The Dave Clark Five PBS Special…And Beyond

Dave Clark documentaries are not the usual things that PBS runs. But hey, better that than a broadcast featuring Pink Floyd tribute band Brit Floyd, right? (Which PBS has run recently — no joke.) Much better, in fact. But after it ran last week, the feeling almost people I got reactions from — and there were many, my Facebook post generating nearly 80 comments — was that it was rather unsatisfying, even flawed. The Dave Clark Five aren’t the usual subjects of analytical blog posts, but someone has to do it, and I thought I’d give it a shot.

For a while at least, you can watch the documentary that aired on PBS, The Dave Clark Five and Beyond, by clicking here.

The Dave Clark Five and Beyond documentary aired on PBS in early April 2014.

It’s curious that a Dave Clark doc got on PBS in the first place. There’s speculation — much about Dave Clark is speculation, as there’s still some mystery about some aspects of his career — that perhaps he used his economic muscle to open doors that worthy British Invasion bands like the Zombies, say, could not. The Beatles’ Anthology documentary ran nearly ten hours in its home video version; The Dave Clark Five and Beyond, lasting just under two hours, nonetheless felt considerably padded to even reach that length. It had its pluses, but even those need to be offered with qualifications:

There was plenty of interview material with Dave Clark. Some of this, however, does not exactly look recent, or even that well-shot. Often his voice was heard as off-camera narration. I don’t know why exactly he’d be reluctant to be on camera, but it seemed curious.

There was also some interview material with DC5 singer Mike Smith, credited as (with Clark) co-songwriter of many of the band’s biggest hits. Presumably this was shot some years ago, as he died in 2008. There wasn’t enough of Smith’s observations, however, and it was curious that his songwriting contributions to the DC5 were not discussed. Or maybe not so curious — more on that later.

There were plenty of archive clips, even if these tended to be snippets that didn’t even last through the bulk of a song, let alone entire numbers. Even as the owner of three unofficial DVRs of vintage DC5 footage, some of this was new to me, and perhaps new to everyone, since some home movies were unearthed. I don’t remember seeing the blurry bit of the group being interviewed on an early US visit, for instance. But barely any of this showed the band actually playing live — more on this, too, in a bit. And this didn’t, as far as I could tell, have excerpts from a mid-‘60s short (also covering the Supremes) in which Clark was interviewed – which, unbelievably, I saw when it was shown in my fifth-grade music class in the early 1970s, but haven’t been able to see since.

Believe it or not, for about six months or so in 1964, the Dave Clark Five were the most popular British Invasion band besides the Beatles.

Believe it or not, for about six months or so in 1964, the Dave Clark Five were the most popular British Invasion band besides the Beatles.

Sentimental chap that I am, I found the memories of their war-deprived childhoods (which don’t, oddly, enter the picture until some way into the film) moving. Also it was moving to see DC5 bassist Rick Huxley tear up at their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction. These honors do mean something to some musicians, especially ones whose names have been forgotten by most fans.

I liked some of the comments by other interviewees, though they often fell well short of substantial observations. Nice to see Stevie Wonder, for instance, acknowledge a Dave Clark influence, though he didn’t get specific as to what it was. Also nice to see Paul McCartney, who was as expected diplomatically kind without acknowledging any influence or interchange between the DC5 and the Beatles. It’s certainly a surprise to see Whoopi Goldberg in a documentary like this, but her affection for the band was sincere, and an illustration of how, for all British bands were accused of stealing the thunder of black Americans who influenced them, some black teenagers were fans of those same UK groups. I don’t like Gene Simmons or Kiss, but he actually came up with astute praise for the ascending melody of the Dave Clark Five smash “Because” — something I’ve pointed out in one of the rock history classes I’ve taught, albeit as an example of how the Beatles influenced their contemporaries.

