Book Your Own Fuckin' Life

Dr. Daniel & the Rockabilly Vampires (band) [edit] [flag] Last Updated: 2008-07-06

It's like Sun Records era meets Dracula with a splendid bloody aftertaste.... Out of the shadows came a sound from beyond the grave. Something unique. Something unlike the mediocre sound-alike din flooding the airwaves and the store bins. Something strangely familiar... Old and yet electrotransmogrified into something new. It was Dr. Daniel. Fed up with years of hearing absolutely nothing new he liked, Dr. Daniel Lee retreated from all things bland and lifeless deep into the recesses of his laboratory. And like the Frankensteins of myth, he wielded his musical alchemy to resurrect a mean monster of undead rockabilly sound. Dr. Daniel - a musician by night, and a parapsychologist/paranormal scientist by later-night - had already recorded two albums of eclectic new-wave influenced music all by himself. He had also formed a horror-punk band and collaborated in other musical projects. Those who knew him regarded him as some sort of musical genius. But all the while, he was haunted by the ghosts of 706 Union Avenue - the birthplace of rock n roll. In the back of his mind and in dreams and quasi-conscious thoughts, something else was taking shape. Music was almost writing itself. It was as if the musical vision was beginning to develop a mind of its own. Truly, the monster had been unleashed and its creator was no longer in control. The 50s music, bluegrass, and rockabilly Daniel grew up listening to and loved so much had planted a seed in him. Before he knew it, Daniel was scribbling lyrics about his beloved vampires, ghosts, and zombies in the back of notebooks. He was laying down guitar and bass tracks in his studio. His singing changed drastically, almost as if he had become possessed. He worked on his monsterpiece of a record in the dead of night; alone and in secret. Perhaps he had gone on one too many ghost hunts. Perhaps he had lived in the fertile musical grounds of Tupelo, Mississippi - the birthplace of Elvis Presley - for too long. Or perhaps he really was a musical genius. A monster can only be chained for so long. Eventually, Dr. Daniel revealed his creation to others who were floored by his musical manifestations. Sounding like an evil composite clone of some of his biggest influences - Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, and Ricky Nelson, the good Doctor knew he had done something right. Daniel wanted to spread the disease and perhaps even conquer the world with a race of atomic supermen! He found two willing partners-in-crime to back him as his live band. Scottular McAwesome, a veteran of the Tupelo punk and metal scenes thundered out the bass. Sahara Sunset hammered out the big beat on her drumset. The two nicely complemented Dr. Daniel's twanging guitar and smooth vocal controlled chaos. Performing together as Dr. Daniel & The Rockabilly Vampires, the trio played their first show at the Court St. Lounge est. 1954 in historic downtown Tupelo - mere blocks away from the King's humble birthplace. A fitting location for their first gig. From that point on, there was no looking back. On his strong DIY ethic, Daniel explains "I don't like to compromise my vision. I prefer doing everything on my records by myself so that nobody else can get in the way of what I want to do." That DIY ethic carried over to what is a natural progression for someone so influenced by film - music videos. "I wanted to make videos. I've always wanted to. I didn't have the proper equipment to do it the normal way, so I did what I'm best at - improvising." Using only a consumer level Kodak digital camera designed primarily for still pictures, Dr. Daniel shot two music videos completely by himself in four days flat. "I had to learn how to use editing software on-the-fly. I had no previous filmmaking experience." The resulting videos have gotten buzz and are highly in demand by several television programs in major markets. Unlike some bands who are so fiercely independent, they seem to have a self-defeating fear that success will ruin their credibility, the Doctor sees things differently. "As a musician, I'd like to have as many people hear my music as possible. I just want people to enjoy it and have fun." Having fun seems to be the prime directive for Dr. Daniel. "There's so much misery in the world and so many problems, worries, and concerns in modern times, that it's becoming harder to have a good time. I take what I do very seriously, so that you don't have to." In 2005, film director Solomon Mortamur picked a song by Dr. Daniel & The Rockabilly Vampires from among thousands of submissions for use in his film It Came From Trafalgar! The song appears on the soundtrack alongside such bands/artists as The Big Bopper, Hank III, Hasil Adkins, and many more. One thing is for sure - wherever Dr. Daniel is involved, every day is Halloween at the Drive-In.

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