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The 60s band that Gene Simmons said is underrated

Gene Simmons
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The 60s band that Gene Simmons said is underrated

The 60s was an important period for Rock and Roll music, with bands like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones creating a whole new path for songwriting, inspiring countless groups worldwide. But they are many other important groups that were overshadowed by artists that sold a lot of records and became much more famous at the time. The Kiss co-founder, bassist and singer Gene Simmons is a huge fan of that era of Rock music and in his opinion there is one British group from that era that is underrated.


The 60s band that Gene Simmons said is underrated

Talking with Goldmine Magazine in 2023, Gene Simmons revealed some of his favorites albums of all time and one of the records he chose was Dave Clark Five‘s “Greatest Hits” and said they were so underrated and spectacular. They were a huge influence to him in the early days and still is one of his favorite groups.

“In fact, (they were) bigger than The Beatles for a short time. They had a movie out, ‘Catch Us If You Can’, while The Beatles had ‘A Hard Day’s Night’. They were bigger than The Beatles and they had their own sound. The Beatles had the Liverpool sound. The DC5 had the Tottenham sound. When I first heard their music, I loved it. It had kind of relentless drumming, which, of course, were studio musicians secretly. But terrific production, great singing,” Gene Simmons said.

The group was founded in 1958 by the drummer Dave Clark who was the band’s leader, producer, and co-songwriter. They were active until 1970 and released 19 studio albums with many hits. Some of them are “Because”, “Over and Over”, “Bits and Pieces”, “Catch Us If You Can” and “Do You Love Me”.

There is also “Glad All Over” that knocked The Beatles “I Want To Hold Your Hand” off the top of the United Kingdom Singles Chart at the time. Besides Clark, the classic line-up of the band had: Mike Smith (Vocals and keyboards), Lenny Davidson (Guitar), Rick Huxley (Bass) and Denis Payton (Guitar, saxophone, harmonica).

Kiss covered Dave Clark Five and they were a huge influence to Simmons

Curiously, Simmons had the chance to pay tribute to the group when Kiss covered the song “Anyway You Want It” on their 1977 live album “Alive II”. Simmons was part of the 2014 documentary about the band called “The Dave Clark Five and Beyond – Glad All Over“. In the interview for the film, he recalled his feelings about the band when he was young and also praised the drummer and leader Dave Clark and the singer and keyboardist Mike Smith.

“It connected with me. It was sort of modern electric church. I just wanted to go yell ‘Hallelujah’. There was this tsunami of pop culture (In the 60s). It started I suppose with The Beatles and very quickly with something called the Tottenham sound. These guys that banged the drums like a wild man (Dave Clark).”

“There was one voice in the DC5 and Mike Smith had it. (He) is really an unsung voice, unsung hero, vocally. Not a lot of people point to him. But that’s one of the greatest voices of Rock and Roll.”

He continued about Dave Clark fighting for the audience atttention with Smith

“It’s one thing being a drummer in a band. It’s another thing (doing what he did) and saying ‘Look at me, don’t look at Mike Smith’. That’s balls. He just immediately became a much more agressive. It felt much more like a live band in the studio.”

Gene Simmons also talked about the band’s songwriting and how innovative. “You can take any DC5 song, including ‘Because’, one of my favorites with the rising chord pattern and take a look at that lyric. ‘Because I love you’, but the name of the song is not ‘I love you’, is ‘Because’. That’s the coolness of it, it’s the understatement. The melodies were great, the songs seemed to be almost autobiographical, the songs seemed to be about a lifestyle. Singing about what you believed in, how you felt, what you wanted to do, your aspirations, your dreams. The legacy of the DC5, you are looking right at it. And there’s a lots more like me,” Gene Simmons said.

They appeared on the Ed Sullivan show 18 times

The Ed Sullivan show was one of the most famous American TV shows from the 60s and the Dave Clark Five had the chance to appear there 18 times as Gene Simmons recalled in the interview he gave for the documentary.  “You had the eyes and ears of America to the kids from their families because everybody watched at the same time. Nothing was as big as that for at least a decade. The DC5 were there for 18 times.”

“I mean, this is as if God had said: ‘It’s ok now, America will accept you’. The DC5 connected to me because if I was going to be in a Rock band I wanted to sound like that. I wanted to look like that. There is a real connection between American music and the DC5,” Gene Simmons said.

They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008 by the actor Tom Hanks, who is also a big fan of the group.

I'm a Brazilian journalist who always loved Classic Rock and Heavy Metal music. That passion inspired me to create Rock and Roll Garage over 6 years ago. Music has always been a part of my life, helping me through tough times and being a support to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist, I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After graduating in journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, I pursued a postgraduate degree in digital communication at the same institution. The studies and experience in the field helped me improve the website and always bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG

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