Controversial singer on tour

Dean Friedman

Dean Friedman

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THE legendary American singer-songwriter known for chart-topping hits Ariel, Lucky Stars, Lydia, and Woman of Mine will play in the Villa Marina Arcade next month.

Dean Friedman first entered pop consciousness in the late ’70s with the Top 20 chart success of his infectious hit single Ariel – a quirkily irresistible and uncategorisable pop song about a free- spirited, music-loving, vegetarian Jewish girl in a peasant blouse.

Raised in New Jersey, Friedman received his first guitar when he was nine in 1964 and started writing songs.

When he was a teenager, he played at weddings and bar mitzvahs and went on to major in music at City College of New York. By the time he was 20, in 1975, he had a manager and a recording contract. Just two years later he came up with Ariel.

And although Friedman’s second single, McDonald’s Girl, was officially banned by the BBC for mentioning the tradename of the fast food restaurant in its chorus, the irrepressible pop song has since been successfully covered by a number of acclaimed contemporary bands, including the Canadian group Barenaked Ladies.

After his eponymous 1977 album, Friedman scored again with the release of his follow-up album, Well, Well, Said the Rocking Chair, and the now classic hit single, Lucky Stars.

This magical duet, performed with singer Denise Marsa, zoomed to the top of the UK singles charts, going instantly gold.

Lucky Stars paved the way for a slew of Friedman hits in the UK.

As well as songwriting, Friedman has also composed and produced music soundtracks for TV and film, including the music to the TV series Boon and the soundtrack to the underground cult horror film classic I Bought A Vampire Motorcycle, in which he performs the unforgettable track She Runs on Blood, Not Gasoline.

And he is presenter/producer of the acclaimed radio series Real American Folk, which has featured on BBC Radio Scotland.

Now 55, Dean makes his home in Peekskill, New York, where he lives with his wife and two children, plus assorted livestock – including a monkey named Amelia.

The 30th anniversary of his classic hits was celebrated in 2009. And over that period of time, Friedman’s consummate songwriting and performing, have earned him a loyal international following devoted to the sophisticated, funny and profound work of a master songsmith.

However, never far from controversy, Friedman’s 2005 UK tour was almost cancelled when it was announced that his tour sponsor would distribute packets of cannabis seeds to the first 10 people to buy his CDs at each of the gigs.

But nothing stops this guy – last year saw the launch of a new album, the first new CD since that tour.

Submarine Races includes 13 brand new songs, lyrical soundscapes and storysongs, bursting with life, love and survival in a surreal world. And it has been described as one of his best albums yet.

Now, this year, he is touring the UK, Ireland and the Isle of Man.

His Douglas gig, on October 2, will include support from island singer-songwriter Anna Goldsmith.

Doors open at 7pm with Dean going on stage at around 8pm.

Tickets, with unreserved seating, cost £18.50 and are available from the Villa Marina reception desk, at the box office on 600555 or online at

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