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Who Is Brian Eno? The Complete Story

by Ashley Andersen
July 29, 2019
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Brian Eno – 2019. © NME.

 If you examine the back of just about any popular ’80’s underground band or solo artist, it is highly probable Brian Eno’s name will be listed in the credits. I discovered this frequently with my own vinyl record collection in high school. It made me ask the question, who is Brian Eno? To reveal all about this extraordinarily talented man is complex and would require turning this particular blog into a book. 

So, In ten different ways, I will attempt to provide insight on the impact, innovation, influence that Brian Eno has had for over forty years as a producer, artist, inventor, composer, author and visual artist. This task is not without its challenges. For Brian Eno is not unlike Steve Jobs, regarding Eno’s in terms of his contributions, inventions and influence on the music world.

1. Early Origins...

Brian Peter George St. John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno (born Brian Peter George) was born in England in 1948. He was raised in Suffolk and would go on to attend Ipswich Civic Art College and the Winchester school of Art during the mid ’60’s. While he was a student, Eno studied Experimental Art and Painting.

2. Brian Eno is a founding member of the band Roxy Music.

“As a result of going into a subway station and meeting Andy (saxophonist Andy McKay), I joined Roxy Music, and as a result, I have a career in music. If I had walked ten yards further down the platform, or missed that train, I probably would have been an art teacher now…”

~ Brian Eno

An early promotional photo of Roxy Music, circa 1971. Copyright Warner Bros. (Note: In th early stages or his career Brian Eno just went simply by the stagename Eno.)

 In 1971, Brian Eno gained entry into the music business by becoming a member of the band Roxy Music. Initially, his role in the band was behind the scenes utilizing tape recorders to create loops and delayed sound effects. He also operated the group’s mixing board. His role evolved and he would go on to join his band members on stage playing a MCS3 synthesizer. He was also known for his flamboyant style of dress onstage and heavy make up. In 1973, Eno made the decision to leave the group.

3. Some of Brian Eno's pastimes include experimenting with tape recorders and inventing innovative creative systems...

During the course of his career, Brian Eno has invented some incredible things, including something called Oblique Strategies. Eno created this creative card based system with the help of Peter Schmidt. Like creative tarot cards, they are designed to help inspire and challenge artists and to help them embark on new creative pathways. This system was created in 1975. There have been millions artists and musicians have benefitted from applying this system into their work, including David Bowie.

Oblique Strategies: the creative card based system to help promote creativity in artists. The system was invented by Brian Eno and colleague Peter Schmidt in 1975.

Brian Eno and his friend Robert Fripp (guitarist in King Crimson) helped to popularize a looping effect and delay technique through the use of tape recorders. This recording technique became known as Fripperonics. The process was created by having Fripp play guitar while a tape recorder was rewinding, while another tape machine was recording the sound. It is demonstrated in Eno and Fripp’s collaborative albums No Pussyfooting and Evening Star. These albums were created during the years of 1973 – 1975. Eno has worked extensively with Fripp throughout his entire career.

The 77 Million Paintings by Brian Eno is digital art software program that was created specifically for home computers in 2006. It combines his music composition skills in the genre of both Ambient and Generative Music. Oh by the way, Eno is credited with invention both of these music styles…  

This computer program also demonstrates Eno’s talents as a painter and visual artist. The paintings by Eno were done on glass slides. With each launching of this amazing computer program new examples of paintings and music can be seen heard for a predicted total of 77 million possible different outcomes.

4. Brian Eno's Songwriting abilities helped to inspire the evolution of Punk Rock music.

Brian Eno’s second solo album “Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy)” released in 1974

On his second solo album Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy) released in 1974. Eno applied his Oblique Strategies creative system his own songwriting and one of the results was Third Uncle. The cards also helped to alter the way recording and studio work had previously been approached.

Eno’s application of Oblique Strategies into the lyrics of Third Uncle resulted in words sounding random, accidental and more like a percussive instrument. There definitely does not seem to be any rhyme or reason to it. This song is considered to be a predecessor and an inspirational anthem of the punk rock music movement.

The band Bauhaus covered Third Uncle on their album The Skies Gone Out released in 1982. You know you are doing something pretty cool when one of the most popular, influential and respected bands within the genre of gothic rock decides that they want to do a cover one of one your songs…

5. Brian Eno and David Bowie were buddies...

“David’s death came as a complete surprise as did nearly everything else about him. I feel a huge gap now. We knew each other for over forty years, in a friendship that was always tinged by (comic characters) Pete and Dud…” 

 

~ Brian Eno.

