Mike Smith - He had what it takes

Why I latched on to the Dave Clark Five is something that I still don't fully understand. 1964 was a world of Beatles and seeking ways to escape from the realities of the Kennedy assasination. There could only be a couple of answers. Perhaps because the beat, the saxophone and the vocalist Mike Smith set them apart in a world of Hermits and Hollies. He could sing American soul music like none of his peers. Listen to their remake of "I Like It Like That." It is a perfect pop single from its hurdy gurdy organ beginning to the the plop of the sax at the end and it is only a minute and a half long! Mike had been paralyzed for several years and he went to that big Vox organ in the sky last week.

The sum total of the DC5's recorded output contains more schlock than any one elses catalogue that I can think of. If you take their best five or six songs, they stand up to the output of any pop group with the exception of the Fab Four. "Any Way You Want It" still goes through me like an electric shock. A lot of sillyness surrounds any writings or critiques of popular culture. "Bits and Pieces" has been called the first "punk" tune. "Any Way You Want It" is referred to as the first "heavy metal" tune. Dunno about that but I can tell you a geeky kid from Brookline, MA had a lot of joy listening to it.And that is the point of Rock and Roll.

Thanks, Mike. I'll catch you when I can....

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