Dan Zanes was a member of the popular 1980s band The Del Fuegos and is currently the front man of the Grammy winning children's music group Dan Zanes and Friends.
Dan Zanes was born in Exeter, New Hampshire, in 1961, and spent his childhood in Texas and then in Fredericton, New Brunswick. He attended Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. Zanes ended up living on the outskirts of Concord, New Hampshire.
He started playing guitar when he was eight and began taking Leadbelly records out of the public library as soon as he was old enough to get a library card; according to his mother, "He was always very musical."
In 1981, Zanes went to Oberlin College in Ohio, where he was determined to start a really cool band. In the breakfast line on the very first day at Oberlin, he met up with former high school classmate Tom Lloyd. Zanes and Lloyd took their breakfast back to the dorm and immediately started a band and soon left school and headed to Boston, ("It was between Boston and Austin," according to Zanes), where they became known as the The Del Fuegos.
Rolling Stone named the Del Fuegos "Best New Band" in 1984. Once, Bruce Springsteen jumped on stage to play "Hang on Sloopy" with them. With the Del Fuegos, Zanes made several records — The Longest Day (1984), Boston, Mass (1985), Stand Up (1987), Smoking in the Fields (1989) — and had a hit single, Don't Run Wild. In 1987, Zanes married Paula Greif, the director of the video for the Del Fuegos song, I Still Want You.