Friday, March 25, 2016

A Dan Hansen Guest Post: Talkin' 'Bout The King


I've quite a few friends who are writers, one of them being Dan Hansen, a local artist I've been getting to know. This past winter we've been working on a couple collaborations that have gotten us jazzed.

Speaking of jazz, Dan has shared with me a couple of times about one of his personal "heroes"... a jazz drummer Dave King. Heroes perform a valuable function, inspiring us, modeling qualities to internalize, strive to exemplify and emulate. The following is a short essay Dan wrote about Dave. Dan also produced the illustration inspired by his encounters with this unusually gifted man.

I don't talk about things I love much. I love Zelda ll, the Adventures of Link. That's not inspiring or even coherent to anyone not born of the Nintendo era. Everyone has their music idols. I get that. I'm going to talk about my TRUE idol Dave King.

I saw this guy live for the first time in 2003 when he played at UMD with his band Happy Apple. What I remember is the most transcendental maniac fest of hysterical proportions I had ever experienced in my life... and this was jazz. Dave wasn't just a drummer, he was Chico Marx on brain serum. This was a big deal. Not only was this guy the best drummer I ever witnessed (what do I know about drumming?), but he was the funniest comedian I had ever experienced. His expressions alone while playing were brilliant madness, producing buckets worth of tears from laughter. Then he'd start talking... His monologues were the funniest thing I'd ever heard. He makes Bill Bur look like Rocky Balboa. I couldn't figure out why this guy was not famous like Carrot Top or Wayne Newton. 13 years later with 8 or 9 bands he plays with he's still not famous. It's a travesty he's not at the top of the charts. I guess it's jazz...

It's weird how what's truly great is not honored in society. Now this is going into a serious route Dave would condemn... showing vulnerability. According to Rational Funk with Dave King, this would be a cardinal rule you never break. It's easy to show vulnerability, it's not easy to show mastery.

This revelation made me feel extra useless as a disabled person... like I'm supposed to adopt a Tony Robbins approach? The Dave King approach would be to tell everyone they are living on an inferior surface of the earth, and only I knew the proper locations to thrive. Dave King would then hand out vouchers to save the necessary inhabitants of the brave new swill. They likely would be candidates I approved of whom I could build futures with. This would create growth in the economy, leading to absurd levels of personal fulfillment unprecedented in human history. All because Dave King saved the world by witnessing my spark. I can live with that.

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Do you have a fave artist, musician or writer who is pushing the envelope, but beneath the radar? Tell us more. You can learn more about Dave King at his website,

Whatever your gifts, explore them to the max. You only go around once in life. End of story.

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