D A N N Y W I L L S O N
Danny Willson began playing guitar at the age of seven when he and his younger brother Rick were given presents of plastic nylon string Beatles guitars. The Leicester-based Willson brothers taught themselves to play by taping Pick of the Pops every Sunday and playing along with Cliff Richard and the Shadows Summer Holiday album.
Danny's early influences were the pop acts of the sixties and early seventies, before moving onto the classic rock bands of the seventies - Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Jeff Beck, Budgie, Genesis, Free, Yes and....Wishbone Ash. Later he would also enjoy Steely Dan, 10cc, Crosby Stills and Nash, It Bites and XTC. Danny cites his biggest playing influences as being Page, Beck, and the various Wishbone Ash and Steely Dan guitarists.
After acquiring their first proper guitars, Danny and Rick Willson formed their first band The Mycrons. With its line-up aged between 12-14, the band played countless gigs in their local area. The band eventually changed its name to Mirage and won the £500 first prize on a local talent contest.
Upon leaving school, Danny took an office job, but eighteen months later decided to turn pro, joining established Leicester band Kipper. This band performed a mix of covers and originals and even released an album and two singles in 1980. Meanwhile Danny's brother RIck formed Diesel Park West.
Danny spent the next few years playing semi-pro with local act The Chase, before in 1995 he was offered the opportunity to join Leicester's most successful pop-rock band Showaddywaddy (23 top-twenty hits). Several years of world touring and recording have followed including, most recently, the release of The Sun Album, recorded at the world famous Sun Studios in Memphis and featuring a collection of songs from the studio's early days.
March 2008 saw the departure of Keith Buck from Martin Turner's touring band. Keith's parting gift to the band was to introduce them to his longtime friend Danny Willson, who joined at short notice and amazed both fans and band with the ease at which he stepped into this most coveted position. Danny has since made a huge stamp on the band's sound, not only with his guitar playing, but also with his considerable vocal range.
Fender Stratocaster and Gibson ES335 guitars.
Effects: Blackstar HT Dual, Crybaby wah, Boss Blues Driver, Boss Analogue Delay, Boss Digital Delay.
Amplification: Fender DeVille.