Danny Whitten

Although he died early in his music career with Crazy Horse, Danny Whitten was the group's original leader and main focus. Not much is known about Whitten's early years, except that he was originally from the East Coast. Whitten met up with future Crazy Horse bandmember Billy Talbot at a Los Angeles club in the mid-'60s, and the duo (neither of whom played instruments at that point) formed a vocal group they dubbed Danny and the Memories. One of the bandmembers, Lou Molina, suggested that the newly formed outfit recruit his cousin Ralph, who was soon welcomed onboard. After an obscure single failed to chart, the group eventually changed styles and members when psychedelic rock became all the rage, with only Whitten, Talbot, and Ralph Molina remaining, they also picked up instruments (Whitten on guitar, Talbot on bass, and Molina on drums). Changing the band's name to the Rockets, the trio enlisted members George and Leon Whitsell (both guitarists), and to give its sound an original twist, electric violinist Bobby Notkoff.