The playlist: Dan Patlansky

Blues rocker Dan Patlansky shuffles through his record collection and reveals why he’s scuppered by Scuttle Buttin’.

The first song I remember… Purple Haze - Jimi Hendrix

“My father got a new set of super high-end hi fi speakers back in the 80s, or whenever, and I remember him playing Hendrix through it - and Purple Haze really stuck with me. I think I was actually playing a tennis racket at the time! That was way before I started playing, I must have been maybe 10 years old. I remember just grabbing a tennis racket and playing along - hearing that song through those speakers was incredible.”

The song that made me want to play… Shine On You Crazy Diamond - Pink Floyd

“It just really gave me the urge to dedicate myself to learning the guitar. There was a certain strangeness to the music - with the synth pads - and then there was just this glorious guitar playing over the top of it. That sparked my interest and I decided I wanted to learn the solos on that song. It was relatively easy to figure out what they were doing, but it felt like I was getting somewhere as a guitar player and that really motivated me.”

The song that I tried to learn that I just couldn’t nail… Scuttle Buttin’ - Stevie Ray Vaughan

“That theme riff or lick, I can kind of, sort of play it, but I don’t have the technique. I don’t know what it is but I’m missing something when I play it. It’s super-messy. I kind of use it like a warm-up exercise now, just to try and get it as clean as possible when I’m warming up, but for me it’s a right-hand technique thing that I just can’t get.”

A riff I wish I’d written… Black Dog - Led Zeppelin

“It’s still one of the coolest riff s I’ve ever heard and I think it’s a masterclass in classic rock riff writing. Then, on the financial side of things, maybe Smoke On The Water wouldn’t have been the worst riff in the world to have come up with!”

The song I would like to be remembered for… Hold On - Dan Patlansky

“I just think it’s probably one of the better songs I’ve written, just because it’s stood a small test of time. That album [Dear Silence Thieves] was released in 2014, but it’s still a listenable song for me, which says a lot, because I don’t like listening to my own music very much! It just happened to work out really well the way that song was arranged and produced. Then, lyrically, it’s about how the older you get, the shorter the years seem to be, which I’m experiencing in a big way, because I’ve got two kids now and the years fly by.”

The song that’s most challenging to perform live… Mayday - Dan Patlansky

“When I sing it in the rehearsal room it’s the easiest song, when I sing at home - easy - but for some reason I’ve got this mental block when I do it live. I kind of pull back from the mic, which doesn’t help! Sometimes I look forward to it because I always think, ‘Tonight’s going to be the night that I get over that mental block,’ but that night doesn’t seem to be coming!”

Dan Patlansky’s latest album Perfection Kills is out now. He tours the UK in November

Matt Parker

Matt is a freelance journalist who has spent the last decade interviewing musicians for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar,, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched, which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.

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