Danny Rhodes, 1950-2008 

Danny Rhodes, the founder, guitarist and lead singer of 1980s Nashville band The Nerve, died from complications due to gastric cancer on May 23 in Cottonwood, Ariz.
Danny Rhodes, the founder, guitarist and lead singer of 1980s Nashville band The Nerve, died from complications due to gastric cancer on May 23 in Cottonwood, Ariz., where he’d lived since 1996. The Nerve—who, according to the band’s drummer, Kirby Shelstad, sounded like “Little Feat meets The Police”—were one of Music City’s most successful club acts through the ’80s.“When I moved here in ’84,” recalls music writer and Scene contributor Michael McCall, “The Nerve was probably the city’s most popular club band, up there with Afrikan Dreamland, Jimmy Hall & the Prisoners of Love and Pat McLaughlin. They packed the Exit/In to capacity every time they played, which was frequently.... The punk rockers were all at Cantrell’s, and that scene tends to get more attention from those of us who look back at that era. But there was a much bigger club crowd following The Nerve and the other bands.”In addition to Rhodes, who’d been a fixture on the Arizona blues scene since moving there, the band spawned successful music careers for several other members, including ace Nashville session musician Michael Rhodes, who, ironically, is not related to Danny, even though they grew up in the same town—West Monroe, La.—and played in bands together there, according to Shelstad.“Danny was just a really great lead and rhythm guitar player,” Shelstad says. “Really creative. He was kind of between a Jeff Beck and a Lowell George figure. He had that really driving style.”There will be a memorial gathering for Danny Rhodes, 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 14, at Douglas Corner. The service begins at 1:30 p.m. For more information, visit dannyrhodes.com.

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