Remembering My Friend Dan

Title Insurance with First American Title

I met Dan back in 1965, I was 15. It was the summer before my sophomore year at Renton High. I don’t remember details except John, a bass player I knew, invited me to a party across town in Sierra Heights.

The band I was in just broke up. Well, that’s how they put it, but actually I think I got the boot because they regrouped in the fall and I didn’t get the call. Anyhow, a jam session sounded fun.

John was a little older than me and had a car. When we arrived there were already a dozen or so in the open garage (mostly girls!) listening to records. I could see a drum kit back in the corner so we unloaded our amps and guitars and headed in.

It was immediately apparent that Dan and I had a lot in common. We were the same height, which was kinda short by local standards, and the both of us were rather flamboyant for 15. Renton was blue collar and the two of us were obviously outside that box. I'll never forget John introducing us. We kinda sized each other up and down for a moment or two and then a mutual nod and big grins followed, “I just know I'm gonna like you.”

We threw some songs out, round robin like, hoping we all knew them, and after a few scribbles to paper and a little doodling, Dan on drums, John on bass, me on guitar, stepped up to play. We’d do 4 or 5 songs then take pause to figure out what was next. This went on for over 4, almost 5 hours that day. Before long the garage was packed and the cul de sac out front was full with kids and parents from all around the neighborhood.

Literally, a blast! 

René Fabre and Dan Nordlad, 1965.

Before the party was over Dan and I knew we were the nucleus for a new band and we kept it going pretty much through high school.

We played school dances, the local dance club circuit and came in near the top on a couple of the local 'Battle of the Bands'

Back in those days being in the band meant you didn’t have to be 21 so we went on to play local taverns and our coolest gig was several Saturday nights at the Fort Lawton NCO club in Seattle.

We didn't make the leap to stardom, but we had our share of amazing times and crazy adventures.

As life often does to friends our paths took very different directions and through the years we'd see less and less of each other. In the early 70’s we collaborated with songwriters Tony Williams and Gary Baller and for almost 2 years on Friday nights we recorded a lot of original material. These recordings I really cherish and they remain among my favorite treasures. It would be the last time Dan and I would play together.

Outrageous and funny stories with lots of laughter were among the first things we shared and they lasted our entire friendship until he passed in October of 2004. Those early days were like super glue and it didn't matter how much time went by, when we got together it picked up like a moment never passed. We always talked straight to the heart, no filters. 

I’ll never forget our first band outfits, crushed velvet pullovers with broad vertical light and dark green stripes, color matched plaid bellbottoms, and two toned Beatle boots.

1960s awesome!

Dan... I'm a little sentimental this afternoon and taking a moment cuz you crossed my mind. I don't forget those days and as always, thanks for being my friend.

  Daniel G. Nordblad, June 26, 1951 ~ October 23, 2004

Posted by

René Fabre

"Where there's conversation, there's opportunity."

Please Note - The views expressed herein reflect only the individual’s personal views and are not the views of the author’s employer.

The Blackberry Chronicles, a blog by Rene Fabre and his travels around the Greater Pacific Northwest and beyond. Connect w/ Rene Fabre on Google+. Rene Fabre on Twitter. Rene Fabre writes reviews on Yelp. Rene Fabre on The Audiorium YouTube Channel by Rene Fabre. Rene Fabre loves digital photography and here are his shares on Flickr. Rene Fabre is a musician and composer and shares some of his orginal music and recordings on Soundcloud. Rene Fabre shares his interests on Pinterest.

Comments (25)

Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Rene- thank you for sharing your story and letting me a part of your walk down memory lane. 

Apr 21, 2014 04:28 AM
Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Eighteen Years Experience in Brevard County

Velvet, plaid bell bottoms...and your friend, Dan. Nice to take a moment and remember some very good times!

Apr 23, 2014 09:49 AM
Rene Fabre
First American Title - Seattle, WA
Marketing in the Digital Age

Kathy, thanks so much... it was fun to take the time to remember.

Gary... Indeed, velvet, bell bottoms, Beatle boots! And we thought we were so outrageous! :O)

Apr 23, 2014 09:54 AM
Dana Hollish Hill
Hollish Hill Group, JPAR Stellar Living - Bethesda, MD
REALTOR * Broker * Coach

What a great story. I can really picture the whole scene. Thank you for sharing it. It sounds like you and Dan made some amazing memories. 

Apr 23, 2014 11:58 AM
Richard Weisser
Richard Weisser Realty - Newnan, GA
Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional


Funny how music can create relationships that seem to stand the test of time and space ... ah, good times, good sounds, good friends! 

