August 26, 2016

The Maze Bed Urban Legend

We once rented a house a few miles from our church in St. Paul, Minnesota. We had 2 children at the time and our big fun was to take them to science museums or festivals when I had a home day. One science museum in a small town had a “maze” which was a series of small turns against a wall and was a big hit with my son.
I’m kinda tall so Lynette and I had always slept on a California King, and I thought that I could build a maze under our bed almost 2 feet tall that would have a larger area to hang out in for the kids to do some cave writing. I settled on this design after many tries and bought the wood.
It was an instant hit. Armed with a flashlight and writing utensils my son could spend hours in there. All of his friends started coming over and spending time in the “maze bed”. Lynette got concerned that if something happened to one of them we could not crawl in and get them out.
I think the final straw was when some kid showed up at our doorstep and said, “I’m not from here, I live in Indiana, but I heard that you guz had a maze under your bed.” So we gave him a flashlight, showed him up to our bedroom, and let him explore the urban legend. He said, “This is the coolest thing I’ve ever seen. I didn’t believe it was real. I’m telling everyone I know.”
That’s when we shut it down.

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