CODE BLUE - Code Blue

CODE BLUE   Code Blue  CD/LP  1980/2003
Whisper / Touch / Modern Times / Hurt / Face To Face / Burning Bridges / Somebody Knows / Other End Of Town / Where I Am / Settle For Less / The Need / Paint By Numbers / Whisper / Touch (2003 Remix) / Hurt (2003 Remix) / Burning Down The House Of Love / Where I Am (Demo) / Settle For Less Live (Live) / Other End Of Town (Live) / Book Of Job / Burning Bridges (Demo) / She Said Yeah (Live) / Letter From Leavenworth / Paint By Numbers (Live) / Spellbound / We Were Wasted.
Produced by Code Blue & Nigel Gray.
Code Blue: Dean Chamberlain: vocals, lead guitar / Randall Marsh: drums, vocals / Gary Tibbs: bass, vocals.

Los Angeles' Code Blue may be best remembered for the fact that its first album was released encased in a blue plastic bag; the group, which actually had talent, fell victim to the post-Knack backlash against Angelino power pop. The brainchild of original Motels guitarist Dean Chamberlain, Code Blue came together after the first version of the Motels disbanded in 1977, with drummer Randall Marsh and bassist Gary Tibbs (Vibrators, Roxy Music) completing the lineup. Despite three good musicians, some decent material and lofty artistic aspirations, the combination of the Knack-lash and the lack of any really killer tracks doomed the LP to prompt oblivion. Trouser Press
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 here. Source

4 commentaires:


CODE BLUE: "Code Blue" LP 1980 CD (Rhino Handmade) 2003

"...Code Blue is an overlooked gem that ranks among the best rock albums
of the ’80s, captured a sincere and unique slice of raw emotion. One
wouldn’t necessarily link it, stylistically, to the decade, although
“Whisper/Touch” does play on Andie’s car stereo in a scene from Pretty In
Pink, forever sealing it in the ’80s time capsule."

C. Silagyi

lmelis a dit…

Thank you!

Jim H. a dit…

one of the best from the era, including Mr. Silgyi's mighty 20/20 of course......LOUD and great songs that are WAY tougher and noisier than the Knack or other power pop bands, and drummer Randall Marsh had the cred, being in Mudcrutch, Tom Petty's pre-Heartbreakers band, so these guys had the goods......thanks much and EVERYBODY needs to hear this gem!

Chris Damned a dit…

Mazette, chouette chouette !