The Dean Magazine
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Surprise! How are you? I know, it's been a while. I kept meaning to write or call, but, well, if you'd seen my phone bill, you'd understand.
What have I been up to all this time? Practicing my harmonica? Juggling my portfolio? Changing diapers? Taking out the trash? Driving my 5 year old to school? Writing songs? Programming video games? Going to the movies? Mowing the lawn???
Yes. All of the above, and more. (Actually, Alison mows the lawn, most of the time.) I have been busily occupied in a host of strange and unusual pursuits, some of them decidedly mundane, some of them quirkily fascinating, and most of them perfectly legal.
I realize many of you assume that I, having already earned untold millions in my early recording efforts, have taken premature retirement and spend all my time puttering about in the woods of New York State communing with wildlife - squirrels, chipmunks, skunks etc...
In fact, I squandered all of my hard earned money investing in striped suspenders, a practical fashion accessory I was certain was destined to make a strong comeback in men's apparel. Well, easy come, easy go.
And so, like most of you, a good part of my day is occupied trying to make money. So often, though, the colors run and the wind blows it off the clothes line, like so many autumn leaves, when I hang it up to dry. So, eventually, in frustration, I settle for earning money.
For the curious among you, here are just a few of the various and sundry ways I manage to earn hard cash, check or money-order while maintaining a relatively independent, albeit semi-impoverished lifestyle:
I program interactive video games for Nickelodeon - the children's cable TV network. Interestingly enough, I designed the first ever interactive kid's game for TV, entitled, "Eat-A-Bug" and am presently working on a new series for Nickelodeon called 'Nick Arcade', which will premier on cable on January 4th.
I've also been designing interactive video environments ( I call them InVideo Systems) for museums around the country, including the Brooklyn Children's Museum and the Laredo Children's Museum. There's another one coming up in Halifax, England called Eureeka!.
How did I get involved doing this?, you may be asking yourself. I'm not really sure. It just sort of happened. After writing all those Synthesizer books and articles, I woke up one day and realized, much to my great surprise, that I was computer literate (as opposed to a computer litterer - i.e. someone who uses too much pin fed computer paper.) I went out and bought an AMIGA computer, and now I'm a multi-media maven!
What about my music? Well, I still do all the music for a successful TV show in Engladn called, "Boon", and I recently wrote the theme song to a make-believe product called "Foreverware" (it keeps things fresh forever!) featured on a new NBC TV series entitled "Eerie Indiana" (Sunday nights at 7:30).
Then, of course, I perform the occasional gig. Speaking of which...
On Saturday, Nov. 30th at 6pm I will be performing a special Chanukah Concert for Kids at the Montrose Center for the Performing Arts in Montrose, NY. [call 914-739-3080 for info and directions]. Tickets will be $5 for adults, $3 for seniors and students and $1 for kids under 12. I will be performing lots of silly Hebrew School Songs including Love My Latkes, If I Was a Dreidle and A Million Matzoh Balls.
And, for the grownups...
I'll also be playing Friday night, January 3rd at 9pm at the Town Crier in Pawling, NY 914-855-1300. Tickets are $14 (call for dinner reservations).
Anyway, the above activities, plus borrowing occasionally, as much money as I possibly can from generous friends, family members and the Federal Government, is, more ore less, how I survive. Occasionally, when things get really tight, I knock over a Savings and Loan, but lately the risk/reward ratio in that particular line has gone south.
You'd think all of this would be enough to keep me happily occupied during the day, but you'd be wrong. You see, I've spent as much time as I could, between projects, preparing a demo of brand new songs entitled, "Songs for Grownups", which I plan on shopping to record labels very soon. (By the way, you can order a copy of this 'album in progress' along with lots of other neat stuff by checking out the attached order form.).
Like most of you, my week is also filled with various and sundry appointments and commitments.
On Sundays I teach music at Hebrew School. (Check out 'A Million Matzoh Balls' on the Hebrew School Songs collection on the order form. It's pure schmaltz!).
I try to take Karate classes on Tuesday and Thursday, but I don't always make it. I've been doing this sporadically for years but I still haven't graduated from being a white belt.
I can split open a package of paper towels, though, with my bare hands. My daughter Hannah is very impressed with this fete. (Even though I do it with my hands.)
Mondays and Thursdays I take the garbage out. Wednesday nights Alison and I hire a babysitter and go to the movies. Friday and Saturday nights are tough; all our babysitters have very busy social lives.
And yes, like many of you, I've been watching my small family change and grow. Hannah is just about to turn 5 and started Kindergarten this Fall. Sam is a year and a half and can be found standing on top of the piano, if you turn your back on him for 30 seconds. Barker ( a Heinz 57 variety mutt) is almost 13. We're thinking of having a dog Bar-Mitzvah, (or a Bark-Mitzvah). Jessie (the dobergirl) died this summer, and is buried under some rocks in the backyard. We miss her on long walks. Amelia (Alison's monkey) still trashes the kitchen whenever she's left alone. Oh, and Clarabelle the Albino Cockatiel is no longer with us. She met an unfortunate and untimely demise, the details of which I shall refrain from elaborating on. Suffice to say there were feathers everywhere. We miss her too.
All in all, it's a pretty good life.
And so what about you? Fellow passengers, hurtling through space at immeasurable speeds on this spine-tingling planetery ride Earth, featured attraction at the Galaxy renowned Solar Amusement Park, vacation center of the Universe....
How are things?
I mean, how have you been? Get married? Have some kids? Any minor surgery? Pets? Automobile accidents? Chicket Pox? Fleas?
Fall in love, lately?
It's been a while - a few years at least - since I've communicated with you - that's the collective you, the 5,000 or so of you in the US and the UK that have, through happenstance or design, wound up on my mailing list.
By the way, if by some strange quirk of fate you wound up on my mailing list by mistake, and don't have the foggiest idea who I am - Hi! Nice to meet you. You know, you do look kind of familiar...
It's getting harder to write right about now. Sam is climbing on my chair, babbling on about something or other, in his red pajamas.
So, instead of homespun philosophy, here's some curious recent career news.
Item 1. Two companies in the UK have just released collections of my first two albums on CD. It seems people keep asking for my stuff in record stores. (Dean who?) I've arranged to make the double album CD available. (see order form).
Item 2. A radio station in Boston WZLX polled 5000 listeners to compile a list of the 'Top 100 lost 45's'. 'Ariel' was number 13. Where are you all hiding, anyway?
Anyway, it's time to put the cute little monsters to bed and let Barker out to knock over the garbage I just put out at the curb.
I promise to correspond more frequently; I hope you'll do the same. Please note my new PO Box:
PO Box 1286
Peekskill, NY 10566
As always, thanks for listening. Please let me know what you think of the new stuff. If all goes well, I'll try my best to have a finished album out by the end of '92. Wish me luck.
In the meantime, be well, take care, and...
All the best to all of you.
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