The connection between David Bowie and Brian Eno was significant and they were great friends as well as collaborators. Eno produced what is now referred to as the Berlin Trilogy by Bowie. These albums are Low, Heroes and Lodger. He also performed on these albums and live with Bowie on numerous occasions. In 1997, Eno co – wrote the song I’m Afraid of Americans, with Bowie, which was released as a single on the album Earthling. The song gained first gained  popularity in the movie Showgirls. Eno played synthesizer on the song and also helped to write the lyrics. Bowie described what the lyrics meant to him in this way while traveling in Java: 

“It’s not truly hostile about Americans as say, Born in the U.S.A., it’s more sardonic…” 

“The invasion of any homogenized culture is so depressing, the erection of another Disneyworld in, say, Umbria, Italy more so. It strangles the indigenous culture and narrows the expression of life…”

 I’m Afraid of Americans (V1) is a remix version of the song featuring Trent Reznor. Reznor sang backing vocals, played bass, drums and guitar on this version as well. The remix was produced by Nine Inch Nails.  A video for the song features Bowie and Reznor and was directed by Nick Goffey and Dominic Hawley. The video received one grammy nomination.

The friendship between Bowie and Eno has been immortalized in a cartoon created by the Brothers McLeod. This cartoon makes loving fun of Bowie and Eno’s creative process along with producer Tony Visconti for the album “Warzsawa”. 

6. Brian Eno was featured on a children's album.

In 1975 Brian Eno played “The Wolf” on his synthesizer for the adaptation of Peter and The Wolf by Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev. This rock and roll opera was created by Jack Lancaster and Robin Lunley. It was narrated by Viv Stanshall

During the early years of his career, Brian Eno went by simply Eno as seen on the album cover. Eno brought his signature bloops and bleeps on his synthesizer and combined  forces with the band Manfred Mann, Julie Driscoll, Phil Collins and many, many other talented musicians. Prokofiev originally wrote Peter and the Wolf Op. 67 in 1936. 

A picture of Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev early on in his career.

7. Brian Eno has created and popularized two musical genres.

Brian Eno has created several different ambient music albums. In 1975, Eno and Robert Fripp collaborated on the album No Pussyfooting. It was the result of the two experimenting with new techniques for recording with tape machines. In describing his process of creating ambient music Eno recommends, “it must be as ignorable as it is interesting…”

He concentrated in highlighting the environment in his compositions. Perhaps Eno’s best known composition for this style of music is Ambient 1: Music for Airports released in 1978. The album is listed in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. With his incredible knack of making creative systems, Eno created a whole new genre known as generative music. (For an in depth study on how this genre of music is created, click on the hyperlink above.) It should be also noted that Brian Eno has been credited with creating the Microsoft Sound.

Through the combination of computer technology and his innovative recording techniques, Eno was successful in creating a genre of music capable of self replication known as Generative Music. The result is an infinite blending of multiple tracks. Brian Eno working with other artists has created several sound installations that represent this particular form of music. Some of these include DormientiLightness  –  Music for The Marble PalaceThe Quiet Room and Music For Prague.

In order to achieve this type of musical composition, Brian Eno began by working with SSEYO KOAN PRO, which evolved into Wotja and, which is a music engine sound system. This system is also known by its technical name (IME) – Intermorphic Music Engine and its co – founder Tiim Cole. These various musical sound engines allow composers to put their own unique personality and also get completely unexpected, self generating musical pieces.

 Brian Eno has created Apps for iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV, which constantly remix all of his latest musical compositions. One of the most popular ones is Reflection, which is the Eno’s twenty sixth studio album.

8. Despite an extremely large amount of evidence to suggest that he is one, Brian Eno does not consider himself to be a musician.

Yes, you read that correctly. Brian Eno considers himself to be a “Non – Musician.” He instead sees himself using the music recording studio as a compositional tool. It was while studying experimental music in college he first began to see tape recorders as being musical instruments. After attending a lecture from The Who guitarist Pete Townshend, Eno realized at that moment that he could create music despite having a formal background or formal training as a musician.

