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P o r t r a i t

Demian Bell (USA)
P o r t r a i t

Demian Bell - Born in Chicago. He grew up In Baltimore, Maryland, Wellston, Ohio, and San Rafael, California. A guitar legend in Europe for many years. Demian has been spreading the Blues throughout Europe for the last 28 years, with appearances in Holland, England, Germany, Spain, France, and Switzerland as well as his native United States. No stranger to hard times, heartbreak and struggle, Demian's real talent is his "natural" improvisation and his hard earned "Feeling" for the Blues. His guitar is High Energy with pure emotion and he never plays the same thing twice. Each performance is "The Moment". Demian can be called a "Music Gypsy", always ready to go off on some new musical adventure in some new State or Country. Demian has shared the stage in recent years with guitar legends Albert Lee, Lulo Rheinhardt (nephew of Django Rheinhardt) of Germany and Diego Cortez of Spain.

Demian, has been working very hard with his Maypole project for the last couple of years, which was his band from the 70's that has made somewhat of a comeback and he has had to devote much of his time to that. Now he is coming out of semi-retirement to blast the Blues one more time. Interested parties should contact him at demianbell@yahoo.com for booking live gigs in any Country, City or State.

Demian's guitar style has been compared to Jimi Hendrix, Frank Marino and Carlos Santana. The reality is, that Demian was playing just as long as the afore mentioned players. His influences were what was going on around him. The hardships of his early life made him sensitive and thoughtful about life. He was run over by a Baltimore City Transit Bus (he never got a dime) when he was just 4 years old and suffered severe injuries. Long rehabilitation helped to build his concentration, endurance and his character. His ability to make his guitar sound in so many different ways is what made the guitar interesting for him. A way to express himself with no boundaries.

Demian ran away from home when he was 15 and took a Greyhound bus to New York and started to get into the Greenwich Village scene jamming at The Cafe Wha with Jimi Hendrix and other New York musicians "building his chops". At 16, he then joined a band with much older players from the Baltimore blues scene, called "The Moss". They were the first house band at "The Bluesette" a legendary Blues club that opened from 1965 till 1972. He was then doing concerts and TV shows in the Baltimore - Washington area.

He later formed "The Psychedelic Propellor" in 1965, and played the more important venues in the area, The Cheetah in N.Y., The Baltimore Civic Center, Judges, Hollywood Park, The Club Venus and other leading clubs in the area. He then formed "Good Grief" with Bill Davis, Jeff Lutz and Paul Treffinger, the most well known Baltimore musicians of the time, and played extensively throughout the Maryland - Washington, Philly, Virginia area. Demian then went to London, and joined a band called "The Attack", after 6 months returned to the states. He played a short time with Van Morrison in Boston.

He then joined Moulty and The Barbarians. The Barbarians were a moderately successful garage band of the 1960s with a few nationally charted hits. They had their biggest hit with the novelty single "Are You a Boy or Are You a Girl?," but are probably best known today for being led by a one-armed drummer, Victor "Moulty" Moulton. The Barbarians formed in 1964 in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. While their debut single, "Hey Little Bird" (on Joy Records) bombed, two of their next three singles (on Laurie) charted on Billboard, (with "Are You a Boy or Are You a Girl?" peaking at ..55) and also made the Cash Box charts. They received their biggest break when featured on The T.A.M.I. Show (performing "Hey Little Bird") alongside other artists such as The Rolling Stones, The Supremes, Lesley Gore, Chuck Berry, James Brown, and Marvin Gaye. As their name implies, their image relied heavily on looking barbaric. They wore their hair longer than most of their contemporaries. One-armed drummer Victor "Moulty" Moulton had a prosthetic hook on his left arm. He had lost part of his left arm in an explosion of a homemade bomb at the age of 14. Moulty was able to play drums using the prosthesis to hold a drum stick. Their minor hit "Moulty" was a humorous and melodramatic autobiographical song chronicling the drummer's life and the loss of his hand. The Barbarians disbanded in late 1968. Not before a new version of the group incorporating Denny Romans aka Demian Bell as the lead guitarist and lead singer. They combined martial arts and music, by rehearsing nearly everyday at Moulty's brother in law's Karate dojo in Boston, with rigid discipline doing their training before each rehearsal.

