Dan Hartman

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Musician Dan Hartman with the Edgar Winter Group in 1975 (third from left)

Daniel Earl Hartman (December 8, 1950-March 22, 1994) was an American musician, singer, songwriter, and record producer.


  • As an artist, I don’t like being able to be seen…If you’re having difficulty getting a part, it adds to the tension when the assistant engineer, engineer, producer and producer’s wife are hanging out. With the School-house, my engineer’s in the control room, and I could be doing vocals while stretching my T-shirt over my head and it wouldn’t matter. Everyone who’s worked here has gotten used to this nonvisual communication and actually found it to be advantageous. That’s what home studios are about — that funky thing.
  • In my mind, recognition has never been something to be obtained…I’m happy that more people appreciate what I’m doing, and are hearing my music. When I write, I communicate my own message, my own feelings and passion. I’m glad that they are being accepted.
    • On becoming recognized after having been involved over a decade in the music business in Fletch to the Beat” in Orange Coast Magazine (Aug 1985)
  • It seemed to be a natural period when I wanted to stop doing pop records; it came with a falling-out between my record company and me...There was a hole in my career. Instead of a valley, it became a peak to me. I decided I was going to do something that I hadn’t really had time to do.”
  • I started reading books about the subconscious mind and intuitiveness, and what makes people tick when they hear songs that excite them, make them feel romantic or melancholy. I was in and out of bookstores and libraries. I read a lot of texts, including on primitive man and the workings of the way we emotionally react to things. It wasn’t scholarly or scientific. I read and skimmed and when I thought something was nonsense, I just moved on…
  • In a lot of ways this music is soothing. I think there’s a place for music that is peaceful and soulful unto the spirit. After plane bombings, AIDS and everything that has come upon us in this decade, I think we can use a little solace and reflection.
  • I don’t necessarily do music for the pure art sake of my own self-expression, which is why a lot of people make music—to express themselves. I really feel that the work I do, be it writing, singing or producing, I do in order to help communicate feelings to other people, hoping they might feel the same things, that they somehow relate to it or get an experience from it that they can share with themselves.
  • The reality of Andy Warhol’s 15 minutes is here, only if he were around now, he’d say “Now it’s five.” We’re going so fast, we don’t know what’s going on inside anymore. We’re becoming external, not feeling anything.
  • I have a bit of anger about some things going on in the world that I know I want to sing about. I’ve never done that on a solo album before; they’ve been mostly about romance and relationships…The concept is Dan Hartman, so whatever’s happening to me when I begin to put out the feelings will be what the album is about. Whether I’m in love, out of love, or the next plane blows up…whatever, I just want to stay creative and hopefully keep people thinking and feeling…At least feel something.
    • On the solo album that he was working on at the time of the interview in “License to Chill” in SPIN Magazine (Nov 1989)
  • I think James Brown has made a lot of good records (in recent years)…But it was that purist James Brown thing that he was doing in the beginning and people won’t let him do that anymore because time marches on…That stuff is classic to me, but other people get bored with it. The challenge is to present something that is him, yet sounds fresh to listeners. That’s usually hard for (a veteran artist) to do. It helps to have someone step in from outside…I am proud of what we did on the album. I think it does present a contemporary James Brown. It’s not candy-coated. It has a lot of statement and a lot of heart.
  • When you get into the areas of eroticism, politics, and belligerency, you have to be careful. Some of it will get out. Both Charlie and I have slanted minds. If “Relax” or “Sugar Walls" can be hits, there is a place for that kind of stuff, too. It's fun and interesting to write about that. Or with politics: Third World people own the bomb. That's probably where the nuclear war will start. They have nothing to lose. You can write about that. It'll be just another record from a romantic cynic.

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