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April, 2007

"Terry Dalton
1948-2007"

by Webmaster

Terry Dalton, singer, songwriter, guitar player

On March 23, 2007, Terry Dalton died of heart failure. The world lost a musician and songwriter, "a legend in the Denver music scene" (9NEWS).

Many of us lost a friend, a hero, and a source of inspiration. A light has gone out. The world is a little darker now.

"Denver lost a great singer, songwriter, and supporter of live music last week, and I lost one of my best friends. His name was Terry Dalton. We held his Wake this last Sunday at the Three Kings Tavern with a capacity crowd of several hundred friends and family. I have no idea how many were there, but, it was difficult to move through the room because of the large number of participants. It was an old fashioned Irish affair with friends bringing food, and musical friends performing tributes to Terry, and everyone telling Terry Dalton stories. Terry hosted Open Stages around the Denver area for over 20 years. He performed with many of us for over 30 years.

"Terry moved to Colorado after getting out of the Army during 'Nam'. He didn't talk much about his duty, but that was one of the only things he didn't talk a lot about. He suffered from MS, but in the words of his nephew, Jim Dalton of the Railbenders, 'he'd rather talk about music than his illness.'

"I will miss his humor, his wit, and his companionship. Tuesday nights at Mead Street Station will not be the same without him.

"Rest in peace, my friend."

Founders: Bands, Singers, Songwriters, Solo Performers, Sidemen, Instrumentalists, Performers, Entertainers, Musicians, Places to Hear Acoustic Music, Locations, Venues, Clubs, Festivals, Business and Services Supporting Acoustic Music, Music Stores, Musical Instruments, Music Teachers Bob Turner Bob Turner: Bands, Singers, Songwriters, Solo Performers, Sidemen, Instrumentalists, Performers, Entertainers, Musicians
(submitted to Yourhub.com Tuesday, Apr. 3, 2007, used by permission of Bob Turner)

To Terry’s Friends:

I speak for my whole family when I tell you all how much your words and kindness have meant to us.

I can speak only for myself when I tell you all how overwhelmed I was by the love I encountered this past weekend.

I stood in a room of 500 people who came to celebrate my brother’s life and realized for the first time that I wasn’t the only one who felt that way about him.

Terry gave me music. He was my hero and he loved folk music and so did I. He sang, and I sang with him. I learned all the words. All the harmonies. I learned to play the harmonica because it went well with Terry’s guitar.

I never wanted to learn to play the guitar because I could never play it like Terry. It took 30 years to get over that. Now I love the guitar. I will always think of my brother Terry when I play the guitar.

Families change over time. Siblings who shared a bed grow apart, separated by miles, new priorities, and changing obligations. As much as I loved my brother, I hadn’t seen him in 9 years. I envy all of you who saw him every day, shared a drink with him, listened to him sing, and even played along with him.

If he touched you with his music, if he made you laugh with a joke, if he buoyed you up with a positive word or inspired you with his courage; you are my family.

Dan Dalton

Sandy Hook Connecticut

April 3, 2007

Dan and Terry Dalton
Dan and Terry
Terry Dalton Sing-Along
Dalton Sing-Along
TSouth Street Mission Band, Terry Dalton, Kurt Harris, Jimmie Duval
"I love this picture of Terry." — Dan Dalton
The South Street Mission Band at the Cheshire Dump Festival in western New York in 1975.
With Kurt Harris and Jimmie Duval on pedal steel
Photos courtesy of Dan Dalton

I want to thank every man, woman, child, musician, bartender, waitress and police officer for sharing your love of my brother with the large extended Dalton family at Terry’s wake at the Three Kings “Church” (Tavern) on South Broadway, 4/1/07. The family grew to over 750 strong over the course of the afternoon with the emotions running the gauntlet: sorrow, comfort, condolences, love, sympathy, loss, and even anger and awe. I think everyone there that day had to leave Three Kings with awe being the emotion over-riding all other emotions. Terry Dalton had that gleam in his eye that he would only share with those he deemed worthy. And that same gleam had the power to reach in and touch your soul, and as we all know you were a better person for it. He demanded it of everyone he loved and he always had that positive advice for his family [that’s all of you] on any topic, up to and including the explanation of how cold fusion works. But more than anything Terry was an inspiration to everyone who has talked to me, and an example of determination, dignity and self-esteem.

