House of Pain’s Danny Boy on addiction: ‘It was either homicide or suicide’

For rapper Danny “Danny Boy” O’Connor the real pain started after House of Pain was done.

The hit-making hip-hop star — famous for his part on the legendary track “Jump Around” — made such a dark spiral into drug addiction after the ’90s rap group broke up he was left with a violent impulse to kill himself or someone else.

“It got dark and it got bad and it was either homicide or suicide,” the 52-year-old told Page Six. “I was contemplating both before the willingness came back to try sobriety again.”

The House of Pain member said that he was able to get temporarily clean in 2000 and stay off drugs for the next three years.

But he was hooked again and by 2005 and was reduced to sleeping on a couch in a warehouse after burning though millions of dollars spent on drugs.

"House of Pain" rapper Daniel O'Connor reveals his battle with drug addiction.
House of Pain member Danny “Danny Boy” O’Connor, pictured in 1992 (left) and in 2016 (right), has detailed his dark spiral into drug addiction.
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He was even dodging a warrant for his arrest before he decided to get clean again, he said.

“By the time I got sober the second time in 2005, I was sick and tired of being sick and tired and I was either gonna kill somebody or kill myself. And you know that’s a terrible feeling,” he said.

“A guy called me that I knew from a 12-step program in the past and he reached out and said, ‘You know, I’m just checking. You know you deserve to have a good day. Let me know if you ever want to try meetings again.’”

He says he feels that he only sought help after he was “out of all options,” and has been off drugs ever since.

“I just didn’t think it was going to work for me anymore because I had thrown the gift away originally. And so it really took what it took because I went back and forth and it wasn’t clicking. So finally it stuck in 2005 I got willing and on April 15th of this year, I’ll have 16 years consecutively sober. So it’s been a blast.”

House of Pain. members Everlast (Erik Schrody), DJ Lethal (Leor Dimant) and Danny Boy (Danny O'Connor) are pictured in 1992.
From left: House of Pain members Everlast (Erik Schrody), DJ Lethal (Leor Dimant) and Danny Boy (Danny O’Connor) are pictured in 1992.
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The performer was already selling drugs and involved in credit card fraud when House of Pain was formed with high school pals Erik Francis Schrody, aka Everlast, and Leor Dimant, aka DJ Lethal. 

The trio met at Taft High School in California’s San Fernando Valley and in 1992 released their debut album “House of Pain,” which went multi-platinum and spawned the hit single “Jump Around.”

The band styled themselves as Irish-American hooligans, even though Dimant was Latvian-American. O’Connor acted as the group’s hype man and second emcee on stage but after the release of their third album, “Truth Crushed to Earth Will Rise Again,” in 1996 the group disbanded.

During the group’s success, O’Connor had an on-again, off-again relationship with Soleil Moon Frye that is covered in the “Punky Brewster” star’s recent documentary, “Kid 90.”

O’Connor said that House of Pain saved him from a life of crime but it was a temporary salve.

“I had no real-life skills and had the skills sets of a 17- or 18-year-old,” he said. 

Everlast went onto a successful solo career which even included a Grammy for his collaboration with Carlos Santana. DJ Lethal joined Limp Bizkit and O’Connor ended up “with a massive drug addiction,” and “on a downward spiral.”

O’Connor estimates to have blown over a million dollars and caused severe damage to his teeth due to his drug of choice: amphetamines.

Danny O'Connor performs in 2015.
Danny O’Connor performs in 2015.
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“There is $70,000 worth of dental restoration that had to be done because my teeth had been…. and, you know, this is the third time I’m redoing them. So the damage was an irreparable mistake,” he explained.

And that warrant for his arrest when he had hit rock-bottom? “It was probably for failure to appear for traffic violations and s–t like that,” he surmised.

O’Connor is now living in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and a childhood love with the movie “The Outsiders” has given his life meaning and purpose.

O’Connor, who grew up in a broken home, says that when he saw the film “The Outsiders” as a young teen it was incredibly powerful and spoke to him. Years later while on tour in Tulsa, O’Connor visited the original house from the Francis Ford Coppola-directed flick and found it in a state of disrepair.

He ended up buying the iconic Curtis Brothers’ House — the modest bungalow where the Greasers gang lived and restoring it. “The Outsiders” author S.E. Hinton, plus Jack White and Billy Idol, all donated and O’Connor painstakingly renovated and turned it into a museum dedicated to the movie and book.

“It’s completely changed my life in the best possible way because you see the best of humanity here, and it doesn’t matter what color, race, religion, creed,” he said. “Everybody loves this house, loves the story, love that it’s local and they all pitch in.”

The 1983 film "The Outsiders"
The 1983 film “The Outsiders” helped change Danny O’Connor’s life.
Warner Bros.

“So it’s been a long journey,” he added. “And again, looking back. I wouldn’t trade it because it got me connected to a power greater than myself.”

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