So those are the pluses. Here are the minuses, some of which go hand-in-hand with the pluses:

Not only were the interviews with Clark and Smith not all they could have been — no other DC5 members were interviewed. True, saxophonist Denis Payton died in 2006, but considering Huxley died just a year ago and there is late-life interview footage of Smith, presumably Huxley could have been fit in during production. Lead guitarist Len Davidson is not only still alive, but did at least one good interview about the group (in the spring 2009 issue of the top ’60s rock mag Ugly Things), and would no doubt have made an articulate participant. On top of all this, not only were there no interview clips with Adrian Kerridge — an engineer/producer who was a crucial architect of the DC5 sound (and the “Adrian” in the “Adrian Clark” credited as producer on their hits, “Clark” being Dave Clark) — he wasn’t even mentioned, once.

Almost none of the clips, and there were many, were performed live. Virtually all of them were lip-synced (including some from promo films, as well as their many TV appearances). Which leads to another “more about this later” item — was this a deliberate decision, perhaps because of their instrumental shortcomings, especially those of their leader…

There were way too many soundbites from celebrities with little or no direct connection to the DC5. What is Sharon Osbourne, husband of Ozzy, doing in a film like this? What’s Ozzy doing here, for that matter? Or Elton John, or Gene Simmons (praise of “Because” notwithstanding)? Their comments seem to amount to, yeah, we liked the band and were influenced by them, sentiments repeated and rephrased too often (perhaps to help flesh out that nearly two-hour running time) without much in the way of tangible examples. As balance, there are comments from ordinary Dave Clark fans who saw them back in the day – even if they don’t offer much in the way of revelation, though unsurprisingly they do offer much general praise.

Speaking of celebrities, the most obnoxious is Tom Hanks, whose histrionic R&R Hall of Fame induction speech is liberally excerpted. Yes, I know this wasn’t shot specifically for this documentary. But I like the Dave Clark Five. Honestly. I don’t need somebody yelling at me to convince me that they were good, or at least were good when they were at their best, which wasn’t always the case on their records. Whoopi Goldberg’s low-key humility was a welcome contrast, as was Clark’s own understated acceptance speech.

Also, a few minutes are devoted to Dave Clark’s acquisition of vintage Ready Steady Go episodes, which he did not obtain as an investment, of course, but for the love of it, and to preserve a vital piece of music history and popular culture. Great going, Dave. So why haven’t you made any of them available on DVD? And why haven’t you made the bulk of the DC5 catalog available on CD, while we’re at it? (Though it has recently gone up on iTunes, along with some actual previously unreleased DC5 tracks.)

Some of the Ready Steady Go episodes Dave Clark owns were issued on VHS, but none have been issued on DVD.

Some of the Ready Steady Go episodes Dave Clark owns were issued on VHS, but none have been issued on DVD.

So there’s your mixed assessment. Now for some deeper delving into behind-the-scenes issues that some of the documentary’s flaws raise:

That absence of live clips, for instance. They’re not just absent from this documentary. There are virtually no non-mimed DC5 clips in circulation, even unofficially. That’s not just curious, that’s strange. Yes, every British Invasion band mimed a lot on TV, in movies, and in promo films. Yet there are also wholly live clips of virtually every British Invasion band of note. And not just by the obvious mega-icons like the Beatles, Stones, Who, Animals, Yardbirds, and Kinks. Even the much-derided Herman’s Hermits did a good number of live appearances for broadcast — and acquitted themselves quite respectably, I have to admit. Why so little DC5? What did they have to hide?

One clue might lie in a live clip from an early Ed Sullivan appearance (perhaps the first one) on which they bang out “Glad All Over.” Most of the band sound okay, though not great. The drummer, Dave Clark, sounds like he’s playing a trash can. Yes, the sound on TV in those days could be problematic. Did he get wind of how subpar they/he came off, however, and determine to only play to backing tracks from that point onward?

Another "Dave Clark 5 vs. the Beatles" fanzine. Guess who won?

Another “Dave Clark 5 vs. the Beatles” fanzine. Guess who won?

There’s been some speculation that Clark did not play on the DC5 records. In his interview in the spring 2009 Ugly Things, Adrian Kerridge says that top British session drummer Bobby Graham and Clark played on some sides to create an especially thick drum sound, though he doesn’t go as far as to intimate that Clark didn’t play, period. Here’s a telling remark from an interview with Mike Smith in the February 1991 issue of the UK monthly Record Collector:

Q: There was a story that a session drummer was used on the Five’s records.

