Sunday, March 13, 2005


The death has been announced of Danny Joe Brown, singer and founder member of Molly Hatchet. Taking their name from the second most famous female axe murderer (someone else got Lizzy Borden) and inspired by Lynyrd Skynyrd, their debut 1978 album went multi-platinum in the states. Their early success was consolidated by prestigious tour supports - notably with the Rolling Stones - but in 1980 Danny Joe decided he'd had enough of not seeing things management's way, and stepped aside in favour of his own group, the Danny Joe Brown Band. They toured through to 1982, while Molly Hatchet continued with Jimmy Farrar taking vocal duties. Brown returned for the No Guts No Glory album. Playing 200 gigs a year, by 1990 the band was frayed and so took a five year break. The reunion in 1996 saw a shuffling of responsbilities - Brown, a diabetic, was no longer able to lead the band and so made way for Phil McCormack.

In 1998, Danny suffered a massive stroke, spending three months in intensive care, and then longer in therapy. The Dixie Jam Band - featuring members of Blackfoot, Marshall Tucker, Foghat, Pat Travers Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Rossington Band, Doc Holliday and (as you'd expect) Molly Hatchet - came together to perform a benefit for him and his family.

Danny recently spent some time in hospital with pneumonia; shortly after returning home he died. He was 53.