During the early '80s, this third wave continued to grow -- more bands continued to pop up across the country, but many of the most popular were based in California. As time wore on, the hardcore influences eventually mutated into heavy.
Multi-talented New York native Alex Desert (pronounced "dez-air") was so inspired by the long-running TV series MASH that he remembers wanting to be a doctor as a youngster. It wasn't until his brother told him that those "doctors" on MASH were actually actors that he was driven to perform.
Since then, Desert, the first American-born member of a Haitian family, has been a showman. As an actor he has done everything from, as a child, impressions of Ronald Reagan to co-starring as a regular in several television series ("Boy Meets World," "The Heights," "Becker") to a featured role in cult indie film classic "Swingers." As a singer and all-around music lover, he has fronted Los Angeles-based Ska band Hepcat for almost a decade.
His role as Jake, the blind newsstand proprietor on "Becker" is so convincing that fans constantly write to TV trivia columnists asking whether Desert is actually blind. (He isn't). He was recently lauded as TV's "most underrated sidekick" by a Canadian newspaper.
Desert's role as musician has taken a backseat for the time being for his "Becker" stint. But he counts Curtis Mayfield, The Impressions, Bob Marley and anything from
Motown as among his greatest musical influences.
He credits being "grounded" to his strong family ties and a strong circle of friends and not taking himself or his profession too seriously.
"Basically, the way I look at everything," he said in a recent interview. "It's just luck of the draw."
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