We’ve written before on the Stanton’s blog about our knowledgeable staff. Now, we’d like to give you a chance to get to know our staff on a more personal level. Over the next several months, we will be having members of the Stanton’s team take our “30 Questions in 60 Seconds” questionnaire. We hope you will get to know the “real” us, and learn how we might better be of service to you!
Dan has worked at Stanton’s since 1979, primarily with orchestra music and print promotions. A “working” musician, he’s a classical cellist, a rock & jazz bassist and a folk & country guitarist/singer. His free time is spent with family or reading, gardening, cycling and working puzzles. His series of musical puzzles (RP3 Rebus Puzzle Picture People) can be found on the Stanton’s Facebook page each Sunday. He also has a reputation as a pretty good joke teller. Seriously. (Dan also takes the prize for the most verbose answers to our questionnaire!)
What department do you work in at Stanton’s? – Instrumental Music
What do you consider your specialties here? – String Instrumental Music, Orchestra Music, print promotions
How long have you worked at Stanton’s? – as of August 2015 it’s (gasp!) 36 years
What is your favorite task at Stanton’s? – Finding the best music to recommend to our customers
What is your hometown? – I was born at the tender age of zero in Cleveland, and when I was one my family moved to the suburb of Parma, the largest suburb in the United States at the time I was growing up there. To give you an idea, my graduating class was 1026 students and we were one of three high schools.
Where did you go to college? – I went to Otterbein College (now University) because I wanted to be a bigger fish in a smaller pond after my high school experience. I got a Bachelor of Music Education and following my heart, chose not to teach. At Stanton’s, I vicariously teach by recommending music that I feel will make teachers’ music program more successful, so I still rely on the skills I learned in college.
What is your major instrument? – My college instrument was cello, which I still play, but I play electric bass about as much or more, as well as guitar and ukulele.
Where or with whom do you currently perform/teach? – I play in an acoustic pop/country/jazz trio called The Cogs; we just finished our first CD. I also perform with The Sterling String Quartet, a couple of old time rock ‘n’ roll bands and I do lots of freelance gigs on cello and bass.
What do you like to do in your spare time? – When I’m not working, gigging or rehearsing, I enjoy hanging out with extended family, reading, doing word or number puzzles, gardening and cycling.
What days of the week can you be reached at Stanton’s? – Monday-Thursday & Saturday. I’m off on Friday, to accommodate weekend gigs.
What is the last song/piece you listened to? – A funkified version of the old Lee Dorsey tune “Ya Ya” done by the Cajun band, L’Angelus.
What is the last song/piece you played/sang? – I played and harmonized on a cover of Cool Change by The Little River Band at a gig with The Bill Foley Band.
If you had a chance to perform with three musicians, living or dead, who would it be? – I’d perform with my acoustic trio, The Cogs. The three of us have the greatest chemistry of any group I’ve ever played in, classical or popular. Since we’d need one more person, let it be the late George Harrison of The Beatles. He is one of the most under-appreciated guitarists of rock and roll. His guitar solo on “Something,” the song he wrote that the Beatles performed, is absolutely perfect. Nothing needs to be added or taken away. That’s the kind of musician I like to partner with.
What is your most memorable musical moment? – I can’t choose between seeing pianist Vladimir Horowitz a couple of years before he died, where his energy almost literally lit up the stage and the first time I heard the a cappella group The Kings Singers, who astounded me so thoroughly, I sat mesmerized after the concert until the hall was empty.
If you could be instantly proficient on an additional instrument, what would you choose? – I’d choose the 5-string banjo since I inherited a real nice one from my father and haven’t spent much time with it yet, so I don’t play it very well, and I’d like to be able to do that.
What is the most unusual performance you have ever been a part of? – My string quartet played a wedding on a slow moving train. Two of us faced the other two on parallel bench seats at the back of the railroad car while the bride and groom (both big train enthusiasts) walked up the aisle between us. While reading the music, we would occasionally look across the aisle at the other two players for cues and such and we would see the landscape moving past behind them. The railroad cars were also rocking back and forth as they rolled down the track. So there was always a sensation of movement, both physically and visually. We were all pretty green with motion sickness by the end of it, but it was a truly unusual, memorable experience.
