We'd like to present the last song on our latest album "birth, love, hate, death," a tune called "Forever." We had to end our rock opera in a meaningful manner and fittingly, it turned out to be the last song I wrote for the opera. I had to have written the songs before the finale before I could look back and see what was still necessary to say.

I wanted the character, Danielle, to sing about what she had learned living through the story in the opera and I believe that this goal was accomplished. At the same time I told Vin Crici, who handled the piano and orchestral parts on this song that we needed to invoke Beethoven and the 9th Symphony to make this a memorable finale. Well, it may not be the 9th Symphony, but Vinny - mission accomplished - thank you!

Here are the lyrics:

Forever: (Sung by Danielle)

I’ve lived so foolishly, I knew what I knew
Now truth is a mystery and love is the clue
Time is illusion, it’s here and it’s gone
You think there’s an answer, but life goes on
Forever and ever, I’ll love you, forever
The good days, the bad days
You’re in my heart for always
Love is the warm embrace, love is the saving grace
We need to show each other

Life is a veil of tears, we live ‘til we die
My dreams had disappeared until I opened my eyes
Forever and ever I’ll love you, forever
The good days, the bad days
You’re in my heart for always
Love is the warm embrace, love is the saving grace
We need to help each other
Forever and ever I’ll love you, forever
The good days, the bad days
You’re in my heart for always
Love is the warm embrace, love is the saving grace
We need to teach each other

Forever and ever I’ll love you, forever
The good days, The bad days
You’re in my heart for always
Love is the warm embrace, love is the saving grace
We need to love each other
Now truth is a mystery and love is the clue

One Day at a Time 

The 15th song on UniversalDice's new rock opera CD "birth, love, hate, death" is "One Day at a Time". This song exists for a number or reasons, and having a reason for writing a particular song is always important to me.


This song was necessary to advance the story of the rock opera after the tragedy of the young man's death in "Sleeping Alone." It was meant to explain the aftermath of Danielle's life and her vow "to make him" proud. Having the story-line of these tragic lovers made it easier to come up with ideas for songs. This song was one of the easiest to write because it was obvious that she needed to honor him for saving her life by saving her own life on her own.

The line "One Day at a Time" is a saying that those with addictive personalities often use to get through another day. Contemplating that saying led me to hearing a melody within those words and lyrics and led to the writing of the music to the song. It's always best, for me, when words and music seem to come together simultaneously.

Just as "Sleeping Alone" was a homage to the Beatles second side of "Abbey Road," this song is a homage to the Beatles creative precision in songs like "Hey Prudence." Even though there is precision, their songs are never mechanical and their melodies soar. That's what I was shooting for. Please give "One Day at a Time" a listen.

(Sung by the character Danielle)

One Day at a Time (c) G. Dantone 2016

I don’t know if it makes any sense
All I know is I have this second chance
I can feel your hand in mine
I’ll make you proud
One day at a time
My hands are clean and my head is clear
This is for me and it’s for you dear
I see your face in the window of my mind
I’ll make you proud
One day at a …

Time, don’t make me forget about you
Time, I’ll never be alone with you or grow old with you

Years go by but it’s like yesterday
I may get lost but I’ll find some other way
I hear your voice in a breeze it sounds so fine
I’ll make you proud
One day at a …

Time, don’t make me forget about you
Time, I’ll never be alone with you or grow old with you

I don’t know if it makes any sense
All I know is I have this second chance
I can feel your hand in mine
I’ll make you proud
One day at a time

"Sleeping Alone" 

The 14th song on UniversalDice's new rock opera CD "birth, love, hate, death" is "Sleeping Alone". This song had a couple of purposes.

Most importantly to the concept of the rock opera, the song moves the plot along - in a tragic manner. The young man believes his relationship with Danielle is falling apart, and that her decision to return to her abusive relationship is a mistake. She was ending the relationship to spare him from what could happen. So he decides to confront her. He's right, and she agrees, but her abuser shows up - and shoots, killing the young man, just as she warned him. She was willing to give him up in order to save him. He was willing to die for her.

Not this may seem a bit melodramatic, but this kind of tragedy is not as far-fetched as it seems. For example (in real life) my wife and I were once confronted by a crazed gunman who indeed shot and killed our downstairs neighbor who was his ex-girlfriend This stuff happens. Without going into details, it was probably against the odds that we did not get killed ourselves for just being in the way. Our situation was not exactly the same situation as the song depicts, but I know that people get crazy when it comes to revenge.

