An introducion

Deniz Tek is best know for his work with Radio Birdman. In the thirty years since, Den has kept a busy schedule, playing and recording with a long list of collaborators, one-offs and his own band. Over the years Deniz has collected some great road stories which he will share with you here. His current activities will also be chronicled here. Read on...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Penny Ikinger, Penelope Release Shows

Deniz played three shows in Sydney with Penny Ikinger, who is celebrating the release of her second album, Penelope. The band also included Jim Dickson, long time Deniz Tek Group and Radio Birdman bassist. More about this soon.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Deniz will be playing as guest guitarist with Penny Ikinger and her band at selected shows this coming weekend:

Venue: Cabbage Tree, Princes Highway, Fairy Meadow, Wollongong
Time: Friday 26 Nov 10:30pm

Venue: Mojo Music, 33 York St. Sydney
Time: Saturday afternoon 27 Nov (contact Mojo for exact time) This
instore performance will be a duet, just Deniz and Penny

Venue: Sandringham Hotel, King St. Newtown
Time: Sunday afternoon 28 Nov 4 - 7.30pm

Penny has just released her new album "Penelope" on Citadel Records, Deniz was closely involved with the production of this landmark album, and contributed several guitar parts. Penny's music today is a unique and unforgettable blend of hard rock, pop, and psych. It features edgy experimental instrumentation underlining a very personal vocal delivery.

Penny's first album, the cult classic "Electra", is still available on Career Records, although only a few copies are left. It is sure to be a sought after collector’s item in the future, as no repressing is anticipated.

Visit Career Records for this and many other albums featuring Deniz's recent musical work.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Dare Jenning's 60th birthday

Last night was my friend Dare Jenning's 60th birthday party. Dare is the guy who di the very first Radio Birdman T-shirt in the little shed behind his share house in Coogee ... when we were heading over to meet Lou Reed and wanted to give him a T-shirt. Dare went on to create Mambo. The party was big  ... hundreds of people in his vintage motorcycle and clothing store "Deus  Ex Machina" on Parramatta Rd in Camerdown. Many famous stars showed up and did a song or two. Jenni Morris. Reg Mombasa from Mental as Anything. Peter Oxley from the Sunnyboys and his sister. My old band mate (from Radio Birdman) Warwick Gilbert, with his wife Julie Mostyn doing blues and R+B. Many others. The backing band was james Black ... they are the house band for the TV show Rockwiz. I closed the night by playing  "Aloha Steve n Danno". I had never sung it before, and the lyrics lagged the music by half a beat but it still went over well. In a rough and tumble way. Raucous! Warwick and Julie sang the "OOOO's".

Monday, October 11, 2010

Solomon Burke, R.I.P.

Hey, thanks to Guy Stevens, I will begin to post some things again ... both new things, and also will reprise some things salvaged from my previous blog .... sort of a "best of" collection.  Today I got this poignant and thoughtful note from friend Joe Chonto in New York about the passing of one of soul music's greatest legends ... the message is worth being heard, so I am passing it along...

Yeah, it hurts to see King Solomon leave way too soon.  East Berlin, spring 1990, he
pulled me and my woman (of the time -- Dagmar) onstage to dance with him.  The story
is: he had played in East Berlin a few years before -- just magnificent, the
audience totally grooving and ecstatic -- that energy just driving him and the band
to further heights.  Finally, he said, "They told us not to do this song.  But we're
gonna do it anyway and ROCK THIS HOUSE TONIGHT."  The crowd went totally wild as he
broke into "A Change Is Gonna Come."  The "authorities" let him do the song
(probably afraid of a riot if they stopped him) but immediately after whisked King
Solomon & band to the airport and flew them out,  persona non grata from then on. 
(Fortunately that show was videoed -- saw it on German TV.)  Until the wall fell and
"changes" started happening.  So his spring 1990 concert there was highly symbolic;
he brought an 8-10 pc. New Orleans band with him, hundreds of roses in vases all
over the stage (which he threw to audience members) and at one point pulling people
up onstage.  A concert I and I'm sure hundreds others will never forget -- a
celebration of human liberation just as moving and significant as Bernstein
conducting Beethoven's Ninth at the East Berlin Opera house.  At the time of the
concert, it was still East Germany, we had to go through checkpoints, the
Ostdeutsche mark the currency, and walking out of the show into the East Berlin
night was like stepping 50 years or more back in time -- no taxis, no bars or
restaurants open, just a few cars passing -- no colored lights anywhere, a black and
white world like an old movie, a radical change of scenery from the concert hall, to
say the least. . . .   As a side note, it seems he did the show for the love of it
-- the costs had to have been huge and with the East mark trading then at about 8.5
to the dollar, the tickets cost about $3. ea.  Don't think the government was into
subsidizing the show, either, so someone took a financial bath.  Somewhere along the
line someone (King Solomon?) just said "screw the money, this is more important."

