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Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich, aka "DDDBMT", were a chart topping British pop/rock group of the 1960s. Two of their single releases secured global sales in excess of one million copies each, and they reached Number One in the UK with the second of them, "The Legend of Xanadu". Five friends from Wiltshire, David John Harman, Trevor Leonard Ward-Davies, John Dymond, Michael Wilson and Ian Frederick Stephen Amey, formed a group in 1961, originally called Dave Dee and the Bostons. They soon gave up their jobs (e.g. Dave Dee was a policeman) to make their living from music. Apart from performing in the UK, they also occasionally played in Hamburg (Star-Club, Top Ten Club) and in Cologne (Storyville). Vocalist Dee, the ex-policeman, was at the scene of the automobile accident that took the life of the American rock and roller Eddie Cochran and injured Gene Vincent in April 1960. Dee had taken Cochran's guitar from the accident and held it until it could be returned to his family. In summer 1964, the British songwriters Ken Howard and Alan Blaikley became interested in recording them. The band was set up in the studio to make recordings with Joe Meek. These recording sessions failed to get off the ground as an interview with Dee stated that Meek "had very strange recording techniques. He wanted us to play the song at half speed and then he would speed it up and put all these little tricks on it. We said we couldn't do it that way. He exploded, threw coffee all over the studio and stormed up to his room. His assistant Patric Pink came in and said, "Mr Meek will not be doing any more recording today." That was it. We lugged all our gear out and went back home". While these recording session proved unsuccessful they eventually gained a recording contract with Fontana Records. They changed their name to Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich — an amalgam of their nicknames. The distinctive name, coupled with well produced and catchy songs by Howard and Blaikley, quickly caught the UK public's imagination and their records started to sell in abundance. Indeed, between 1965 and 1969, the group spent more weeks in the UK Singles Chart than The Beatles and made the odd tour 'downunder' to Australia and New Zealand, where they had also experienced some marked chart success during this period.
They also scored a Number One hit in the UK Singles Chart in 1968
with "The Legend of Xanadu". This particular track sold well worldwide
- even in the United States (where they had previously had little
success). The combined sales figures were in excess of one million
copies. Their other Top 10 UK hits included "Hideaway", "Hold Tight!",
"Bend It!", "Save Me", "Touch Me, Touch Me", "Okay!", "Zabadak!" and
"Last Night in Soho". "Bend It!" was a big hit in Europe, including a
Number One in Germany. In order to obtain a bouzouki sound on the
recording, an electrified mandolin was used. The combined UK and
European sales were over one million. However, in October 1966, the
British music magazine, NME commented that dozens of US radio stations
had banned the record, because the lyrics were considered too
suggestive. The group responded by recording a new version in London
with a different set of words, which was rush released in the US, as
the original single was withdrawn from sale. The band were big sellers
elsewhere in the world. In Australia, for instance, they reached the
Top Ten with "Hold Tight!", "Bend It!", "Zabadak!" and "The Legend of
Xanadu". But the group never gained much popularity in the US. The
Rolling Stone Record Guide, published in 1979, does not list the group
at all, even though the guide includes a number of acts whose LPs were
out of print by that time.
In September, 1969, Dee left the group for a short-lived solo career. NME reported the previous month that Dee was to play a motorbike gang leader, in the forthcoming Marty Feldman film, Every Home Should Have One. The rest of the band, re-billed as (D,B,M and T) continued releasing records, until they broke up in 1972. In the 1980s the group reformed again without Dee although there was one further single with him, "Staying With It" in 1983. In the meantime Dee had become a record producer with Magnet Records. In the 1990s, at a time when many other of their contemporary bands were also reforming to tour on the lucrative "oldies circuit", they started performing once more, this time with their one-time leader, Dee. Dee was a Justice of the Peace in Cheshire until he retired from the bench in 2008 due to his ailing health. He continued to perform with his band almost up until his death on 9 January 2009. He had been suffering from prostate cancer since early 2001.
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Official Homepage: www.dddbmt.com
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