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American songwriter Dean Friedman brings his 40th anniversary album tour to Hornchurch

PUBLISHED: 10:00 16 February 2018 | UPDATED: 12:41 16 February 2018

Dean Friedman will be performing at Fairkytes Arts Centre, Hornchurch in April.

Dean Friedman will be performing at Fairkytes Arts Centre, Hornchurch in April.

Archant

A well-known American songwriter and singer will be performing songs from his first album as part of his 40th anniversary tour.

American songwriter Dean Friedman's 40th anniversary edition of his album 'Well, Well,' said the Rocking Chair will be released on April 13, 2018. Photo: Dean Friedman. American songwriter Dean Friedman's 40th anniversary edition of his album 'Well, Well,' said the Rocking Chair will be released on April 13, 2018. Photo: Dean Friedman.

Dean Friedman will be performing at Fairkytes Arts Centre, Billet Lane on Friday, April 20 at 8pm.

It features his classic hit single Lucky Star, a duet performed with singer Denise Marsa which went to the top of the UK singles charts and paved the way for other hits including Lydia, Rocking Chair, McDonald’s Girl and Woman of Mine.

Dean told the Recorder: “I’ll be performing solo. It’s sort of going to be an unplugged version of the album, and because of that it will be a slightly different take than some people are acustomed to hearing with the full orchestra.

“It presents a more intimate version of the songs, the lyrics feel more personal to me when I am playing them solo.

Dean Friedman will be performing at Fairkytes Arts Centre, Hornchurch in April. Dean Friedman will be performing at Fairkytes Arts Centre, Hornchurch in April.

“I think it helps me get further into the story that is being told without anything distracting from the story line.”

After 40 years, Dean explained that it has been both enjoyable and challenging revisiting the album.

He said: “It’s fun, I don’t actually in general get a chance to listen to those songs very often.

“All the annoying mistakes and mixes I was unhappy with when I first made the album, they have receeded so far into the past they don’t bother me any more.”

“I am pretty pleased with how they have stood the test of time.”

Speaking about which songs Dean enjoys playing most, he mentioned the last track on the album, Let Down Your Hair.

The song tells the story of the Summer of 1977 in New York, which in the media was referred to as the Summer of Sam, after a serial killer, who targeted women with long brown hair.

David Berkowitz killed six people before he was caught by police in a large manhunt by New York police.

“A lot of people were just talking about leaving the city, people were afraid. Women were cutting their hair short, to avoid looking like the profile,” said Dean.

“When they captured him, the headlines were ‘You can let your hair down’. When I read that, it was a very evocative image for me.

“It’s a difficult story to tell in a short song, but again that unplugged format adds a level of intimacy and I think it’s something that the audience will be able to explore and get further into.”

The American songwriter finds inspiration from the world around him.

Dean said: “I am one of those artists who follows the maxim of you should write what you know.

“If you open your eyes and turn from one direction to another, there’s always a miracle.

“I tend to write songs about the most trivial mundane things, but they seem important to me. I try to paint a picture that listeners can recognise.”

Along with many of the hits included on ‘Well, Well,’ said the Rocking Chair, another Dean Friedman song to get plenty of attention is his hit McDonald’s Girl.

It was originally banned by the BBC for mentioning the tradename of the fast food restaurant.

However, after it was covered by several bands, the song became a viral YouTube video hit, and thirty years later it was licensed by McDonald’s corporation to be featured in a national TV and Radio campaign.

Speaking about why the song has become so popular, Dean said: “It confirmed to me what I always believed, that it’s a pop song.

“It’s a playful song, and it’s telling a really familar tale about this guy who has a serious crush.

“I think most men and women can relate to the idea.”

After his tour, Dean will be focusing on a series of teaching videos on the art and craft of song writing.

Dean’s 40th anniversary edition of ‘Well, Well,’ said the Rocking Chair will be released on April 13.

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