Danny Antonelli was born on the 21st of November in what was once the Free City of Trieste, Italy. His mother was a functionary of the Italian government and his father was an American soldier.
His wanderings began early: He spent three formative years in Zagreb, Yugoslavia, where he attended a French kindergarten, spoke Croatian with the street urchins in his neighborhood, was spoken to in German by his nanny, learned English from his mother's friends and Italian from his mother. This multi-lingual atmosphere gave him a good ear.
At the age of five he moved to Los Angeles, California with his mother, where he spent the remainder of his childhood, attending Beverly Hills Catholic School (Good Shepherd).
Danny spent his summers playing Little League and then PONY League baseball. He attended Beverly Hills High School, then Palms Junior High for 6 months, and back to Beverly Hills High School, where he played on the B football team and on the B baseball team and spent his weekends surfing at Malibu.
Tannanarive, Madagascar was a short step along the way, but it brought French back into his life. It was also where he was when John F. Kennedy was assasinated.
In Nairobi, Kenya, Danny went to St. Mary's School and was an outstanding rugby player, soccer goalie and grass-hockey goalie.
He fell in love with Shakespeare and The Beatles and, despite his American accent, placed second in an elocution competition with his recitation of Cynara (Non sum qualis eram bonae sub regno Cynarae) by Ernest Dowson.
In Durban, South Africa, he worked, surfed, went to Natal University, discovered cane liquor, and got many of his songs played by local bands. Back in Kenya for a second go-round, his first 45 rpm single Harcourt/Year of Discontent was released on the Equator International label.
He then sailed to Bombay with the British India Line and spent two-and-a-half long dusty years in India, living in New Delhi but travelling as far east as Benares and as far south as Goa. conversations with my dog, Danny's first book of poems was published in Allahabad. Before the Indo-Pakistani war broke out he travelled overland to England, through Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey, and all of Europe.
After a month or two of hitch-hiking through Europe, he travelled his previous route back to India. During the Indo-Pakistani war he worked as an assistant to an Italian news team and earned enough money to sail to Europe, a 35-day journey around Africa.
After a brief stay in Italy, he sailed from Naples to New York and arrived on the day that Nixon took 49 states. He worked as an usher in Philadelphia, as a dishwasher and maintenance man in Baltimore, and eventually made it back to Los Angeles where he earned a B.A. with honors in English at California State University, Northridge.
1st Holy Communion at BHCS (Danny - back row 2nd from R)