On Saturday August 19th, the 9:30 Club will open its doors for a public memorial service for DC's own folk hero, Cool "Disco" Dan at 11:00 am. The service starts at 11:30 am sharp and runs for an hour. This is not a ticketed event, admission is free and space will be on a first come first serve basis. The 9:30 Club has generously donated its venue so the community can pay their respects and give their goodbyes to Dan. Even if the venue reaches capacity everyone will be accommodated who wants a moment to visit Dan’s ashes.
The service will be led by Go-Go legend Big Brother CJ with special guest speakers and music including DJ Flexx, Rare Essence and surprises that will make Dan smile down on everyone. Please come out and help give Dan a proper DC sendoff.
“Dan was a true D.C. icon, and for some, this loss ranks almost right up there with the passing of Chuck Brown and Marion Barry, beloved figures whose names conjure an era that is gone and can never be again.” - Alona Wartofsky, Washington City Paper
“Mr. Hogg’s tag became an enduring symbol for a city that had endured a lot.“- Maura Judkis, The Washington Post
REMEMBERING THE LIFE AND LEGACY OF DANNY HOGG
Danny Hogg, aka COOL “DISCO” DAN, was born on December 31, 1969, in Boston, Massachusetts. When Danny was 5 years old, his family moved to District Heights, MD. Danny began attending Maryland public schools and spent his adolescent years in the Walker Mill Gardens neighborhood, now known as Capitol Heights. After an episode of the 1970s television show What’s Happening featured a character named Disco Danny, the nickname he would carry the rest of his life began to stick.
During his teenage years the family relocated to Washington, D.C. Danny was reluctant about the move, but in the early 1980s he began to explore the city, write graffiti and attend Go-Go concerts. A talented artist since childhood, he often enjoyed reproducing album covers and band logos like that of the Go-Go band Rare Essence. By the late 1980s, the COOL “DISCO” DAN tag was recognizable to everyone in D.C., from street toughs to senators. Commuters on the Metro Red Line, especially, saw his tags constantly into the early 1990s.
In the 2000s, historian Roger Gastman and filmmaker Joseph Pattisall began working with Dan on a documentary of his life. The 2013 Legend of Cool “Disco” Dan featured dozens of Washington, D.C., notables telling the story of the city’s turbulent 1980s, with Dan as its lead character. A time-worn ’80s-vintage COOL “DISCO” DAN signature, salvaged from the street, was made part of the Corcoran Gallery of Art’s permanent collection (now the National Gallery of Arts), and the 2013 Corcoran exhibition Pump Me Up featured him prominently as well.
While he was a true Washington, D.C., folk hero, Dan battled mental illness throughout his adult life and was often shy and withdrawn. An avid amateur boxer, Dan loved television, and while his graffiti slowed greatly in his adult years, he never stopped drawing. Through all of it he was always happy to oblige a fan of his artwork with a signature or a photo and will be greatly missed by those who knew him. Dan died of complications from diabetes on July 26, 2017 at the age of 47, leaving to cherish his memories his mother Denise Womack (James), his sister LaTonya Watson (Derrick) and a host of other relatives and friends. His father Al Hogg preceded Danny in death.
Filmmakers and longtime friends of Dan are working with the city to figure out the best location for a permanent memorial to make sure Cool “Disco” Dan never leaves the city.
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