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BIOGRAPHY/PR

DEAN JOHNSON - THE EGG THIEF

Between 1979 and 1983 Merseyside's Dean Johnson was a prolific figure in the cassette culture scene. He released over 30 albums and became a favourite of the tape collectors’ fanzines.  

When the fad died out, he graduated to proper recordings and released a further 16 record albums and CDs, culminating with the early 90's breakthrough ‘Scouse Pie’. Ironically, the acclaimed single from the album, ‘Being Young Is Crap’ (an NME single of the week), was only released on cassette.  

A recent article in Record Collector looked back fondly on the ‘cassette pets’ era and featured Johnson in the Top 20 most sought-after tapes. It was a timely reminder for Dean, who now produces and distributes his music from home.  

Looking back, Dean says, “It was a bit of a shock to see how much those old tapes fetch on the Internet these days, and I was taken aback by just how many I had released back then. I continue to write and record all the time even now, and it gave me the idea to offer my latest stuff for free to anyone that cares to get in touch with me. I remember I was putting tapes out every 6 weeks or so, and I am just as prolific now. There is no cost involved in recording these days. I capture things live on a very cheap Sony voice recorder. It's basically meant for recording business meetings, but I think what I do on it is slightly more interesting than that.  

“Because I am free now of recording and release schedules I thought I might just issue stuff as and when I feel like it. I have released 3 so far this year, ‘The Empties (A Folk Opera With Gavin Martin)’, ‘Human Nature Trail’, 'Peacenik' and now ‘The Egg Thief' is actually the end of a trilogy.  

“You can't really make money from albums now unless you’re Adele, and the life span of an independent album is very short... maybe a week or less, so really the only thing that can be achieved is building a small base of fans, and maybe perform a house gig or two; so if anyone wants to send me a large letter stamp, they can get to hear what I'm up to, just like back in the cassette craze.”

 

BIOGRAPHY

Wirral's Dean Johnson graduated from the folk scene in the late 1970’s. Guitar legend Richard Thompson was an early champion of Dean's songwriting and performing skills. A popular opening act for the cream of the Folk circuit including Martin Carthy, Dave Swarbrick and Gordon Giltrap, decades later Dean would become hard drinking genius John Martyn's support act on his final tours.

Between 1979 and 1983 Dean was a prolific figure in the cassette culture scene. He released over 30 albums and became a favourite of the tape collectors’ fanzines. When the fad died out, he graduated to proper recordings and released a further 16 record albums and CDs.

A recent article in Record Collector looked back fondly on the ‘cassette pets’ era and featured Johnson in the Top 20 most sought-after tapes. It was a timely reminder for Dean, who now produces and distributes his music from home.

A chance meeting with Chris Difford of Squeeze introduced Johnson into the mainstream, where he wrote and toured, appearing at The Royal Albert Hall and Wembley Stadium with the likes of Paul Carrack, Bryan Ferry and The Beach Boys. But it was whilst touring with David Essex that the 70's superstar suggested Dean's songs would work in a theatrical setting. Dean turned his attention to writing stage musicals. For the first, ‘Bullets and Daffodils’, he joined forces with the much loved James Herriot actor Christopher Timothy to tell the story of war poet Wilfred Owen.

Now in 2017, The Empties brings Dean full circle to the intimacy of the folk scene. And its premiere prompts his first solo acoustic performance for 25 years.

The Empties is out now via Dean’s website.

Wednesday 24th May
Bromfolk, The Bolton Room, The Bridge Inn, Bolton Road, Port Sunlight, CH62 4UQ
Contact John Coleman 0151 334 0759

For more information, contact 07539 371925.