Biographies Book

Jeff Dexter will write his memoirs

There’s a book about the 60s that I can’t wait to read when it finally comes out. Jeff Dexter is writing his memoir and I predict this will be the defining book on the burgeoning music scene of the 60s and 70s. becoming a well-known DJ, promoter, rock band manager, record producer, club entertainer and event organizer.

Jeff Dexter has made almost every step in and around the entertainment industry. From Mecca Dancing in 1961 he was a dancer and singer with Cyril Stapleton’s Orchestra at the Lyceum Ballroom in London, where he was banned for obscenity after performing The Twist on the dance floor. Dexter was also a band boy when he was on the road, which involved taking care of all the props, extra instruments, and sheet music. During his Lyceum days, Dexter became a Disc Jockey and MC on the Record Hops, working with Ian “Sammy” Samwell, and also Jimmy Savile (then Ballroom Manager at Leeds Locarno). Dexter also worked with many other dance groups and in other London venues started and presented the new rhythm groups.

Dexter helped put Britain’s first moving disc on the road in February 1962, starting at Greenwich Town Hall, followed by further regular promotions at Brighton and Croydon. He also became a partner in a record promotion company with Tony Calder. The first record they promoted together was Love Me Do. Dexter gave up his singing career after having to follow Ike & Tina Turner to Hammersmith Palais. Dexter and Samwell hosted numerous late-night record shows in London’s West End nightclubs, including The Flamingo in Wardour Street, The Roaring Twenties in Carnaby Street and The Crazy Elephant in Jermyn Street.

In 1966-67 Dexter worked as a host and DJ at the Tiles Club in Oxford Street, presenting all the soul and pop bands including the late Otis Redding. It featured the record breaking lunchtime shows, immortalized in Tom Wolfe’s book Noonday Underground. Dexter then launched The Jeff Dexter Light & Sound Show with the emerging underground and psychedelic scene, featuring acts like Pink Floyd. Dexter also took up residence at the Middle Earth Club in Covent Garden with John Peel but did not accept an offer to join BBC Radio One.

From 1968 to 1973, Dexter promoted and presented rock shows at the legendary Roundhouse in Chalk Farm, primarily under the Implosion banner. Dexter helped organize and host nearly every major festival, including many free concerts in Hyde Park. He also rebranded Eric Clapton & Friends as Derek & The Dominos. Dexter hosted and arranged most of the acts that appeared at the 1971 Glastonbury Fayre. He also fronted the band America and also co-produced their debut album which went to number one in the US, as did their debut single for Warner Brothers Records.

Between the years 1973-79, Dexter managed and produced numerous artists, negotiated agreements with Atlantic Records (Isaac Guillory), Warner Brothers (Peter Sarstedt, BIM) and EMI (Alfalpha) and Sire Records (Hawkwind). Dexter also managed UK, US and European tours, ran the merchandising deals for numerous acts and his own music publishing company.

From 1979 to 1981 Dexter moved between Milan and New York, worked with well-known Italian bands and made disco records, but also worked with some of his favorite musicians.

In 1981-83 he returned to the UK to manage a hot new band called BIM (Cameron McVey was on vocals and Andy Harley on keyboards), and signed them to Arista Records and then to Warner Brothers Records. Dexter then began promoting retro record shows in West End clubs, and from 1983 to 1989 he promoted a regular club, called The 2I’s at Tottenham Court Road at the Empire Rooms, worked with Time Out, organized music and entertainment at large company parties.

In 1990, Dexter went back to managing rock bands, made new partnerships, recorded several records and spent way too much time and money! He joined a group of old friends to bid for a radio license and joined a consortium with the aim of reviving shows at the Roundhouse.

Jeff Dexter, who is currently a successful lifestyle consultant, is separated from his wife Simona Perlasca (after 30 years), with two sons Wesley (events manager and DJ Loki) and Lincoln (art history student ).

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