Terry passed away March 23,2007. I found him at 5:00 that evening sitting at his table with what could only be explained as a peaceful look on his face. The death certificate stated he had a mio-cardial interrupt {heart attack} that lasted only seconds and then he was gone. He was the only Dalton I ever heard of who succumbed to a heart failure, and I later found out that the very drugs and steroids that they treat MS patients with {Terry ate 66 pills a day to combat Multiple Scylrosis}, eventually can lead to a weakened heart and the demise of the patient. But w/o those drugs there is very little quality of life to those that suffer from this horrendous decease. With those drugs and his MS team at the VA hospital, here in Denver, Terry lived life to its fullest with dignity and pride til his dying day. None of you can ever remember hearing Terry ever complain about the pain he suffered 24 hours a day, nor would anyone of you ever even dare to wince in his presence over some silly little malady that you thought was really something. Just by knowing him you were tougher, as was I.

A lot of you, friends and family all, along with a couple of magazines have asked me to put down in words who Terry Dalton was, or is, and what he meant to me. Well that isn’t fair, and furthermore Terry solved the problem for me. As I was combing and crying through his tapes, cd’s,vcr’s and notebooks of songs he had recorded and written and some he hasn’t recorded, I stumbled onto Terry’s only attempt he ever made at writing a diary. It is my pleasure to share this entry with all of you, and please pass this on to everyone you know who knew Terry, I only know a small portion of the people he touched, but between us all we can reach, not all, but most of them.

Thank you,

Jamie Dalton.

Denver Colorado

May 22, 2007

An entry in Terry's Journal
2/13/85

It’s 2 o’clock in the morning and I’m sifting through lists of songs I know, but don’t know if I want to play them anymore. I’ve been playing some of them for twenty years, Christ! Most guys, by the time they reach 36, have a home, family, and a couple cars. I’ve got a guitar I haven’t finished paying for, a sixteen year old gas guzzler for transport, a small PA system to play through, and these lists. Most of them are other peoples’ worries, but a few are my own plaintive cries.

Oh well, if I had a home I’d just bitch about the upkeep and the damn taxes. I tried the family life, but I guess I never grew up enough to be a daddy. The biological act of becoming one was easy enough. But I see now that I was never ready to toss this silly dream of mine off. I mean, how the hell is an old cynical old hippie {ex-drill sgt} going to be a star if he won’t even make the effort? And why would he want to do it anyway? Money, fame, fast cars, faster women and the usual hedonistic reasons come to mind. But my reason is it’s because I think I’ve got something to say and sing that mean something. It means something to me anyway. The feelings that make it to paper are usually those that I have trouble relating to anyone. I get too intense in a lot of one on one situations. I’ve found that when I’m really involved: be it emotionally or philosophically, in putting points across, diplomacy is out the window and down the road. I’ve alienated people who agreed with me and scared some who loved me

I’ve never considered myself a diarist before, but looking at the above, I’d have to consider it seriously. Come to think of it all of my songs and poems are autobiographic; and what is that—a diary I suppose. Maybe it doesn’t flow with the regularity of a calendar, but sooner or later I imagine that most of my experiences will make their way into verse or prose or worse.

If I should mail this and you should receive it, please don’t be alarmed. Despite midnight ramblings and nagging doubts about life, liberty and the happiness of pursuit, I have one thing going for me that keeps me trying. I know that no matter what I try to do, whether I soar with the eagles of success or bog down into the mire of total failure, I did it sober. One year and one week now. And it only happens by doing it one day at a time; terribly cliché but true. Enlightening, and a total kick in the ass. It’s like growing up again, Ha, “again”, he says.

I still don’t know to whom, if anyone this missive will travel. It may end up in this notebook, in which case, it will be to me.

