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Author Topic: Chris Hadfield, Larrivee and Danny Michel's Space Van, A Roundabout Tale  (Read 922 times)
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« on: April 27, 2016, 02:54:24 PM »

Not even sure where to post this because it covers a number of different topics but here goes: BTW I tell rambling stories but I get there eventually...

My favourite guitar player is Danny Michel. Probably the most under-rated Canadian performer out there. I love everything he does - loved him from the first time I heard him play at Ted's Wrecking Yard in Toronto when I was stage managing for North by Northeast in the 90's. He had recently had some guitars stolen and was pretty nervous about his gear so I promised to hover like a hawk. Figured that was as far as the encounter would go. Then he got onstage and almost from note one - MESMERIZED. And if anything I like him more every year. From his full album of David Bowie covers "Loving the Alien" to his collaboration with the Garifuna Collective from Belize, the man has never taken a wrong step in my eyes. If you want to see some of his Bowie, I contributed some video to this very cool Canadian All Star rendition of Let’s Dance: What an insane amount of talent on that stage at the Dakota Tavern!

If you want to hear more Danny you really can't go wrong with whatever pops up in a YouTube search but my favourite of his is Motorcade - which he wrote as part of an Art of Time series called Source and Inspiration. Believe it or not the song (and series) traces musical influence back to Franz Schubert. On the album and original concert version, Schubert sounds darkly in the background - it's gorgeous to be sure but I also really like this stripped down version of Danny and his guitar:

Now moving on with this tale, Danny, especially in his earlier music, is heavily influenced and dreamy romantic about space and our place in the universe. In fact, Danny made headlines in Canada recently when he bought what became Dan’s Space Van: A 1978 GMC Vandura that featured Star Trek themed custom paintwork. He then drove across Canada in the Space Van playing shows and even made a mini-series documenting the drive and featuring some very special guests. (Check out more here:

I guess it is no surprise Danny eventually crossed paths with the ultimate Space Man Chris Hadfield, the astronaut, who I am sure you all know, played one of the most famous Larrivee guitars in this world and beyond. What you may not know is that Chris Hadfield was one of the very special guests on Dan’s Space Van series. You can watch Chris’s episode here: Chris talks about the Larrivee at about the 3minute mark and plays it around the 17 minute mark.

After discovering Danny also plays a Larrivee, I did some research which eventually led to finding and falling in love with my LV-09. Funnily enough it was Kevin Kane, the lead singer of the Grapes of Wrath, (who used to work at Larrivee) that helped me solidify my decision. He builds electric guitars for Capsule Music in Toronto and was at the store when I went in to try it out. He played the hell out of it, gave it a good once over and was just a terrific resource I knew I could trust. Ya Kevin!

One more thing…Danny just released his latest song and this one should tie things up in a nice bow. He wrote it for astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti who was living on the International Space Station. Danny tells a super story about emailing her a copy of the song, Samantha in the Sky with Diamonds, and having her respond from the space station. A thrill for him I am sure!! Email from space!

Anyway, long story short: Danny, Larrivee, Astronauts, Space, Music, Beautiful.
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« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2016, 01:23:51 AM »

Great story.  Very interesting interview, too.  Thanks for posting.
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