“When I graduated, I got lucky with a road trip that paid me for the tour,” says the frontman of the Chris Daniels Project, who grew up in Mission Hills and went straight from graduating San Diego High School in 1969 to touring with a full-time rock-and-roll band.
“I’ve been playing music for almost 50 years, constantly. Been around the world three times, toured with country bands and cover bands, done USO shows after 9/11 with Clint Black and Toby Keith. For someone most people have never heard of, I’ve had a lot of opportunities....
“I’ve had two jobs in my life, and my second job, for a communications company, I’ve been there for 30 years next year. My music job, I was on the road for 17 years — I did nothing but music for that whole time.”
One of Daniels’s biggest successes, however, was playing in a Bob Seger tribute band called Turn the Page, fronted by singer Sam Morrison. “We did a big ’80s tour with Survivor. About five years ago, Seger’s catalog wasn’t on iTunes, so we got paid to record an album called Turn the Page, with all Seger’s hits. I did all the keyboards, pianos, all the string work. I’m so proud of that, man; we had over a million downloads over the three-year period. I made some money with that...I’ve been getting royalty checks ever since.”
His classic rock and country band the Chris Daniels Project, aka CDP, has become a staple at the Coach House, opening for Eddie Money, Leon Russell, and others, as well as touring with the Marshall Tucker Band, Lukas Nelson, the Tubes, and more. Currently living in Laguna Hills, Daniels took his Project into the studio to record a rootsy rock album called Years Behind Bars, which has become the backbone of their live sets.
Daniels’s music has also enabled him to finance a somewhat expensive hobby: collecting original classic rock concert posters. “My favorites are the ones that show age. I’ll eventually matte and frame each one but would rather spend the money on new art.”