Dean Chamberlain grew up in San Mateo, just south of San Francisco, and started playing electric guitar when he was 14. He began attending Bill Graham-produced concerts and caught a variety of artists, such as Howlin’ Wolf, The Charles Lloyd Quartet, and Big Brother And The Holding Company. He saw Jimi Hendrix play on several occasions and once became so caught up in the excitement, he climbed up on the stage, only to be launched back into the crowd by Graham himself.
As a teenager, Dean spent a year in Brazil while his dad worked as a doctor for the Peace Corps. While there he expanded his musical pallet by befriending and playing with future Brazilian guitar hero Robertinho de Recife and a young Arto Lindsay. After returning to the States, Dean studied at U.C. Santa Cruz before transferring to Berkeley. It was there that he co-formed the group that would eventually become The Motels. The group's music was a funky reaction to the peace and love of the Bay area but by the early 70's the local music scene was dying and the band moved south. Dean says "I came down to L.A. to see Iggy Pop at the Whisky a Go-Go and stayed.”
At first Dean spent his evenings at The Rainbow Bar & Grill trying to get his bearings and then secured a job at Paramount Recording Studios. He simply asked and they found work for him removing linoleum from the studio bathroom floor. He also assisted in the engineering of actual recording sessions, and worked with legendary artists and producers, such as Sly Stone, Bob Crewe, and Bobby Womack. He also recorded his own version of “Harlem Shuffle” (unathorized - which probably led to his dismissal). Dean’s then secured a job at Warner Bros. Records, listening to unsolicited tapes sent to the A&R department. This was a handy gig, as it allowed him to pursue his own musical endeavors while getting paid to listen to those of other musicians.
The rest of the band soon relocated to L.A. where they put on their own show called Radio Free Hollywood at Trooper's Hall. But Punk and New Wave music was on the move and dextrous guitar riffage based music was fading fast... and Dean was a "lead guitar" player. The band split in early 1977, right after being offered a music contract, and Dean moved on.
He put an ad in the recycler looking for musicians, rented a storefront for rehearsal space, and the band "Skin" was born. It included Randall Marsh on drums and Michael Ostendorf on bass and with Dean writing songs they started playing gigs in late 1978. WB execs caught a gig and then signed them the next day. Michael left, Gary Tibbs filled in on bass, they changed their name to "Code Blue," recorded in London and Van Nuys, changed producers, and finally finished their first album. Dean's band had a national tour (a new bassist, Joe Read) and they opened for Thin Lizzy. The first show was pretty good but overall their tour was not well received and a couple years later, after reevaluating their music direction, the band broke up.
After Code Blue disbanded Dean formed the trio "Resurrection"... and later, "Orange Wedge", a four-piece group he describes as "southern-fried acid-speed-blues." Then, sometime around 1993, Mr. Chamberlain put down his guitar.
Years have passed and after spending time in an artists community out in the sticks of the Mojave desert (Wonder Valley) Dean has come back to the fold of Hollywood and is again playing gigs at local venues... this time with a folk/gospel edge added to his amazing guitar playing (which is now usually on an acoustic). He got a good write-up in the L.A. Times and you can catch his website at http://www.myspace.com/deanhchamberlain.