Apr 23, 2014 12:20 PM
Evelyn Johnston
Friends & Neighbors Real Estate - Elkhart, IN
The People You Know, Like and Trust!

Rene, awesome memory, thanks for warming our hearts.

Apr 23, 2014 01:06 PM
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

What a touching tribute to days gone by and also to your beloved friend.

Apr 23, 2014 01:15 PM
Eric Crane -- Your Full Service, Discount Fee Realtor®
DPR Realty LLC - Gilbert, AZ
Greater Metro Phoenix Arizona

Thank you for sharing this.  Perhaps because I just went through cancer surgery and am more aware of my own mortality (and thinking back to the people I have known), I found your simple and genuine story of friendship to be very touching.  all the best to you!

Apr 23, 2014 02:50 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher
We may take different paths, but our friendships fasten those memories to our brains those even at age 15. May you continue to have great memories, Laura
Apr 23, 2014 03:32 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher
We may take different paths, but our friendships fasten those memories to our brains even at age 15. May you continue to have great memories, Laura
Apr 23, 2014 03:33 PM
Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

Dan sounds like he was an exceptional person.  Friendships like this remain in our hearts forever. This is a lovey post from your heart.  Thank you for sharing.

Apr 23, 2014 04:08 PM
Jack O'Neal
HomeSmart Elite Group - Gilbert, AZ

Rene, I am sorry for your loss!  He sounded like he was a great person!  Stay strong!

Apr 23, 2014 04:55 PM
Paul McFadden
Responsive Pest Control - Seattle, WA
Pest Control, Seattle, WA.

Rene: Nice tribute. I feel like I know Dan and your times spent personally. You really are a great storyteller. Thanks for sharing!

Apr 23, 2014 11:31 PM
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Thanks for sharing your wonderful memories. This is a very nice tribute for your friend Dan Nordblad.

Apr 24, 2014 12:07 AM
Connie Harvey
Pilkerton Realtors - Brentwood, TN
Realtor - Nashville TN Real Estate

Rene, that was lovely. Most of us have at least one friend that we treasure the memories of.

Apr 24, 2014 04:15 AM
Rene Fabre
First American Title - Seattle, WA
Marketing in the Digital Age

Dana... Thanks, Yes I have a least a few chapters in a book about my adventures with Dan.

Richard... So true. There's something special that happens with friends you make music with!

Evelyn... Thanks!

Carla... Thanks... those were quite the times! I hadn't really thought about them much lately. It was fun to recall them.

Eric... Thanks and I hope you are free from cancer now! Likewise, best to you too!

Laura... Those old relationships there memories have a way of standing the test of time.

Sharon... Yes indeed, Dan was one of a kind, with a big heart!

Jack... I will, and it's wonderful to have such a large collection of memories.

Paul... Thanks! Funny, I was thinking that I didn't have any good ideas to right about. Then I was going through some old photos and there was Dan!

Roy... Thank you... A lot of good times!

Connie... Thanks... And Grandpa use to say, if you have one handful of good friends, you're a rich man!


Apr 24, 2014 06:54 AM
Richard Burge Realty/ Burge Homes
Richard Burge Realty/Burge Homes - Conway, SC
Broker in Charge/Owner

Almost every week in the obits I see people I knew that have passed away.  It must mean I am getting old and sooner or later mine will also be there.  I hope someone remembers me the way you have for your friend.

May 03, 2014 11:33 PM
Rene Fabre
First American Title - Seattle, WA
Marketing in the Digital Age

Thanks Richard... Me too.

May 04, 2014 12:19 AM
Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate
John L Scott Market Center - Birkenfeld, OR
"Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905

Rene`, if you were nearby, I'd want you as a dear friend. You are SO cool and eclectic! How wonderful that you would take us back to a time when those of us in this age group remember simpler times and the romance of music as a teen. My first real boyfriend played guitar in a band in their basement, he also sang lead. For years I kept up with him, even though I was across the country. He got married and I don't know how he is, but I loved the gift he gave me of learning to treasure certain bands, like Tom Petty, but earlier than that, Neil Young, and many many others. My favorite song that he would sing to me: Wild Horses by the Stones. 

Ahhhh, those days need to stay fresh in our minds, as they mold us!! 

May 08, 2014 06:01 AM
Rene Fabre
First American Title - Seattle, WA
Marketing in the Digital Age

Hi Gayle... Thanks so very much! I think my favorite at the time was Satisfaction by the Stones, though I was a huge Beatles fan! I agree, it's good to keep those memories fresh. Not to dwell in the past, but to honor it. They're all part of the tapestry we are.

May 08, 2014 07:28 AM