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Dan Brooks

Music has always played a big role for recording artist and songwriter, Dan Brooks. In his recently released album, Curtain Call, Dan sings of his Christian faith and writes about experiences of friends and family. Dan has played the guitar literally all of his life and was a budding performer and impressionist by the age of 17.

Starting out in his early music career by singing in lounges and restaurants at the age of 18, Dan’s individual style began to develop. He eventually wrote many of his own songs and performed them primarily at banquets, schools, youth camps, churches and coffee houses around the Southern California area. In 1975 he started a band called “Changing Heart” to accompany his original sound, adding a lead guitarist and a bass player.

Eventually, Dan attended California State University, Long Beach, where he completed his BA in 1980. He became a professional educator, starting as a teacher in Long Beach, California. Dan married Karrie in 1981, a decision he calls “the smartest thing I ever did!” Dan added an MA degree from CSULB in 1986. Later, he became a public school principal in the Riverside County area of Southern California. As a married father of three grown sons, Dan’s music remained a key part of his life. In 2003, Dan earned his Doctor of Education degree at La Sierra University, in Riverside, California and subsequently he was named the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources in a Riverside County public school district.

In 2006, at the age of 51, Dan was diagnosed with a Parkinson’s Plus disorder, forcing him to retire from his 30-year career in public schools. He now sings and records songs to encourage other patients and their families fighting the same debilitating disease. He has released two CD’s, “A Long Time Comin’” (1995) and “I Will Go On” (2006). His third album, “Curtain Call,” will be available in the next month. He has written a book called, I Will Go On: Living with a Movement Disorder, in which he outlines the major Parkinson’s Plus disorders and idiopathic Parkinson’s Disease. In this book Dan shares his own experiences as he faced the challenges and loses that result from a serious neuro-degenerative disease.

Curtain Call was released in November of 2009. This album includes 12 original tracks expressing his love for God and the people in his life. Dan is proud of the participation of two of his sons on the project. Stephen took the photographs for the CD booklet and drew a portrait of Dan to be placed on the front. Mark produced the album, played drums and other instruments, as well as singing harmony vocals throughout. Mark also designed and created the graphic arts layout for the entire visual presentation of the album.

This album is Dan’s finest musical achievement and represents two years of writing and recording. Country rock, folk and mellow ballads are contrasted as the album carries you on a journey of faith and life experiences. Dan’s love of family and interest in encouraging others is evident throughout.

Through faith and a positive forward direction, Dan plans to keep going on for years to come.


Dan States:
"My musical influences are: Elvis, Bee Gees, Neil Diamond, Bread, Buddy Holly, Beatles, Chuck Girard, Randy Stonehill, Andre Crouch, Jackson Browne, Love Song, The Way, Glenn Campbell, Paul Clark, Larry Norman, and my Dad: Ron "RC" Brooks. I call my father, Ron "RC" Brooks, the "Original Guitar Player," because he started playing the guitar seriously at the age of nine, in the year 1938. I grew up watching his blazing fast fingers while I was playing rhythm accompaniment. Watching his leads and figuring out the chords as I watched, I gained the ability to write songs. Dad taught me the basics of music chord progressions, such as Tonic, Dominant and Sub-dominant.

In my first band (1966-67) we played covers by the Monkeys, the Stones, the Ventures and the Animals. From there, I fell in love with the Bee Gees' songs "I Started a Joke" and "Massachusetts," and these British-rock tunes became the basis for my developing style.

My Mother, Marguerite, gave me my first LP at the age of 15 and it was Neil Diamond's "Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show," and I took six or eight songs from that album to create my earliest material for concert sets that I played in high school. Bread, Lobo and John Denver landed on my set lists frequently, as well. Elvis impressions became my foot in the door for a lot of my early jobs, but I was never an Elvis album collector. I enjoyed the older, ballad-oriented Elvis the most and learned songs like "The Wonder of You" and "Suspicious Minds" to add to my repertoire. For impressions, I did the standards, "Blue Suede Shoes," "Heartbreak Hotel" and "Love me Tender."

In the mid-seventies, after strengthening my finger-picking guitar style, I developed an interest in the music of Jackson Browne. Jackson Browne is the best lyricist I have ever read/heard in the music industry. Christian Music swept me from my goal to be an entertainer in the mid-seventies and I began to write and sing in ministry for churches and church camps from that time on. I was influenced heavily by all of the artists/bands of the Jesus Movement, some of which were based at Calvary Chapel, Costa Mesa, while others associated with the Church on the Way, and still others originated in other states and different venues. Love Song, The Way, Erick Nelson, Keith Green, Andre Crouch, Barry McGuire, Second Chapter of Acts, Kelly Willard and Bob Bennett stand out in that group, while Larry Norman, Paul Clark, Randy Stonehill and Chuck Girard are influences that I will always see as above and beyond all others, as spiritual as well as musical influences."