Saturday, January 17, 2015

Trevor "Dozy" Ward-Davies R.I.P.

Mick, Beaky, Tich, Dave Dee, and Dozy
Trevor Ward-Davies (better known by his nickname "Dozy"), bassist for the legendary British rock band Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich, died on January 13 2015 at the age of 70. The cause was cancer.

Trevor Ward-Davies was born on November 27 1944 in Enford, Wiltshire. He attended the County Secondary Modern School in Durrington, Wiltshire. He was only thirteen years old when he saw Buddy Holly and The Crickets perform in Salisbury. He started out playing an acoustic bass before moving on to an electric bass guitar. He joined The Beatniks, which featured guitarist Ian “Tich” Amey.

It was by 1961 that both Dozy and Tich had joined the band Ronnie Blonde and the Bostons. In addition to its lead vocalist Ronnie Blonde, the band featured rhythm guitarist John "Beaky" Dymond, guitarist David "Dave Dee" Harman, and drummer Stan Poole. After Ronnie Blonde left the band, Dave Dee took over lead vocals and the group became known as "Dave Dee and the Bostons". The band played dates in the Salisbury area and even performed in Hamburg and Cologne. It was after Dave Dee and the Bostons returned from Hamburg that drummer Stan Poole left due to family commitments. He was replaced on drums by Michael "Mick" Wilson. The band was now Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich in all but name.

It was in 1964 that songwriters Ken Howard and Alan Blaikley took an interest in recording the band.  Messrs. Howard and Blaikley changed the band's name to Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich in order to stress the members' individuality. They also arranged a recording session with legendary producer Joe Meek, which proved unsuccessful. Despite this they were signed to a recording contract with Fontana Records.

The band's first two singles ("No Time" and "All I Want") failed to chart, but their third single "You Make It Move" hit #26 on the UK singles chart. Their fourth single proved to be an international hit. "Hold Tight!" went to #4 on the UK singles chart, #21 on the Australian singles chart, #4 on the German singles chart, and #8 on the New Zealand singles chart. Ultimately Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich would have a string of international hits, including "Bend It!", "Save Me", "Touch Me, Touch Me", "Zabadak!", "The Legend of Xanadu", and   "Last Night in Soho" among others. In the Sixties Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich ultimately spent more time on the UK singles chart than The Beatles. The band was phenomenally popular in Germany as well.

Despite their success in the United Kingdom and Europe, Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich saw little chart success in the United States or Canada. In the United States only  "Zabadak!" reached the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number 52. "Bend It" (whose lyrics were considerable objectionable by most American radio stations) only went to #110 and "Last Night in Soho" to #123.  Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich did a little better in Canada, where five singles actually charted. In Canada "Zabadak!"went to #1 and "The Legend of Xanadu" to #10. While Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich saw less success in North America than they did the United Kingdom or Europe, they did develop a cult following in both Canada and the U.S.

The band also released several albums in the Sixties, including Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & TichIf Music Be the Food of Love... Then Prepare for Indigestion; What's in a Name; If No One Sang; DDDBM&T; and Together.  Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich's early work was written almost entirely by Ken Howard and Alan Blaikley, although starting with their second album If Music Be the Food of Love... Then Prepare for Indigestion the band began contributing their own songs.

It was in September 1969 that Dave Dee left the band to pursue a solo career. The band continued as DBMT. It was under that name they released the album Fresh Ear. The album produced their last top forty single in the UK, "Mr. President" (which went to #33 on the singles chart). The band continued to release singles until they broke up in 1972. Dozy, Beaky and Tich regrouped in 1974 and were joined by Pete Lucas of The Troggs. They performed gigs at small clubs under the name "Tracker".  It was in 1976 that DBMT regrouped with Pete Lucas on guitar and Beaky on drums.

DBMT would be reunited with Dave Dee, resulting in the 1983 single "Staying With It". The band would continue to this day with various changes in its membership. John "Beaky" Dymond left in 1989 and returned in 2013. Dave Dee died in 2009. Through it all, however, Dozy and Tich remained with the band.

Dozy also performed as part of a country and western duo called Woodsmoke. He also continued to write songs.

While Dave Dee received much of the attention surrounding Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich in the Sixties, there can be no doubt that Dozy and Tich were the heart of the band. They were the only members to remain with the group for its entire history. What is more, Trevor "Dozy" Ward-Davies made significant contributions to the band. The success of Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich's hook-laden singles depended largely upon their rhythm section, and Dozy's talent as a bassist never failed them. Dozy also sang lead on various album tracks and provided harmonies on nearly all of the band's songs. He wrote on many of the band's songs as well. The simple fact is that without Dozy, Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich probably would not have been possible.

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