The Danger Brothers don't worry too much about sales charts or music trends, they just play the songs they like and have fun doing it. After 24 years as a band, the Columbus rockers know there are plenty of people who love the same tunes.
"When we first got together, the idea was to go out and have fun and play rock and roll," drummer Tom Smith said in an interview. "We just go out and do our best and the most important thing is to have fun. It's infectious. When we're up on stage having fun, then the crowd is having fun, too."
In addition to Smith, the Danger Brothers lineup consists of Dave Hessler on guitar and saxophone, Tom Beougher on bass, Bill Bendler on organ, trumpet, and trombone, and Mike Thompson on guitar.
Longtime pals Smith, Beougher, and Hessler moved to Los Angeles in 1977 to pursue careers in music and while in L.A. became friends and musical colleagues with Beach Boy Dennis Wilson.
One of their friends had gotten a job at the Beach Boys' famous Brother Studio and invited Smith and his pals to a late night jam session while the owners were out of town. Around midnight, however, they got word that Dennis Wilson was en route to the studio.
Some people were worried, Smith said, "but I knew my Beach Boy world already. I knew he wouldn't care that we were in his studio." Smith was right. Wilson walked in, calmly took a seat at the piano, and invited the Ohioans to join him on the song "Sail On Sailor."
"It was one of the biggest musical moments of my life," Smith said. "From then on, Dennis tried to hire us for sessions."
Wilson, who drowned in a marina in 1983 at age 39, hired Smith's older brother, Sterling, to go on tour accompanying the Beach Boys and he gave Hessler a spot with an opening band.
Smith said he thinks Wilson took a liking to the Ohio musicians because they were more interested in his music than his celebrity status.
But after a few years in Southern California, Smith said he realized that Ohio was more his style. "I came back in late 1979 because I was very homesick," Smith said. "My family has been here since 1797. We have roots here."
When the musicians returned to the Midwest, they decided to forgo the pressures of the music business and use their musical talent to entertain themselves and others.
"Rock and roll is one of the great American art forms, just like jazz, blues, and bluegrass," Smith said. "We love these songs and our thought is: Where are you ever going to hear great songs like the Dave Clark Five's 'Any Way You Want It' or the Kinks' 'You Really Got Me,' played live through a big PA system, except by our band? Nowhere!"
The Danger Brothers will be in concert at 8 p.m. tomorrow at Centennial Terrace, 5773 Centennial Rd., Sylvania. Tickets are $25 in advance from 419-241-2600 or $30 at the door. Information: 419-882-1500.