9. Brian Eno: Producer, Musical Collaborator and his music in Film / TV.

The images above provide a small sample of the musical projects Brian Eno has been involved in as a producer, collaborator, or music composer for films. Eno has produced forty three albums, collaborated on twenty six, made eight video albums, created thirteen compilations and released two E.P’s. Perhaps what is more impressive is how Brian Eno is able to traverse effortlessly across vastly different musical genres and work with artists and musicians, who could not be more different…

 He has worked with Italian operatic tenor, Luciano PavarottiLaurie Anderson, Grace Jones, John Cage, Nico, Talking HeadsColdplay, Toto and many, many others… Eno wrote “The Prophecy Theme” for the movie Dune and has composed many other pieces for movie soundtracks and TV shows. Eno’s approach and experience as a record producer is highly respected and has been sought after by some of the greatest bands in the music industry.  

Eno is and often called the “fifth man” in the band U2. Eno produced the  The Unforgettable Fire, The Joshua Tree, Zooropa and Achtung Baby for the band. Bono talks about why U2 specifically wanted to work with Eno:

“I knew he wasn’t a fan of us, it was one of the reasons we got to work with him. I wanted to know the other side of the argument. I knew what was wrong about us… I wanted to find out what wasn’t…”

It is through this kind of honesty and respect that Brian Eno has formed a long lasting partnership with U2. Eno formed other successful partnerships with Bowie, David Byrne, Robert Fripp and more. Recently in 2018, Eno collaborated with Kevin Shields from My Bloody Valentine and the two have plans for an ongoing elaborate solo project..

The Prophecy Theme written by Brian Eno for the movie Dune, starring Sting, Kyle MacLachlan and directed by David Lynch
The song “Only Once Away My Son” by Brian Eno and Kevin Shields released in 2018.

In 1975 – ’78, Brian Eno created a music label in the U.K. called Obscure Records. His label largely represented music that was experimental and compositions from the 20th century. Eno also made an album called Music For Films that features soundtracks for imaginary films. It is an extremely enjoyable Album to listen to.

10. He is an author...

Brian Eno is the author of over twenty three books. Some of his bestsellers include A Year With Swollen Appendices published in 1996. This is a wonderful primary source that explores Eno’s creative process and relationships with bands and artists such as, Talking Heads, Sting, David Bowie, Bono and others.

Brian Eno’s book, A Year With Swollen Appendices

Brian Eno is unique in that he has experienced the music business from every angle. He continues to inspire and create music to this day. The impact he has had on the music world is profound… You might think that with everything that Eno has accomplished during his career, he would not have time to eat, drink or sleep. But, the pictures below prove that Eno has had no problem taking breaks and enjoying precious time with his beloved cats throughout the years. Note: It is rumored that Eno’s black kitty Angel is telepathic!

Image on the left: © Dangerous Minds. Center Image: © Guy Peellaert. Image on the right: © ATP Recordings

Article by Ash Andersen. 

Lisa Dewey Musician and a Songwriter (Kitchen Whore Records)

by Ashley Andersen
July 8, 2019
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Lisa Dewey is a singer, songwriter and musician from the Bay Area in Northern California. Beginning her career in the early ’90’s, Lisa Dewey has released four full length albums and two EP’s. Originally starting out as a solo artist she is now the fearless leader of Lisa Dewey and the Lotus Life. Lisa Dewey is also the owner of Kitchen Whore RecordsShe strives to uphold the freedom and creative integrity of what she calls, the “fringe, alternative, Independent artist,” without them having to face conflicts or problems, which can arise from being signed to a major music label. Dewey’s indie music label represents several bands and solo music artists. 

Lisa Dewey has collaborated musically with legendary multi instrumentalist, Simon Raymonde (Cocteau Twins.) The two produced Dewey’s albums “Weather Changer Girl and “Busk.” Dewey has also worked together musically with Michael Steele (The Bangles.) She has also worked with drummer Budgie, (Siouxsie and The Banshees) on tracks that have yet to be released. Lisa Dewey’s music is inspiring, powerful, proactive and resonates in one’s soul. I’m grateful that Lisa has taken time out of her busy schedule to do this interview with me. 

1. Ash Andersen (Rock-n-Roll.biz): At what age did you first begin to take an interest in music? I know that you play guitar. Would you please inform our viewers about other musical instruments that you play? What is you personal songwriting process?

Lisa Dewey: I was very young… Four or five. My dad gave me a harmonica and a John Denver harmonica songbook around that time. I had a stereo with a turntable and AM/FM. I would sing along to everything all the time. I play guitar, piano, drums, bass, harmonica, dumbek, etc. I play all kinds of different instruments.

My songwriting process varies. Sometimes, I write while I’m driving down the road, sometimes water is involved (it seems to help me write), sometimes, I’m practicing and a song comes out. It happens lots of different ways.

