At 16, Deen Castronovo had quite a reputation - as an over the top,
bombastic power drummer, that is. At an age when most of his peers
were out cruising the street looking for girls and parties, Deen and his
band, The Enemy were opening for Blue Oyster Cult and Foghat.
Kip Doran (Evil Genius), Matt McCourt and Jay Reynolds (Malice) saw
an ad on tv for The Enemy and went to a local nightclub to check the
band out. To say they were impressed would be an understatement.
Recalls McCourt, "He (Deen) was playing double bass parts of the UFO
song 'Shoot, Shoot' that actually made me like that song. I was really into drummers then and here is this kid taking up the whole stage playing and
singing. The others in the band had to stand on the dance floor because
his kit was so big."
Kay, Deen's Mom, was his manager at the time and was actually the one
who arranged for his band to open for Blue Oyster Cult and Foghat. She
also played a major role in Deen's next band, the Wild Dogs, by donating money for staging, gear and special effects. Other members of the Wild
Dogs were Matt McCourt, Danny Kurth and Jeff Mark.
McCourt, Kurth and Mark were about 21 years old at the time and only Matt had no doubt that Deen was their drummer. He says it took some persuasion on his part to convince the others, but once they heard him play, all doubt vanished and Deen was in. He was 17.
Deen went on to provide a monster backbeat for numerous artists as well
as being a member of such bands as Hardline, Bad English, and of course,
his current band, Journey. Anyone who has ever seen Deen perform onstage will testify to his mastery of his craft as well as his showmanship. Matt McCourt agrees, "Deen would throw his sticks up like 20 feet in the air, catch 'em, and not miss a beat. Without restraint, I think this guy is it when it comes to drumming. He embodies everything I ever thought a drummer should be. Deen just rules. There is no replacing him. Everyone else falls short and no matter how good they are, they don't hold a candle to Deen."