Dave Dee and the rest of the gang…
Listen/Download – Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich – He’s a Raver
I hope you’re all well, since I’m sitting here with what feels like a migraine headache.
Fortunately it’s fairly quiet here, so I figured I’d get some blogging in before I try to nap the pain away.
The tune I bring you today is something that I have coveted for a long, LONG time, and only just scored a copy (at a nice price, natch) in the last month.
I’ve been a big fan of Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich (known henceforth as DDDBM&T) since I first heard their music about 25 years ago. There was a point at about that time where I scored almost all of their cool 45s at various discount prices (I’m not sure anything of theirs, aside from oddball foreign issues, is actually ‘rare’), but the tune I bring you today eluded me.
Now, there are those that will tell you that DDDBM&T had probably the worst name in 60s pop, but even the briefest survey will reveal that although it is quite akward, their name is surpassed in pure stupidity by any number of US-based hippie bands.
DDDBM&T are one of those rare groups who were clearly being sold to their audience as teen-dream, bubblegum, candy-floss, yet managed to transcend those labels.
They were handled, and provided with much of their material (most of their hits) by Ken Howard and Alan Blaikley (who also worked their magic with the Herd), and though much of their catalog could be labeled formulaic, it was a good formula, matching razor sharp pop hooks with an aggressive, Freakbeaty vibe that got them 14 Top 40 hits in the UK (and almost as many in Germany and New Zealand) between 1965 and 1970.
This is not to say that they didn’t have their lame moments, but their best stuff is not to me missed.
The tune I bring you today, ‘He’s a Raver’ is in my opinion the best thing they ever did, a freakbeat masterpiece and interestingly enough, penned by the band.
It was the b-side to the much less interesting ‘Okay’ in 1967 and was a Top 10 hit in the UK and Germany (thus the Star Club issue of the 45).
‘He’s a Raver’ sounds like the intersection of the pilled-up Mod sound and the frilly-cuffed Carnaby Street vibe of ’67.
The lyrics, concerning a wealthy scenemaker who ‘lives in a castle in the country’ and ‘buys the finest clothes’ who’s hair is so long ‘people stop and stare’.
It’s propelled by heavy guitar, throbbing bass (that sounds about twice as loud as anything else on the track) and a very groovy organ break halfway through the tune.
I can just imagine the crowd at the Tiles (no doubt including several people who fit the description from the song) losing their shit when this came over the speakers.
I know I do and I hope you do too.
Psyche out baby!