Sunday, April 30, 2006
Dean Reed (1938-1986) The Red Elvis
Dean Reed was born in America, but spent most of his life in East Germany. He was an actor, singer, and songwriter, who rocked East Europe during the days of the Soviet Union.
He was born in Denver, and moved to California as a young man signing with Capitol Records. He was groomed to be a teen idol. He appeared on television on the show Bachelor Father in 1958. His music was modestly successful.
He recorded a song called "Our Summer Romance," while on a tour of South America. That song soared up in South America. There he would become more well known than Elvis. He settled in Argentina.
In Argentina he became involved leftist politics. He opposed nuclear weapons, and performed free shows in barrios, and prisons. He was deported in 1966.
He performed in movies in Rome, and often toured East Europe, acting, directing and writing movies. He settled in East Germany.
Reed supported the politics of his new country. He never joined the ruling party, or proclaimed himself socialist. On the TV show "60 Minutes," he declared support for the Berlin Wall, and the Soviet incursion into Afghanistan. He received hate mail, and shocked family and friends.
He never renounced his US citizenship. He payed taxes to the US government.
In 1986 he was found dead in East Germany. His friend in Germany say suicide, his family says murder.
Tom Hanks is making a movie about his life called "Comrade Rockstar."
I was introduced to him when he was visiting in Minnesota, to support an antiwar group in the Vietnam period.
There might be more insight on Dean Reed from Redwine and the beatroot.
See: Wikipedia/Dean Reed.
Posted by Frank Partisan at 10:17 PM