Saturday, 24 March 2012

Dee Sebastian

Dee Sebastian - born: Derek Anthony Morris - vocalist, guitar player, author, poet, enigma

Derek Anthony Morris aka Derek Morris or Dee Sebastian was a singer/songwriter who resided in Peckham, South London, UK. The son of a military serviceman Derek’s childhood had been spent on a succession of military bases in West Germany. The family later moved to the United Kingdom. Interested in literature, poetry, film, music and performance arts Derek formed the band Electra Vogue in 1976 with Steve Sherlock on saxophone and electronics and himself on guitar and vocals. In 1977 guitarist Steve Parry joined the band having seen an advert in the NME/Melody Maker calling for musicians into The Velvets/Experimentation to form a band. Steve Parry suggested the band change its name to Neu Electric (new electronic music) and this later became the more kraut rock sounding Neu Electrikk. Rehearsals were later held to recruit other musicians and resulted in Barry Deller/Della becoming the drummer/percussionist and Nick Hunt join on Bass Guitar.
Promoting their sound as ‘Surreal Modern Music’ performances were often heralded as chaotic, musical happenings, 4 minute songs often became 30 minutes of free improvisation. The band would take to the stage to the sound of industrial hammers, bird song, Frank Sinatra and John Cage. The band quickly established a cult following. John Peel became a supporter of the band and played Neu Electrikk regularly on his BBC radio show.

Derek supported his musical endeavours by working as a printer/plate maker for various London publications. Towards the end of Neu Electrikk Dee Sebastian secured a solo music publishing deal with Sparta Florida Publishing. Having assembled a band of musicians that included Jak Airport aka Jack Stafford of the band X-Ray Spex he recorded material under the concept, ’The face of a decade sessions’. Unable to secure a solo record deal Derek retreated from the music scene. Additionally Parry left London to live in Yorkshire to work on more abstract music projects. Around 1983 following interest from a major independent record label Parry, Sherlock and Morris, attempted to reform Neu Electrikk. After several abortive recording sessions in a studio in Yorkshire the project was abandoned, Sherlock and Parry utilizing the studio time to work on material together.

Derek, ever the enigma, is believed to be working under a different name as either a poet, author or designer somewhere in England. His name turning up from time to time....................?

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