There was another purpose to this song which was to give tribute to the Beatles "Abbey Road" medley. I did my best to create memorable melodies and piece them together using guitar solos, drums solos and an orchestra. I tried. Listen to the tune!

Here is a spotify link:

Here is a YouTube link:

I'm No Good for You 

The 12th song on UniversalDice's new rock opera CD "birth, love, hate, death" is "I'm No Good for You". This song is yet another attempt to understand the dynamics of love.

Why do we sometimes say the opposite of what we really mean to the person we love - or say something that we really should have said to someone else?  Why do we sometimes find ourselves involved with the worst possible person?  Why do we sometimes reject the best possible person?  In my own personal experience, which is NOT all-encompassing, I believe we often do not believe in ourselves - we do not believe we deserve someone good, or that someone good would never love us.  Here are the lyrics:

I’m No Good For You - copyright G. Dantone 2016

Fall baby, don’t fall for me
Call baby, don’t call on me
I told you once before
when I laid down the law,
this is not for me

Now Sugar Daddy’s back
and he’s going on attack
You’re not for me
Love baby
just don’t love me,
dream baby,
don’t dream of me
You don’t understand,
that you’ll never be the man to satisfy my needs
You struggle everyday
guys like you will never pay
your heart just bleeds

I’m no good for you
you’re too good for me
It’s everything to you,
it means nothing to me
I’m no good for you
you’re too good for me
It’s everything to you
it means nothing to me

Cry baby, don’t cry for me
Try baby, don’t try with me
I’m wasting all my time,
though I hate to be unkind,
you’ll never do
Your future is lame,
got no money to your name
I got a lot to lose

I’m no good for you,
you’re too good for me
It’s everything to you,
it means nothing to me/
I’m no good for you,
you’re too good for me
It’s everything to you,
it means nothing to me

What do you want from me?
What do you want?
Give this up for a life with you, with you

Live baby, don’t live for me
Give baby, don’t give to me
You did your good deed,
I got something to feed,
get off my back
My man’s no fun
but he’s got a big gun
You don’t want that

I’m no good for you,
you’re too good for me
It’s everything to you,
it means nothing to me
I’m no good for you,
you’re too good for me/
It’s everything to you,
it means nothing to me

Visit our web site:

Visit us on Spotify:

Here is a YouTube with the whole CD!:

"Man Enough" 

Check out our current featured tune, "Man Enough." We would sure love it if you liked the band's page on Facebook ( ) and/or followed us on Spotify ( ).

The 12th song on UniversalDice's new rock opera CD "birth, love, hate, death" is "Man Enough".

No one is perfect. Can we love someone who is imperfect? In a sense, we have no choice. Can we not only love that person, but then not use their imperfections as a weapon against them or as an excuse to feel superior? I'm not offering answers but I am asking questions.

Here is a YouTube link:    


Congratulations to Ed Canova, (bassist on the UniversalDice CD "birth, love, hate, death") who, as studio and touring bassist of the Bobby Messano Band, won in the Blue Category of the Hollywood Music in Media Awards! The nominated and winning song, "Bad Movie" was featured in the movie of the same name. You can see the video of the song on YouTube:

Ed is playing bass and also plays the role of Frankenstein's monster in the video! Way to go Ed!!!

From the HMMA web site:

(Hollywood, CA) November 17, 2017 – Over two thousand attendees including leading songwriters, composers and recording artists attended Thursday’s Hollywood Music and Media Awards at the Avalon – Hollywood. The event, hosted by comedian Ron Pearson, brought together songwriting royalty, Academy Award winners, and the new voices in TV, film and videogame music. The night included the HMMA Career Achievement Award to Diane Warren."

My current favorite - "Sunday Rain" by the Foo Fighters 

Sunday Rain” by the Foo Fighter is #1 on my personal charts right now. It won't stay there forever but this song rocks and like most Foo Fighter tunes is fun, incredibly dynamic and well played and arranged.

The lead vocals are NOT Dave Grohl, but instead Taylor Hackford who is channeling his inner Robin Zander (of Cheap Trick) and on the drums is - PAUL McCARTNEY!!


Thanks for visiting and if you like our song, please like our page!

The 11th song on UniversalDice's new rock opera CD "birth, love, hate, death" is "Honestly". This song is yet another attempt to understand - love. It asks questions as simple as "do you really love me?" but tries to go deeper.

I hope I wrote an honest song with "Honestly."

Take a listen and also enjoy the wonderful piano solo by Vinny Crici.


