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The Dave Clark Five

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The Dave Clark Five were a British rock and roll group in the 1960s, and one of the few that were able to present a commercial threat to the Beatles, the dominant group of the period.

Originating in North London the band promoted themselves as the vanguard of the 'Tottenham Beat', a response to the Mersey Beat stable managed by Brian Epstein. They had a series of memorable hits, including Glad All Over, Because, and Bits and Pieces. Bits and Pieces was banned from being played at their live concerts as fans would jump up and down in time to the song's beat, and promoters feared this would damage the theatre. Dave Clark was the manager of the band. It was revealed in later years that Clark was not quite the multi-tasking specialist that publicity materials had suggested. Although he took a writing credit on each song, Clark didn't actually compose; rather, his name was on the songs as a contractural obligation with the members of the group. It was also revealed in 2004 that Clark, who had rudimentary drumming skills, did not play on the group's hit records. That work was done by session veteran Bobby Graham, as revealed in his 2004 autobiography.

The group consisted of Dave Clark (drums), Mike Smith (lead vocals,keyboards and song-writing), Lenny Davidson (lead guitar), Rick Huxley (bass guitar), and Denis Payton (tenor and baritone saxophones, harmonica, guitar). In spite of their huge success for a period, bolstered by a 1965 film Catch Us If You Can (directed by John Boorman), and a 1967 TV special, the hits dried up after 1967's Nineteen Days and You Got What It Takes. Their efforts to embrace the prevailing trend of psychedelia were not successful. They broke up in 1970 after a failed attempt at repositioning themselves as a Sha Na Na/Showaddywaddy type 1950s revival act. (see 1970 in music).

Unusually for a group of that (or any) era, the leader was the drummer Dave Clark who would play and sing with his drums positioned at the front of the stage, relegating the guitarists and keyboard to his rear. The group was unique in the British Invasion because it was not a guitar-based sound. The beat was prominent and the DC5 was one of the few groups of the era to feature a sax. Smith's growling, blues-tinged vocals were in the lead on almost all of the hit singles.

Following the break up of the band Clark set up a media company. In the process he acquired the rights to the iconic sixties pop series Ready, Steady, Go!. Clark had the series re-edited so that every episode featured a performance from the Dave Clark Five. Smith returned to performing in 2003 after a layoff of 25 years. He formed "Mike Smith's Rock Engine" and did two mini-tours of the USA, although he was legally forbidden from using any mention of the DC5 in his advertising. His comeback was cut short by tragedy. Just weeks after his only son died in a diving accident, Smith was seriously injured in a fall at his home on Sept. 12, 2003. He has been confined to a UK hospital since his accident, unable to walk with only limited use of his arms.


External links

pt:The Dave Clark Five

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