Fundraiser Show For Local Musician To Happen Tomorrow In Newtown

Like the six degrees of Kevin Bacon theory, the late Levittown guitarist Danny DeGennaro too, seemed to be “only two steps removed from every big star in the business.” That’s according to author John Farmer Jr., whose latest book, “Way Too Fast,” is about DeGennaro’s life.


“There’s a whole universe of musicians out there and they all know each other,” said Farmer, a New York Times best-selling author and dean of law at Rutgers University who spent several years interviewing more than 100 people to write the newly released book.

“Way Too Fast” will be available at the Danny DeGennaro Foundation’s fourth Creative Inspiration concert on April 23 at Bucks County Community College.



The concert, which doubles as a fundraiser, features performances from DeGennaro’s former bandmates, Kingfish, his old friend and blues musician Mikey Junior, along with Hooters drummer David Uosikkinen, as well as sets from aspiring Bucks County musicians, Laura Fiocco, and Katelyn Cryan. Comedian Anita Wise will serve as MC.


The foundation created in 2014 to continue DeGennaro’s legacy has awarded annual scholarships to music and arts students at Bucks County Community College. The nonprofit group is working to give life to a new scholarship, the T.J. Tindall Music Scholarship. The foundation, through its GoFundMe page, has already raised more than $6,000 of the $12,000 needed to create an endowment at Bucks County Community College to ensure the $500 annual scholarship award continues in perpetuity.


Many of the foundation’s organizers and regular performers knew and befriended DeGennaro, proving Farmer’s assertion that every musician was connected to the guitarist somehow. Farmer met DeGennaro close to 30 years ago in one of the late musician’s regular haunts in New Hope. Farmer had recently lost his wife and “was about as low as I had been in my life.”



“He was playing something that expressed the way I was feeling, but made it beautiful,” Farmer recalled. “It was a turning point in my grieving process. He had a gift for bringing out the beauty in the saddest song.”


Farmer reconnected with DeGennaro in 2011 prior to his murder. After hearing of DeGennaro’s untimely death, Farmer “was determined to do something about it.” He wrote an opinion article that was published in a Philadelphia-area publication – and suddenly the connectedness of DeGennaro was evident.


“I heard from people all over the country whose lives he had touched,” Farmer said. “It moved me to write a life story of his that would try to capture the impact he had on other people’s lives.”


Writing a biography was a learning lesson.


“Biographies are hard,” he said. “There’s always another person to talk to. It’s hard to capture, I think, the essence of somebody. It’s a very hard project, but it’s a worthy one.”


After interviewing DeGennaro’s friends, family, musicians he played with, as well as people familiar with Levittown history, Farmer said he hopes his book will “do justice to him.”


If you go

The Danny DeGennaro Foundation’s fourth Creative Inspiration fundraising concert will be held on April 23 from 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. at the Zlock Performing Arts Center at Bucks County Community College, 275 Swamp Road in Newtown. Tickets cost $50; or $70 for concert admission plus a book and CD. Seating is limited. Buy your tickets here: “Way Too Fast” is also available for purchase or digital download through Amazon.


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