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The Story of Dezert Rocket
Dez Rocket released his first singles as a solo artist in 2014, but that isn’t when his career began... not by a long shot.
Dez was born David Edward Laschke in St. Louis, Mo, US and changed his name to Dezert X Rocket in 1986 at the age of twenty. The most common reason given for changing his name was “for stage purposes” though there are indications from those close to him that there were other circumstances involved that Dez has never commented on publicly. As a youngster he excelled in athletics and eventually received a scholarship to play football at Central Methodist University where he played and studied for 2 years. This is where he formed his first band before dropping out of college in 1985 to pursue a career in music. After a brief time in Florida as the lead singer of his cousins band, Dez was offered the opportunity to film his first ever music video in St. Louis in 1986 for an original song he recorded called “Don’t Fight About It”. At that time, Dez was broke and desperate to make a living at what he loved most, so he started playing in cover bands and eventually began touring a large swath of North America as a lead vocalist, keyboardist and rhythm guitarist. He found his way to Los Angeles in 1989 where he played the local circuit for several months before quitting cover bands entirely to focus solely on originals and eventually calling LA home for the next 15 years.
During his time in LA, Dez was a member of 3 bands, most notably his original altrock punk band Chongo Guru (1995-2002) playing most of their shows in and around Los Angeles to a local cult following. He was involved on major productions in music, television and film, spent a brief time modeling for Vanity International and recorded many original songs helping to propel and develop his own style. Dezert has performed songs on stage with Robin Zander of Cheap Trick, members of Blue Oyster Cult and Pavlov’s Dog, has been on set with the likes of Bruce Willis, Andy Griffith, Barbara Hershey and Steven Seagal, and worked backline production with artists like Social Distortion, Blue Man Group, Black Eyed Peas, Foo Fighters, Stevie Wonder, Tom Petty, Beck, Deftones, Smokey Robinson and the list goes on and on.
There is also a very dark and sad side to the story of Dezert Rocket. From chronic depression to drug addiction, from a broken home to attempted teen suicide, from losing all of his possessions in the 1994 Northridge earthquake to losing almost everything again 10 years later with the added inclusion of jails and insanity. Many years in the entertainment industry and a pseudo rockstar lifestyle coupled with a very real and dangerous street drug addict lifestyle would eventually take its toll putting Dez directly at the crossroads of life and death, homeless, and at one point even temporarily blind. In what was tantamount to a vision quest, his pursuits toward a “higher realm” were strangely as rewarding as they were difficult. His addiction led him to some very dark places, eventually landing him in rehab in 2004, which is when his life as a “career” addict ended. But, during those difficult times his journey led him to many incredible places. One of which was a place called Redwind, a sovereign indigenous community in the Central California Valley where he visited often and participated in many ceremonies learning the ways of the Indigenous peoples, specifically Dakota Sioux traditions. Dez attributes those visits as one of the main reasons he is still with us today.
In 2006 he moved back to St. Louis, and in 2008 assembled a production studio where he recorded Boo Shaboo, an album he completed in 2010, and a departure from his days in Chongo Guru in that it had more of a pop element and included synthesizers, one of Dez’ first loves, but the album was never officially released. Then, in 2014 he began releasing his first singles as a solo artist/producer and filmed two music videos in his old stomping grounds of Los Angeles before returning again in 2018 and spending the better part of 2 years in Tujunga, California where he recorded his forthcoming self titled album “Dezert Rocket”. On January 29th, 2021 he released his first single “Shocktane” from the new album and it features an amazing music video in support, followed by “Fooled You” in March and “You Caught Me” in June. The much anticipated album was released October 8, 2021.
Dez is admittedly in the most contented place of his life, and says because of what life has taught him and who he is today that he wouldn’t change a thing, but added, “I don’t think I’d be able to live a life like that again and be lucky enough to still be alive”. I’m guessing he’s probably right.