/ sound + vision:

“a film is more like music than like fiction.” —Stanley Kubrik

Gone But Not Forgotten: Drummer Dan Anoff
Passes Much Too Soon

A past partner in rock n roll crime, distant friend Dan Anoff has left us much too young, dead of an apparent heart attack this Sunday. He was 38.

From the early to mid 90′s, Dan Anoff played thundering drums in Engine, a psychedelic favorite of Atlanta’s then-fertile music scene. As label mates on the fledgeling Sister Ruby Records, Dan and I became instant friends. Add Engine bassist Garrick Simmons, and we became the Terrible Three in the middle rings of the coolie scene: Terribly Good Lucking. Terribly Long Haired. Terribly Terrible Dancers.

Nightly we trolled the seamier watering holes and venues, most of which have also gone or been watered down: The Point, The Stein Club, Clermont Lounge, The Highlander, Dotties, Star Bar, the Dark Horse Tavern. Here we would trade our rent money for beer as we courted flimsy romance well past last call. Ok, sometimes our efforts played out sooner. We were just that good.

Large of eye, wide of mouth and lush of lip, Danny was cocky and brash, with an easy, charming smile. Girls loved him and boys liked scamping around with him. From him I learned how to tune toms low and dry. We sat in on each other’s sets; bickered and bantered like brothers; pranked and tormented my female band mates (the boy car always arrives first); were granted social audience with Pavement (barely avoiding coming off like a couple of teenage girls at a Monkees concert); and generally smoked lots of weed together. We belied our intelligence in favor of a slacker pose. We laughed and laughed and laughed.

And then, as quickly as our friendship began, we went our separate ways. He married young, had kids and took refuge in the ‘burbs. I holstered my sticks to pursue the “fall-back” career that would lead me to Brooklyn. Our escapades together are among my fondest memories of that period. Yet, I did not have, nor did I make occasion to speak with him since 1998. And now I wish I had.

In memory, some of our heavy rotation early-90′s favorites:

  1. Friday 06.04.2010 | 4:50 EDT

    Lewis says:

    Wow, what a heartfelt blog. It brought a tear. I don’t even know him and it is great to see love from a distance. May the gods bless you all. Humanity has not lost its touch. Long live the Dan that you all knew and so fondly loved.
    R, a friend of Mau’s

  2. Friday 04.16.2010 | 1:04 EDT

    Ginger Eades says:

    I was shocked, and saddened, like the rest of those who knew Dan, to hear of his sudden death. Dan and I lived together in Atlanta as a couple. I had moved away to Nashville back in the late 90s and unfortunately lost touch with Dan (out of respect for his his new beloved, I abstained from contacting him for fear that any communiques may have produced unsettling emotions for his pending bride at the time.) My heart now extends to her and their children…as well as to his wonderful Mother and John and to his sisters.

    I now regret the wonderful things about Dan that I wish I could have said to him, about him, just one more time. It had been since 1995 since we spoke, but he never faded from my memories of wonderful times in Atlanta. Those were some of the best years of my life. I am grateful to see this lovely article as his life is one worth celebrating and his talents remembered. A fabulous drummer, a silly, intelligent and clever individual, a thoughtful person…all of this was Dan and as we hold him immortal within our memories, he will forever remain as adored as he always was.

    Please let his children and their mother know I am saddened for their loss and as for Dan’s Mother, may she know unequivocally that Dan loved her with all his heart.

    I will always smile when I think of Dan. My sorrow will not easily be erased but Dan’s legacy as an outstanding person should carry on forever.

    1. Thursday 11.25.2010 | 10:49 EDT

      Dharma says:

      Thank you all for your kind words. I will share this blog with Sage and Simon some day when they are old enough. We all miss him very much each and every day. Our kids are dealing with Danny’s loss as well as can be expected, but it never gets easier. I’m not sure it ever will. Danny was my first love, and I was blessed to marry him and have his children. I am raising them to honor his memory and to try to live life with a sense of humor and fun that he always seemed to have. They both remind me of him daily in their looks and their personalities. Thanks, Ginger, I appreciate your sentiments.

