Alvin Dahn

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Alvin Schuyler Dahn is an outsider musician who gained recognition after his singular work was featured frequently on the Incorrect Music Hour. One of his most popular songs, the apocalyptic "You're Driving Me Mad," was described as sounding like "a metal song sung by Ned Flanders".[1] He was referred to as "Dahn Halen" for the iron edge of this tune.

Alvin has long resided in the Buffalo, New York area, working chiefly as a custodian at several small colleges. Following a painful divorce some years ago, he was pushed into insolvency which led him to living in a men's shelter in Buffalo and working at a local food pantry.

Dahn recorded just one album, produced by noted actor/author Geoffrey Giuliano at Mark Studios in Clarence, New York in the early 1990s. Entitled Let Your Mind Out To Play this, it features several over-the-top interviews with the infamous "singing custodian" as well as samples of his chaotic recording sessions, several completed musical works and an outrageous mock concert promo. A description from Giuliano's website (which is the only known source for the obscure CD/download) declares Dahn to be not only "oddly" talented but also a really "nice" guy.

Producer and patron Giuliano says, "Alvin is good because he's so very, very bad. He can't sing certainly, but his music is very catchy and frightfully innocent and sincere. He believes in himself 100% and should thus be an inspiration to people whom have been given much more; which is just about everyone. He is the hero of his own life as a man who fought to create and achieved his goal And for that, and his music, he will be long remembered."

Dahn's Musical Works[edit]

His music ranges in style from rock to metal and blues to ballads accompanied by strings. He appeared in a British documentary about outsider music, revealing that he had covered the considerable cost of hiring the string section of the Buffalo Philharmonic used in his song "Don't Throw Your Dreams Away" himself.

The Incorrect Music Hour once played over forty minutes of a Dahn studio session. Much of the show consisted of Dahn's half of a convoluted dialogue with sound engineer Fred Betschen as he discusses (often critically) his performances and requests dozens of retakes.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Adrien Begrand