But (to state the obvious) what a truly great artist.  Those early Atlantic records,
his soulful sermonizing from the stage (not a "praise Jesus" thing, but lessons in
life, understanding, urging positive growth), his recordings of the last decade,
doing material that challenged him, opened and extended the genre of "soul" -- well,
it all speaks so exquisitely for itself. . . .


The Soul Movers Across The Western World

The Montana Soul Movers played a warm up gig in Billings on Sept 10th. Two days later Den and Lizzie flew to Spain to meet up with the Australian band, Pip Hoyle, Andy Newman, and Calvin Welch for a five date tour.

Deniz and Pip Hoyle

Steve Brown - Deniz - Bob Brown

The Montana Soul Movers

Ron Sanchez - Steve Brown - Deniz - Bob Brown - Lizzie

Ron Sanchez

Lizzie and Deniz in Spain

Deniz and Pip

Liz and Pip

Deniz Tek Plays Texas

I got off the airplane at Bush Intercontinental Airport in 100 degree heat
like a hammer from the Sun's mind. It felt like George Bush Airport had
relocated itself to Iraq. The guitar made it ... United seems to be
getting better (touch wood!) Mort (my longtime friend and ex road manager
from Birdman days) picked me up curbside in his new Kia car with excellent
AC and we headed off across the vast concrete plains of Houston, high
tension wires crisscrossing the cityscape, holding everything down so that
it doesn't all blow away in the next hurricane. We went over to Morts
house, which is in Cypress Texas. His stepson Cole Rivoire cooked
excellent BBQ and the other stepson Spike brought over some boudin from a
little store that has the best local stuff. Boudin is a cajun staple which
is like a sausage filled up with rice, pork shoulder, liver, chilis,
spices. You eat it dipped in cane sugar syrup. Oh my! Fantastic...
Mark Andes
Practice next morning (yes ... we started at 10 am which has to be a first
in rock and roll) at historic Sugar Hill Recording Studios. My band for
this visit are local session guys. I worked with some of them before on a
re-recording of the 13th Floor Elevators "Youre Gonna Miss Me". Tyson
Sheth, young aggressive session drummer; Kenny Cordray, master guitarist
and leader of the band Love Street; Paul English, keyboardist and master
arranger who's working with Willie Nelson and Johnnie Bush on a new
recording; and world famous Mark Andes who was the original bass player in
Spirit, and who spent many years in Jo Jo Gunne, Heart, Firefall and
others.  Some of the guys had done homework and others hadn't, but Mark
brough charts he'd made of the set. All it took was a couple of runs of
each song and we were ready to go.

That night we played at the Continental Club. It started in Austin several
decades ago ... then they opened one up in Houston. It used to be a swing
jazz club, then it was a burlesque house, and now it is home to
alternative and interesting bands, allied with a local independent vinyl
record store. It's a cool joint. They have an old dude selling hot dogs.
The only down side I saw was that the drinx were pretty light. When
getting a gin and tonic there, it is important to let the bar staff know
that you need a double.

A Beatles cover band kicked things off. The were wildly appreciated by a
big crowd, and when they finished up most people in the place cleared out.

The set went great. Love street opened it up with an original instrumental
"Under The Rainbow", then the Peter Green classic "Green Manalishi". Then
Tomas Escalante came on, with me, and I plugged my Rick 620 into a great
little Mesa Boogie Mark III loaned to me by Dan Workman. We played the
Spirit classic "Got A Line On You" (high energy version) and I sang the
backups with Mark Andes. A good moment ... Mark and I developed an instant
connection, that fired up the event, and added high octane fuel to the
rest of the set. Then we did San Francisco Girls, the 1968 Texas-Psych hit
Band with Tomas Escalante
from Fever Tree. Tomas left the stage to wild applause. Then I did my set
... opened with Breaks My Heart, then did a few DTG songs. Finished with
Hand Of Law. After the set had drinx, and met some nice people, including
soul singer Gianna Hill. I was very happy and we drove home at 3am and I
fell asleep in the car.
The Band On Stage
The next day we filmed a set for the "Live At Sugar Hill" series. This
went fine except the band blew the ending of Hand Of Law, and my
headphones kept falling off so halfway through I got the engineer to gaff
tape them to my head. I haven't seen the film but I am told that the black
gaff tape looked like Elvis sideburns ....

Next day did an album signing at Cactus Records for the new vinyl reissue
of Radios Appear on "4 Men With Beards" label. Met some more good people
and reconnected with old friends from the My-Dolls who I recorded with
back in 1981.

After a productive weekend in Texas, I felt great. It was good to find out
for sure that my recent medical problems and surgeries did not, in the
long run, affect my ability to play the guitar.