It’s tough at the bottom – and the top!
By David Parker
Here, at The Beat office, through emails and letters, and at shows, we listen to readers and fans expressing their views on the replica music they hear.
Some say they are glad the music lives on after all these years: others say the groups should not pass themselves of as originals, even if they still have only one member who sang on the records that made the names famous. Some 60s groups live on the names of the era, but never actually performed on recordings.
For Dave Dee, Dozy, Mick and Tich, I know it was a hard struggle. I knew them as young lads living nearby, and I was at the same school as Dave who was in the year class below mine. During all those years since the early 50s, I have met up with Dave and he has introduced me to other artists, jokingly saying: “He was the clever one: he went to grammar school.”
Of course, Dave had a huge talent, and so do the other members of the group – top class pop musicians, all of them.
I worked briefly with Dozy, Beaky and Tich in the early 70s when they were trying to go in a new direction after Dave had gone solo and branched out into A&R work.
Mick Wilson had made up his mind that his days in showbiz were over forever. Then came the 60s revival and agents, promoters and theatre managers woke up to the value of putting on shows again starring the big names of the 60s. Tours were back on the agenda, so some groups that had disbanded got together again and filled in their line-ups where original members had given up, or died.
We know about those who fought over band names, some never to be settled, and the court cases which followed.
But the music lives on and the shows continue to draw good-sized audiences, some blissfully unaware that some of the band members are ‘fillers’.
Beaky’s back and full of enthusiasm, ready to join D, M, & T on stage again. It’s a great New Year for us all!