Danny Garrett: A Short Biography

I was born on February 21, 1945 in Dodge City, Kansas -- a birthplace distinction that I share with Dennis Hopper. Born there only because of my father’s war time service, I spent the first 7 years of my life in my parents’ home town of Mart, Texas about 17 miles east of Waco until we moved to Lake Jackson, on the upper Texas coast in 1952. I graduated from Brazosport High School in 1963. I entered the University of Houston that fall and majored in Finance. After those two foolish moves, I relocated to Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches in 1966. In January 1968 I graduated with a BA in History.

After one semester of graduate school, I was drafted in June 1968. After training stints at Ft. Bliss in El Paso, Ft. Ord in Monterrey, California, and Ft. Benning, Georgia, I shipped out for Viet Nam. There I was ensconced in the Americal Division, home of such military luminaries as Colin Powell, Norman Schwarzkopf, and Lt. William Calley of My Lai infamy. After 10.5 months there I returned home with an honorable discharge and shrapnel in my left eye. This concluded the “BC” part of my life.

Home and out of the service, I began the second or “AD” part of my life in the spring of 1970 by moving to Austin, Texas. I was one of the very lucky individuals that spent that wonderful decade in that incandescently wonderful city. This is also where and when I began to practice my art. Looking up Jim Franklin at Armadillo World Headquarters, I was given my first poster assignment, John Sebastian. From that spring until New Year’s Eve, 1979, I executed over a dozen AWHQ titles. I also did work for Castle Creek, Soap Creek Saloon, The Texas Opry House, The Austin Opera House, and many other Austin music venues. In 1976, I also began work for Antone’s, Austin’s Home of the Blues.

It is probably for my work at Antone’s, 1976 – 2005, for which I am best known in music art and ephemera. Clifford Antone created the finest blues club in the world in the last quarter of the 20th Century and it was my greatest and enduring honor to have been a part of that. I had the privilege of meeting and promoting some of the greats of the Chicago blues scene – Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, B. B. King, Albert King, Albert Collins, Buddy Guy and James Cotton – just to name a few. It was also my great honor to hear and promote the blues from such young Texas artists like Jimmie Vaughan, Derek O’Brien, Denny Freeman, Paul Ray and Stevie Ray Vaughan – again, just to name a few.

Other musicians that I have had the honor of promoting include – but are not limited to – Willie Nelson, Jerry Jeff Walker, Ray Charles, Warren Zevon, and Eric Clapton.

In addition to the music work that I have done, there is also a substantial body of film and computer game work that I have done as well. I was the art director of the award-winning Daniel Erickson film, Scary Movie, additionally doing copious signage, prop and set work, as well as storyboarding for a number of studio productions. From 1991 – 1997, I worked in the computer game industry, specifically for Origin Systems.

In January of 2005 I moved to Auckland, New Zealand. I currently reside there and am a full-time lecturer at Auckland University of Technology, where I teach art and design, both traditional and digital.

Danny Garrett
Auckland, New Zealand
April 17, 2006