Back to success and failure. There are as many definitions of each as there are people and aspirations. I’ve started to fulfill one of mine. I remember sitting in a barracks at Fort Dix, New Jersey. One more day in the fucking Army, so that would make it Nov. 28,1970. I sat there on my bunk, telling myself that above everything else in this fucked up world I wanted to be a valid voice in folk music, for it’s a powerful thing……….It’s happening. I’ve had young musicians just sit, listen, watch, and ask “ Who is that old bastard, and what’s that he’s playing ?” “Terry Dalton, I was born in wed-lock, and I’m playing blues progression on a twelve string Martin, son, and I call you son cause you’re so fucking bright. Now pay attention.” And he did.

So I did what I set out to do. I guess I’ve never really been after the money so much as I have the acclaim. Make that recognition; even disdain and refutation are recognition, as we learn also from the negative

I don’t know about you, but I like this letter. All in all I’m doing okay. Sure it rambles a bit, but what the hell, I’ve always been a rambling type of guy.

Terry

reproduced her by permission of Dan Dalton, May 23, 2007
Friends and family

Jamie sent me a small package of Terry’s ashes earlier this year.

We returned home to Rochester after Christmas to spend some time with Anne’s family. I brought the ashes with me to spread them in some of the places that were a part of Terry’s life.

My daughter Caitlin accompanied me as we drove into the city to our old neighborhood, the 19th ward. I gave her a driving tour of the house on Sawyer Street, the Peter’s house, #16 School, 274 Post Avenue, Wilson’s grocery, and Grandma and Grandpa’s house on Sherwood Avenue.

We spread some of the ashes in Aberdeen Park, the site of many childhood baseball and football games. It looked a lot smaller than I remembered it.

We drove through the city, following the Genesee River north. At the Platt Street bridge, we dropped some ashes into the river at High Falls.

We continued north to Charlotte (emphasis on the second syllable for you non-Rochesterians) to Ontario Beach, at the mouth of the river. Cait and I walked out on the long, ice-covered breakwater to the lighthouse at the end. There we cast the rest of Terry’s ashes into the water where the brown Genesee plumes out into grey Ontario.

Terry wrote a song called “Cross Country” that included these words:

Ontario, your waters wide, all colored green and blue,
Your size so huge your shores all slowly disappear from view.
I was quite young when I first saw and fell in love with you..

I saved a pinch of ash to put inside Terry’s Martin, but I think he’s already in there.

Dan Dalton Dec. 29, 2007

Dan Dalton spreading Terry Dalton's ashes on Lake Ontario

Hello, thank you for your page dedicated to my Uncle. I was wondering if you could put a date to my words about him, as well as possibly include my whole letter from Linda's website so it doesn't appear out of context. I believe it was Oct. 2005 when I wrote this to Linda [Storey]:

“"Thank you for giving me the opportunity to say a few words about my Uncle. My Uncle Terry Dalton has MS, but I don't think he knows it. In fact, he's never even talked about MS with me. He's more interested in talking music. Always has been. Terry Dalton has had a profound influence on my life. Next to my parents, he is the main reason I became a musician. He's an amazing guitarist, singer, and songwriter. Since I was a kid, I have always looked up to him and admired my cool uncle who always traveled with a guitar. I still often think back to my childhood when he was in a country band called the Dalton Gang. Because he lived far away at the time, I never got the chance to hear them. But I knew they had to be one of the greatest bands in the world because my Uncle was playing guitar. Now I'm in a country band. Is that a coincidence? No. I was lucky enough to hear him sing and play at family gatherings. He exposed me to so much important music at an early age. Without his influence, I'm certain I would not be a musician and songwriter today. He was my personal living, breathing encyclopedia of music. Nobody in the world knows more about music than him. And when he came to see me at Red Rocks last month, it was the greatest feeling in the world. Did MS stop him from going up that mountain? Hell no

" There he was. The man who taught me so much, sitting front row, smiling at me, enjoying the music. After all these years, here we were at Red Rocks, together.... So, how did I go off on this tangent? I guess it's because my Uncle has this uncanny ability to transcend the limitations of MS and somehow make you forget that he has MS. Terry Dalton is my hero."