2. Ash Andersen (Rock-n-Roll.biz): When did you begin performing as a solo artist? When did that evolve into Lisa Dewey and The Lotus Life?

Lisa Dewey: Tricky question because I’ve always had band members, even when I performed solo shows here and there. I guess 1989 was my first show. I quickly got a band together and kept on performing together with them as well as solo under the name Lisa Dewey.

I don’t remember when we added “The Lotus Life,” (2002 or 2003) to our name. I had been the same band members for many years at that point. We were looking to give a visual with the name Lisa Dewey. Something that would encourage people to think of dreamy, ethereal, pop. That’s how Lisa Dewey and The Lotus Life came about but, it’s the same band as before.

3. Ash Andersen (Rock-n-Roll.biz): I know that you studied music at San Jose State University. Is this also where you studied recording engineering?

Lisa Dewey: Yes. I studied voice, improvised music studies, recording, while attending SJSU School of Music and Dance.

Lisa Dewey’s song “Watching Her Fingers” from her third album Weather Changer Girl, released in 2000.

4. Ash Andersen (Rock-n-Roll.biz): What year did you create Kitchen Whore Records? What would you say are the most challenging aspects of owning a music label?

Lisa Dewey: 1997. Before that I had two labels. (Whitewashed Records and Stellar Records.) The most challenging aspect is keeping up with the most current forms of promotion.

5. Ash Andersen (Rock-n-Roll.biz): I know that on Kitchen Whore Records you represent great indie / shoegaze group Bethany Curve. Would you please inform our viewers about the other artists and bands that you represent on the label?

Lisa Dewey: Sure. Marc Moreland Mess (Marc Moreland from Wall of Voodoo,) Mute Angst Envy, Lisa Dewey, Lisa Dewey and The Lotus Life, Gina Chiala and Kelsi Arnold.

6. Ash Andersen (Rock-n-Roll.biz): I know that you have worked with Simon Raymonde from the amazing band Cocteau Twins. Would you please inform our viewers what are artists or bands that you have collaborated or worked with?

Lisa Dewey: I collaborated with Andalusia and I recently joined Bethany Curve as a singer. We released our new album Murder! in January and it includes me as a vocalist.

Bethany Curve – 2019.
Left to Right: David Mac Wha / Drums, Nathan Guevara / Guitars, Richard Milang / Guitars, Vocals, Lisa Dewey / Vocals.

7.  Ash Andersen (Rock-n-Roll.biz): Would you please tell us who has inspired you and your wonderful music? Who are some lady rockers that have influenced your career?

Lisa Dewey: It’s difficult to naIme just a few because there are so many. Cocteau Twins, Dead Can Dance, early U2, Clan of Xymox, Throwing Muses, Kate Bush, Wolfgang Press, Siouxsie and The Banshees, Chrissie Hynde, Kristin Hersh, Elizabeth Fraser, Harriet Wheeler, Patti Smith, Lisa Gerrard, etc.

8. Ash Andersen (Rock-n-Roll.biz): What you say personally are some of the most challenging aspects of playing in a band and owning a music label are?

Lisa Dewey: The administration of copyrights, publishing and promotion can be a lot to handle. Other than that, it’s awesome!

 

Lisa Dewey and The Lotus Life
Music video for “Mellow Day” off of the fourth full length studio album from Lisa Dewey and The Lotus Life. It was officially released in 2004.

9. Ash Andersen (Rock-n-Roll.biz): Can you tell us what Lisa Dewey and The Lotus Life is up to this year?

Lisa Dewey: We are currently playing a bunch of shows and we are recording an album.

10. Ash Andersen: (Rock-n-Roll.biz): Would you please provide with links so our viewers can find you as a solo artist, Lisa Dewey and The Lotus Life and Bethany Curve?

Lisa Dewey: Lisa Dewey, Lisa Dewey and The Lotus Life and Bethany Curve (Murder!) can all be found on iTunes, Apple Music, Amazon, CDBABY, lisadewey.com, kitchenwhore.com, Spotify, and LastFM.

11. Ash Andersen Rock-n-Roll.biz): What advice would you provide ladies out there, who are aspiring to become successful musicians like yourself?

Lisa Dewey: Keep moving forward, no matter what.

Ash Andersen (Rock-n-Roll.biz): Thanks again Lisa!

