Dean Sabatino aka Dean Clean of The Dead Milkmen
Joseph A. Gervasi interviews Dean Sabatino, better known under his nom-de-Milkmen Dean Clean. Dean was born in Camden, NJ, but grew up in a rural area outside Philadelphia. By the early 1980s, he was in the two-person band Narthex and playing shows in Philadelphia, including at the (in)famous Hot Club. Upon the demise of Narthex, Sabatino joined The Dead Milkmen as their first and only drummer. We talk about Dean’s young life (where he was a fun of progressive rock!) and his incremental move to Philadelphia, where he ultimately lived with the three other members of the band for some years. The Dead Milkmen’s surprise hit song “Punk Rock Girl” earned them play on MTV and got the band a Club MTV in a performance (with a bemused and abused Downtown Julie Brown) that must be seen to be believed (but for the benefit of those who haven’t seen it, Dean discusses the performance in detail). Since Dean was the last remaining living original member of the band I needed to interview, we also talk a bit about the sad demise of Dave Schulthise (aka Dave Blood), the bass player in The Dead Milkmen who took his own life in 2004 at the age of 47. Despite breaking up for several years, The Dead Milkmen are back and continue to record and perform. Dean Sabatino is genial and thoughtful throughout the interview and I know any fan of the band or individuals curious about Philadelphia’s underground music scene of the 1980s will enjoy my talk with him.