Smith: I don’t wish to speak about that.

As to why their songwriting wasn’t discussed all that much, it’s also been speculated that Clark’s role in this was not as great as one might assume, given that his name’s on the credits of many DC5 hits. Another telling exchange from the February 1991 Record Collector:

Q: Dave Clark always got a credit on your songs. Would you like to elaborate?

Smith: I don’t wish to speak about that either.

 More damningly, Ron Ryan — who was in several ’60s British groups who made records without landing hits, including the Riot Squad (with a pre-Jimi Hendrix Experience Mitch Mitchell on drums) and the Blue Aces — said in an interview in the winter 2009 Ugly Things that he wrote or co-wrote some DC5 songs without receiving credit, including the hits “Bits and Pieces,” “Because,” and “Any Way You Want It.” “When I sang a new song to Dave and Mike, Dave used to leave Mike and I to map out an arrangement and find a key suitable for Mike to sing in,” he told John Briggs. “Dave did not stay around as he was not musical, and he had no idea what Mike and I were talking about and found it all boring. However, to make it look as if the band were penning their own material (as with Lennon/McCartney), I agreed that Dave Clark would receive a songwriting credit. A deal was struck on a handshake between myself and Clark that, as soon as the money started rolling in, the songwriter would get a percentage of whatever his songs made. Soon after, the money was indeed rolling in for Dave Clark but I wasn’t seeing any of it.”

Explosive stuff, at least in the world of British Invasion fanatics. Ryan also says a solicitor even advised him to get an injunction to stop the release of “Any Way You Want It.” Ryan’s explanation of why he failed to do so is as odd as some other aspects of the DC5 story: “However, as I knew the boys in the band were on a weekly wage set by Clark, I felt that any bad publicity might hurt their weekly earnings, and so I waived my right to stop the record being released.”

Ryan does state in this article that “the issue of royalties was eventually settled out of court and some money did change hands, albeit far from the full sum I expected.” He thinks, however, that “Clark ripped me off for many hundreds of thousands.” This relatively little known controversy was not mentioned in the documentary.

Ron Ryan was singer in the Riot Squad, whose drummer was a young Mitch Mitchell (center); Ryan is on Mitchell's left.

Ron Ryan was singer in the Riot Squad, whose drummer was a young Mitch Mitchell (center); Ryan is on Mitchell’s left.

A somewhat more well known controversy unmentioned in the film is the failure of much of the DC5 catalog to get reissued on CD. Even the two major Dave Clark best-of compilations, the generally well done two-CD The History of the Dave Clark Five (1993, even if has some wrong dates in the track listings) and the inferior, less extensive The Hits (2008), are now out of print and expensive if you can even locate copies. Clark, as is well known, had the foresight to own the group’s masters, at a time when few artists did so. Why is he keeping such tight rein on their legacy?

There’s speculation, on Facebook if nowhere else, that he got this documentary out there in the first place to help get a better deal for DC5 reissues (and the Ready Steady Go episodes he owns). That’s impossible to say, but let’s be real about this, too. Having the DC5 catalog out of print is not nearly as grievous a tragedy as, say, much of the Kinks and Yardbirds ‘60s recordings being unavailable (as they were, believe it or not, when I started collecting their records as a teenager in the late 1970s). Their albums might not quite have been “uniformly bad,” as Lester Bangs proclaimed in The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock & Roll. But they weren’t very good, either, in part because they rushed out a dozen US LPs (not counting a couple greatest hits collections) between early 1964 and early 1968. There are some overlooked quality B-sides and LP-only tracks — see the section below for my favorites — but there were also a lot of generic stompers, some weak ballads, and even some easy listening instrumentals, along with songs that just weren’t too memorable or creative from any angle. And they didn’t grow musically, or with the times, nearly as much as the better British Invasion bands, let alone their one-time rivals the Beatles.