In 1969, he formed "Maypole" with Paul Welsh. The songs were a rather heavy rock, with a lot of harmonies with complex arrangements but with bluesy guitar solos. They got a record deal with MGM, and made an album in New York at A&R studios with Demian writing 90% of the material. This album was critically acclaimed. Just a few months after the release, their label went bankrupt and there was no support for their album. The group toured extensively with many of the great acts of the day such as Bob Seeger, Elephants Memory, The Nazz, Nils Lofgrin, Bill Haley & The Comets, The Kingsmen, Redbone, and many more. The group appeared on many National and local T.V. programs for two and a half years.

Demian then joined "Renaud and The Junction", a very popular band which went on to sign with Motown under the name "Contraband" as the opening act for the "Jackson 5" on a 18 city U.S. Tour.

During this time (early 70's) Demian also used to play with Roy Buchanan in the Washington D.C. Georgetown Blues club scene (The Silver Dollar, The Bayou, The Keg, Crazy Horse). Moving then to Holland for a year with his longtime friend and drummer Larry Lundy, in what he calls the anti-disco period, formed a new version of Maypole, playing the many venues around Holland, in the mid 70's as a raw energy Bluesrock trio with a former member of "Deep Purple", Ian Bishop on Bass. Gaining many fans and playing Amsterdam's "The Melkweg", "Paradiso", "Vondel Park" open air concerts, and the "Paard Van Troy" in the Hague. With "The Free Folk Ensemble" a 5 piece acoustic group playing instruments such as the Lute and Zither, at "The Concertgebouw" Amsterdam's famed Classical Music Theatre, and The American Hotel, where they did a live radio show every Sunday for two months, for the Dutch World Service. Demian has never been content with playing only one style of music, and treats a song or a piece of music as if it were a painter's canvass adding the colours no matter from where they might come.

In 1981 he signed with Nouveaux Records,Miami and recorded the single "Gotta Let Go" and "The Move" that he co-produced with Gold and Platinum selling Producer Gary Vandy (Foxy, Peter Brown, Melanie), filmed his first music video, toured Europe and was named West Germany's Musician of the month by the Aachener Volks Zeitung.

The world reknown producer and engineer Tom Dowd (Ray Charles, Eric Clapton and scores of other artists) took a personal interest in Demian in 1981 and tried to create a project with Demian and Eric Clapton which did not pan out because of a family crisis, but said of Demian; (that) "Demian is one of the most unusual guitarists I have ever heard".

The mid 80's found Demian in Spain playing with some of it's most famous musicians, such as Mike Kennedy of "Los Bravos", Benet Nogue of "Attila", and Jaume Rivera of "Miguel Rios" and "Lone Star", "Los Bravos", "Evolution" and "Oh Well". He played the most important venues in Barcelona such as "Bikini", "Fiesta de Gracia", "Ultimate Trein", "El Clap" in Mataro. The "Sala del Cel" in Girona, "The Chic" in Roses, "Pacha" in Playa de Arro, and his home away from home "The Mariscal" in L'Estartit" on the Costa Brava. Billing himself as "Demian Bell and Human Nature" and as "Demian Bell" until returning to Florida in late 1989.

He concentrated on creating acoustic blues with long time friend Steve Levy, a startlingly passionate Blues harp player. They played the "The Musicians Exchange", "The River Walk Blues Festival", "Tobacco Road" and scores of clubs and events from West Palm Beach to Key West, as "Harps N Chords" and recorded two albums of acoustic blues. He sometimes played cruise ships out of Miami, Florida.

At the present time he occasionally works as a duo with "Lulo Reinhardt", a close friend and nephew of "Django Reinhardt" with their "Gypsy Blues Project". The Demian Bell and The Maypole has been his latest Blues project with, Peter Toppe of Mannheim, Germany, with Winnie Görg and his brother Gerald Görg from Koblenz, Germany. He has recorded for Colossus, Laurie Records, Pandisc Records, Streetbeat Records, Nouveaux Records, Earthtone Records, Avex Records in Japan. Demian is also a keyboardist with many recordings, original film scores and documentaries to his credit...

For more information, please contact:

Davor Matosevic - videos
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Rock Otocec 2010
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Web portal Pljuga
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Andjelko Jurkas (HR) - Bez rocka trajanja (Knjiga + CD)
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Gary Talley (USA) - Guitar Playing for Songwriters
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