Deano is Entertainments Director at live stage events who are promoting the Sausage & Cider 80s and 90s two day festival at the end of the month with a host of amazing live acts. He was at The Two Brewers the night it turned gay and used to perform with Lily Savage.
Where are you from originally?
I’m a South Londoner through and through, from the leafy suburbs of Clapham.
And where do you live now?
I decided to take the plunge and move out to the countryside in a little village called Whyteleafe in Surrey,
What do you love about London?
I still love the diversity and the eclectic mix, London has and will always be the trendsetter.
What is the Sausage and Cider Festival?
My company took over an existing event that had been running for the past few years, so we are easing ourselves in slowly. It’s an event for the people of South London and Surrey area who perhaps want to stay local to the area. There is a big gay community in deepest South London and Surrey boarders with little or nothing over this side of South London. You either have to go into London or Brighton for nightlife. So we have decided to put on events to draw the community together with an all inclusive festival.
Which acts do you have performing?
We have some amazing artists appearing, including the ‘Queen of Hi-NRG’ Hazell Dean, The amazing Sonia, Rozalla, Urban Cookie Collective, Kelly Wilde, Nicki French, Shena from JX and Michael Grey’s The Weekend, Laura Harding who was a support act for the Spice Girls, Ambr, Hannah Renton, And from the BBC we have Alan Ennis and from Capital Radio and Radio Jackie, Mick Brown.
What was the last theatre show you saw and what did you think?
Kinky Boots and it was just how I remembered it from the movie. It was a great concept that Cyndi Lauper bought back to life.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Well that’s easy for me, it’s Singapore Laska, a Malaysian soup with coconut prawns chicken and fish, I can often be seen eating it at C&R restaurant in China Town. I’m addicted to it.
I love to relax so it’s probably my huge Jacuzzi I have sunk into the floor of my en suite bathroom.
Best gift you’ve ever received and why?
That’s easy, my parents paid the deposit on my first house back in 1994 in Streatham. I have fond memories of Streatham and return there very often to visit neighbours and friends.
What has been the highlight of your career so far and why?
Well back in the day, my ex and I used to book artists around the scene, and we befriended a young lady who had just arrived from the States and was doing simple gigs just to survive. I’ve managed her for many years and relaunched her back in the UK 15 years ago, Lonnie Gordon. We speak daily via Facebook live and we are best buddies. Lonnie often comes to the UK and stays with me for holidays. And… Lonnie just called, she said to give a shout out to London and a sloppy kisses to you guys!
If you could go back in time which year would you choose and why?
1981, I was at the Two Brewers the night it went from a straight head bangers bar to a gay bar. All of a sudden after a head banging act had finished on the main stage, a tall slim figure of a man walked out from behind the bar walked up to the mic and said, “Testing one two, good evening everyone. I have a surprise for you all… this is now a gay bar.” It was Phil Starr… And with the help of her hubby quickly went round and put a copy of Capital Gay on every table, needless to say the place cleared out. An hour later, the birth of a new era was born and gay guys were queuing at the door.
What’s the best party you’ve ever been to?
I went to a closeted rock star’s birthday party on the roof of the old Barkers of Kensington, those were the days… I was 18 and totally star struck. I ended up dancing with so many well-known closeted singers and actors and met rock Hudson who gave me his number!
What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Being a good Jewish boy, my nan told me always stay true to who you are and always strive to reach new heights. She said remember if it goes wrong you can always start again.
Who is your LGBT+ hero and why?
Years ago I was one of Lily Savage’s ‘Stars of The Future’ when I was known as Dean Tracey – every week at The RVT. Of course I never took it seriously and had some wonderful times and made great friends with the likes of Double Echo and Rose Marie who was an absolute darling. Lily/Paul always guided us and was so down to earth and would often advise up and coming acts on how to improve and would often give them material. I saw him regularly after he hit the big time and he was as grounded just as he was during his time as Lily Savage. I saw him last year in a bar and we picked up where we left off.
Who are the most entertaining people on social media?
I love following Baga Chipz, she is so funny, and I also follow one of my other good friends, Janice Robinson the former lead singer with Livin’ Joy, she does some great live Instagram posts from some amazing venues around the world on stage, it’s heavenly.
Where in the world would you like to visit before you die?
I would love to go to Hong Kong, I’m totally fascinated by the culture and food.
What is one thing you wish you knew when you were younger?
Don’t worry about what other people think of you. I used to worry too much and eventually, I came to realise that if you’re wasting too much time seeking validation, respect or approval from others, then you won’t have time to accomplish all that you desire.