"FOLLOW YOUR BLISS"
DANCE TO THE SOUND OF LOVE! Derek Lyons
My Jedi name is
I am the Medal Bearer, Rebel Honor Guard from Star Wars a New Hope!
And MI6 Agent in The Living Daylights and 3 other JB movies and Indiana Jones!
MY LIFE SO FAR............
I was born in London on 25th September 1958, and from an early age fascinated with film and TV, I would entertain family and friends with impersonations of favourite actors and comedians such as Groucho Marx, Burt Lancaster, Danny Kaye,Jerry Lewis and Stan Laurel. Later I appeared in 1985 on the Six O’Clock Show impersonating Stan Laurel. At Christmas and family occasions I would be asked to sing for family and friends.
I always dreamed of being on the stage or in a musical and on the big screen. My first ever job was working within the music industry for Record Mirror, Sounds and Music Week.There I met many great music writers such as the DJ John Peel( a lovely man) and many bands who came for interviews and parties.I wrote reviews of concerts and took photos of bands like The Jam,The Clash, The Stranglers and The Stukas. I became good friends with Paul Weller, Hugh Cornwall, Shane MacGowan ( The Nips/The Pogues)and Eddie and the Hot Rods.My pictures were published in Timeout,NME and Melody Maker.
At 13 years old was very fortunate enough to meet the stage and screen actor Sir Nigel Hawthorne, who was a close neighbour and friend. Nigel encouraged me to think about working within the acting profession and generously agreed to sponsor his application to join British Actor's Equity.
I was offered to work for CBS records and also EMI but turned them down.I use to visit Track Records,The Who office many times and had many good friends there including Mike Shaw ( Manager) and Paul Cummings later to become Co-Manager of Dire Straits! I also met Thunderclap Newman at the office and one day sang 'Something In The Air' with him whilst he accompanied me on piano! Peter Jones the Chief Editor of Billboard said of me one day "Derek, your enthusiasm for the music business has always been fantastic and you have great knowledge of the industry.”You have a pleasant personality and you should go far in what ever you do". This was the man who discovered The Rolling Stones!
In 1976/77 I almost met Kate Bush, went to EMI RECORDS in Manchester Square in London . I was to go to the PR dept to pick some copy up for Sounds and Record Mirror, where I worked at the time. Had a coffee Andy Childs I think it was, he told me that they had just signed a very talented girl called Kate Bush and that she was in the other room. Andy asked me if I would like to meet her, I was shy then and said "No thanks, maybe next time"! What a silly Teen I was! I also picked up the a Kings Costume worn by Marc Bolan for the Record Mirror Cover ! Never met Marc but would have loved too!
Also I have been very lucky in working for one of my music heroes, the late George Harrison whom I met and spoke with a few times whilst working on few of his movies.He was my all time favorite Beatle! I trained at the Trinity College of Music, London with Jean Marshall, and I am a tenor having a two and a half octave range. My great Uncle Bert Mac helped the careers of the famous Irish tenor Josef Locke, Comedian Frank Carson and singer Dana. . My great-uncle Bert Mac was a famous Irish yodeler and recording artist in the 1930s.
My Grandfather Arthur Lyons worked as a tailor for Kilgour French and Stanbury in Saville Row up to 1965 and was responsible for making the suit that Gary Grant wears in' North by North West' Directed by Alfred Hitchcock .
In 1983 I formed a 1920-30's Variety Act called The Debonairs . We performed songs from that golden age such as' Keep Young and Beautiful', 'Mean to Me', ' It all Depends on You' and 'You're the Cream in My Coffee', toured around the UK with some success.
Film Stars who were an inspiration to me were Steve McQueen, Robert Mitchum, James Coburn, and martial arts legend Bruce Lee, actors from the golden era of Hollywood, the likes of Tony Curtis, Alan Ladd, Burt Lancaster and James Stewart. Musically, the films of Fred Astaire , Gene Kelly and the comedy films of of Laurel and Hardy ,The Marx Brothers , Bob Hope and Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye.
I was very lucky to have had my first break as an actor on the Star Wars film, 'A New Hope' in 1976 - this was in fact my first job within the film business. I was chosen to appear as Medal Bearer and Massassi Temple Guard (Rebel Honor Guard).I even now have my own action figure which Hasbro released for the 30th Anniversary of the movie!From this start, I have been able to cultivate a career in film, winning parts in many major films made in England including auditioning for Raiders of the Lost Ark and got the part , but silly me went on holiday instead.