One Facebook poster said Clark’s writing an autobiography that, one would hope, might shed light on some of these murky areas. Given what little was divulged — controversial or otherwise — in the documentary, however, I wouldn’t count on that. The music does remain if you can find it (and as noted it’s on iTunes now if you must), and here’s a guide to 20 or so of the more obscure cuts you might have missed.

Chaquita (released April 1963): Even if it’s in the main a ripoff of the Champs’ huge late-‘50s instrumental smash “Tequila,” this is a ferocious wordless (save for menacing interjections of “Chaquita!”) rocker with spy-movie snaky sax and a jungle/exotica flavor. Issued as a UK B-side in April 1963, it’s most familiar in the US as the B-side of “Do You Love Me,” as well as a track on their maiden American LP, Glad All Over. Beware of the earlier, far inferior version they issued on their debut single in August 1962, which crops up on some compilations to this day, as Clark doesn’t own the right to those masters.

I Know You (released December 1963): Not much subtlety behind this grinder, just an out-and-out infectious rocker that, like many early British Invasion tunes from the Beatles on down, has a joyous abandon totally at odds with the downcast rejection lamented in the lyrics. Most known as the B-side to “Glad All Over,” it’s also heard on the soundtrack of the Pathe newsreel short done on the group (the same company did similar newsreels on the Beatles in late 1963, and the Rolling Stones in late 1964).

"I Know You" was the B-side of "Glad All Over," the Dave Clark Five's first and still most famous US hit.

“I Know You” was the B-side of “Glad All Over,” the Dave Clark Five’s first and still most famous US hit.

Any Time You Want Love (released July 1964): One of the DC5 songs that switches adeptly between catchy near-ballad love song and more forceful midtempo rocker. Almost good enough to be a single, but not quite, ending up on their American Tour LP.

Whenever You’re Around (released July 1964): A harmony ballad with shimmering organ somewhat in the mold of “Because,” but slower and more wistful. Also from the American Tour LP.

Crying Over You (released October 1964): A nice Beatlesque ballad with close harmonies, heard on the B-side of “Any Way You Want It.” It’s not as good as the Beatles’ early ballads, mind you. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it. For what ballads are as good as the early ones by the Beatles?

When (released December 1964): A dramatic, haunting ballad with classical piano flourishes and more of their underrated close harmonies. The song was heard several times in their movie Catch Us If You Can (aka Having a Wild Weekend), suiting the film’s unexpectedly downbeat tone. It had already appeared on their Coast to Coast album, however, by the time the movie came out.

Don’t You Know (released December 1964): Also from Coast to Coast, this bash-it-out, get-it-over-with (one minute, 36 seconds) rocker has a little of a DC5-by-numbers feel. But as such filler on Dave Clark Five LPs goes, it’s one of the very best in that style, done with as much shake-it-on-out energy as if they’re doing one of their big hits, especially when the harmonies leap an octave at the very end.

Mighty Good Loving (released March 1965): Another tune that shifts from languid, moody verses to emphatic choruses, making good use of their underrated facility for minor-keyed melodies. From their Weekend in London album, not to be confused with their next LP just a few months down the line, Having a Wild Weekend.

‘Til The Right One Comes Along (released, March 1965): Also from Weekend in London, a real departure for the DC5, as it’s a folky ballad, acoustic guitar supplying the only accompaniment, save for a spot of piano at the end. The DC5 unplugged, perhaps. It sounds a bit like a demo that somehow didn’t progress into a full rock arrangement, which it could have easily been given, but it doesn’t suffer for that.

I’ll Never Know (released March 1965): An uncommonly moody, jagged rocker by the DC5’s upbeat standards, with some equally unusual double-tracked harmonica, from their Weekend in London album.

Remember It’s Me (released March 1965): A final highlight from their Weekend in London album has weird, even spookily echoing piano; another fetching minor-keyed melody, this time perhaps the DC5’s gloomiest; and more of their underrated back-and-forth tempo shifts. It’s their most haunting track, and had they come up with more creative items like “I’ll Never Know,” “Remember It’s Me,” “Don’t Be Taken In,” and “When” on their albums that departed from the usual formula they used on their singles, the DC5 would undoubtedly have more critical respect today.