Johnny Depp “Heroes ” – Hollywood Vampires

by Ashley Andersen
June 11, 2019
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JohnnyDepp-Live
A screen shot of the video “Heroes,” performed  by Johnny Depp and his band “Hollywood Vampires. 
 

When one thinks of John Christopher Depp II, who is known the world over by his stage name Johnny Depp; we automatically think of an incredibly talented and versatile method actor. Depp first rose to fame when he starred in the highly popular television series 21 Jump Street, which was featured on the Fox network from 1987 to 1991. Depp played an extremely young looking undercover cop in the series. This role instantly made him become a teen idol, which made both women and men absolutely swoon with his every move…

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The Cure – Induction Into The H.O.F.

by Ashley Andersen
April 1, 2019
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TheCure

All around the world millions of fans of gothic rock, post punk and alternative rock are celebrating because FINALLY The Cure has been inducted into the legendary Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The Cure isn’t a band that is just a set of marshall stack amps, this band is one of the pioneers that helped to create the essence of Gothic Rock…The Cure emerged from Crawley/West Sussex England in 1976 and released their first album, Three Imaginary Boys in 1979 as the their first effort.

The band is defined by the Post Punk Music movement, which includes the Sex Pistols, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Joy Division, Bauhaus as well as The Stranglers &The DamedThe Cure went on to define the new genre of Gothic Rock with its darker music accompanied by introspective and romantic lyrics.

Robert Smith is the band’s iconic, brilliant lead singer, songwriter and guitarist, with a distinctive singing voice that is arguably a musical instrument in its own right. Simon Gallup is the bass guitarist and songwriter. Lol Tolhurst is also an original member and contributing songwriter. He has changed his role in the band in terms of what instrument he has played throughout the years. These “three imaginary boys” have been The Cure’s core unit, even though other musicians have contributed mightily over the past forty plus years. Their music is fabulous, at times dark, and memorable with such early hits as Boys Don’t Cry, The Caterpillar cascading towards later tunes such as Close to Me and Friday I’m in LoveThe Cure has never stopped giving fans what they want–new, fantastic and inspiring songs.

A rare, live video of The Cure performing the title track of their first album, “Three Imaginary Boys.” Lol Tolhurst – drums, Simon Gallup – bass guitar, Robert Smith – Lead vocals and guitar. Paris, 1979. In this video, Lol Tolhurst is seen playing drums.

In 2012, Robert Smith was asked where does the music come from and in his shy, modest and adorable way he said,

 “I’d say that seventy-five percent of what The Cure does is me and the other twenty-five percent is usually Simon the bass player and sometimes really great songs have come from other members and people forget that. That The Cure is always a band…”

And thank goodness The Cure have always remained one! They are one of the most indelible, adored rock bands of all time. They have inspired countless others to pick up an instrument and aspire to become a musician including yours truly. Robert Smith recently announced The Cure is releasing a new album after a ten year hiatus, which is something fans of The Cure are tremendously excited about.

“The Caterpillar.” Hit single off of The Cure’s album “The Top.”This was the band’s fifth studio album by the band. The song was written by Robert Smith and Lol Tolhurst. 

Why is The Cure’s induction into the rock and roll hall of fame so important? For the simple reason that there are many bands in the gothic rock genre, who have yet to be bestowed this honor and they should be… The Cure’s award is more than well deserved, it is a testament who they are as one of the founding pioneer groups of gothic rock. They are truly a unique, creative sounding group, who’s music has stood the test of time. Cheers to The Cure and this wonderful milestone in their career!

“In between Days.” From The Cure’s 1985 “Head On The Door.” This was the group’s sixth studio album.

The British Invasion – “Fake Rivalries.”

by Ashley Andersen
March 31, 2019
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If there had been a rock and roll Olympic Games in early 1964 during the British Invasion / Swinging ’60’s,  three bands would have medaled…The Beatles would have been awarded the gold medal, which is probably not shocking to you. The Rolling Stones would have taken the silver. But, you might be surprised to learn just who it was that would have earned the bronze medal in early 1964. It is most likely not your first guess… 

It was The Dave Clark Five.They sold a hundred million records during their career. Dave Clark was not only the band’s leader, drummer and back up singer. He also produced and managed and was a songwriter for the group as well. They appeared on the Ed Sullivan show eighteen times. They would knock The Beatles off of their number one status on USA music billboards charts and they were the first British Invasion band to tour the U.S.A. 

 Despite all their incredible success, why is it that most people only know Dave Clark and cannot name the other four members of his group? Why was a rivalry created between The Beatles and DC5? Did these two bands actually hate each other? How important is it to develop a rivalry in the entertainment world? What rivalries – fake or real exist in the music world today? 

Before we examine the supposed “rivalry” between The Beatles and DC5, I think it is important to provide some context regarding just how prevalent rivalries are in the U.K. in general in and outside of the music world. A great way to explore this topic is by watching the movie, “The Football Factory,” starring East London born and raised actor Danny Dyer

This movie highlights the brutal rivalries between “U.K. football hooligans” and all the “football firms”, who were fanatically loyal to their various hometown football teams. These extremely violent conflicts were comparable to battles exchanged between The Bloods and The Crips in the U.S.A…

The Beatles

An early Beatles promotional pic taken in the Mersey Beat Newspaper 1962. This is a pic of John Lennon, a seventeen year old George Harrison, Paul McCartney and their original drummer Pete Best. Ultimately, Best would get fired. Two days later, he was replaced by Ringo Starr. Copyright: Mersey Beat Newspaper Archives. This image shows how proud folks, who were born and raised in Liverpool were of The Beatles… Copyright: Mersey Beat Magazine.

In 1962, Lennon and McCartney wrote “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” in the basement of actress Jane Asher’s abode. Jane Asher was McCartney’s girlfriend at the time. It was The Beatle’s first song to be recorded on a 4 – track recorder. On February 26, 1963, “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” was number a one hit in the U.S.A. and “across the pond,” in the U.K. On February 16, 1964, The Beatles performed the song on the Ed Sullivan Show. This televised performance created an instant media frenzy that completely enveloped The Beatles for the remainder of their career.

The Beatles performing their number one hit, “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” live on the Ed Sullivan Show. The song was written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney and released November 29, 1963 (UK) and December 26th, 1963 (USA) It is from the album “Meet The Beatles,” from Parliphone (UK) and Capital Records (USA). It was produced by George Martin.

The Dave Clark Five (DC5)

Early promotional shot of The Dave Clark five. Starting from upper left: Lenny Davidson – guitar and backing vocals, Dennis Payton – saxophones and backing vocals, Mike Smith – lead vocalist and keyboards, Rick Huxley bass and  backing vocals and Dave Clark drummer backing vocals. Copyright: Rex Features LTD / REBELSHOT.

DC5 first formed as a quintet jazz band in 1957. The band consisted of band leader Dave Clark, drummer, background vocals, songwriter, Dennis Payton – saxophones, background vocals, Lenny Davidson – guitar, background vocals, Rick Huxley – bassist, background vocals, Mike Smith – lead vocals and keyboardist. They adapted and changed their sound as rock and roll became more popular. 

DC5 hailed from North London and the group was proudly called “The Tottenham Sound.” This was in direct response to the Mersey Beat sound being popularized by The Beatles and Gerry and The Pacemakers, and many other bands, who also hailed from Liverpool. The DC5 song “Glad All Over” knocked The Beatles song, “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” off of the number one position on the U.K. music hit charts in January 1964.

For a while, it seemed as though DC5 were really giving The Beatle a run for their money literally! DC5 had a keyboardist and saxophonist, which in the early stages of The Beatles career did not have. This would change later on in their career when producer George Martin would add many more instrumentation and orchestral instruments to their songs. 

Also, in the latter part of their career, Billy Preston would play keyboards frequently on their last albums such as their smash hit song “Get Back,” which The Beatles performed live on their famous rooftop concert on the rooftop of their personally owned record label Apple Records. In 1969. Preston was often regarded as the “fifth’ Beatle. Preston also played “keys” for The Rolling Stones, George Harrison during his solo career and many, many other superstar musical acts. It is also very interesting to note that John Lennon performs all the guitar solos in this rendition of the song rather than traditionally done by lead guitarist, George Harrison…

If you look closely at the beginning of this video, one can see Billy Preston walking out with the rest of The Beatles. However, in “Get Back” Preston is not featured playing keyboards in this live performance. However, one can see Yoko Ono, who would become John Lennon’s second wife and the love of his life.

So… What was the real story behind closed doors or backstage? Did The Beatles and DC5 actually really hate each other? In 2014, at a ceremony commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the British Invasion,  Sir Paul McCartney had this to say to reporters regarding his thoughts about DC5 and their hit “Glad All Over:”

“Glad All Over” came on the scene and it was a really good record. The band looked great, so you had to hand it to them reluctantly…” 

When Dave Clark was asked recently whether there was an actual rivalry between The Beatles and DC5 he said: 

“No… For the first two years in America, all the magazines could print was Dave Clark vs. The Beatles, as if there was a big thing. I got on well with the boys. They’d come to my parties and I’d go to theirs. They were great fun to spend time with…” 

This proves that the rivalry between The Beatles and DC5 was just a made up media marketing tool to generate publicity and sell newspapers.

