Five Firsts: Danny Young of “We Will Rock You”

Danny Young

Danny Young

NAME: Danny Young
BAND AFFILIATION: Queen and Ben Elton’s musical, “We Will Rock You”
INSTRUMENT: Drum Set

1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WAS … Wow, this is a tough one! I believe the first albums I ever bought were either The Buddy Rich Big Band or Lionel Hampton’s Wailin’ at the Trianon. Not really typical albums to buy as a 13 year old, but my dad really pushed us to listen to classical and jazz growing up (and my pushed, I mean only let us listen to classical or jazz). No complaints here though. The first two albums my parent gave me were Buddy and Krupa, and Dave Brubeck’s Take Five; both amazing drumming albums which both influence and shaped my entire drumming career. So I guess I should send a big thank you out to my mom and dad!

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2. THE FIRST CONCERT THAT I EVER SAW WAS … My first big concert I ever saw was Widespread Panic my freshman year of high school with my cousin Adam (also a drummer). It was pretty amazing to see a band jam for hours on end without taking breaks between songs. It also pushed me to start listening to some more “outside the box” music from that point on. From there, I started listening to Phish, Dave Mathews, and other more “jam” oriented bands.

3. THE FIRST MUSICAL INSTRUMENT I EVER OWNED OR PLAYED WAS … First instrument I played was the piano. Since my dad was a band director, he wanted us all to have a solid musical foundation, so piano was the starting point for me and my six siblings. From there, we all chose another instrument to learn. Ironically, I started on trumpet because I wanted to be just like my older brother Dean, but… since I didn’t see him getting many chicks, I thought drums would be a better choice.

4. THE FIRST SONG THAT I EVER PERFORMED IN PUBLIC WAS … Wow, this really makes me have to dig back into the memory bank. Since I honestly don’t know the answer to this one, I will go with the song “Gary, Indiana” from when I played Winthrop in the musical “The Music Man.” Although it’s not drumming, it was my first big performance in front of a substantial audience, and for a third grader was pretty exhilarating. Winthrop is supposed to have a lisp in the musical, so the part was perfect for me considering I had recently knocked out my two front teeth trying to jump from the couch to the piano bench. Fate or coincidence? You decide….

5. THE FIRST BAND I WAS EVER IN WAS … The first official band I ever played drums with was That 70’s Band; a 70’s rock cover band which started near my home town in Wisconsin. Being 16 at the time, I was the youngest member of the band (by probably 18 years) and was most definitely the only freshman/sophomore in high school allowed to hang out in bars every weekend. It was a pretty fun experience learning all that music and work with some great musicians who pushed me to do things outside my normal repertoire.

Danny Young slips behind his drum kit to fuel the big beat for the hit musical “We Will Rock You.” Featuring the greatest hits of the legendary British rock group Queen, the musical will be performed at Proctors in Schenectady at 8pm on Friday; 2 & 8pm on Saturday; and 2pm on Sunday. Tickets are $20, $40, $50, $60 & $70.

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One Response to “Five Firsts: Danny Young of “We Will Rock You””

  1. bonnie says:

    Awesome to see a young lad from a small rural Wisconsin hometown set his sights high… and reach them. Even at the age of 16 his talents were beyond his age playing with guys twice his age… aka That 70s Band. That small town gig seems a lifetime ago (I was there) and now he works with the likes of Jerry Lewis, Green day, and the guys from Queen. If you get a chance to see this young man at work I suggest anyone take the time. What next? Your fans await.

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