RIP Mike Smith

February 29, 2008 at 5:22 pm (music news, obituaries that hopefully aren't mine, rock and roll)

Not *that* Mike Smith. Or that one.

This one.

Sad to me that the world has seemingly forgotten the Tottenham Sound that briefly knocked the Beatles from the charts in 1964; you mention the Dave Clark 5 nowadays, and if someone remembers them, they remember them as a footnote in rock history….

…but I defy anyone to listen to “Bits And Pieces” and not define it as one of the great punk rock moments in rock and roll history. From Smith’s larynx-shredding soul shout to Clark’s tub-thumping kick drum signature, the song represents everything that is good or even great about rock and roll. (Clubs around Britain back in the day refused to play “Pieces” for fear that eager dancers would stomp their wooden dancefloors to splinters. That’s rock and roll, yo.)

Mike Smith, the DC5 vocalist, was maybe the only guy in the British invasion who could hold his own with Stevie Winwood and Little Stevie Marriott. It sounds as if his latter years were very difficult. Hopefully he’s at peace now.

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