Graded on a Curve:
Dan Hill,
Longer Fuse

I’m here with the most sensitive man in the world, singer/ songwriter Dan Hill. You may remember Dan’s song “Sometimes When We Touch,” a sensitivity bomb that laid waste to large swathes of the easy listening community. Says Dorothy Snerd of Duluth, Minnesota, “I suffered sensitivity burns over 80 percent of my heart, and I have the aorta scars to prove it.”

I was able to speak briefly with Dan, whose trademark beard and mullet are long gone; he’s balding nowadays, and wears a greying goatee. Otherwise all’s the same; I suffered an emotional breakdown just looking at him. But I was finally able to choke back my tears and lob a few softballs his way.

Do you realize how my hearts you’ve touched with your song?

I get letters and emails every day. Here’s one: “Dear Dan: Every time I hear your song it’s like an Aztec ruler tearing the heart from my chest and showing it to me as it continues beating. Of course if that actually happened I’d be dead and you’d arrested. But there isn’t a single soft rock jury in the world that would convict you.”

I cannot tell you what the song means to me. It’s magical in a way that I can’t quite wrap my arms around.

Hold me.

What?

Just hold me.

Okay.

What do you feel?

My god. The honesty… it’s too much. It makes me want to hold you til I die, til we both break down and cry.

I call it total soul-to-soul immersion therapy. It’s the transmittal of pure empathy across an easy listening energy field designed to dispel the fear of possible romantic disengagement.

Is it okay if I keep holding you?

Actually, it’s getting kinda creepy.

I’m still feeling overwhelmed.

I can’t breathe. Don’t make me call security.

Sorry.

Happens all the time. We all want to hold on to one another until the fear in us subsides. But if you hold too long you kill the person. By the way, have you seen the video of “Sometimes When We Touch”?

Are you kidding? Every day.

It was a very emotional shoot. We had to do like 86 takes because my beard kept bursting into tears.

And my beard wasn’t faking it. You can’t fake something that intense. If you look at Andrew Gold’s beard, his beard was faking it. His beard even admitted it. It told my beard, “When Andrew’s singing I feel nothing. I’m just going through the motions. I was left trying to fill the emptiness with piles of blow and meaningless sex.”

I love the part where you choke on your reply. Have you ever literally choked? Like on stage?

At every show.

Have you ever needed the Heimlich maneuver?

Every time. I have a Heimlich guy on the payroll. Greg Court is his name. I owe him my life 2,461 times over.

There are some who say your singing is overly earnest.

Let them say it to my face. I’ll stab them to death with a jagged shard of my broken heart.

Where would you say you rank in the list of singer/songwriters of your era?

I enjoy listening to James Taylor, but he has a hard rock edge that I find off-putting. And that goes double for Jackson Browne. Joni Mitchell laid waste to her emotional intensity with her annoyingly keen intellect. No one likes a soft rock artist who thinks. As for Carole King she’s from New York City, which means she’s probably a Communist.

What about Lionel Richie?

He blew it with “Dancing on the Ceiling.”

There are other songs that plumb the empathic depths on 1977’s Longer Fuse. On “Still Not Used To” you sing, “I’m still a child tryin’ so hard to please / Tryin’ to seek approval through my songs.”

That one’s about getting in touch with my inner child. It took me years of intense therapy to accept myself for who I am.

Who are you?

Just a guy who plays the piano with his soul. I don’t play with my fingers. You could cut off my fingers at the knuckle and my romantic angst would still make you weep tears as big as dinner plates.

I’ve never understood how “Sometimes When We Touch” failed to reach the top of the pop charts.

Easy. The record company blew it. I am not a heavy metal band and I should not have been opening for Black Sabbath.

One last question. In the chorus of “Sometimes When We Touch” you sing, “I wanna hold you til I die, til we both break down and cry.”

The question being?

Shouldn’t it be the other way around? The way it is now, you die first, then cry. Isn’t that a physical impossibility?

Touch me.

Why?

Just touch me.

Okay… uh (gasp) are you trying to strangle me?

I am.

GRADED ON A CURVE:
D

This entry was posted in The TVD Storefront. Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.
  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


  • Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text
  • Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text