Dan London is a singer-songwriter-guitarist-bassist (Longwalls) living in the town of Jamaica Plain, MA. He hopes you dig his music but would rather you dig yourself.
I remember hearing Ben Folds’ ‘Underground’ for the first time, realized he was singing about the American suburban experience, and thinking, “damn, he beat me to it.” The American suburban experience is where I come from, it’s where I made my bones, it’s where I cut my teeth.
When I was 13, I wrote my first song. It wasn’t bad at all. It was the first thing I was ever really good at. My mom played show tunes and country music in the house all the time. I dug West Side Story and the Guys and Dolls movie with Sinatra and Brando. I first heard a Bob Dylan song on the local classic rock station and it changed me. True stuff. The words kept coming. I bought his book of lyrics and carried it from room to room.
I grew up in New Jersey listening to Bob Dylan, Pink Floyd, The Dead, The Stones, The Who, and the Beatles. I loved Lou Reed and found it hard find other people who did that also didn’t scare me. I played street hockey, walked around town, went to the pizza place or the mall, parties in the woods or the golf course, and played guitar.
I went to college for songwriting. I moved to Nashville. I played in bands and went to open mic nights. I worked in bookstores and got taken out to dinner by crime fiction publishers. I toured for a few months with a cover band. We kept getting fired but I got to eat fried chicken in the Savanna Holiday Inn and play volleyball on a beach overlooking a nuclear power plant in Crystal River, FLA.
Sometimes I think music saved my life, other times I think it ruined it. It depends on the day. Just don’t ask me in the morning.
I moved back to Boston. I recorded a record with a band called Nag Champa. I worked in more bookstores. Eventually I went to grad school for Library Science. I started playing bass in the Longwalls. With their help I rediscovered a love of music and a desire to make my own record. I see myself as part of the noble tradition of storytelling through song. From Chuck Berry to Bob Pollard, John Prine to Frank Black, Ray Davies, Pete Townshend, Randy Newman, Thom Yorke, Stephen Sondheim, and the guy who wrote the Gambler – all these folks tell stories about people. They don’t have to be true stories; they just have to be real. That’s what I try to do, tell stories about people and make them sound real.
I want you to dig my record. I want you to dig yourself. Thanks for listening.