“All I wanted was an LP in a sleeve, a 12 inch cardboard sleeve, a vinyl record with my songs on it,” he said. “And that never happened.”
In 1994, he married his transatlantic correspondent. They ran a cafe and record store in Mobile, Alabama, where they ran music quizzes. His marriage did not last, but Dagnall brought the Pop Music Quiz with him when he moved to Winston-Salem in 2005.
He and his current partner, Amanda Shute Sullivan, have organized more than 100 pre-pandemic quizzes. They also became regular performers with the Vagabond Saints’ Society (VSS). Sullivan sang back-up throughout “Or Thereabouts,” played bass on a song, and provided countless hours of photography and graphic design work.
“The first time we met he played me demos for his album,” Sullivan said.
Dagnall began recording shortly after emigrating from England. He acquired a Roland synthesizer with a digital sequencer. “There were drums, there were basses, there were guitar sounds, there were saxophones, there were trumpets, there were brass, there were strings, the complete works” , said Dagnall.
The first song he wrote and recorded, “Under the Red Light”, was one of 16 that were selected for “Or Thereabouts”. The material had a convoluted road to cover since those first home recordings.