" Thank you,” — Jim Dalton, lead singer of the Railbenders

Jim Dalton
Jim Dalton


"When Sandy asked if I would like to write a piece about Terry for her website, I told her I needed some time to gather my emotions together after enduring one of the toughest weeks of my life.

"As close as I was to Terry and as much as I could see him struggling through his last days, and the last few gigs that we played together, I still couldn’t accept the fact that he was gone. We all knew he would keep playing until the end.

"When I arrived at Terry’s wake and saw the multitude of friends, I was overwhelmed with emotion. It was one of the toughest days of my life but one of the finest, in that we were celebrating his life. Thank you Jamie for arranging that wonderful celebration, and thank you everyone who helped put it together.

"I am honored to have known Terry and will treasure all the good times we had together. Obviously the music was the most memorable, but there were others. I took him fishing in my boat, we shot pool together, we went to Rockies games, and sometimes we would drive through the mountains with a cooler full of Newcastle just enjoying the scenery and listening to music.

"Though you are gone, the memories will live forever.

"Thank you Terry, I love you."

Founders: Bands, Singers, Songwriters, Solo Performers, Sidemen, Instrumentalists, Performers, Entertainers, Musicians, Places to Hear Acoustic Music, Locations, Venues, Clubs, Festivals, Business and Services Supporting Acoustic Music, Music Stores, Musical Instruments, Music Teachers Steve Pierce Steve Pierce: Bands, Singers, Songwriters, Solo Performers, Sidemen, Instrumentalists, Performers, Entertainers, Musicians

Terry Dalton, Lynn Newman, Steve Pierce
March 17, 2007, at Sheabeen Irish Pub Sheabeen Irish Pub. (Photos by Andy Schmidt)


"I knew Terry from his/my Grand Junction days. That was a time when I was just finding my voice musically. I looked up to Terry and he always encouraged me. I know he had a lot of pain and problems getting around these last years. I hope he is well now." — Pat Dressen of The Badly Bent

"Terry made all of us bigger." — Jamie Dalton

"Terry knew that his candle would not grow dim if he used it to help others light their candles." — Founders: Bands, Singers, Songwriters, Solo Performers, Sidemen, Instrumentalists, Performers, Entertainers, Musicians, Places to Hear Acoustic Music, Locations, Venues, Clubs, Festivals, Business and Services Supporting Acoustic Music, Music Stores, Musical Instruments, Music Teachers Sandy Reay Sandy Reay: Bands, Singers, Songwriters, Solo Performers, Sidemen, Instrumentalists, Performers, Entertainers, Musicians

"... by all those roads, my friend, we traveled down
I'm a better man for just the love of you."
— Ian Tyson ("Friends of Mine")

"Terry will be missed but never forgotten. His wake was a testimonial to what he meant to all his friends. His philosophy of life, his music and sense of humor was what attracted us to him. Terry was a mentor to many; an inspiration to all, and a stranger to few." — Perry Williamson


"Dalton battled MS for years, never letting that stop him. Even in a walker or wheelchair he would delight the crowds at Lincoln's Road House in the Wash Park area every Wednesday night." — Kirk Montgomery , 9NEWS Entertainment Reporter, 3/26/2007 Terry Dalton, singer, songwriter, guitar player

“He did not accept help graciously. He’d be dragged kicking and screaming into reality. But he’d fight it. I think it’s that fight-it spirit that kept him alive this long.

“There was no stopping Terry. He was going to go out with his boots on. He prefered to go out in a blaze rather than dwindle. And there were lots of us around to make sure he did just that; we made sure he maintained his quality of life. And he enriched ours as well — you can take that to the bank.”