What musical sound or noise do you love? – I’m a sucker for close a cappella vocal harmony of just about any genre – choral, doo-wop, barbershop and current groups like Pentatonix etc., as well as The King’s Singers, mentioned earlier.
What musical sound or noise do you hate? – There is a rhythm in a particular tempo in some hip-hop music that is (perhaps intentionally) too close to my heartbeat because it really makes me physically uncomfortable even after a short amount of time and I’ve got to turn the music off.
If you had your choice watching a great concert tonight or performing in a great concert tonight which would you choose and why? – I perform so much that it is very pleasurable to see and hear a great concert that I didn’t have to rehearse for or get nervous about – just enjoy. Listening to music well-played makes the heart smile.
If heaven exists, when you arrive at the Pearly Gates, what heavenly ensemble would you like to be assigned to? – “If there’s a rock and roll heaven, well you know they’ve got a helluva band. (Righteous Brother’s Rock and Roll Heaven)” I’d choose that one.
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? – I would like to be a cartoonist or puzzle designer. I’ve already gotten started on that one – check out Stanton’s Facebook page on Sundays!
What profession would you not like to do? – I wouldn’t want to be a politician and have to play the deceitful games that need to be played in order to be successful. Way too much unpleasant drama, full of conflict! I’m more of a co-operator and compromiser, which is not what politicians are these days.
On a scale of 1-10, how funny do you think you are? – My answers so far may not reflect it, but I have a reputation as being a fairly funny guy. I was up for “class clown” as a high school senior and lost to someone I didn’t even know (my senior class was huge as mentioned above) but that didn’t deter me. I have fronted bands, which necessitated some “stand-up” schtick from time to time. I have quite an arsenal of jokes and know how to tell them, I do wacky voices, I draw cartoons, and spontaneous puns come pretty naturally to me. The trick is knowing when humor is appropriate or not. I often fall back on humor when a situation is uncomfortable, just to lighten things up, but it is sometimes not what is needed at the time. I’m trying to be more mindful of that. So I’d give myself a 9.7385 out of 10.
Who was your first crush? – My first grade teacher left on maternity leave and her replacement was a beautiful young woman (at least I thought so at age 6!) who was fresh out of college and with whom I was quite smitten. I don’t even remember her name, since it was a long time ago! I think she got married toward the end of the year and I was crushed, hoping that she would have waited for me to grow up!
Is there anything you wish would come back into fashion? – Certainly not faux-hawks or goatees, but how about those huge bell bottom pants (we called them elephant bells) from back in the 70s? I always thought they were cool.
Do you love or hate roller coasters? – I liked them as a young man, but now they just make me sore from being thrown around so much, so I don’t ride them anymore. It takes too long to recover!
If you were a super hero, what powers would you have? – I think it would be fun to have the ability to become invisible. Either that or the ability to time travel without affecting the past or the future – just observe it, which maybe goes along with invisibility!
How many pairs of shoes do you own? – When I started adding them up I was kind of surprised. I’ve got 3 pair for gigging (tax write-offs! – a dressy pair, a casual pair, and a goofy pair), 3 pairs of sneakers – a black pair, a white pair and a beat up pair for yard work, 2 pair of sandals, 2 pair of flip flops, 3 pair of dress shoes, 2 pair of work boots – so 15 in all!
Would you rather win the lottery or work at the perfect job? – I’ve had a great job for 36 years (see question #3) so I’ll take the lottery. That would free me up for other pursuits and allow my wife to quit working if she wanted to, plus we could help out our children financially.
If you had to eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be? – My wife’s meatloaf, a baked sweet potato, succotash, homemade applesauce and my wife’s strawberry-rhubarb pie for dessert. (Burp. – ‘scuse me)