DAN GRIFFIN began his career in Alabama playing bass & guitar in touring bands in the 1970s. A chance meeting with singer/songwriter Marshall Crenshaw led to tour management, concert promotion, and personal management in the '80s; a Nashville Music Award and a Grammy nomination in the '90s, and a 2004 induction into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame. After a mid-eighties move to New York, Griffin tour- managed or promoted artists as diverse as 10,000 Maniacs, Jackson Browne, Garrison Keillor, Johnny Cash, Warren Zevon, Suzanne Vega and many others. Gaining further experience consulting on artist and film productions for Ryko and Rounder Records, BBC-TV and independent film projects, Griffin began his own production company to oversee and coordinate projects with some of the most influential artists in popular music.
Griffin produced critically acclaimed recordings for guitar pioneers Billy Lee Riley, Sonny Burgess and Paul Burlison and also guided the production of All the King's Men, the 1998 Grammy-nominated recording of new material by Scotty Moore & D.J. Fontana, Elvis Presley’s original guitarist and drummer. While working with Moore, Fontana and Sun Records founder Sam Phillips, Griffin teamed with PBS’ American Masters series, and Emmy-winning director Bruce Sinofsky, to produce Good Rockin’ Tonight: The Legacy of Sun Records. The accompanying soundtrack, produced with Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun, featured performances from Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, Elton John, Bob Dylan and others. In conjunction with the October 2001 release, Griffin executive produced An Alliance of Neighbors, two concerts featuring Sun Records artists backing Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi, Joan Jett and others to benefit 911 families and World Hunger Year.
Dan Griffin, with music critic Ken Burke and the Chicago Review Press, co-authored and published the 2006 biography The Blue Moon Boys, about the lives and careers of Presley’s original band. A companion documentary, produced and directed by Griffin and featuring Keith Richards & Ron Wood of the Rolling Stones, Mark Knopfler, The Band, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page & Robert Plant and more, is being readied for 2011 to coincide with the publication of the paperback.
As an artist/sponsor liaison, Griffin toured with the Rolling Stones on their 1997-98 Bridges To Babylon and 2002 Forty Licks US and Canadian events, Elton John's 1998 Big Picture dates and Jewel’s 1999 Spirit tour. 2004 saw the release of his documentary directorial debut, 200 Cadillacs, about the gifts given to friends and strangers by Elvis Presley. Griffin also was the still photographer for both PBS films and shot the booklet photography for Rolling Stone Ron Wood’s latest CD, Not For Beginners. Griffin consulted on Songs of the Spectrum, a multi-artist CD for autism research with Jackson Browne, Marshal Crenshaw, Dar Williams, Don Dixon and more. Griffin most recently directed a series of webcasts for NYC political hopeful Jonathan Tasini featuring the noted actor Armand Assante.
Projects for 2011 include the long-awaited completion of a film on the life of The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter, Member of the Wedding author Carson McCullers with playwrights Edward Albee, Horton Foote, Arthur Miller (his last filmed interview), photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson, and many others. He continues volunteer efforts for World Hunger Year (whyhunger.org) and New York’s Coalition For the Homeless. A collection of music to benefit Coalition For the Homeless will begin production in September featuring unreleased music by late guitarist Robert Buck of 10,000 Maniacs.
In addition to Griffin’s career behind the camera, he has experience as an actor in films, television and commercials. As a featured actor, Griffin portrayed an overworked INS agent in the film Border, winner of the 2008 Taiwan Film Festival, a 1981 NBC TV movie, Kent State, featuring Ellen Barkin and Will Patton; The Age of Innocence directed by Martin Scorcese; Last Dance starring Sharon Stone and directed by Bruce Beresford; a 2009 Emmy-winning episode of Law & Order SVU featuring Robin Williams and as an ice cream cone (in voice-over, thank God), for Blue Bunny Ice Cream.