|Spokesman-Review, Spokane/Washington 08.02.1976|
Dean Reed: America's Gift to the Communists
Ever hear of Dean Reed? He's the most famous U.S. pop star in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. He sings and plays the guitar, is backed by an East German band, lives in East Berlin with his second wife, is in constant demand for concerts and festivals.
His four concerts in Moscow have been complete sellouts. Ten million copies of his records have been sold in the Soviet Union, where crowds line up all night to buy tickets for his appearances.
Reed is 37, says he was born and reared in Denver, Colo., and attended the University of Colorado for two years.
He claims to have made a rock 'n' roll splash of sorts in Latin America, where the contrast between poverty and wealth turned him into a committed Marxist. From Latin America he made his way to Rome, acted in Italian Westerns, then began playing Eastern Europe, where he became an immediate hit.
Reed is the Elvis Presley of the Soviet bloc. The Young Communist League of Czechoslovakia has awarded him a medal. Hungary has given him several peace prizes. Melodiya, the Soviet recording monopoly, rates his four LP's as all-time best-selling pop albums.
Last year Reed starred in an East German film, "Bood Brothers," in which he played a pacifist cowboy. In the political society in which he lives he claims to be more musical than ideological. "I'm the kind of guy," he says, "who believes in live and let live."