- World Of Music - Svastara - 2007
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
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 email@example.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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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...