      Anne Dharma Anoff-White

      1. Wednesday 12.01.2010 | 1:49 EDT

        Ginger K Eades says:

        Dharma- I posted in the wrong place. The post down below is for you.

  3. Wednesday 04.14.2010 | 3:43 EDT

    Dewayne Pryor aka psycho666 says:

    Dan and I shared alot of good times online.I always knew we would meet some day for a fat smoke.

    unfortunately it wont be in this Lifetime :( I’ll miss you Hip, your memory will live on.

    1. Wednesday 12.01.2010 | 1:47 EDT

      Ginger K Eades says:

      I am so sorry for your loss. I hope you will raise your children with stories of what their Dad was like and about the true love you and Dan were blessed to have. Thank you for your kind words to me. After hearing the tragic news, my heart sank for you, even though you and I never met formally, I was sad for you and your children. When things like this happen, no words can erase the pain felt in a wife’s bereaved heart. I earnestly hope you will keep a journal and write down all the joyful times you and Dan shared so that the children whom you two created out of love may read about their father and know unequivocally how much he dearly loved you all.

  4. Tuesday 04.13.2010 | 8:54 EDT

    tightwads says:

    I’ve known Dan for nearly 10 years through an online game he was very active in. Our relationship began as online gaming friends I guess but over time we became what I would like to think as good friends. Not just myself but many others from the game we all shared. I know I speak for all of them in saying that Dan will be terribly missed.

    I am in a sort of state of disbelief and deep sadness as this has not completely set in. I hope family is ok and pray God’s tender hand is on all of them.
    I will see you in the ever after Dan

    P.S. I want to thank Michelle whoever you are for taking the time to write and let me know.

  5. Wednesday 04.07.2010 | 10:59 EDT

    Michelle Olejnik says:

    Dan was a great man in countless ways. I loved him very much and have missed him for a few years now. I am deeply saddened that I will never have the chance to reconnect with him. He will be sorely missed. I pray that he is smiling down on us amongst the angels in heaven. And I pray that his family can find some peace in this tragedy.

  6. Wednesday 04.07.2010 | 10:15 EDT

    Janice Olejnik says:

    We only knew Dan a couple years but grew to love him. Although we have not seen him in quite a while we feel a loss in our hearts. Dan, you are missed and remembered

  7. Tuesday 04.06.2010 | 4:18 EDT

    Sarah Woodward says:

    Dan and I worked together for years before I got him and my husband together and eventually play together in Negative Earth. Jon and I loved Dan very much. We’d tried to get in touch with him several times over the last 2 years. I am so saddened that we won’t ever get the chance now. We got to be very close for a few years.

    We love and miss you, Dan.

  8. Monday 04.05.2010 | 5:09 EDT

    Garrick says:

    Mau, thanks so much for posting this tribute. It’s hard to put into words all of the great times and memories we shared over the years, he was like a brother to me and I’m going to miss him dearly. He was one of my best friends and we were almost inseperable for the better part of our twenties. Love ya Dan, Godspeed brother…

  9. Monday 04.05.2010 | 3:19 EDT

    el hub says:

    oh man. it;s been a tough year….
    everybody be thankful.

  10. Friday 04.02.2010 | 4:50 EDT

    TheMurr says:

    Dan was my college boyfriend. We were like two magnets that didn’t get along but boy was it fun! Many of the folks that have written were in our inner circle of friends and watched some of the hilarity that went on with Dan and I ! We were off one day and on the next and usually by the end of the night depending on how much beer we drank would determine how soon the making up process would begin. I have recalled a lot of funny things and times knowing Dan and I have laughed so much remebering our stories. I also am very sad that he has passed at such a young age and I am very sorry for his children and family. He and I found each other and chatted on myspace a couple of years ago and then we lost touch. We never spoke on the phone but we exchanged numbers. I took for granted that we could reconnect any time and now that is not a possiblility. When I think of him, I mostly laugh because we had lots of fun. He had a great sense of humor, he was very sensitive, he was a creative drummer and a bit of a free spirit. As I exit this sight I will think of Dan’s “Spicolli” laugh and us driving around all over Atlanta in that little convertable Volkwagon!

