Dan Frost moved to San Diego in 1996 to escape the “brutally long, harsh winters of Minneapolis.” After playing locally with his band d*fRost for about 13 years, he moved back to Minneapolis and settled into “a shitty cubicle job in corporate America.”
Apparently the day job didn’t work out that well, and the Minneapolis winters were still brutally long and harsh, so Frost decided it was time to check off the number-one item on his bucket list — to record to video a 50-state, solo concert tour and cut it into a documentary feature film.
“I sold off almost all of my possessions, [bought] the cheapest, lightest camper I could find, and refurbished and transformed it into ‘The Dream,’” he told me via email. “Then, on June 1 of last year, I headed out to explore the country with Maybelline [his baby grand piano] and document my original song, ‘American Dream,’ in every state. Some friends and family think I’m crazy...but I believe I can do it. I also like being underestimated.”
Frost has since performed in 14 states with “no loss of life or limb,” which is a feat, considering he usually plays on top of the camper and has to hump Maybelline onto the roof by himself.
“The legs screw off so I just launch it up there without the legs. I launch up the accessory bag, the amp, and the keyboard, all by hand, then assemble everything on top.
Frost has encountered some interesting, if not dangerous, people along the way.
“I met a couple in their early 30s at my show in Spearfish, South Dakota, who invited me out to their ranch. I ended up in the middle of the sticks of the Black Hills. After a few shots of Jameson and some homemade beef jerky, the guy took me to the barn and showed me this little man-cave area up [in the rafters] where he and a friend had ‘disposed’ of some guy who was shooting his mouth off. I just politely nodded and smiled and said something to the effect of, ‘Well, I’m sure he had it coming.’ To this day, I wonder if the homemade jerky was indeed beef.”
Frost says he will probably move back to San Diego when the American Dream project is finished.
“I really miss the San Diego weather, Charger-game tailgating, backyard barbecues, and the numerous awesome bands I’m lucky to call friends. I consider San Diego my home, so it’s more than likely I’ll end up back there.”
To help finance the project, Frost uses a Kickstarter-style backer/reward system via his website RockBlessAmerica.com. The more you donate, the better the reward. Premium sponsors get a bunch of swag and their name in the credits of the documentary.