What make a song great? What makes an album great? What makes an artist great?

There are many things, of course, that would do the trick but today the focus is on a relatively rare attribute that contributes to greatness - DRAMA!

A song that has no ups and downs, no dynamics, no surprises, no twists or turns - may result in a lack of drama and may have difficulty in holding your interest. Sure, some song may lack drama and seem to hold your interest for the 3 minutes it lasts, but will it do so 1 year later? 5 years later? 30 years later?

Drama keeps a song interesting, perhaps, forever. A song with drama continues to surprise, engage, bewilder, and stun a listener and forces us to pay attention. We might not ever get tired of it.

Think about some of the most iconic songs in rock or pop history such as the Beatles "A Day in the Life." The songs dreamy opening by Lennon is punctuated by the drums in an unexpected manner creating tremendous drama within the opening lyric; the first orchestral buildup is a stunning climax leading and leads to a middle verse from McCartney that is almost mechanical yet slightly off-kilter and odd. The middle eight explodes into an orchestral musical sequence that builds into a calming yet foreboding reprise of the original verse melody. Of course, the drama rebuilds when "I'd love to turn you on..." becomes the final orchestral flourish followed by the stunning last chord on 3 pianos. We never saw it coming. The effect is devastating.

Musically this is as dramatic as it gets. And this is why it is great. This is why it amazes after 50 years.

Drama - the secret sauce of the great ones.

The Beatles - "A Day in the Life"

"Better Man" 

The tenth song on our latest CD, the rock opera "birth, love, hate, death" is "Better Man." During the course of this love story, we can see that love is more than just a "feeling." It is about concern for each other and trying to support the one you love.

In "My Hands are Tied," rejection leads him to despair only to be saved by her compassion; in "Take Me Home" she seeks emotional asylum - which he provides; in "Danielle" he asks "I wonder what the hell it is you really need". Real love's path is obviously not guaranteed to be smooth - unless everyone is perfect. This does not happen often.

In this tune, "Better Man," he says he can "I can’t do nothin’, ‘cept what’s right by you". He'd even risk losing her in favor of doing right by her. That's love - in my humble opinion.

Visit YouTube:

You can also visit our website for more ways to stream our music:



"I Know What I'm Doing" 

The 9th tune on the new CD from UniversalDice, "birth, love, hate, death" is "I Know What I'm Doing". Since this is a rock opera about love, from birth to death, it wouldn't be realistic or legitimate if it read like a happy fairy tale. At least that is what I think is typical even of true love, or perhaps especially for true love.

Being loved truly should mean being loved in spite of one's faults and loving another in spite of their faults or issues. It has to be this way - because we all have faults and issues. Many of us are self-destructive in some way, whether it's with drugs, alcohol, the friends we choose, the money and time we waste, dishonesty, being in a constant state of denial and so on. Some faults and issues are more forgivable than others. Some are not as forgivable, such as dishonesty and unkindness.

This song can be seen as one person in a relationship being in denial about their own substance abuse problem while, at the same time, not lying about it. The other person just wants to help. Will love find a way? There is no certain answer.



Charlottesville: "Out of Many, One" 

With the awful events this weekend in Charlottesville, I wanted to share a song that we recorded a few years ago that unfortunately becomes very appropriate all too often: "Out of Many, One." This song is inspired by the first official motto of the United States and it's a motto that should never have been replaced.

Out of Many, One © Gerald Dantone 2004

If you feel the pain that hope is gone
And to make it right will take too long
Don’t be afraid to spend the time
‘Cause I got your back if you got mine

Out of many, one
Out of many, one
No matter where you come from
Out of many, one

Yeah this world can be a lonely place
You might never find a familiar face
When you wonder far away from home
But if you need a hand, you’re not alone

Out of many, one
Out of many, one
No matter where you come from
Out of many, one

The truth, they say, will set you free
But the truth is the first casualty
In war and peace and history
But the truth is this from you to me

Out of many, one
Out of many, one
No matter where you come from
Out of many, one


or visit our website:


Learning from the masters: "Desperado" 

Our latest CD is a departure for the band; it's all about "love." Previously in our CDs we explored faith, religion, politics, reason and social issues with a smattering of songs about relationships. This album is about love and nothing but!

One of the reasons I have avoided the topic of love, which, of course, is the most overwhelmingly common topic in popular music is because I have been intimidated in attempting to write something that has not been said a million times already or write something that can compete with tunes already written.

