Just the name Rebel Dean conjours up an image of some 50's rock 'n' roll idol leaning moodily over a microphone, lip curled, legs astride, with a thousand screaming fans at his feet. I've checked out Rebel Dean on stage many times and that just about sums it up!
Rebel is truly versatile, an all-round entertainer who's an actor, singer, songwriter and musician. Rebel has always been passionate about taking rock 'n' roll flavoured music to the masses.
Rebel's put together an all original album in partnership with his seasoned band "Red Alert" who help provide the "Rebel Dean sound". But Rebel's gone one massive step further with this album, collaborating with some of the stars of the current rockin' scene.
The original idea to have one special guest quickly grew into many special guests, all bringing their own unique influences. Eighties legends The Jets, Jerry Lee's little sister Linda Gail Lewis, The Stray Cats' Slim Jim Phantom, 50's legend Charlie Gracie and the multi-talented Darrel Higham have all pitched in with collaborations.
Darrel Higham himself said “Rebel Dean is probably the most successful male rock 'n' roll artist in Britain today.” And this is acknowledgement to the years of gruelling tours, recording sessions, interviews, West End performances and T.V. and Film appearances. Rebel has also played live to over 1 million people world-wide.
1). To many who don’t know you, who is Rebel Dean?
A). Well in a nutshell, I’m a U.K. singer/actor who has been a professional entertainer since I was 18 years old.
2). What have you been working on recently?
A). I have just released my 2nd rockin' album on "Foot Tapping Records" called "Rock n Roll Gypsy", with 9 original songs, which is a follow up to the "Rebellion" album which had 12 original songs and a 12 track DVD to go with it.
3). I know there are some guests on the albums, how did that come about?
A). I wanted to make them as special as I could for the listener, so Paul Barrett (the agent) said “Linda Gail Lewis” and “Charlie Gracie” were interested. The next thing we had “The Jets”, “Slim Jim Phantom” from the “Stray Cats” and “Darrel Higham” did a couple of tracks. So they became much more exciting projects.
4). So why the huge expense and effort of 12 videos for "Rebellion"?
A). I think a good video adds to a good song, and people like to see the performer. So we hired fairgrounds, Harley Davidsons, Pink Cadillac’s, American Trucks etc. to give each song a rockin’ theme.
5). Is it pure rock ‘n’ roll?
A). The sound is unmistakably rock ‘n’ roll, yes. But it’s not all double bass and 50’s sounding. Maybe it’s a more modern version?
6). Imelda May has done just that, and very successfully. Have you met her?
A). Yes I've met Imelda a couple of times. I first met her with Darrel Higham when they came to see me in the rock musical "Four Steps to Heaven" in London. We talked for about an hour afterwards and then I met her again at The Roundhouse Camden.
7). Are you touring now?
A). Yes I'm currently producing/directing and starring in a theater show called "Whole Lotta Shakin'" which is booked throughout the U.K. It's a Rock n Roll musical which celebrates the hits of the most succesful denim clad rocker of the 80's, including Green Door, This Ole House and many more!
8). You seem to always be working, how does Rebel Dean relax?
A). Well family time is always precious. We have a 12 year old son and a 3 year old daughter and it’s always fun to spend time with them. I also have a pool room at home so friends come around and we shoot pool, I have a Harley Davidson that blows the cobwebs away and I read, watch films etc. etc.
9). What has been your most exciting achievement?
A). Apart from my kids, it was probably the day the BBC told me; as an actor, they wanted me to be a rock ‘n’ roll porter on BBC1’s Casualty. I was there for 6 years! Other things like sharing a dressing room with Scotty Moore, meeting Shaky, starring in the West End, meeting Little Richard, etc. etc. All exciting stuff!
10). What are your future plans?
A). Well, I will continue with the tour I’m on for the foreseeable future, and continue to promote the new album and see where that leads? After that? Who knows?
11). Is there a “Rebel Dean sound” to the album?
A). I hope so! The band who worked with me on "Rebellion" are called Red Alert and they created a great sound. The band who worked with me on "Rock n Roll Gypsy" are Darrel Higham and Imelda May's full band and that just sounds fantastic too!
12). Talking of Shaky, how did you meet?
A). When Darrel Higham toured with Shaky he introduced us, so there I was comparing notes on “The Sunsets”, “Elvis the Musical” etc. and a lot of other things that we had in common. I found him to be a really nice bloke, very easy to be around.
13). I know you've written the "Rebellion" album and all but 3 of the "Rock ‘n’ Roll Gypsy" album, so what instruments do you play?
A). I play mainly the guitar and piano. I use both of them when I write a song, depending on the feel I want.
14). Is it true that you wear make up on stage and isn’t that strange for a Rock ‘n’ Roller?
A). Yes I do, but I think it’s a kind of a theatre thing. In the big venues we play the people wouldn’t see your face without it.
15). You said earlier that you shared a dressing room with Scotty Moore, tell us about it.
A). It was at the “Eddie Cochran Memorial Weekend” a few years back. I came offstage from doing my set and in my dressing room was “Scotty Moore”! He was extremely shy at first but once he realised I was a performer too he relaxed and opened up. So we hit it off and spent the night talking about Elvis in the 50’s and the 68 special etc. Great night!
I'd been talking to Rebel between his time on stage , and I finally left him to focus on his encore. Rebel will continue to spread the rockin' word in theaters throughout the U.K. as part of the "Whole Lotta Shakin'" show and through sales of his albums, and I recommend you seek out his show either by looking on Rebel’s own website or that of the show.
There’s no doubt that the fire still burns in Rebel Dean, and he’ll be out there entertaining us for a long time to come. - Johnny Hop – UK Rock ‘N’ Roll Magazine
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