1.31.2014

DETROIT DOWN UNDER: DENIZ TEK'S STORY


** Deniz Tek has done SO much to promote Detroit Rock n Roll 
around this planet! Dr. Tek is our legend piece today......***

Deniz Tek is an American singer, guitarist and songwriter and a founding member of Australian rock group Radio Birdman. He has played in many of the underground rock bands of the 1970s including Australian bands The Visitors, and New Race but is most known for exerting his burning Detroit style guitar influence over the punk rock genre in Australia.

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Tek was raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA. He spent 1967 in Sydney, Australia with his family and was greatly attracted to the Australian landscape, moving there permanently in 1972 to begin his medical studies at University of New South Wales in Sydney.


Dr. Deniz Tek is a trained ER doctor and ex-navy flight surgeon who currently splits his time working in emergency departments in hospitals in NSW, Australia and Hawaii, USA while still taking time to record and tour.
 

In the late '60s Ann Arbor became somewhat of a nexus for rock music, hosting festivals which drew performers from all around the world such as Pink Floyd, Janis Joplin, Johnny Winter, Captain Beefheart, and a personal favorite of Tek's, The Rolling Stones.


Tek was heavily influenced by the underground scene of Ann Arbor, which included bands such as The MC5, The Stooges, The Rationals, Frost, Mitch Ryder, Carnal Kitchen with Steve Mackay, The Up, SRC plus jazz greats Pharoah Sanders, Sun Ra, Archie Shepp and Yusef Lateef.


IN 1972 when Deniz moved to Australia he took his love of Detroit Rock n roll with him introducing thousands of young Aussies to our favorite music and taught them about our corridor to the City I 94...


1974-78 Tek proceeded to form a new band with long time friend Rob Younger, with the addition of Chris "Klondike" Masuak, Warwick Gilbert, Pip Hoyle and Ron Keeley, and called themselves Radio Birdman, after a misheard Stooges lyric.

 
The Radio Birdman sound was unconventional and raw... it echoed the Motor City influences of Tek's youth. 
 

Birdman are often attributed with the initiation of the Australian indie rock scene, as after being repeatedly rejected from various clubs and bars in the Sydney area, Birdman took it upon themselves to record and release their first recording Burn My Eye, and distribute it out the back of the band members' station wagons.

 
Radio Birdman began a world tour in 1977 traveling to England and playing a few shows around London as well as recording their second album Living Eyes, until in 1978 the band broke up mid-tour.


READ MORE ON WIKI

Retro Kimmer

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great bunch of pix, esp the one of Rob, Warwick and Deniz. Looks like the London Tube and captures the grouchy mood of that tour (according to all accounts). The top pic is one of the best I've ever seen of Deniz.
No coincidence that it took an American like Deniz with bags of 'can-do' attitude, to kickstart the local alternative rock and roll scene in Sydney, but he couldn't have done it without Rob. Their skill, talent, attitude meshed perfectly.
New Christs played in December with Visitors and Hoodoo Gurus and blew them away.
Earl

Kim Retrokimmer said...

thank you Earl we are huge RB fans and have nothing but high esteem for Rob, Klondike,Warwick and all the other Aussie bands and players...we appreciate your comments...xK

Jan Paul said...

thanks kim retrokimmer...the half mile between the oxford fun house [radio birdman] and french's tavern [midnight oil] in darlinghurst, sydney was the birthplace
of independent rock in australia(i'm not counting ac/dc coz they're essentially glaswegian). one real talent in the original birdman was ron keely, unlike other heavy downbeat drummers riding an incredible succinct beat flying over solid guitars and those mesmeric vocals. ** jan

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