Dean Friedman marks album’s 40th anniversary at The Hawth, Crawley

Dean Friedman
Dean Friedman

Whisper it… because the fact is truly shocking. Well, it is, at least, for those of us that remember its release.

“Well, Well,” said the Rocking Chair is 40 years old this year – and has just been reissued in a special anniversary edition.

Dean Friedman, the man who made his name in the UK on the back of it, is touring the country and heads to The Hawth, Crawley, on Wednesday, May 23 (7.45pm, £27.50).

“It is a nice chance to revisit those days,” Dean says. “In some ways it seems like 40 years ago; in some ways it doesn’t. Some things seem like yesterday. Other things are just a complete blur!

“I had already had my first US hit off the first album, and I was full of beans and ready to write and record a new one. I had just moved to New York City and I was in my first New York apartment. I had a grand piano in the middle of the room and no furniture to speak of, and that’s where I wrote most of the album. I was soaking up the sights and smells and sounds and atmosphere of New York City.

“I had maybe done one or two sketches before that, but most of the songs came together in those few months before I went into the studio.”

Dean has been accused of being too eclectic, something he sees as a compliment: “There are all kinds of musical ideas, jazz and folk and rock and pop, but I also felt that there was a conceptional thread to the stories being told on the album, and that was just tangentially that they were all happening around New York City and my experience of it.”

Bizarrely, his record company hated it: “They wanted something more acoustic. They berated me for a good hour, saying that I was not listening to people and that I should make a record more like the first one. I walked out there shaking my head. Satisfyingly, about a week later, I got a telex from the UK saying Lucky Stars was a hit. That was my first success in the UK.”

Call 01293 55363.

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