The Costa del Sol has long been known for its varied and exciting music scene. The region is popular with musicians from all over the globe, some of whom have been associated with world-renowned bands, while others are semi-professional musicians who are happy to earn a mediocre living performing along the coast.
Dex Park is a musician who arrived on the Costa del Sol in 2003 and has since gained a reputation for his incredible musicianship by performing in several established bands on the Costa, as well as being a regular face at the numerous jam sessions that bring together musicians from all over the province.
Dex is not a former member of a chart-topping rock band but he has had an interesting career.
Born in Motherwell in 1958, he began playing guitar in his early teens and went on to perform in an established Glasgow-based rock band called Dodger who appeared on the popular television programme, Back on the Streets.
Dex grew up believing he was the only musician in the family, although he would learn later in life that his grandmother, who died before he was born, was a respected musician.
"Neither of my parents were musicians. I was around 20 when mother told me that my grandmother was a violinist and pianist who had played in the Scottish National Orchestra. This surprised me, but it could explain from where my musical roots evolve," the proud Scot tells SUR in English.
The guitarist and vocalist, who studied Music Production and Sound Engineering at Glasgow College, came to live on the Costa del Sol with his family after enjoying numerous holidays in the area. They first settled in Fuengirola although later decided to move to a remote town in the Granada province. They returned to the coast one year later and set up home in El Faro.
"We had visited the coast for several holidays and we had talked about coming to live here many times. One day we just did it. We have no regrets about coming to live here. It's fantastic. We love this area," he explains.
Before coming to live in Spain, Dex, who will celebrate his 65th birthday in July, was performing in an eight-piece band called Mac Floyd, a project that would prove beneficial many years later on the coast.
"We were a Pink Floyd tribute and at that time tribute bands hadn't really taken off, so we kind of got in there quite early on. We gigged all over the country in a van and then over to Belgium. It was a lot of travelling, but great fun," he says.
Since arriving in Spain, Dex has formed several popular groups, including Dirty Little Secrets, a pop and rock covers band; and Stone F3ee, a band that covered Hendrix, Clapton and Cream songs.
His current project is a five-piece band called Dead Ringer, a tribute to Meat Loaf, which he has taken to some of the top entertainment venues along the coast. He also performs in a duo called the Disclaimers, which is a scaled-down version of Dead Ringer.
"The five-piece is for the larger venues but we came up with the duo so we can perform at smaller bars and clubs. The duo is easier to organise because most of the members of the five-piece band also play in other groups, so it can be difficult to get that together," he explains.
Along with his tribute bands, Dex is also one of the musicians who is participating in the Pink Floyd Experience, an ensemble of around a dozen local musicians and vocalists that are preparing for a one-off performance in the Benalmádena auditorium on Saturday 27 May. The project, the idea of fellow musician Steve Hughes, includes some of the coast's most celebrated performers who have come together to present the ultimate Pink Floyd experience.
"I was very happy to be asked to participate in this project. It's a lot of work, but it is all going to plan. It involves some great musicians and singers, so this is a great project to be involved with," he concludes.
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