Founders: Bands, Singers, Songwriters, Solo Performers, Sidemen, Instrumentalists, Performers, Entertainers, Musicians, Places to Hear Acoustic Music, Locations, Venues, Clubs, Festivals, Business and Services Supporting Acoustic Music, Music Stores, Musical Instruments, Music Teachers Bob Turner Bob Turner: Bands, Singers, Songwriters, Solo Performers, Sidemen, Instrumentalists, Performers, Entertainers, Musicians

 

"I'm sorry to hear Terry is gone. I hope wherever he is he's still a wiseass ;)" — Michi Regier

Terry was known for his “humor and his razor sharp wit.” — Founders: Bands, Singers, Songwriters, Solo Performers, Sidemen, Instrumentalists, Performers, Entertainers, Musicians, Places to Hear Acoustic Music, Locations, Venues, Clubs, Festivals, Business and Services Supporting Acoustic Music, Music Stores, Musical Instruments, Music Teachers Bob Turner Bob Turner: Bands, Singers, Songwriters, Solo Performers, Sidemen, Instrumentalists, Performers, Entertainers, Musicians


 

"Terry Dalton was my friend. I was one of the fortunate people who got to play music with Terry on a fairly frequent basis.

"When I heard the news of Terry's death I was overcome by both relief and grief. I said to my wife, Sylvia, that he was running and jumping again and that I could easily picture him striding confidently up to the Pearly Gates and getting into a heated debate with Saint Peter on theology. Sylvia said no, he walked up to St. Pete and challenged him to a trivia contest to see if Terry would be allowed in. We were both sure that Terry stumped the Saint and was immediately sent in (through the kitchen entrance, next to the dumpster) to join the Devine Jam.

"Can you imagine? Terry on 12-string again, no pain, Jimi on lead, R.D. on bass, maybe Keith Moon on trap. Who knows? The possible combinations are overwhelming and Terry could fit in seamlessly with any combination. I just know that he is finally without pain and free to harmonize with his peers who have preceded him.

"I'll not forget Terry or the things that I was able to learn from him. Life down here will continue as I'm sure he'd have it no other way. It will seem a little emptier without Terry's physical presence but I know my life was made fuller by his music, humor, honesty and most importantly, his friendship.

"I look forward to seeing him again . . . . ." — Bob Cooke



Bob Cooke and Terry Dalton
Bob Cooke and Terry Dalton


Ode to My Friend, Terry Dalton, — Ed Hawkins — March 2007
(used by permission of Ed Hawkins)

Words and music seemed to be within you,
Exploding from your fingers and voice,
Emerging with the excitement of your spirit,
Bringing joy to us all.

Ah, Terry, I shall miss you, man.

Your wondrous smile, befitting shamrocks,
Your voice like gravel in a mountain stream,
Making me forget the troubles of the day,
Soothing my soul.

Ah, Terry, I shall miss you.

Your quirky jokes bringing laughter,
Creating boundless happiness within us,
And to each, a special feeling of mirth,
Raising our spirits.

Ah, Terry, how I shall miss you.

I shall think of you often in future days,
When I hear the lilt of a singing bird,
When the breath of a beautiful chord
Reaches my heart.

Ah, Terry, indeed I shall miss you.

Though our sad hearts cry with sorrow,
We know that you are now playing those
Wondrous tunes with Walter, Clark,
Michael, Harry and Casey,
Into eternity.

Still, we all shall miss you.


Zelda and Ed Hawkins with Bob Turner at Pogue Mahone's
Mar. 24, 2007 (photo by Jan Gehlhausen)

 

Photos of Terry Dalton's Wake April 1, 2007
Three Kings Tavern, 60 S. Broadway, Denver
(photos by Mike Quaintance)
Terry Dalton/s guitar
Terry's guitar, hat, jacket, and ashes

Jim Dalton and Johnny Neill

Steve Pierce and Jim Dalton

The Railbenders and Johnny Neill

Flyer for Terry's Wake

Barry Gordon, Bob Turner, Sandy Reay, Steve Pierce
Barry Gordon, Bob Turner, Sandy Reay, Steve Pierce

On March 23, the Colorado music community lost one of the greats. My dear friend, Terry Dalton, died after a long battle with MS and other health issues. Terry was a friend, mentor, teacher and friendly ear for hundreds, if not thousands, of musicians in Colorado. He hosted the Wednesday night open stage at Lincoln's Roadhouse for many years, much longer than it has been called Lincoln's. He was a talented guitarist, singer, songwriter and comedian.

