As a longtime roadie/driver/babysitter for New York’s legendary punk band, Blanks 77, I got to know Dean Digaetano a few years back. As he recently reminded me, we first met the night one of the Lunachicks had thrown me up against a wall, held me there by my neck and told me she was going to kick my ass good. She never made clear her reasons, but I think it had something to do with me having a nice guitar and a penis, while she just had a guitar.
Anyway, as the years passed, Dean and I and the Blanks 77 got to hang out a lot, and my band, Furious George, even played some shows with them. We’d drink together, hang out at the Coney Island High together, swap spit together, puke together and even get scabies together. Life was wonderful.
And when it wasn’t, Dean was always there. He’d be the guy who would carry me into my building when I was too drunk to even see. He wouldn’t get mad when I threw up in his car, and when Wendy would ask what happened to me as Dean would lay me out on my living room floor, he’d just smile that Dean smile, and she’d know all was right in the punk rock world.
A couple of years later the Blanks 77 broke up, and left a huge hole in the New York Scene. But worse than that, in my drinking schedule. The band, half of them not talking to one another, left me no choice but find new friends. Especially at the Mars Bar.
Then something amazing happened. Dean, in his infinite wisdom, decided to throw a band together, taking Renee Wasted, the guitarist from Blanks 77, with him. He got this guy Antny on second guitar, Nelson on bass and my ex-drummer and Blanks 77 ex-drummer Kid Lynch on drums. When Dean told me about this, I couldn’t wait to hear him sing.
Then he dropped the bombshell on me.
"George," he said, in that Sex Machine kind of voice the man possesses, "I’m not the singer."
"What the fuck?" I asked my friend and now my babysitter.
Dean then explained that the band is named after him, but they have a chick singer. Actually, they’re on their second one now, Jody. She looks like a hot schoolteacher who practices s&m on the side, and sings like Alvin, Simon and Theodore all rolled up into one.
"So what do you do?" I asked him.
"I just introduce the band by saying, ‘I’m Dean Dean and these are my Sex Machines!’" he replied.
I was floored.
It was pure genius. Not only does the guy not have to waste his time onstage for a whole set, but he doesn’t have to throw out his voice either. On top of that, he can scam on chicks during the band’s entire set, and he has no equipment to move!
Obviously, I was jealous.
A few days ago Dean and Renee came over to Nick’s place for the following interview, where we were only interrupted by P.J., my Yorkie, bringing them his toys plus Wendy’s underwear, and my awful hangover, which had me running to my stepdad’s bathroom every few minutes.
Dean, how’d you get the name Dean Dean the Sex Machine?
RW: The Blanks were on tour in Florida, and Dean came down to visit his cousin and us, and we started calling him Dean Dean the Miami Sound Machine. [laughs]. Once we left Miami, that didn’t work, so we figured he had more sex than anybody because the roadies always get more sex.
RW: Because the band is busy playing and all he has to do is stand around and look at cute girls and pick them up. Plus, he’s not a very good roadie.
DDTSM: I can’t argue with that.
So the Sex Machine name?
RW: Well, it was because he was having sex, we weren’t, and it’s the whole nickname thing. Plus it rhymes.
Isn’t it a Gong Show reference?
DDTSM: That’s Gene Gene the dancing machine.
RW: Although Dean is a dancing machine. But sex machine sounds cooler.
Renee, why did the Blanks pack it in? In two words…
RW: Burn Out.
DDTSM: They were all burnt out.
The new band–who writes the songs?
RW: Me and Antny. And Jody writes lyrics occasionally.
DDTSM: I wrote like three lines!
RW: Race car lyrics! For the boy love song! [laughs]
So what’s the plan with the band?
RW: Oh jeez.
DDTSM: There has to be a plan?
RW: No one told me there has to be a plan. [laughs]
DDTSM: I just want to get laid.
RW: Um…do you mean short-term or long-term?
DDTSM: I don’t have a short-term memory left, so it has to be long-term.
So there’s no real plan?
RW: Well, we wanna tour in a tour bus. Because they’re nice. You can drink in them and they have bunks. Sex bunks. With curtains on them. But you can’t poop in the bathrooms.
RW: Because it clogs up the system. I saw that on one of the Behind the Musics. Yeah, I’d like a tour bus with a disco ball in it.
DDTSM: I just wanna have sex in the bus.
RW: I just wanna sleep in the driver’s bunk.
DDTSM: You just wanna sleep with the driver! [laughs]
RW: I guess we want to put out a record at some point. That would be good. Because when record labels are trying to sign you they buy you stuff. They buy you food and booze. But I don’t know if they buy you drugs, but if they do, that would be cool!
I actually got drugs when I was professionally managed.
RW: Yeah. And not from a shrink.
RW: Everyone is coming with us on tour. We need two buses. The party bus and the sleeping bus.
DDTSM: The sleeping bus will be empty.
RW: When you are ready for sex, you flash your high beams, and the buses pull over so you can have sex on the sleeping bus! Now we have a plan!
So you guys are really serious like, um, errr, well, you know, those people who just have to be rock stars!
RW: Yes. We all have real jobs.
DDTSM: Not me. I’m just a rock star…
What happened to your job, and what have you done since?
DDTSM: My job closed. I’ve done absolutely nothing since. I sleep till 2, but, I play Grand Theft Auto all night till 6 a.m. I beat the game.
RW: I went over and played it. It’s the best game ever.
RW: Because you have sex with the hookers, then you kill them and get your money back. That’s the best thing ever!…
Okay, more band stuff now. Jody. What’s her deal?
RW: Oh, we’re not allowed to talk about Jody, our singer.
DDTSM: Her name’s with an "i." Jodi.
I’m lazy. Why can’t we talk about her, does she have a deep dark secret?
RW: I can tell you, but then I’d have to kill you.
What about Nelson?
RW: Nelson’s great.
DDTSM: I found Nelson online. I had been talking to him for years.
An album out some decade soon?
RW: [nods] We just did a demo, which you can hear at our website at deandeanandthesexmachines.com, but we don’t have any money. So someone has to put it out for us. And it has to be somebody big because we need two tour buses.
Wouldn’t you need a third to really get some sleep?
RW: There’s no sleep on tour.
DDTSM: We’ve all slept next to each other having sex anyway.
RW: We’ve all seen each other naked. Besides, there’s no sleeping on tour. We’ll sleep on the plane!
DDTSM: My friend is getting his pilot’s license and I told him we want a plane with "Sex" written on the side.
Fuzzy dice in the cockpit?
DDTSM: Ooooh, yeah.
RW: I want a disco ball on the plane.
RW: Excuse me, I get to bang the pilot.
Okay–so obviously you guys are well on your way to becoming the next Nirvana. Your message is meaningful, but more importantly, you take your music very seriously. Any closing words?
DDTSM: If we are the next Nirvana, can I bang Courtney Love?
RW: I don’t have to be the one to die, do I?
Dean Dean and the Sex Machines play Fri., Jan. 24, at NorthSix, 66 N. 6th St. (betw. Kent & Wythe Aves.), Williamsburg, 718-599-5103