Behind the Scenes 4

By Bob Azurdia  

April 9 1964

Dave ClarkDave’s Tip Wins Manager £150
After the week was over Dave Clark admitted that he’d been ‘scared stiff’ of starting his professional career in Liverpool.

“We didn’t know what to expect,” Dave told me, “We could have had rotten eggs – or anything.

“In fact, we had a really great time, the audience has been good and everyone we’ve met has gone out of their way to be friendly. It’s a grand city and we’ve had a fine time.”

Dave, who has a keen sense of humour, as well as a solid drum beat is the unquestioned leader of his Five.

“He’s the boss,” declared 20-year-old tenor sax Denny Payton, “and he’s a good one.

“He tears strips off, though, if you step out of line – but you can always tell when it’s coming.

“Just before he gives you a rocket you get the white of his eye – in other words his eyes just seem to roll right round and then, bang!”

Denny and Dave both confessed that though they’d like to have girl friends there just wasn’t any time.

“We just travel and sleep,” they agreed.

Two of the Five, Lenny Davidson, 19, on lead guitar, and 21-year-old Rick Huxley, on bass, are married, while Mike Smith, 20, who plays the organ, is still, like Dave and Denny, single.

At least one person who’s £180 better off for Dave’s Liverpool stay is the manager of the hotel at which the group stayed.

“A newspaper asked me what was going to win the National,” grinned Dave. “I’ve never backed a horse in my life – so I looked at the list of runners and said Team Spirit, because that’s what we’ve got to have in the group to be successful.

“I passed this on to the hotel manager – and he put £10 on Team Spirit which won at 18 -1.”

During his Liverpool week Dave and the boys visited the Cavern – and on the last night of his visit Cavern boss Ray McFall came backstage with me to see Dave.

Said Ray: “I must admit from your TV appearances, Dave, that frankly I thought you were just a big head. It’s so nice to meet you and be disillusioned on that one – you’re welcome back at any time.”

Dave just kept grinning and his eyes twinkled. Without a trace of white.

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