Friday, May 26, 2017

Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich

In the late 50s "the Dozies" came together from various bands of the Salisbury area. Trevor Davies (Dozy - bass), then with the Beatnicks met Ian Amey (Tich - Lead guitar) and persuaded him to leave his group Eddy and the Strollers to join the Beatnicks. A few months later David Harman (Dave Dee - vocals) from the Big Boppers came in and Tich approached his school chum John Dymonds (Beaky – rhythm guitar) who also was a member of the Big Boppers to join. Their lead singer was Ronnie Blonde. One night Ronnie failed to turn up and Dave Harman took over as the vocalist, so when Ronnie left Dave was the front man. Drummers came and went but eventually the lineup was complete when Michael Wilson (Mick) joined the band and they became Dave Dee & the Bostons. Like many other English groups at the time, they played in Hamburg (Star-Club, Top Ten Club), and in Cologne (Storyville). The German stint tightened the band musically and they became a competent rhythm & blues outfit with confident four-part hamonies combined with dance-steps, comedy elements and announcement-banter in best British comedy tradition. Songwriters, Ken Howard and Alan Blaikley became interested in the group and took over their management before arranging a recording session with Joe Meek in 1964. Jo Meek took a dislike to them and they parted company. Soon after Fontana Records signed the boys and their managers decided on a change of name to Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich (the boys nicknames). For a time it seemed that opportunity was passing them by and their first couple of singles got no response.

In 1965 under the production of Steve Rowland they obtained a minor chart entry with their third attempt, “'You Make It Move.”

The combination of Howard and Blaikley’s catchy hook laden tunes, unique name, extravagant costumes and camp theatrics secured their fame. The public could not get enough of the group and between 1965 and 1969, they spent more time in the UK singles charts than the Beatles. Their first big hit was "Hold Tight."

The band designed all their own stage clothes, choosing the materials and doing the drawings before getting a seamstress to put them together. Wherever the band appeared spies from Carnaby Street would be in the audience stealing the ideas and a couple of days later the same gear was being available to buy in Carnaby Street. In 1968 they had a number one hit with "The Legend of Xanadu".

D,D,B,M &T became big sellers around the world with the exception of North America. Once the hits dried up Dave Dee left the group for a short-lived solo career in 1969. The rest, continued as D,B,M and T until they broke up in 1972. They did reform for nostalgia performances on at least a couple of occasions, but there were no plans to continue the association. Sadly Dave Dee died in 2009.

David Harman, was a police cadet and did get called to the scene of the car accident that took the life of Eddie Cochran and injured Gene Vincent. (April 1960 Chippengham, Wiltshire). The police collected the affects which had been strewn over the road and this included Eddie´s Gretsch guitar which was taken to the police station. The famous guitar was later returned undamaged to Cochran's family in the US.

Worth a listen:
"Hold Tight" (1966)
"Hideaway" (1966)
"Bend It" (1966)
"Zabadak!" (1967)
"The Legend Of Xanadu" (1968)

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