Hurting Inside (released June 1965): The DC5 had more Beatlesque light rockers than many people remember, other than the oft-cited example of the one big hit they had in that vein, “Because.” Here’s one from the B-side of “I Like It Like That,” featuring a rare (for the DC5) extended guitar solo.

Don’t Be Taken In (released June 1965): Of all the Five’s Beatlesque songs, this is the one that would have come closest to sneaking on an actual Beatles album without raising too many suspicions. The piano-oriented arrangement slightly recalls the approach used on lower-key Beatles for Sale-era tracks like “No Reply,” and the high “no no”s at the end carry a whiff of those heard at the end of “Not a Second Time.” From their Having a Wild Weekend LP.

The Dave Clark: not so wild and crazy guys.

The Dave Clark Five: not so wild and crazy guys.

No Stopping (released June 1965): Like “Chaquita,” another instrumental with a devious surf-cum-spy guitar lick, this one filling out the Having a Wild Weekend LP. It’s not as good as “Chaquita,” but still has some good atmospheric sax bleating and frantic organ.

On the Move (released June 1965): Some of the Dave Clark Five’s instrumentals were throwaways of little value. This might be a throwaway too, but it’s much better than most of the band’s such efforts, sounding something like a collision between Link Wray, Johnny & the Hurricanes, and the surf instrumental hit “Pipeline.” Heard on the B-side of “Catch Us If You Can.”

Also known as Catch Us If You Can, the 1965 film Having a Wild Weekend was no A Hard Day's Night, although it had its good points.

Also known as Catch Us If You Can, the 1965 film Having a Wild Weekend was no A Hard Day’s Night, although it had its good points.

I’ll Be Yours My Love (B-side of “Over and Over,” October 1965): A piano-based ballad with a rolling beat that would verge on the dainty if not for Mike Smith’s customary throaty, earthy vocals, nicely counterpointed by soft backup vocals.

I Need Love (released November 1965): A storming, almost garage-ish workout with one of Smith’s most leather-lunged vocals, ebullient shouts, and a dense blend of keyboards, bass, and Denis Payton’s trademark honking sax. From their I Like It Like That album.

I’m On My Own (released November 1965): The DC5’s periodic ventures into country were about as successful as their other outings into styles other than the straightforward rock they knew best — which is to say, not very. Here’s an exception, also from I Like It Like That, on this nice ballad with some twangy guitar and a brief, more British Invasion-friendly bridge.

All Night Long (released March 1966): Buried on the B-side of the early ’66 hit “Try Too Hard,” as filler B-side instrumental jams go, this is one of the best, with a heavier blues/R&B feel than anything else they cut. This could almost pass as a track by a genuine London R&B-rock British Invasion band, though the DC5 were never considered part of that scene.

Plus honorable mentions for these two hits which, although they reached the Top 20, are seldom if ever heard on oldies radio these days:

Everybody Knows (I Still Love You) (released October 1964): A fine, rather complex midtempo harmony rocker veering between wistful verses and more hard-hitting choruses. Not to be confused with their dissimilar, but similarly titled, 1967 single “Everybody Knows,” a far less notable ballad.

Try Too Hard (released March 1966): One of the band’s hardest rockers, with a curling guitar riff, pounding piano, and an insistent chorus. As a footnote, one of the first records I remember hearing, as my oldest brother was a DC5 fan.

The picture sleeve of "Try Too Hard," which my oldest brother taped to his bedroom wall.

The picture sleeve of “Try Too Hard,” which my oldest brother taped to his bedroom wall.

