Dave Rowbotham

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Dave Rowbotham
Also known as David Rowbotham, Cowboy Dave (posthumously)
Born 1958
Manchester, England
Origin Didsbury, Manchester, England
Died 8th November 1991
Burnage, Manchester, England
Genres Punk rock, post-punk, new wave, alternative rock
Occupations Musician
Years active 1977–1991
Labels Factory Records
Associated acts Fast Breeder, The Durutti Column, The Mothmen, Pauline Murray And The Invisible Girls, Motivation

Dave Rowbotham (1958 – 1991)[1] was a rock musician who played guitar and bass with various Manchester bands in the 1970s and the 1980s, and as studio musician.


Coming from Didsbury, Manchester, he adopted the hippie lifestyle.[2] During the punk era, he, alongside drummer Chris Joyce, played in a band called Fast Breeder and was managed by Alan Erasmus, who later cofounded Factory Records with Tony Wilson.[3] In 1978, the pair, alongside Alberto Y Lost Trios Paranoias bassist Tony Bowers, singer Phil Rainford (replaced after months by Colin Sharp), and former Nosebleeds guitarist Vini Reilly, founded the post-punk band The Durutti Column.[citation needed]

However, the five-piece line-up didn't last long, and after releasing A Factory Sample, a compilation by various artists which contained two of their songs, Rowbotham, alongside Sharp, Bowers, and Joyce, left Reilly. Rowbotham and the latter two formed The Mothmen. During the early days of The Mothmen, he also rejoined Reilly in Pauline Murray And The Invisible Girls, with then ex-Penetration vocalist Pauline Murray, playing on their eponymous album. With The Mothmen, he released two albums, Pay Attention (On-U Sound, 1981) and One Black Dot (1982).[4] By this time, he had also formed Motivation, along with ex-Buzzcocks bassist Steve Garvey.[5]

By 1981 or early 1982, shortly before the release of One Black Dot, he left The Mothmen. After that and Motivation, he was playing many sessions for Factory Records.[citation needed]

On 8 November 1991, Rowbotham was found dead at his Burnage flat. He had been murdered with a lathe hammer.[6]

In his memory, the Madchester band Happy Mondays wrote a song called "Cowboy Dave", released on the album Yes Please!, in 1992.[7]


  1. ^ Simmonds, Jeremy (2008). The Encyclopedia of Dead Rock Stars. Chicago Reviews Press. p. 279. ISBN 1-55652-754-3. 
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ [2]
  4. ^ Simmonds, Jeremy (2008). The Enciclopedia of Dead Rock Stars. Chicago Reviews Press. pp. 279 – 280. ISBN 1-55652-754-3. 
  5. ^ Manchesyer District Music Archive
  6. ^ Larkin, Colin (1995). Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music. Guinness Publications. p. 1274. ISBN 1-56159-176-9. 
  7. ^ http://diffuser.fm/dave-rowbotham-strangest-rock-deaths/

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