One of the things about "love" that I find most interesting is not the mere expression of love of one person for another. I find, instead, that what interests me more is the "philosophy" and "nature" of love. What is love? Why do we love? These are questions less explored in love songs, and as a philosopher without a degree, I am better equipped than most to tackle it. Hence, "birth, love, hate, death."

In the meantime, one of those love songs I find overwhelming and intimidating is presented here: "Desperado" by the Eagles. It is not a song expressing one's love to another but instead it is a song encouraging one person to consider love itself. It is simple to understand, but not simplistic. It is a beautiful melody and sung with an ache in the heart. Enjoy:

Live version:


"I Love it When They Hate It" 

So far we've introduced all the characters in the rock opera - except for one - the "Sugardaddy." One of the things I struggled with was what to call this character. I was not sure that "sugardaddy" was dated or not dated, but I did not have a better title for this character, so, at this point, this is the name of the character, for better or worse.

The song is sung by this fellow who is seemingly arrogant and totally insecure at the same time. He also seems to have little regard for women and abuses them to inflate his own self-esteem. Yet he is a human being and vulnerable.

One more thing about this tune in particular: the song is sung from the point of view of this character and since this person is not particularly admirable, the ideas expressed in the song could be considered reprehensible. I do not want anyone to think I endorse these views or that this guy is not a slime; I hope no one uses the song to promote abuse. This is a character saying stuff true to his character. Disclaimer: any resemblance of this character to persons living or dead is the product of the probabilistic nature of the universe.



Our web site:

Our first recording! 

One of things we have to do to promote the band and the new CD is check the Internet for new mentions of us and in doing so I found a unique item. The very first recording I ever made, along with Sam Cimino who appeared on the first 3 UniversalDice CDs and others is still available for sale! Why is this amazing? The reason is because this recording was made in 1981 on vinyl only!

One other thing: the songs "I Wanna Be Normal" and "Someone Will Love Me Tonight" and "All American Girl" were really pretty good tunes.  It is not beyond the realm of possibility that these songs just might get re-recorded by UniversalDice.  Stay tuned!

Yes you can see this item here when we called ourselves "The Zoots":

The Zoots (2) ‎– I Wanna Be Normal
Label: Electric Moonrecords ‎– EMR-1
Format:  Vinyl, 12", 33 ⅓ RPM, EP 

Country:  US

Released:  1982

Genre:  Rock, Pop

Style:Power Pop



I Wanna Be Normal



Can't Face Her



All American Girl



Someone Will Love Me Tonight



Sam Cimino - Bass 
Gerry Dantone - Lead vocals & guitar 
Gerry Gladston - Drums, vocals 
Baker Lee - Lead guitar 

Special guest: 
Benjamin King - Keyboards 

Special thanks to: 
Mrs. Gladston, Karen Ozer 

Recorded at: Mix-o-Lydian Studios 

Photography: Michael Greencorn, Blair Burroughs 

Album design: The Zoots, Dean Miller and EME, Inc. 

Pressed by: Dynamic LP Stereo 

Cover by: Progressive Label & Litho Co. 

Produced by: The Zoots 

All songs © 1981 Gerald Dantone 
All lyrics used by permission 
Manufactured by Electric Moonrecords, a division of Electric Moonenterprises, Inc. 
© and ℗ 1982 Electric Moonenterprises, Inc. 
212-19 Richland Ave., Hollis Hills, N.Y. 11364 
Unauthorized duplication is a violation of all applicable laws.


Write what you care about & tell a story 

Just a quick thought on songwriting; After having written well over 100 songs (maybe 200) I often wonder to myself what is left to write about that is not a repetition of something I've written before? What is left for me to write about?

One answer for me is to write what I care about. If I care about something, I am easily motivated to work on a song expressing what I am thinking and feeling. It is fine if you are unsure how you feel; that can be what you say in the song! What you should not do is write something you know is untruthful of ridiculous just because others have written that or believe that. Do not go for the comfortable orthodoxy - unless you understand it, are informed and really mean it.

My second answer to the question of "what should I write about?" is also fairly simple; tell a story. For me the story should be true-to-life or be a story that contains real truths even if the events are fictitious or even fanciful/magical/science fiction. The story should have a point beyond random action.

My two rock operas have followed this path; the first rock opera by UniversalDice "My Name is Thomas..." told a story of faith and reason and life and death. It allowed me to express things that were on my mind at the time and the storyline made the subject matter easier to dig into.

