For a very brief time in 1964, it seemed that the biggest challenger to THE BEATLES phenomenon was THE DAVE CLARK FIVE. They were championed (for about 15 minutes) by the British press as the Beatles’ most serious threat.
They were the first British Invasion band to break in a big way in the States after The Beatles, though THE ROLLING STONES and others quickly supplanted the DC5 as the Fab Four’s most serious rivals. However The DC5 made more appearances on THE ED SULLIVAN SHOW than any other English act.
The Dave Clark Five reached the Top 40 seventeen times between 1964 and 1967.
In one year, 1964, The DC5 had quite a run of Top Ten Singles: they were as follows: “Glad All Over” (knocked The Beatles “I Want To Hold Your Hand” off the top of the UK Singles Chart in Jan., 1964), “Bits And Pieces”, “Can’t You See That She’s Mine” and “Any Way You Want It.”
(The band’s line-up: Dave Clark-drums, Mike Smith-organ, Lenny Davidson-guitar, Rick Huxley-bass and Dennis Payton-sax.)
The DC5 were distinguished from their British contemporaries by their larger than life productions, Clark’s loud stomping drum sound and Mike Smith’s leathery vocals. Dave Clark was a savvy business man: in addition to co-writing all their material, he insisted, to the record label, that he maintain the rights to all the Master Tapes his band recorded (the record label obliged) AND he produced all of the DC5 recordings.
THE GIDDY STATUES first package tour:
1964, November: UK.
The Giddy Statues first package tour was with The Dave Clark 5, The Hollies, and The Kinks; we were the opening act for these bands. A package tour is a grueling traveling torture-device, on a bus, with all the other groups on the tour. We would usually perform 2 shows a day at different venues. Each group played about 4 songs, to a screaming teen girl audience, then quickly leaves the stage.
The Dave Clark Five were the headliners. Dave Clark was the leader of the DC5 and his band members always obeyed him. Their big hit, “Bits And Pieces”, started out with the band stomping their “Beatle boots” in unison. This stomping intro to the song drove the crowd so wild, one venue was afraid the whole stage would collapse.
Every once in awhile, even when we were all trying to doze off on the bus, or when we all went into a diner, sat down for tea or dinner, Dave Clark would shout, “OK! Now”! and his band would simultaneously stomp their boots in unison. This boot stomping, in unison to a beat, would sometimes last for an hour or more!
Dave Clark wanted his band to be well rehearsed, looking sharp, ready to break into song in a moments’ notice.
Every time one of us band members complained, Dave Clark reminded all the other bands on the tour: “Me and my band are the headliners and I’m the boss of his band. If you don’t like our spontaneous foot-stomping rehearsals on the bus, or when we all eat in the diners, you can sod off”!
One night, while the bus traveled and The DC5 were sleeping, DAVE DAVIES, of The Kinks, stole every boot owned by the DC5 and burned them in the back of the tour-bus.
The smoke became overwhelming; we were dying from smoke inhalation, but enjoying the spectacle of Dave Clark, in his flannel pajamas, chasing Dave Davies down the highway.
In closing: we were all very young, sometimes rowdy, terribly overworked but loved pop showbiz. I was always a BIG fan of The Dave Clark Five. Not only were they a great band, their songs embodied the exuberance of joy and life that was known as “The British Invasion.”