Dan Sartain Dead at 39: Garage Rock Singer Left a 'Wonderful' Legacy, Says Family

Dan Sartain has died. He was 39.

The garage rock singer died on Saturday, his family announced via a GoFundMe page they created to help raise money for his funeral. His cause of death has not been revealed at this time.

"Dan Sartain left us many memories and music, but has unfortunately left us way too early," his family wrote on the official fundraiser page. "As wonderful as his legacy is, he had no plans for the unmentionable, and thus, here we are. We aren't trying to do much but have a small service for family and friends, and with Dan's wide range of friends, this should be achievable. From all of his family, we thank you…."

The Sartain family had a goal of raising $15,000 to sponsor his burial arrangements, but they have surpassed that amount, crowdsourcing $23,913 as of Tuesday afternoon.

The musician is survived by his daughter, Audrey, the GoFundMe organizer Robert Sartain revealed in an update he shared on Monday, writing, "I have been contacted by several friends that we should leave this [fundraiser] open, so as to convert extra funds towards Dan's daughter, Audrey, and it will be. Thank you to everybody for all of the heartfelt words and donations. Much love ❤."

The Alabama native, who has opened shows for fellow rock and rollers including the White Stripes and The Hives, chatted with Autre in 2016 about his experience bonding with other artists of various genres in his home state.

"You had to make friends with whoever was around," he joked at the time. "So, that meant any kind of musician was a friend. You'd have to play with Christian ska bands, white blues guys, cock rockers, math rockers, pop punks, crust kids with their blast beats, fake Fugazi bands, fake Cure bands, literally anyone. We all had to be friends, or at least fake friends, to make anything happen."

Speaking about his appearances on tours with the White Stripes and The Hives, he told the outlet, "It was nice being a part of something bigger. I suppose that's what will go on my headstone."

"It's also a thing I have a chip on my shoulder about too," Sartain continued. "When you go around with a chip on your shoulder, people want to knock it off. Then some time goes by and you just kind of realize you were a dumbass. It's vicious. I love it. It's nice work if you can get it."

But he explained that what he enjoyed most was returning to his music roots by playing at smaller venues, "I started at clubs and I'm back at clubs now. I feel that's where I do my best work, but if the opportunity comes to play arenas again, I'll be ready."

"Touring with the White Stripes was my Rocky Balboa moment," he told Music Mecca of his 2007 experience during an interview last year. "I was a virtually unknown barroom singer and I went the distance with the champ. I don't feel like I'm cut out for stadium touring, but there were a few times where we got some good licks in."

Sartain independently released his albums Crimson Guard in 2001 and Romance in Stereo in 2002, according to Pitchfork. He dropped a covers album titled Western Hills last year, and on Oct. 2, he debuted a collection of songs he recorded in Memphis' iconic Sun Studio.

"Just because this is a covers album, that doesn't mean I don't relate to some of the lyrics," he told Music Mecca of his work.

He said of making music amid the COVID-19 pandemic, "[The added downtime amid the pandemic] definitely helped. Before, I was neglecting the musical side of me. It was all in the name of family and growth, so I don't regret it. I'm a barber by day now. Not being able to do that got the creative juices flowing in other ways. It's also nice getting to spend so much time with my daughter [Audrey]. I've missed so much of her growing up while I was away at The Daily Grind. Obviously I'm ready for this to be over, but it hasn't been all bad personally."

One cause that was dear to Sartain's heart was justice and equality. In summer 2020, Sartain released a musical collaboration with Ganxsta Nip and donated all the funds to the Black Lives Matter Global Network.

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