29 thoughts on “The Dave Clark Five PBS Special…And Beyond”

  1. again,nobody mentions Capitol Canada–I released most of the british Invasion on my unique Capitol 6000 series—many of the DC5 album covers in Canada are different than the U.S.–and sometimes the repertoire was different.I had much better rapport with the Epic A&R guy in New York than I did with Capitol people in the Tower!! He would send me colour transparencies and other stuff to use and didn’t expect anything in return. I ALSO WAS THE ONLY ONE WITH THE AUDACITY TO RELEASE AN ALBUM “tHE DAVE CLARK FIVE INSTRUMENTAL ALBUM”– CULLED FROM THE TRACKS THEY HAD ON VARIOUS ALBUMS. I THINK THE PLAYING TIME WAS LESS THAN 25 MINUTES!!! BUT IT SOLD AND DAVE ASKED EMI TO BUY 50 COPIES FROM CANADA FOR HIS COLLECTION– I went with the group on most of their gigs in Canada- Dave was a good interview but Mike in my estimation was the starwho didn’t get the recognition he deserved…regards, paul white…

  2. Thanks for the info on the DC5 in Canada. No offense was meant by not commenting on their Canadian releases in my post, which focused on the PBS special and overlooked DC5 tracks. Mike Smith seemed to have had at least as much to do with the band’s musical success as their leader.

  3. The weirdest part of this very weird documentary was the stuff about the musical TIME! I don’t know anyone who’s heard of it! And Freddie Mercury was in it? And where and when did they get footage of Ian McKellan and Laurence Olivier (who’s been dead for decades!) calling Clark a “genius”?! Hey, I dig the DC5, but this was like being in an alternative universe….

    1. Time did run for a couple of years in London in the late 1980s. But it’s not as familiar to international audiences (including in the US) as the Dave Clark Five hits, to say the least. And it’s probably not of much or any interest to many of the people watching the documentary.

  4. I would bet that the author is the only one who found Tom Hanks’ R&R Hall of Fame induction speech histrionic and obnoxious! His spirited speech was a welcome departure from the usual monotone reading off of a card. He swept up the entire room and showed how a top actor, who is also a fan, can bring excitement as well as nostalgia to the moment.

  5. This commentary appears to have been influenced by a Facebook page for the DC5 which has devoted itself to the vendetta bashing of Dave Clark and believing every word what Ron Ryan has stated there. Know this…there is another side to this story!!!


    1. I’m with you whitehouse, here’s a comment I wrote on a youtube page a little while ago:

      To those commenters who saw Dave as taking advantage of the others, I think it was just that he knew how to sell their product.

      They were all adequate-to-fair musos, tho a few say Dave was a bit less so, and Mike a bit more than just adequate, but there were and are plenty of good musos around buying their clothes where I get mine – at the op shop.
      I think you’ve gotta give credit to Dave for their phenomenal success, not just the way he managed them and marketed them, he also had a part in vetting and choosing their material.
      People bag him for dubbing in Bobby Graham’s drumming for Bits’n’Pieces and Glad All Over but it was a stroke of genius, as I’m sure Mike and the others would have agreed.
      You don’t hear too many unkind things said about Dave by the other 4, they would’ve known it was his drive and organising ability and craftiness, and let’s not forget his good looks and stage presence, that got them to the top.
      If he ended up with most of the money that’s because making money was his forte. Mike ended up with most of the glory – you don’t hear Dave whining about that. TC

  6. I agree with Casablanca’s remarks–she is exactly right. The documentary was interesting and fun. I agree with others that that Tom Hank’s speech was good and not a run of the mill boring speech. I even actually enjoyed the segments interviews about the musical Time.

  7. Thank you PBS for the DC5 documentary. I became a fan of the Dave Clark Five after seeing the show. I want to see more of the DC5 perhaps one of their live concerts. The documentary was well-done, interesting and exciting. I never knew that this group sounded so incredible in the 60s, better than the Beatles or any of the British invasion groups (my personal opinion and taste). Their music has more depth because of the sax, organ/piano and the heavy drums. I recently bought my first DC5 CD The History of the Dave Clark Five and the instrumental All Night Long is so good. I normally don’t like instruments but this one is exceptional. I think Dave could have put more materials into the documentary but he had only 2 hours to do it. It is not padded as this author states. I bought the Dave Clark Five: Glad All Over and the 2nd disc has a lot of interesting footage on the DC5. I don’t agree with a lot of the author’s comments who seems to have some kind of vendetta against Dave Clark and is still stuck in the 60s so called rivalry between the Beatles and DC5. He keeps comparing the two groups. Like Dave said in the documentary, they have a different sound. I also don’t agree that Dave is not musical. In an interview with Mike Smith he said Dave decided what song went into an album or got released. On Everybody Knows he had all the band members including Dave do individual demos to see which voice suited the song. And the vicious rumor of Dave not being a good drummer or did not play drums in their records is just unbelievable. DC5 was a successful live band before coming to the US and the drummer was Dave.