Our current release, "birth, love, hate, death" is a love story and enabled me to write songs about romantic love, a topic that has always been difficult for me since I've always been intimidated by the fact that it felt like every possible love song had already been written. By incorporation love songs into a storyline, I was able to say some things that, hopefully, are new and enlightening to the listener.

It would be really good if you visited our Spotify page and follow us there;

or our "birth, love, hate, death" page on YouTube:

Danielle by UniversalDice from "birth, love, hate, death" 

So far I've written about the first 6 songs of the rock opera where the two main characters were introduced and their backgrounds explained. They meet in the 5th song "My Hands Are Tied," where, at first, the young woman, Danielle, rejects the young man and he takes it poorly. However, she feels badly about the encounter and follows him to the roof of a building where she literally takes him off the ledge of the building in the next song, "Take Me Home."

In this 7th song, "Danielle," the young man sings about her in what sounds like a critical way but he's really just trying to understand her. No cliches here.

With this song, I like to think we own "Danielle" the way the Beatles own "Michelle and Elvis Costello owns "Allison." What do you think?

To hear it on Spotfy:

To hear it on YouTube:

To hear it on the UniversalDice webpage:

Dear God by XTC 

Besides telling you about our just released CD, sometimes I just want to tell others who may have an interest in songwriting and music about the songs that not only inspired us but set the bar high and led the way.

A truly brilliant song that always moves me is "Dear God" by the band XTC. This song consists of a brilliant melody and incredibly intelligent, biting and emotional lyrics that deals with some ultimate topics; God, good, evil and life and death. This is really up our alley since I have prided myself in dealing with the ultimate questions of life on our 4 UniversalDice CDs. What should a writer be writing about if not life and death, meaning and purpose? Well, the truth is that most tunes and releases are probably about selling product and making money; for me and UniversalDice, selling product is only a hoped-for bonus at this point; I'm in it no matter what for the music, the art, to communicate.

"Dear God" communicates a great deal to me and raises the theological issue of "theodicy" quite effectively. If God is good, why does he allow such evil to befall the innocent? If God exists, why does he seem to ignore our prayers so often and randomly? Why do so many kill each other over differing versions of God? These questions are all here in this song and are answered rhetorically and directly? Have you asked yourself these questions recently? This song is a dramatic reminder - to think.

Here are two versions: one is the original music video by XTC and the second is a superior cover with music and lyrics by Sarah MacLaughlin.

wikipedia entry:

Our website:

"Take Me Home" by UniversalDice, on "birth, love, hate, death" 

The sixth tune on the new CD from UniversalDice, "birth, love, hate, death" is "Take Me Home". I have to admit the following; this particular song was written a long time ago and was not written specifically for this rock opera. BUT, this tune, in a sense, was the core idea and the model for the two lead characters in the opera; the somewhat naive young man and the jaded young woman. Obviously the naive young man was easy for me to identify with those many years ago and that is why I was able to write songs using that character - I knew what is going on in that character's mind.

The jaded young woman character is obviously more difficult for me to figure out, but I have done my best. This character, to me, is more interesting, contradictory and complex. I hope she is realistic and compelling for the listener.

In this tune, the young man has left the club/party where he first meets the young woman and is at a low point because of his social ineptness and insecurity. The young woman at first snubbed him but sensed that he was hurting and decided to follow him, which, as the previous song indicated, "My Hands Are Tied," was to a rooftop. Here she she takes him off the ledge and tells him, "Take Me Home." Yes, this rock opera has an actual story.

Please, if you can, like our Facebook page and follow us on Spotify. We have over 60 songs so far in our catalog! We'd love to hear from you!




More inspiration: "A Salty Dog" by Procol Harum 

One of the great things about having this Facebook page is the opportunity to share with followers some thoughts, and in this case, some of the sources of inspiration that I have experienced as a songwriter. Often the inspiration comes from those that came before.

If you have never heard of the song "A Salty Dog" by Procol Harum, I urge you to give it a listen via the link below. Most rock aficionados are familiar with their song "A Whiter Shade of Pale," another masterpiece, but in my book " Salty Dog" is not only their greatest accomplishment, but one of the greatest performances of all times in rock. The orchestration is unbelievable, the vocal performance tortured and moving, the lyrics are poetry and the end result is so beautiful it nearly brings tears to my eyes even after 40 years.

And that is the thing about this song; it is just so beautiful. Every lyric, note and sound. If you do not know this tune, I am pleased to do this favor for you.

Here is a live performance featuring a choir and an orchestra and an audience that may have been sedated!



Here is the studio version of the music with the lyrics: