Dave Clark (musician)

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Not to be confused with Dave Clarke (musician).
This article is about the British musician. For the Canadian musician, see Dave Clark (Canadian musician).
Dave Clark
Dave Clark Dave Clark Five 1965.JPG
Clark in a 1965 US television appearance
with The Dave Clark Five
Background information
Birth name David Clark
Born (1939-12-15) 15 December 1939 (age 76) or (1942-12-15) 15 December 1942 (age 73)
Tottenham, North London, England
Genres Beat music
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter, record producer
Instruments Drummer, vocalist
Years active 1957–present
Associated acts The Dave Clark Five

David 'Dave' Clark (born 15 December 1939 or 1942) is an English musician, songwriter, record producer and entrepreneur. He was the leader, drummer and manager of the 1960s beat group The Dave Clark Five, the first British Invasion band to follow The Beatles to America in 1964. Clark and Lenny Davidson are the last surviving members of The Dave Clark Five. In 2008 Clark and his band were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.[1]


The Dave Clark Five The Ed Sullivan Show appearance, 1966. From left: Denis Payton, Dave Clark, Mike Smith, Rick Huxley and Lenny Davidson.

Born in Tottenham, North London, Clark left school without qualifications at the age of 15 and became a film stuntman, performing in over 40 films.[2][3][4] In the late 1950s Clark bought himself a set of drums, taught himself how to play them, and formed a skiffle band to raise funds so that his football team could travel to the Netherlands.

The skiffle band grew into the Dave Clark Five with Clark their leader, co-songwriter, manager and producer.[4][5]

The Dave Clark Five grew in popularity in the UK. They unseated the Beatles' "I Want to Hold Your Hand" from its number one spot in the UK singles charts in January 1964 with "Glad All Over". The British press, briefly, called them the Beatles' "most serious threat".[6] The Dave Clark Five were the first British Invasion band to follow the Beatles to America in 1964,[6] where they achieved 15 consecutive Top 20 hits.[7] They also appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show more times than any other English group.[6] Dave Clark became a popular name for babies in the 1960s.[8]

Andrew Loog Oldham, former manager of the Rolling Stones, said of the band's early success as rivals to the Beatles:

If the Beatles ever looked over their shoulders, it was not the Stones they saw. They saw the Dave Clark 5 or Herman's Hermits.[9]

The band broke up in 1970 and in 1972, Clark stopped drumming after he broke four knuckles in a tobogganing accident.[2]

He later wrote a science fiction stage musical, Time, which debuted in 1986. It played for two years in London's West End, starring Cliff Richard (replaced later by David Cassidy).[4] It also launched a concept album called Time which featured Richard, Freddie Mercury, Leo Sayer, Stevie Wonder and Dionne Warwick, sold two million copies and provided multiple hit singles.[10]


Clark is a successful entrepreneur and a multi-millionaire. He owns a £12 million house in West London.[2][11] From the outset, Clark owned the rights to all the Dave Clark Five music masters and in 1993 he released remastered versions of all their singles on a CD, Glad All Over Again.[4] In the late 1960s, in addition to managing his band, Clark began directing and producing for television. In 1968 he made a "very successful" television production, Hold On, It's the Dave Clark Five.[4]

In the 1980s he acquired the rights to the 1960s UK music show Ready Steady Go!.[12]

On the release of a (DC5) British hits album in the mid-70s, Clark resided in the US for a year, thus avoiding paying UK taxes in Britain on the proceeds of that release. The British government challenged this but lost the case in court.[13]

Personal life[edit]

Clark was a close friend of Queen lead singer Freddie Mercury, whom he had known since 1975.[14] Clark had taken over the bedside vigil of Mercury when he died in November 1991 and informed Mercury's parents about his death.[14][15]

Honours and legacy[edit]

In 2008, marking the 50th anniversary of the founding of the band, the Dave Clark Five was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.[1][16] Clark, making a rare public appearance, and the two other surviving band members accepted the award on behalf of the group.[17]

In 2015 Clark appeared in, and partly presented, the 115-minute documentary The Dave Clark Five and Beyond: Glad All Over.[18]


  1. ^ a b "The Dave Clark Five". Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2011-05-17. 
  2. ^ a b c Pierce, Andrew (10 December 2008). "Dave Clark: Why I turned down a gong from Harold Wilson". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2010-01-05. 
  3. ^ Green, Graeme (13 October 2008). "Beatles rival on sex, drugs, rock'n'roll". Metro. Retrieved 2010-01-05. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "The Dave Clark Five". Classic Bands. Retrieved 2010-01-05. 
  5. ^ "The Dave Clark Five". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 8 November 2007. Retrieved 2010-01-05. 
  6. ^ a b c Clark, Rick; Unterberger, Richie. "The Dave Clark Five". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-01-06. 
  7. ^ James, Gary. "Interview with Dave Clark". Classic Bands. Retrieved 2010-01-06. 
  8. ^ "Dave Clark Five – DaveClarkAnkeny". Sites.google.com. Retrieved 2012-12-15. 
  9. ^ Sharp, Ken (27 September 2014). "Andrew Loog Oldham dishes on rock's biggest movers and shakers". Goldmine. Retrieved 9 September 2015. 
  10. ^ McCormick, Neil (14 February 2015). "Dave Clark: inscrutable pop mastermind". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 9 September 2015. 
  11. ^ "Biography: The Dave Clark Five". Tune Genie. Retrieved 2010-01-06. 
  12. ^ Fiddy, Dick. "Ready, Steady, Go! (1963-66)". Screenonline. Retrieved 9 September 2015. 
  13. ^ "Dave Clark Five". taxationpodcasts. 2011-10-21. Retrieved 2015-11-18. 
  14. ^ a b "This week the Queen idol would've been 65... now pop star Dave Clark reveals: 'Freddie chose to die when his life stopped being fun' ". Mail Online. Retrieved 26 January 2014
  15. ^ "'No, I haven't had a facelift – honest': Pop star Dave Clark talks about sex, drugs... and ageing". Daily Mail. 16 October 2008. Retrieved 14 March 2013. 
  16. ^ "Dave Clark Five". British Invasion Bands. Retrieved 2010-01-06. 
  17. ^ Simpson, Richard (12 March 2008). "Dave Clark thrives! But has he had Botox on a few bits and pieces?". Daily Mail. Retrieved 2010-01-06. 
  18. ^ "BBC Two - The Dave Clark Five and Beyond: Glad All Over". BBC. Retrieved 14 February 2015. 

External links[edit]