I worked on four Bond movies The Living Daylights,A View to a Kill,Octopussy and Goldeneye. Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade, Victor/Victoria, Flash Gordon,Ragtime,The Mirror Crackd', Krull,The Shinning,Quadrophenia ,Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Death Wish 3, Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan , Superman 2, plus many others and did a little Stunt work working with the Stunt team on several projects .
I also worked on TV productions and was PC Craig Lovell in The Bill from 1987 to 1991. I have been fortunate enough to work with many great actors, including Robert Mitchum, Julie Andrews,Ornella Muti, Jack Nicholson,Scatman Crothers, Anthony Hopkins, Sir Laurence Olivier,Roger Moore, Sean Connery, John Rhys-Davies, Stubby Kaye, George Hearn, Robert Preston and most recently Alec Baldwin.
I have also been very lucky to have worked with George Lucas,Steven Spielberg, Peter Hunt (OHMSS) to name but a few.
In my spare time,I sing and listen to music, practice Zen Buddhism and am interested in the works of Joseph Campbell, Taoism and Eastern philosophy.And a keen martial artist for 30 years, starting with Wu Shu Kwan and various other martial arts, including Tai Chi and Aikido. However, a big influence was Bruce Lee and I was fortunate enough to meet and talk with Linda Lee in 1976 when she was in London promoting her book about Bruce and their life together - ‘The Life and Tragic Death of Bruce Lee’. I am accomplished boxer and fencer, and a fully qualified swimming teacher and coach.
At present I am Acting still and worked on a few projects and have been appearing at several Conventions from 2006 in Japan and Germany, France and Holland and recently was a special guest in Germany at JediCon 2008. At the moment
I am in process of writing a book about my experiences and friendship with the late Marvin Gaye, whom I met in 1980 whilst working in Carnaby Street in a record shop called ‘Rock Dreams’.
Marvin was in London working on his last album for Motown ‘In Our Lifetime’. I was a close friend for three years and travelled with Marvin to Belgium. It was Marvin who complimented me on my voice and offered that he would record with him, saying “Derek, you have a beautiful ballad voice and some day we will work together".
I loved Marvin like a father and I know he loved me to. The day he died was a very sad day for the world of music and for me. On the 2nd April 1984 Marvins 45 birthday, I sent his agent Marilyn Freeman a telegram which read "DEAR MARVIN, I LOVE YOU AND YOUR SPIRIT WILL ALWAYS BE IN MY HEART" Love Derek.
I still think of those times together, running,singing,talking about God and the Universe, laughing and having fun. I will never forget Marvin and maybe some day I will see him again! I am a massive music and film fan and enjoy reading biographies of the Hollywood stars from the Golden Era.I love the works of Joseph Campbell .
“I am a man of many talents” this has been told to me on many occasions by my friends and peers. I have directed , written and performed at private and public events from Comedy, Singing and various Impersonations as far as Japan and most of Europe. The last event was at Jedicon 2008 where I was invited to talk and perform over two day period on stage performing two , one hour performances which were given rave reviews by the audience and promoter.
In 17th September 2009 in Germany I was awarded the Honorary Membership of the 501st legion, this is a great honour and I am so proud of this Award! . In 2010 there are Convention for Charity including Spain and the UK!
Have helped several Charity Conventions over the years including Claudia Con 2011, PARKINSON'S UK which raised £6,575 with some of my autographs which I donated.
I have been using my Voice Skills this year with Dark Empire Radio( Joe Mignano) and performing my impersonations of Sean Connery, C3PO, Tigger and Christopher Lee with much success. Have a part in a possible movie in 2011 if my health is good and appearing at Charity Events and hope to raise money for the Children's Trust
Am writing two books, one my autobiography and the other about Marvin Gaye. They should be finished this century!! LOL!
This year after 3 years of study I received my Bachelor of Arts BA in Cinema Studies, so now Derek Lyons BA.
Still appearing and giving interviews and talks on film. Earlier this year I was invited as a tutor for the Production Guild at Pinewood Studios by Terry Bamber for a trial course for Assitant Directors.
I was given much praise for my talk.