Aspen, CO -"You know, my dad taught me to drive a stick when I was around 16, too. We went out in his silver Scirocco and drove around and around this empty parking lot, after dark, for what seemed like months," I told actor, playwright turned singer-songwriter Jeff Daniels, recalling what must have been a very painful process for both my dad, and his nice car.
"Oh, I can still smell that clutch burning!" said Daniels, with a chuckle, taking a break from driving to chat in a good cell zone. He’s on the road with his wife Kathleen, their two Australian Shepherds and their 42-foot recreational vehicle, on nation-wide tour and making their way to Aspen for this Friday’s show at the BellyUp.
We were talking about his own daughter and that magical time, when she first learned to drive. He penned a song in her honor. Now in college, she frequently joins him onstage for “Daddy’s Little Daughter,” dedicated to Ms. Daniels and her earlier stints behind the wheel. On his latest release, “Live at the Purple Rose,” Daddy Daniels opens the song with a few questions: “How many of you have kids? How many of you have kids who drive? How many of you have kids who drive and they’re on their learner’s permit right now?” The audience snickers in the background.