“9/11 Ground Truth” Author Tells a Story of Loss and the Healing Power of Music In New Book
After the loss of his wife, critically acclaimed author John Farmer (The Ground Truth) met an unheralded singer-songwriter whose music became a source of healing and renewal. Farmer’s new book “Way Too Fast” honors the life and hard times of that musician, Danny DeGennaro
PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 15, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The home invasion murder of Danny DeGennaro just after Christmas 2011 was treated as a largely local, Bucks County and Levittown, PA story. To his family, his many friends and fellow musicians, and to author John Farmer, however, Danny’s murder silenced one of the great under-appreciated talents of our time.
Farmer met Danny by chance in the spring of 1993, soon after the loss of Farmer’s wife. On a chilly Wednesday evening, walking down New Hope’s Main Street, he heard a mournful yet breathtakingly beautiful guitar solo emanating from a local pub. One of his own compositions “Bye Bye Baby” became the searing anthem of his grief.
He entered to see Danny DeGennaro fronting a band called The Deal, standing in the corner of the bar, eyes closed over his guitar, black hair long, investing every note with a total emotional commitment that gave shape to the grief Farmer was feeling and transmuted it to beauty. “His music touched my soul, and became a vehicle for healing,” Farmer said.
After Danny’s murder, Farmer was moved to write a remembrance that was published in The Philadelphia Inquirer. The response to that piece was overwhelming; “It turned out that Danny’s music touched people all over the country,” Farmer said. “That made me believe that his life story is worth telling, not because of the rock star he never became but because of the artist he always was.”
The result, Way Too Fast, An American Reckoning The Life and Music of Danny DeGennaro, tells the story of Danny’s life, from his childhood growing up in the most celebrated post-war American suburb, Levittown, PA in the 1960s and 1970s, through his years playing and touring with some of the great artists of our time, from Clarence Clemons and Bob Weir to Bo Diddley and Kingfish and Billy Squier’s band, through the release of Dan’s (AKA Dan Rio) debut album From The Heart to the home invasion murder that cost him his life.
Danny flirted with stardom he never achieved, but the music lasts. His music was featured in Kal Rudman’s Friday Morning Quarterback in the year 2000. Two singles “Try a Little Love” BMI and “Hold on Tight” BMI from the recording were in rotation at 20 Top 40 radio stations nationwide, and the record was rereleased digitally as From The Heart in 2019 and is available on Apple Music and all digital media platforms.
Farmer was one of the principal authors of the 9/11 Commission Report. His book, The Ground Truth, was an Amazon bestseller and New York Times Notable Book, and was named one of the best books of the year by the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Foreign Affairs, ABC News.com, The Hill, l The Star-Ledger, The Boston Globe, and The Jerusalem Post.
Way Too Fast: An American Reckoning, The Life and Music of Danny DeGennaro, will be published by The Excluded Middle, LLC and available through Amazon.com on or about February 21, 2022. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Danny DeGennaro Foundation’s support of young artists.
-Figlo Music Publishing BMI