    1. Well my dear…. if you say “Dave Clark has a musical taste because his track selection for DC5 LPs”, then, definitely he hasn’t. All DC5 has 4 or 5 good songs and the rest all fillers, songs without soul or just boring (as many Searchers or Gerry and the Pacemakers’ songs)

  8. … you wondered why dave would be reluctant to be on camera… well, have you SEEN what he looks like at present? his freakish arched eyebrows alone are among the most curious facial decorations i’ve ever seen. a lot of plastic surgery gone very wrong indeed.

  9. I saw this “documentary” the first time it was aired on the Seattle-area PBS station last week (July 2014) and I wanted to scream! Dave Clark had two hours to address the myriad of controversies surrounding the DC5 and instead of providing even a shred of new information he chose a two-hour Dave Clark love fest. What is that man hiding? Methinks it is everything. Mr. Utterberg, I implore you to research and publish the real story of the DC5.

    1. Mark, I’m not sure I’m the right person to write a DC5 biography, but I’d certainly like to read one that went deeply into the whole story. As you can see even from the responses to my blog post about the documentary, there are heated differences of opinion about their career. An unfortunate disadvantage is that some of the guys are no longer here to be interviewed and give their perspectives.

  10. GREAT post!! I wish I had seen this prior to my own post on the the “documentary.”

    Kudos to you for raising questions about it.

    I actually liked the band in the 60s (especially the upfront drumming) but this “documentary” didn’t pass the smell test and led me to do some research on the band. Clark didn’t write — and perform on record — many if not most of the DC5 songs. I can’t respect artists that claim credit for songs they didn’t write. It’s noteworthy that Clark wouldn’t answer questions about it .

  11. Just stumbled across this. (Hi, Richie. I had the pleasure of hearing you speak and chatting with you afterwards a year or more ago at the RRHOF Archives.)

    Dave Clark is hard to figure out. He should get credit for developing a band with a sound unlike any other in that era…for apparently having an ear for hit single potential…and for being a very astute businessman.

    Beyond this, it’s hard to get past the negatives (the control issues, the general ego, etc.). But what offends me most of all about Clark is that he was interviewed years ago for Max Weinberg’s book about rock drummers (“The Big Beat”) and answered specific questions about the drumming on DC 5 records — and gave absolutely no indication that it wasn’t him wielding the sticks.

    As I was too naive to consider that he could possibly be lying through his teeth in this interview, I used this in evidence in online arguments that Clark MUST have played, and that rumors to the contrary were unfounded.

    But as time went on, I realized that I’d been had. The evidence in the other direction is pretty much irrefutable…and Mike Smith’s two “no comments” you reproduce here certainly put the nail in the coffin. (And I can’t help but wonder how Weinberg feels now!)

    Thanks, Richie, for the informative and well-considered review.

  12. Thanks for writing this article. It needed to be written.

    Dave Clark should release true stereo versions of his songs. Thankfully I have almost everything in stereo based on extraordinary vinyl transfers. When he released his mono CDs, I bought them but returned them to the store. It’s the only time I have ever returned a CD.

    Mike Smith was the star of the group. Dave was a business man who was wise enough to hire an incredible drummer to give their songs the sound that made them. Now that no one is left to refute his “recollections”, Dave can say whatever he wants. Those of us who lived through the time know better, though. Long live the Dave Clark 5.

  13. During the movie while talking about WWII there was an alternate version of Glad All Over playing.
    Was it ever recorded?

  14. The so-called documentary was designed to get people to send money to PBS. It’s main appeal was to mawkish nostalgia. The DC5 did a crash-and-burn in the US when their backing track failed on a disastrous live Ed Sullivan appearance.

Leave a Reply to Bob Ethington Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *