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….