Thursday, March 27, 2008

Daniel MacMaster: Dead

I just read on Sleaze Roxx that Daniel MacMaster died the other day from a simple strep virus. For those of you who don't know who he was (read: everyone but me, I'm guessing), here's the long and the short of it:

In the late 1980s Jason Bonham--son of the late John Bonham, deceased drummer for Led Zeppelin--put a band together and immediately earned national attention. I think this attention came for four reasons. 1) The Bonham name, 2) Jason Bonham is actually a hell of a drummer, 3) the singer sounded a lot like Robert Plant (also of Led Zep), and 4) The music was pretty good--catchy and inventive. Where does Mr. MacMaster fit into all of this, you ask? He was the singer I mentioned, I answer. Sounded like Plant v 2.0. Listen for yourself here. The band did fairly well for a little while, but then grunge came along and anything resembling classic rock or heavy metal (and these guys had both elements) was buried. Daniel MacMaster faded to obscurity, to live a life like most of us.

It jarred me a little to read this death report, because I hadn't thought of the band in years, but I remember them well and fondly. They got me through eight miserable months stationed in Norfolk, Virginia in 1989 and 1990. What was more disturbing, though, was to read that he was 39 years old.


While I was sitting in my little room in the barracks, eating Cap'n Crunch and Ramen noodles out of a plastic bowl I kept in a desk drawer, this guy, who was only a year and a half older than me, was living the rock-star life. I've felt once again the sting of envy brought on by the early achievements of others*. Bleargh.

Still--the news could have been worse. It could have been Jason McMaster of Dangerous Toys who died. No offense to Daniel, but "Scared" is still one of the coolest songs ever. (And if you want to see more Robert Plant influence, check out JM's pose at the end of that video.)

So, yeah. It's sad. Another memory drawn up just because its source is squelched.

* I think Andy Galeon was the first to hit me with this kind of envy. He was the drummer for Death Angel. I was seventeen when their first album was released--he was twelve.


Anonymous said...

Jason--I enjoyed reading your article about Daniel. He was my husband and father of our two children. I must tell you in the past 10 years he has not been a rock star but an average working guy. He still did some music and it can be heard on myspace or iLike --I think you would appreciate it. His voice grew beter with age and he didn't sound so much like Page. Actually Daniel had quite a talent for sounding like alot of great vocalists like Rod Stewart, Stevie Wonder, train, Tesla, Sting, just to name a few--but his own voice was the best. Check out his newer stuff sometime..And thanks for remembering Daniel.
Take Care

Jason said...


Thanks for stopping by. My condolences to you and your family. Like I mentioned in the post, Bonham's music was good for me, and Daniel was one of the reasons. I've read a few things about his recent work, and I'll definitely check it out.

And I'm glad you don't seem hurt by my flip tone at the end of the post. I'd understand if you had been, because I seem to have a complete lack of tact.

Be well.

Jennifer Harris said...

Jason..thank you for putting up a brief history of Daniel. I knew Daniel from back in his Scorcher days at the Gasworks in Toronto since 1988-1989. Seems like a lifetime ago. However, with loss comes the precious memories that you get to keep..that are yours and yours alone to cherish.

Tina~ My heart goes out to you and your family. Daniel and I were very good friends back in my youth. Even though Daniel is gone he lives on Tina in your heart, soul and in your children.