'Dirty Dan' Died
He joined the Sha Na Na group in 1975, replacing Vinnie Taylor, who had died of a heroin overdose. He stayed until 1980, after the third season of the group's television show.
After spending an afternoon playing music with his friends and then
dinner and a movie with his wife Susan, Danny McBride died in his
sleep in the early morning of July 23rd.
Danny played guitar and sung with over 75 name artists over the past
50 years. His work as the lead guitarist for ShaNaNa was seen on their
TV show and in the movie GREASE. He also performed with the bands The
Rockin' Ramrods, and Rainface. He was a graduate of Boston University
and had appeared on TV and in several films as an actor.
Preceded in death by his son Derek and his daughter Bonnie. Danny is
survived by his wife, Susan, his daughter, Holly, his parents, Fran
and Dan, his sister, Linda Willis, his nephew, Alec Willis and his
brother-in-law, Jeffrey Willis.
Born Daniel Hatton in 1945, he grew up in Reading, Massachusetts, where he
would entertain his childhood friends with puppet shows. In the late
Sixties, he graduated from Boston University's College of Communication and
went into broadcasting, starting as a news reporter on a North Carolina
In 1975, he took up the McBride alias and joined Jon "Bowzer" Bauman
(vocals), Lennie Baker (saxophone), Johnny Contardo (vocals), Frederick
"Dennis" Greene (vocals), John "Jocko" Marcellino (drums), Dave "Chico" Ryan
(bass), "Screamin'" Scott Simon (piano), Scott "Santini" Powell (vocals) and
Donald "Donny" York (vocals) in the classic line-up of Sha Na Na, in time to
record the Sha Na Now album. McBride had his work cut out as the group had
featured two guitarists for its first five years, and his predecessor as
sole axeman had been "Enrico Ronzoni" - né Elliott Randall - between Steely
Originally formed as an a cappella group at Columbia University in 1968, Sha
Na Na had taken their name from a line in the Silhouettes' hit "Get a Job"
and still introduced themselves as coming "from the streets of New York".
They wore gold lamé or leather jackets and greased their hair back like the
Fifties rock 'n' rollers, but their act was as much send-up as homage.
They had attracted celebrity fans such as The Who's drummer, Keith Moon, and
built a live following in the US and overseas. Their dance routines and
comedy skits made them television naturals, and they followed Happy Days
from 1977. With guests ranging from Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley and Del Shannon
to Paul Anka, Chubby Checker and Jan & Dean via Milton Berle, Ethel Merman
and Zsa Zsa Gabor, the series proved a hit and went into syndication.
McBride left in 1980, before taping on the fourth series began, and was
replaced by "Guitar Glenn" Jordan.
Over the next three decades, McBride found a niche as a broadcaster and
voice-over artist, as well as a writer of humorous, opinionated and
music-related articles for magazines and websites in the US. He also
released a solo album, 16 Tunes... And Whaddaya Get... A Songwriter's
Portfolio. Sha Na Na still tour the US with three of the mainstays,
Marcellino, Simon and York, at the helm.
Daniel Hatton ("Dirty Dan" or Danny McBride), guitarist, singer, songwriter,
broadcaster and writer: born Somerville, Massachusetts 20 November 1945;
married; died Los Angeles 23 July 2009.