The Dumpy Little Building in Beautiful Downtown Culver City lost a good man this month. We do not know all the details at this time, but it appears Robert Leslie Dean, age 61, has passed away from a heart-attack.
To cite Robert as just one of our security personnel at the Culver City building would be an injustice. As a Hollywood native, Robert followed his passion for music and photography early in life; He began as a newspaper boy in the early Sixties through the famed Hollywood Desilu Studios television lot, handing over the daily news with stars in his eyes.
His entertainment career didn’t end there – in 1981, he became a full-time musician playing the Sunset Strip and beyond. Rockin’ Robert’s Upsetters performed in venues like the Ice House and the Whiskey a Go Go, playing from late night to early morning. In the late nineties, Robert traded in his guitar for another instrument – the camera.
“I’ve ‘hung out’ all my life,” he recalls in his biography. “I take photos now because, I re-wound my memory and realized I had seen so many important concerts, events, people, billboards, marquees and moments of value over the years, in my hometown of Hollywood, that exist only in my head now. They should’ve been ‘lensed’.”
Before arriving at CBS Radio, Robert Leslie Dean worked as a courier for Channel 9 in Hollywood. Fate was on Robert’s side on that day in 1983, for as he delivered a package to Channel 9’s security booth, he noticed a set of drumsticks laying across the table.
Those drumsticks belonged to Charles Connor, founding father of the Rock ‘n Roll drums, originally with Little Richard’s Upsetters which was the first black Rock ‘n Roll band.
Robert mentioned he played the guitar, piano, and sang in a mean, gravelled baritone. Within a month, they started Rockin’ Robert’s Upsetters.
The band was a great success for many years, and as the years went by the two travelled in and out of multiple bands together, started with West Coast Upsetters to Rockin’ Robert’s Upsetters to the Bryan MacLean band.
Soon, Robert was a full-time musician playing on TV, car shows, clubs and even making it on the air during the early days of KROQ . As a local LA musician with enormous stage presence and talent, he knew how to draw a crowd. It also helped that he was a handsome man, willing to dance onstage and always making sure his friends were on the list.
Rockin’ Robert’s Upsetters – “Mardi Gras In New Orleans”