|#||Release title||Total tracks||Type of release is||Imprint date||Label|
|1||Make The Monkey Dance||13||Audio||2005||Target Records|
DANNY PEYRONEL: The Story So Far, by Jeff Perkins
When Daniel-Augusto Peyronel arrived in London back in 1973 he couldn’t have timed it better. In characteristic style he seized the day by quickly stamping his musical mark on the city.
He was born in Buenos Aires to a family of northern Italian and southern French origin and lived all over the world, before arriving in London after a spell in New York. His first band The Rats led to him joining The Heavy Metal Kids, making his debut at The Marquee, fronted by that unforgettable showman Gary Holton. They became regulars at the infamous Speakeasy in the West End, an unforgiving place where you learned quickly in front of one of the toughest audiences, musicians. Experience like this helped make Gary Holton the consummate frontman of a band delivering such gems as “Rock and Roll Man” and Danny’s own “It’s The Same.”
When Dave Dee signed them to Atlantic they rubbed shoulders with the likes of Bon Scott’s AC/DC and Led Zeppelin. The coming together of Gary and John Bonham, sadly both a long time gone, at a well known ‘designer’ hotel near Chelsea was the stuff of rock legend.
Supporting Kiss also had “its moments” with Gary breaking a leg and the Kids being thrown off the tour. Danny told me, “they took themselves way too seriously and we didn’t. This was the cause of much mirth for us and we got booted off the tour for laughing at them.”
After three eventful years touring the world, with all the mayhem and madness that goes with it, Danny joined UFO. He met Pete Way in 1975 when the Kids headlined a gig at The Roundhouse having just returned from a U.S. tour. He played with UFO at a gig in Koblenz and joined in time for the Reading Festival, a first of several U.S. tours and creating the “No Heavy Petting” album.
His song-writing skill emerged and he provided the band with “Highway Lady” and “Can You Roll Her”, the only tracks released as singles off the album, the haunting “Martian Landscape”, as well as co-writing “On With The Action”, the title of a live album released years later. A whirlwind of world tours, radio and television followed. However, his writing contributions weren’t always fully credited and when “No Heavy Petting” failed to do as well as expected, the corporate finger didn’t fail to credit him with the album barely making the US top-50. The band, however, seemed to stick from then on to the more song-orientated flavour brought in by Danny.
Next he formed The Blue Max with guitarist and future renowned producer Robin Millar. An album, recorded at the famous Chateau d’Herouville and released on Charisma, was followed by a major U.K. tour after which Danny returned to New York. Whilst there he wrote material for Meatloaf’s third album including “Midnight At The Lost & Found” the only major hit off the record. It’s a song that has appeared on every Meatloaf compilation since.
He then went full circle by returning to Buenos Aires to guest-star with his brother Michel’s band Riff. At the time they were filling stadiums and he co-produced a live album “En Accion” which captured the frenzy of a situation that Danny describes as being “like Beatlemania in a war-zone.”
His production skills also helped provide the first hit album for the band Virus who would use that platform to dominate the pop-rock scene there for several years. A further guest-star slot took him to Madrid where he toured with Banzai appearing on their second album “Duro Y Potente”, writing several of the tracks and even coaching the singer with English pronunciation! However, the anticipated international breakthrough didn’t materialise and he briefly teamed up with Ric Grech, Ginger Baker and ex-Wings man Denny Laine in what would have been a dream line-up. He told me, “I really liked and looked up to Denny and Ric was a sweet guy but he was in a very sorry state and he died not much later. Fortunately the Tarzen thing started happening around the same time.”
“Tarzen was my all time favourite of the bands I've been a part of” he says with justified pride. This real powerhouse would embark on memorable tours of Europe, North and South America over a period of five years. “We recorded an album on ATCO and toured the U.S. with Twisted Sister in 1986. There was also a follow-up, "Madrid" which came out in 1989. Tarzen featured my brother Michel on drums and vocals, Salvador on the well-justified-guitar-hero role and vocals and Ralph Hood from Grand Prix on bass and vocals.”
In 1985 whilst recording with Tarzen at Jimmy Page’s Sol Studio in Cookham, he was asked by ex-Blue Max guitarist Robin Millar to write some lyrics for the emerging soul singer Sade. He provided 40% of the words to the song “Fear” on her second, multi-platinum album, “Promise” which sold over seven million copies worldwide.
His ever-growing song-writing reputation also led to him working on “Profiles” the 1985 collaboration between Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason and Rick Fenn of 10cc. Danny told me, “this has to be one of my proudest moments. I had already written “Israel” one of the two songs with vocals. I sang the vocals on that at the end of our Sol Studio sessions with Tarzen at the Floyd’s studio. Then, when I was about to catch the plane back home to Madrid, I got a call from Rick saying that Dave (Gilmour) refused to sing the lyrics of the other song “Lie For A Lie” and could I come up with something quickly. I asked him to phone me the day after and I had the finished words ready. Rick told me that Dave said something like “now these are lyrics”. Wow! It became a hit single for them.”
By 1990 Tarzen was over but Danny was very much in demand as a song-writer. He moved to Los Angeles for what proved to be a frustrating year working with Desmond Child who had written for the likes of Bon Jovi, Cher and Aerosmith, amongst others. Somewhat disillusioned following the L.A. experience, he moved back to New York. The name Peyronel originates from the valleys west of the city of Turin and Latin blood obviously flows strongly through the veins of this Juventus supporting, Ferrari fan because the next period in his life is nothing short of remarkable.
Whilst in New York he began studying classical singing with legendary tenor Franco Corelli and Franco Iglesias, Placido Domingo’s teacher, and went on to sing the lead tenor role in a number of operas and recitals and even recorded arias with full orchestra.
When the Heavy Metal Kids reformed in 2005 for the album “Hit The Right Button” Danny was the driving force, provided lead vocals and co-wrote the bulk of the material. Weeks before that, however, this keyboard playing, song-writing, opera singing, rock star, producer, had realized yet another ambition – a solo album. In 2002 he was in Milan and had teamed up with Sinergia guitarist Luca Verde, bass player Max Zaccaro and drummer Mario Zapparoli to record this album. You will be pleased to see it includes re-workings of UFO’s “Highway Lady”, Dave Gilmour’s “Lie For A Lie” and Meat Loaf’s “Midnight At The Lost & Found.” It also has a track called “Never Been Cool” – yeah Danny – sure ! Look out for the fun-filled video on youtube.
So please press play and enjoy this particular chapter in the incredibly cool career of Danny Peyronel.
Thanks Danny for the music, friendship and most of all the always entertaining chats.