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2.12: The Outsider — Danny Boy O’Connor
Today, a conversation with Danny Boy O’Connor, who went from 90s hip hop star to passionate preservationist, transforming The Outsiders House into a museum, and a point of pride for Tulsa.
Then, City Editor Morgan Phillips steps up to the plate for an extra-sporty edition of What the What?
So let’s talk, Tulsa.
That’s the voice of Danny Boy O’Connor, savior of the now-revered "Outsiders" house once destined for demolition. He’s turning it into a pop culture museum centered on the 1983 film filmed here in Tulsa, as well as its inspiration: the book written by Tulsan S.E. Hinton when she was a 15-year-old student at Will Rogers High School.
To Danny Boy (and now, to many others) the Outsiders house was always more than a movie set; the home, like the film, represented a simpler time, like the childhood summers he spent traveling from his home in Los Angeles to his native New Jersey.
The hip-hop group House of Pain was comprised of Danny Boy and rappers Everlast and DJ Lethal. They released three albums in the 90s; their first, "Fine Malt Lyrics," went multi-platinum. Fast-forward many years and several world tours later, and eventually House of Pain split up; Danny Boy later reunited with Everlast and DJ Lethal to form the group La Coka Nostra. And that brought Danny Boy to Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 2009.
That moment sparked something in Danny. It eventually led him to create the Delta Bravo Urban Exploration, a team that finds and documents culturally relevant sites such as the shooting locations for films, TV, music videos and album covers.
But his first love, his labor of love, is the Outsiders House, a representation of the film that so strongly affected him all those years ago. Danny Boy bought the house for $15,000 in 2015 and began the process of restoring the dilapidated property back to the iteration seen in "The Outsiders" film.
Thanks so much for Listening to Tulsa Talks!
On a personal note, I wanted to thank you for all the support you’ve shown this podcast. It’s been a labor of love for both myself and Morgan Phillips, the show’s producer. Morgan is already working on season 3, which is going to sound a little different.
That’s right, TulsaPeople’s new digital editor, Tim Landes, will be your host, and the new voice of all TulsaPeople’s digital endeavors. Meanwhile, I’m on to the next chapter of my life with a move to Chicago. I’m super excited, but very sad to be leaving TulsaPeople. My work here has meant a lot, and has really shaped me as a person. But, I know I’m leaving y’all in capable hands, and I can’t wait to see what Tim does with the podcast and our social media — as a follower and a listener from afar!
Every episode, we play you out with some local music. This is Annie Ellicott's "Shadows Live" from her album "Lonesome Goldmine."
Annie is currently touring with actor and jazz musician Jeff Goldblum in the US and Europe. Visit annieellicott.com for more music from this local artist.