Monday, December 18, 2006

Denis Payton

Dennis Payton, dead at 63

Younger folks may not be aware of Denis Payton, but he was a member of the Dave Clark Five (check the link to listen to tunes), (and here for more info on the band itself), arguably second only to the Beatles among British bands of 1963-1965, and the first major concert act I ever saw live. Dave's saxophone and harmonica were integral to the band's sound, and what a band it was. Most folks who remember the band at all will remember the drums, but the DC5 were groundbreakers in other areas as well. Dave Clark is a bright boy and was astute enough right from the beginning to make sure that he owned the band's songs and master recordings, but also to make sure he had creative control in the studio. The biggest consequence of that was that the DC5 had a huge big fat recorded sound, much closer to the actual live sound of the band than many acts of the day who had to deal with recording engineers constantly forcing the bends to turn down during sessions.

Well, the short version of the whole story is that Payton was a truly good player in a truly good band that almost never gets recognized for their pioneering use of instrumentation throughout their catalog.

1 comment:

Naldie said...

The sad news of Denis Payton's passing was a low point in 2006. Denis not only played Sax, but wrote many of their hits, and he also contributed to that wonderful groups sound with his background vocals, harmonica solos, guitar accompaniment, and his warm infectious smile. Long live the Dave Clark Five, and may God Rest His Soul.... Bernie Medina from Puerto Rico