Why are rivalries created by the media such a powerful marketing tool? Ed Sullivan, American television personality, sports and entertainment reporter is perhaps the best qualified person to answer this question.

For twenty three years, he hosted the longest running variety show in American broadcast history. The Beatles appeared on his show nine times and DC5 made eighteen appearances… He said this about booking these two “rival” bands on his show: 

“Rivalries are important in generating publicity. I suspect neither would have had as much impact on the USA record and radio scene without the other. With the two generating the sales and publicity, it opened the USA to greet many other rock performers from the UK…”

Moreover, Sullivan’s point is proven even more, if you take a look at the “Thrilla in Manilla.” This was the highly anticipated fight between boxers, Muhammed Ali and Joe Frazer. The hype  and publicity created by this famous rivalry was tremendous.

 Ultimately, the fight was watched by over a billion viewers.The fight between Ali and Frazer occurred in 1975. There was no internet or social media. It was up to magazines and promoters, magazines and the media to generate publicity for the fight. Obviously, it worked!

 “The Thrilla in Manilla” promo poster for the highly anticipated boxing match between Muhammed Ali and Joe Frazer.  Copyright, All Canada Sports Promotions archives.

It is abundantly clear that DC5 had an amazing career. So, why did DC5 not become a household name like The Beatles? Why is it today if people are asked if they can name all of the five members of the group most folks cannot. Was it due to lack of promotion? DC5 Bassist Rick Huxley had this to say regarding promotion of the DC5:

“Lord, no. And you’re mistaken to think the DC5 didn’t have “PR promotion.” They were relentlessly promoted. Magazines of the time created a fake “rivalry,” constantly running articles about who’s better/cuter/bigger. Think Taylor Swift vs. Katy Perry times 1,000…”

~ Karen Fowler, “Office Drone Magazine.”

My personal theory as to why DC5 is not as well known as The Beatles is this… The media focused heavily on The Beatles as individuals during all interviews with the band throughout their entire career. This is why most people can name all four members: John Lennon, Sir Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. With DC5, all interviews concentrated on the band’s namesake Dave Clark. As mentioned in the beginning of this article, Clark was the groups band leader, manager, songwriter and the bands head PR man.

It is also important to note that the The Beatles enjoyed pushing the envelope with their sound. They loved experimenting with instruments and sounds such as harmonium and fuzz bass. This can be heard in albums such as Rubber Soul, which was the group’s sixth studio recorded album released in 1965. As most of us know, The Beatles enjoyed experimenting outside of the studio by trying drugs such as LSD. These experiences that “the lads” shared together would change their sound forever….

The Beatles also incorporated non western musical instruments such as the sitar and tabla drums heard in the song “Within you without you” written by George Harrison and accompanied by the late, great sitar player Ravi Shankar (father of the beautiful singer, pianist and songwriter Norah Jones.) Like her father, Jones is also incredibly talented and successful musician in her own right. She has sold over 50 million records globally.) The half sister of Norah Jones, Anoushka Shankar would go on to follow in her father’s footsteps by becoming an accomplished and respected sitar player. Ravi Shankar, dear friend and sitar teacher to George Harrison would continue to collaborate together after The Beatles break up.

While DC5’s songs “Glad All Over,” “Bits and Pieces,” and “Catch Us If You Can” are wonderful, their music in general tended to have a consistent, up tempo and “big beat” sound. They never deviated much from their particular sound. Ultimately, DC5’s  career would last until 1970. Dave Clark explains why he and his bandmates decided to call it quits. 

“People never understood why I did that, but I wanted to get back to being just an ordinary person. I enjoyed every moment. We’d been everywhere, done everything. I just wanted to get back to being just Dave Clark not Dave Clark Celebrity. The only thing I missed was going out on stage and performing…” 

Before you start to feel too bad for Dave Clark, keep in mind that he retained most of the rights to all of DC5’s song catalog. This is something that The surviving Beatles have still never managed to acquire…

 Clark also managed to acquire the rights to the 1960’s pop series “Ready Steady, Go!” He directed a musical, “Time – The Musical,” which would be the last performance given by the great actor, singer Sir Lawrence Oliver. This musical is a two disc vinyl album was released featuring, Julian Lennon, the late great Freddie Mercury and many other legendary performers.  Dave Clark was at Freddie Mercury’s bedside during his final hours on this earth…

Handsome Dennis Payton died on December 17, 2006 after a long battle with cancer. He was 63 years old. Rick Huxley died on February 11, 2013 from emphysema. Guitarist Lenny Davidson lives in Cambridgeshire, England, where he has taught guitar for many years. 

