RIP: Danny Mihm, drummer with Flamin’ Groovies

I’m saddened to report the passing of Danny Mihm, former drummer of the Flamin’ Groovies and the Phantom Movers. This marks the third death of a member of the Flamin’ Groovies within the past 10 months, as we lost Michael Wilhem in May 2019 and Roy Loney in December 2019… (with absolutely no connection to the current virus crisis)

Danny passed away on March 26th. He was the drummer for the Groovies from 1967 until 1973, playing on the first three albums, and was also part of the 1983 reunion.

James Ferrell, a dear friend of Danny / bandmate with Flamin’ Groovies and the Phantom Movers shared these memories..

Daniel Jon Mihm was my best friend for nearly 50 years. We met when I joined the Flamin’ Groovies and we hit it off immediately. We found we had a lot in common; a very high quotient of snide humor, a deep interest in history, particularly military history, probably as both our fathers had served in the military and an abiding love for blues and rhythm and blues. We usually roomed together when whatever band we were in was touring and over the years shared a lot of joyful, and some not so joyful, experiences. A tremendous drummer, Danny was always the best musician in every band we were in. He contributed a great deal to every song he played on with his ideas, energy and talent, though he never got any songwriting credit. Just listen to anything he played on, his ferocious tempo and his driving force powers the music. And everywhere he was he would have pencil and paper in hand making these marvelous drawings, just for the enjoyment of it. If you were very lucky you would get a letter or a card with an envelope decorated in his inimitable style. It was hard not to like Dan, he was charming, witty, gregarious, full of fun and his large personality drew people to him wherever he went. He had his demons and could be most difficult if the mood was on him but it was impossible to hold a grudge against him. He was just being Danny. He deserves a lot bigger place in the history of rock and roll than he has gotten but he will live forever in the hearts of his friends and fans and in the deep grooves of the recordings he was so important to.

Larry Levy, another friend of Danny / bandmate with Phantom Movers, posted these words on his Facebook wall:

Danny was by far one the hugest influences on my life, musically and personally. He was the sweetest toughest person I ever met. He was so fun and joyous and hysterical and emotional and so explosive a guy. A young and an old person in one…a powerful leader and a loyal follower…..he hated pizza, beer, sneakers, stupidity, Mick Jagger, many French people and some kinds of cheese. He loved songs, fistfighting, cognac, snuff, art, smart people, drawing, Mary Travers, history, Catherine Deneuve, Elvis, The Duelists, Bo Diddley and laughing. He taught me how to be on stage. I loved him the minute I met him. When my first son Jake was born, Danny drew an incredible sketch of him. We met once in The Cannery for lunch and he handed me a Jewish star that he had found and had saved for me. I was the “kid” of the Phantom Movers / Flamin’ Groovies family and backstage at a gig at the Whiskey, Danny pulled me aside and said “You know, you’re as good as any of these guys.” Once Danny told a story and concluded by saying, “…but that’s an old wives’ tale…just ask any of my old wives.”…No one played drums like Danny. It was like riding on the back of a motorcycle with the driver going instantly too fast – such an indescribable feeling. My world is a lonelier place without him. I hope he is better off. I love you, Danny…..

David Wees, aka Stinky LaPew of Buck Naked & the Bottom Boys, wrote this about his old friend:

It hurts me deeply to learn of my dearest friend, Danny Mihm’s passing. We have spent so much time working together, in bands and kitchens. He was a supreme artist and friend. We shared common dedication to our art, music, and sports. I am completely gutted. I will hold his memory in my heart forever.
Rest in Peace my brother.

Tom Sagehorn, music enthusiast and longtime friend of the LOUIE project, sent this message to a handful of kindred spirits:

Another huge loss in the music world. It was such an honor to see him with the Flamin Groovies and the Phantom Movers as well.
A hard hitting and tight drummer, Danny was pound for pound as good as anybody I ever saw. I have seen hundreds of shows…..
The Rolling Stones (among others) were publicly envious of the Danny- era “Teenage Head” album, and they made no secret of their musical admiration.

Danny was not only a great drummer, but he was also a gifted illustrator. Here’s a few samples of his work..

Did we mention that Danny played drums on a killer version of LOUIE LOUIE? (this is the live 1970 Matrix rehearsal version)

Rest in peace, Danny.


Discogs – Danny Mihm biography

WikiPedia – Flamin’ Groovies – Danny Mihm of The Flamin’ Groovies Dies After Stroke

3 comments to RIP: Danny Mihm, drummer with Flamin’ Groovies

  • Gary Spears

    Just discovered thee FG’s close to my 70th birthday. Now is the time when I have time to remember the best years, those years,1968-1975. At least the FG’s were part of my life before it was too late. A happy reminder of all those year ago!

  • Shag O'Mania

    Here it is 2021… one year later… and I’m just learning of Danny Mihm’s passing. I met him through a roommate in 1978, then when I moved in with my boyfriend I was a few blocks from his apartment. We did errands together in my 1967 Mustang several times before he moved and we lost touch. RIP sweet fellow!

  • Mike Balsbaugh

    Danny also worked as a cook over the years. I had the opportunity to work with him at Epic Steak in San Francisco when it was first opening in the late 2000s. Our chef was a big fan of his music and hired him in spite of Danny’s exentricities. We had a lot of fun working together and had lots of good conversations about food, music, drugs, and history. We had some common life experiences as he had grown up in Maryland just south of where I grew up and now live in Pennsylvania. I wish he could have worked there longer. I was deeply saddened to learn of his death a few years ago. I have loved being able to stream his music and wished I had known more of it when we worked together!

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