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Mayo, Danny (Daniel Edward) (February 20, 1952-March 13, 2011)



  • Existence: February 20, 1952 - March 13, 2011


Daniel Edward Mayo was born February 20, 1952 in Camp Atterbury, Indiana. He was the oldest of three children born to Joseph L. Mayo and M. JoAnn Borland. Dan's early years were spent in Indiana and Illinois, but by the time he started school the family had settled in Webster Groves, a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri. Dan grew up listening to radio and records and watching shows like Shindig and Where The Action Is on television. He began collecting records from his favorite artists in the mid-1960s.

In 1967, Dan's parents got involved in the early days of car stereo sales and installation. At that time, 4 track continuous reel tapes were new to the market and commercial production was limited, so customers brought their albums to the shop to be recorded. Dan became adept at transferring music to tape and was exposed to a wide variety of new sounds, including Frank Zappa, who had a profound effect, both musically and philosophically. In order to introduce the public to custom auto sound systems, the family began attending local car shows where Dan met and worked for Ed ""Big Daddy"" Roth, airbrushing the popular ""weirdo"" T-shirts of Roth's design.

In 1968, Dan began attending live rock shows at Kiel Auditorium. Big Brother and the Holding Company, Cream, and The Jimi Hendrix Experience sparked his interest in the art of rock and roll lighting. He began acquiring overhead projectors, slide projectors, and other equipment. With the help of several high school friends, he began producing his own light show, known as ""Aunt Rosie's Garage"", for local rock groups in St. Louis.

The family relocated to the Kansas City area in January of 1969 and Dan graduated from Shawnee Mission North High School in 1970. He continued to produce ""Aunt Rosie's Garage"" for several years and attended as many live shows as possible. Dan worked on the crew at Freedom Palace until it closed.

In the fall of 1970, Dan attended UMKC and began his long association with Stan Plesser and Good Karma Productions. He was part of the crew that set up the stage, sound, and lighting systems at Cowtown Ballroom. Lighting was still his main interest and his official duty during shows.

In the fall of 1971, Dan transferred to the University of Kansas. While there he crewed at concerts and worked in the radio station on campus. He continued to work for Good Karma on weekends and summer breaks. He graduated in 1974 with a BA in Radio and Television Production.

Returning to Kansas City after graduation, Dan worked on the stage, sound, and lighting crew for the Good Karma Production shows at Arrowhead Stadium, on the sound and lighting crew and then as road manager for the Ozark Mountain Daredevils and the Clocks. He helped to convert both the Uptown and Midland theaters to more live music friendly venues. He managed Sandstone Amphitheater and did a tour as road manager for Martina McBride. When he grew weary of working on the road, Dan began to focus his attention on more local event lighting. He continued to create stage and lighting designs for both indoor and outdoor music events, including rock but also the Philharmonic, ballet, and theater events. He worked with the Royals, the Chiefs, and the Comets on various sporting events as well as NASCAR. Dan worked on the Plaza lighting ceremony, a presidential debate, fashion shows, and fundraising events. He was always excited to add his unique touch to any project. Lighting design was never a job for Dan, it was a passion. Light was the medium he used to create his art, and music was ever his inspiration.

Daniel Edward Mayo died at age 59, on March 13, 2011. He was honored by his many friends, business associates, and extended family at a ""Celebration of Life"" event at the Midland Theater.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Danny Mayo Collection

Identifier: MS-0355
Scope and Contents The Danny Mayo Collection was established in LaBudde Special Collections, consisting of a small amount of non-audiovisual materials from the collection, after Mayo’s sound recordings were given to the Marr Sound Archives by Deborah Dooley in 2014. The assorted ephemera include posters, liner notes, a few images, the framed gold album Ozark Mountain Daredevils, and other miscellaneous items.Recordings from the collection are searchable in the UMKC Libraries catalog. ...
Dates: 1975 - 2011