 The saddest story however, is what happened to DC5’s lead singer Mike Smith… He broke his neck while attempting to scale a fence on his property in Spain. As a result, he  and sustained a terrible spine injury and became paralyzed. His former DC5 would come to visit him often He died from pneumonia in 2008 with his devoted wife at his side…. 

Death and Assassinations: The Beatles

On December 8, 1980, John Lennon was assassinated by Mark David Chapman. Lennon had signed an autograph for Chapman just hours earlier. Lennon personally never believed in using bodyguards snd this decision would ultimately prove to be incredibly tragic…

 Chapman waited for hours for Lennon to return to his home The Dakota apartment buildings in New York City. When Lennon and second wife Yoko Ono stepped out of their vehicle, Chapman waited patiently as the couple walked towards the entryway of their residence. The coward and cruel Chapman fired five shots hitting Lennon in the back four times… It has been said by doctors that Lennon could have possibly survived the first four shots. But it was Chapman’s final shot that pierced straight through his heart, which completely obliterated it…

Chapman had once been a fan of The Beatles. But he became enraged when Lennon made a highly publicized and controversial comment during an interview with The Beatles early on during their career. 

To paraphrase Lennon, he said that the public was more obsessed with his band The Beatles than Jesus Christ… He further argued that the Christian faith was in decline and just might be outlasted by rock and roll. Unfortunately for Lennon, these comment would ultimately seal his demise… 

 Mark David Chapman was completely obsessed with the book The Catcher in the Rye by author, J.D. Salinger. Chapman tried in every way possible to live his life exactly the way the books main character Holden Caulfied. He also was obsessed with musician and songwriter Todd Rundgren. Chapman also had plans to kill Johnny Carson, Elizabeth Taylor and former President Ronald Reagan… Chapman’s wife knew about his plans to kill Lennon. However, she chose not to notify police or other authorities…

Mark David Chapman has been denied being eligible for parole ten times…Yoko Ono sent a letter to the parole board requesting that he not be released from prison. New York State Senator Michael F. Nozzolio in 1980, was the chairman of the Crime and Correction Committee, also wrote to Parole Board. In this letter , he wrote:

“It is the responsibility of the New York State Parole Board to ensure that public safety is protected from the release of dangerous criminals like Chapman.

George Harrison playing sitar live. To his right was his dear friend and sitar teacher, Ravi Shankar. 

In 2001, George Harrison had surgery to remove a cancerous growth from one of his lungs.  Unfortunately for Harrison he also developed a brain tumor. Harrison chose to go to a clinic in Switzerland in the hopes of removing the brain tumor. Former bandmate Ringo Starr visited him but his was time with Harrison was very short. He had to fly to Boston because his daughter had also been diagnosed with a brain tumor! 

Both Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr visited George one last time… Harrison ultimately died from lung cancer in 2001 at the age of 58. This was just two years he and his wife Olivia Harrison survived terrifying a knife attack by a deranged intruder at their Friar Park home…

 His remains were cremated and the ashes were scattered according to Hindu tradition in a private ceremony in the Ganges and Yamuna rivers in India. In addition to his former wife, George Harrison is also survived by his son and musician Dhani Harrison, who looks remarkably like his late father!

Are there still fake rivalries fake or real that exist in music industry today? The answer is “You Betcha!” Just think of the rivalries between East and West coast rappers. Also for years, the media has tried to pit Rihanna and Beyonce against one another. Both singers are award winning superstars. The media LOVES to remind people that Rihanna has had more number one hits than Beyonce… Rihanna had this say regarding the supposed feud or hatred between the two superstars

“They (the media) just get so excited to feast on something that’s negative. Something that’s competitive. Something that’s you know, a rivalry. And that’s just not what I wake up to. Because I can only do me. And nobody else is going to be able to do that…” 

Rihanna’s quote proves that the media will always and create fake rivalries  in an attempt to generate more sales / viewers for magazines, TV shows and in the music industry…