Danny Lidgi didn’t consciously decide to become musician Mr. Opposite.
Instead, it chose him.
“It came out of a perfect storm of events,” says Lidgi, a Playa Vista resident.
“I was doing very well in life. I had a girlfriend. I was living with my girlfriend. Money was no object. It all came crashing down with the recession. I was living that riches to rags story. I was OK with it because this new thing inside of me was growing.”
What was germinating was “18 and Stupid,” a quirky pop song led by a xylophone that defies any trend. It was inspired by a tattoo he got at 18.
“I never knew how to play anything,” he says. “I didn’t know how to write a song. I was learning along the way. These melodies just started coming out of me.”
“I had this thing, this little seed of a saving grace to use as an outlet. I didn’t care about losing everything.”
Lidgi may be new to original music, but he is a longtime lover of entertainment. When he was 13, he and his parents saw “Phantom of the Opera” in San Francisco.
“I was flabbergasted by it,” he says. “I thought it was the most incredible thing I saw.”
His love of theater made him “that oddball in high school who was on the fringes.”
“I love music, but this was something that came out of the blue. I’ve always been inspired by ‘Phantom of the Opera,’” he says.
Fans have told Lidgi how much they enjoy the lyrics of “18 and Stupid,” a story, he says, took a lifetime to write.
“But it took me 10 years to get it right — just this one song,” he adds. “It’s like a script in Hollywood that goes around eight or nine years before it’s made.
“It’s carefully crafted: Every lyric, every movement of the song, every piece of the music. It’s very, very important. Melodies are easy to create, but lyrics and compelling songwriting, that’s something different.”
Lyrics are important to him and he’s proud that fans enjoy them.
“To make great art is one thing,” he says. “Anybody can make a song. But it takes a lot to pour your heart out, to sacrifice your life to do that. I wouldn’t have done it if the lyrics were standard or substandard. What was coming out of me was so good.”
He takes the music seriously. For inspiration, he looks to lyricists/singers like Bono and the Goo Goo Dolls’ Johnny Rzeznik. Imagery is important: In “18 and Stupid” he sings, “A serial flake cartoon / On a hot air balloon.” Part of that line is reflected in his merchandise.
“They’re important people and artists,” he says. “Their songs are poetic. They’re not just throwaway pieces — not that I don’t like the garbage that everybody else likes. There is McDonald’s stuff, but there’s the stuff on the super high level that I believe I’m on.
“Very few people are blessed to write amazing lyrics that have that sort of double entendre, where you’re just amazed by the story. The same goes for films like ‘Good Will Hunting.’ This is along those lines. It’s a story that, when you read the lyrics, you’re blown away by it.”
Directed by Jared Barel, the clever video aptly tells the story with a chain-smoking, leather jacket-clad lead character. Lidgi admits he was hesitant about the accompanying video.
“I felt it was necessary to put imagery behind it,” he adds. “It took a very long time to get a guy who was so talented. It’s incredible.”
In the last decade, Lidgi has penned eight or nine songs. Placed side by side, he says, they reveal a diary of sorts.
“This is a testament to the last 11, 12 years of my life,” he says.
“I was living alone. I had nobody around me. I didn’t want anybody around me. I was completely off the grid. I was very anti anything that resembled a normal life. It was the cliché artist life, I guess you could call it.
“But it was a very important period of time in my life.”
“18 and Stupid”