I'm gonna miss him. He made me laugh--usually more than once--EVERY single time I saw him over a 10+ year friendship. Even when he was sick and in such pain that he could barely open his eyes to look at you he'd deliver a perfect one-liner that would just slay you. One favorite was his frequent response when I'd ask if he needed a hand. "Dammit, no, Skibbe. Legs. I need legs." We could talk for hours about music, politics, history, music, literature, baseball, and more music and it would seem like minutes. Hanging out with him was like a pencil sharpener for your brain.

Smart, funny, literate, unbelievably brave . . . he had a way of giving me important perspective on my own life. I will miss that.

That and his jokes.

And him being the only person I know who could drink more Irish whiskey than me . . .

His wake at 3 Kings Tavern on Sunday, April 1 was an event for the ages. Hundreds of his friends and fans assembled for a tribute to a man who was an inspiration to us all. Thanks Terry.

Oh, and Terry, could you give me a little more of my vocal in the monitor?

:-)
Peace,
Ed Skibbe Ed Slibbe: Bands, Singers, Songwriters / Composers, Solo Performers, Sidemen, Instrumentalists, Performers, Entertainers, Musicians, Cowboy Poets (from MusicNOW April 5, 2007)

"To have known Terry Dalton, one had to admire and respect him for his quick wit, his intellect and his musicality. I am honored to have known him. I admired him for his courage to tell the world to just leave him alone and get on with life. I'll remember the talks we shared about things Irish after he finished a gig, and the pints, the laughter and the songs. He will be missed by many, but he will always be remembered in the music." — Mike Cleary


Terry Dalton Tribute at Swallow Hill Music Association Folk Festival
Sept 9, 2007
with Founders: Bands, Singers, Songwriters, Solo Performers, Sidemen, Instrumentalists, Performers, Entertainers, Musicians, Places to Hear Acoustic Music, Locations, Venues, Clubs, Festivals, Business and Services Supporting Acoustic Music, Music Stores, Musical Instruments, Music Teachers Bob Turner Bob Turner: Bands, Singers, Songwriters, Solo Performers, Sidemen, Instrumentalists, Performers, Entertainers, Musicians, Founders: Bands, Singers, Songwriters, Solo Performers, Sidemen, Instrumentalists, Performers, Entertainers, Musicians, Places to Hear Acoustic Music, Locations, Venues, Clubs, Festivals, Business and Services Supporting Acoustic Music, Music Stores, Musical Instruments, Music Teachers Steve Pierce Steve Pierce: Bands, Singers, Songwriters, Solo Performers, Sidemen, Instrumentalists, Performers, Entertainers, Musicians,
Founders: Bands, Singers, Songwriters, Solo Performers, Sidemen, Instrumentalists, Performers, Entertainers, Musicians, Places to Hear Acoustic Music, Locations, Venues, Clubs, Festivals, Business and Services Supporting Acoustic Music, Music Stores, Musical Instruments, Music Teachers Ernie Martinez Ernie Martinez: Bands, Singers, Songwriters, Solo Performers, Sidemen, Instrumentalists, Performers, Entertainers, Musicians and Founders: Bands, Singers, Songwriters, Solo Performers, Sidemen, Instrumentalists, Performers, Entertainers, Musicians, Places to Hear Acoustic Music, Locations, Venues, Clubs, Festivals, Business and Services Supporting Acoustic Music, Music Stores, Musical Instruments, Music Teachers Sandy Reay Sandy Reay: Bands, Singers, Songwriters, Solo Performers, Sidemen, Instrumentalists, Performers, Entertainers, Musicians

Dear Bob and San and Steve and Ernie,
Thanks so much for Terry's tribute last Sunday. Your show was the highlight of my trip. I could tell it meant as much to you as it did to us.
I hope somebody recorded it.
Keep Terry's memory alive in your music. I know I'll see you all again on the next trip out.
Thanks again
Love
Dan [Dalton]


If you want to add your memories of Terry as a band-mate and friend, or if you have photos of Terry you want displayed here, please contact Webmaster. This page continues to grow and change. Terry lives on in our hearts and in our memories.

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