  11. Friday 04.02.2010 | 3:08 EDT

    tracileigh says:

    Mauricio, Thank you for posting such a touching and beautiful tribute. Dan was such a great guy…caring and sweet…always fun to be around.Wish I had of stayed in touch with him. He always made me laugh and smile. I have fond (fun~crazy) memories of hanging at the Highlander; Dan, you, me and Garrick. I know he is smiling down upon us…. ’till we meet again… peace <3

    1. Friday 04.02.2010 | 3:48 EDT

      chairmanmau says:

      Thanks for posting Traci – and thanks to all of you here that have also shared their fond memories of Danny. It’s no surprise he touched so many people’s lives. I’m warmed by knowing this modest little forum has given you all some small comfort and has afforded us all an opportunity to share memories that had perhaps faded into the background of our lives.

  12. Thursday 04.01.2010 | 10:42 EDT

    KLight says:

    This is really precious to me because I’m no longer in the Atlanta area. Thank you for such an honest and touching tribute to Dan A.
    I can still hear that unique laugh clear as a bell.
    In Loving Memory,
    Karen

  13. Wednesday 03.31.2010 | 10:09 EDT

    Elliott says:

    WOW! Totally shocked. I knew Dan and we shared many laughs and good times. I am sure he is looking down on us all right now.

  14. Wednesday 03.31.2010 | 3:58 EDT

    Lauren Anoff Cox says:

    Wow, my beloved brother Dan would be so proud to read this awesome patronage you wrote for him. Although his time here on Earth was cut way too short, the impact that he had on people is timeless. Thank you for sharing your memories with him and allowing my shattered heart to have a moment of happiness.
    Love too all of you, Lauren Anoff Cox.

    1. Wednesday 03.31.2010 | 4:29 EDT

      chairmanmau says:

      Thank you for making this lovely effort in posting your comment at such a sad time. Not sure if we ever met, but I’m sure you and the rest of your family are as lovely as our dear Dan was. My heart goes out to all of you.

      xx
      mau

  15. Wednesday 03.31.2010 | 1:40 EDT

    SKB says:

    Thank you for expressing what I could not. Remembering these times that you write of Mau makes me only smile and laugh. What fun we all had! I feel so lucky to have been in communication with Dan in recent years. And although he moved to the “burbs”, it was soo good to know his spirit, his mischievous nature, his hilariousness, and his warmth were all in tact. Thank you again and love to you,
    Shonali

  16. Wednesday 03.31.2010 | 12:13 EDT

    KMD says:

    Sadness envelopes. Mau I love what you wrote, and the musical homage is so appropriate and nice. I wish I had reconnected with his lively spirit after so many years. So thankful for the memories I have, and for this, your forum—to remember him in such a perfect way. And it compels me to let you know– I’m proud of you brother. And I’m thankful for the time we spent.
    Remembering Dan, and sending love your way,
    Michelle

    1. Wednesday 03.31.2010 | 3:19 EDT

      chairmanmau says:

      thanks for the thoughtful words ‘Chellé… sad that it’s such occasions that heal old wounds and bring old friends together, but so it goes. Hope you are happy and well. You know where to find me.
      love– mau

  17. Wednesday 03.31.2010 | 11:29 EDT

    KBJr says:

    Apparently, in lieu of flowers, the family has requested contributions may be made in memory of Dan Anoff to the Save the Music Foundation. http://www.vh1savethemusic.com

    RIP Dan.


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