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  • Tracy Heck

Three Dog Night's Danny Hutton on Detroit show, new music and what's next

Updated: Apr 19

Legendary rock band Three Dog Night are headed to Detroit next month where they will be taking the stage at the Fisher Theatre on Friday, May 10.

The band is gearing up to release a new album at the end of the month and they've been playing new song "Prayer of the Children" out on tour.

Three Dog Night founder and vocalist Danny Hutton recently spoke about the tour and new music with Rock Life.

Rock Life: How are things going?

Danny Hutton: Good, I just got up a little while ago and had a little vocal practice and now I'm ready to go!! I'm up in Laurel Canyon in L.A. and the weather is great.

RL: You guys are out on tour. How's that going?

DH: It's great. And we're coming to the Fisher Theatre on May 10 so that's going to be interesting. We haven't played in Detroit for awhile. Our guitar player is actually from Detroit. He's been in a number of bands and I believe played with Bob Seger and all that. Yeah, we've played Cobo Hall and all of the crazy places there!

RL: You'll love the Fisher Theatre.

DH: Yeah, I love those old vaudeville movie theaters. I feel very sad when they tear those places down because you can't replace them. It's worth saving for the young who don't really know how crazy you can get with design.

Yeah, we've finally had ten days off. I fractured my shoulder six weeks ago not stepping over the doggie bed so I've been getting over that. Finally I will be without a sling, which is great!

RL: I saw how many shows you typically play during a year and it's impressive!

DH: Thanks! We've got 81 dates for this year so far so we'll probably stop at 100. It's all good. I bought a tour bus so we've got a nice, fancy ride.

RL: What keeps you out there on the road?

DH: Because it's fun. I love traveling and I'll be 82 in September and I'm just grateful to be able to still do it and at a high level. We haven't had to lower the keys in any of our songs and everyone musically is in really good shape. We've been rolling since '68.

RL: And what can people expect from this tour?

DH: Well, we just want them to leave saying look at these old guys ! And wow, they sound just like the records! We want them to leave saying my god, I can't believe they sound the same or better and I think we do a great job with that.

I have my two sons in the band now. One of them was the drummer for Haim and the other is a producer. He was just working with Sugar Ray on a track yesterday. They're both incredible.

We have a new album that we're really proud of that will be out in a couple of weeks. We're doing one new song from that album and that's been going really well. We've never had a standing ovation like this every night. We don't do politics so all of our songs are about emotions or partying and having fun. I like to get everybody into a nice theater and for two hours just forget about the outside and not start preaching on negative things and just get lost and have everyone leave with a big smile on their face.

RL: Something everyone needs more of!

DH: Yes, joy to the world! When you sing it you can't help but feel good. It's silly, but it's happy and gets everybody up. It's good energy.

RL: You worked on this album for a long time?

DH: Oh yeah, I think it will be a surprise to everybody. We're so proud of every song.We'll see what the fans think!

RL: What's the plan for after this tour?

DH: I'm also finishing an album that I did with a singer named Renee Geyer . There was a movie called Pretty In Pink and my other band Danny Hutton Hitters had a song in the movie and she passed away a couple of months ago. She was probably one of the best blues singers I've ever heard. I had a bunch of other songs laying around that were done and I said they can't just sit here, people need to hear them. So, we're finally going to get them out there.

RL: What do you think is the reason behind Three Dog Night's continued success?

DH: Good songs, truly. We sing them well and there's no rookies in the band. Everybody sings on key and plays well.We're just lucky to be able to do this.

Every night we finish a show at 11 and set off on the bus at midnight and drive at least 300 miles a night and get to the hotel and sleep and wake up to breakfast in a different city to explore. Sometimes you go somewhere that you would have never gone otherwise and it ends up being an incredible and pleasant surprise.

RL: Finally, is there one overriding thing you haven't accomplished yet?

DH: I don't know if a lot of people know I was a manager of a punk band called Fear. I loved that! I managed them for three years and I just loved that naughty side of things. I couldn't really get them on the radio because of swear words and all of that and the pseudo -violence that went on. It was very, very exciting. All that to say that I've kind of done everything.

People always ask if I could go back and change anything what would it be and I just say I'd go back and dress like Cary Grant. [laughs] He's one of my idols and could walk into a party today and be in style.

I've done about everything that I've wanted to do. When I was in high school I phoned Stan Laurel from Laurel and Hardy up and asked if I could meet him. Believe it or not,, he was in the phone book and invited me over. Later on, he sent me a signed postcard and if I had a fire and had to grab something, it would be that postcard!

I once had a knock at my door and it was John Lennon and Ringo Starr asking if they could come in . That took me 2 seconds to say yes! I was lucky enough to meet all of The Beatles so it's been a wonderful life. I just want to keep it going and stay healthy. I'm very happy and lucky to be able to play with my sons. My wife is wonderful and new music is coming out. We've also got something coming up that I can't talk about right now, but it's going to shake things up! I couldn't be happier with all of it!

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