Drummer No 2

ConwayPaul “Conway” Stuart Dick Smith Band drummer No 2 .. Steve Swift left the band in 1981 and Conway joined … during the audition Conway set up his double bass drums .. numerous toms and symbols ..  as if he was about to perform a magic trick … we all watched in amazement .. we’d never worked with a double bass drum heavy drummer before … Conway fitted in straight away … adding a real thunder to tracks like the Wanderer and Shine … he modelled himself on Harpo Marx .. looked like Harpo .. all of a sudden he would throw his leg over your arm … and grin at you … his drumming was superb … putting real flavour to tracks like Changing Places , Cigar Shaped thing and The Tribe … Conway stayed with the band until the end ….

The Manager …

PeteGuitarist Paul’s brother Peter Michael Madden was DSB manager for most of the bands life and it’s funny really but when you are 21 years old and at the peak of your powers you don’t really think about bills and diesel for the van and mortgages and stuff like that …fortunately for DSB Pete did ….he bankrolled it…..I can’t particularly go into any great detail but suffice to say by buying and selling stuff Peter Michael Madden made sure we had somewhere to rehearse and store the gear…and somewhere for the band to live…namely 198 Seaview Rd in Wallasey England…..now this house was no ordinary house and to say there was ” traffic ” going through the house is a bit of an understatement …there were rogues..dealers..hippies..potheads…gangsters…chancers …….hangers on…friends…enemies…..you name ‘ em and they would have passed through 198 Seaview rd….everyone must have known what went on there and people like the police and the dole and all sorts of other organs of power didn’t like the fact that a sort of alternative society had sprung up right in front of their twitching noses….Pete seemed to take everything in his stride and with his dog Ben on one side and roadie and skins man Big Dave on the other Pete would control everything …and issue out the occasional laid back instruction….looking back I don’t know how he did it all …
Favourite memory of mine of Pete is this….We’d just come off stage after several encores and the place was rocking ..Pete was standing in the corner of the bar not quite believing the power and ferocity of the performance he’d just seen and walking towards him I could see the pride and excitement in those eyes of his…and Pete not one for shows of phoney emotion caught the moment perfectly when he just smiled and drawled ” get ya a brandy Dave ”
Pete passed away quite a few years ago now and in writing this short tribute to him all sorts of images of him have come into my head but the main one is of him laughing and smiling .. isn’t that great…So here’s to ya Pete…

Big Dave

BigDBig Dave ….Dick Smith Band …Roadie..
Everybody loves Big Dave…..certain sections of his fan base used to call him ” Big Davey ” ……and he was almost a cult figure…I’m not saying that glibly…he really was…..not the worlds greatest sound engineer or the worlds most enthusiastic equipment carrier but give him some pot and boy could he smoke ….on DSB travels we would obviously meet some pretty seasoned smokers who would occasionally try and ” out smoke Big Dave ” …it was funny hearing their ” catch you laters ” as they stumbled incoherent to God know where and see Dave rolling another …understandably he wouldn’t speak sometimes for quite a while but would still find life in general hugely amusing….
I would sometimes get myself into self inflicted scrapes by being a bit too much and it would often be Big Dave who would defuse the situation with a gentle smile and a pat on the head of the would be protagonist…BD was after all 6′ 7″ tall and when riled looked even taller ….he wouldn’t take shit off anybody especially me and I have been scolded by him in a ” fucking grow up can’t you ” way a few times….
Obviously I’m not sure about this but I think if you asked members of DSB for an image that summed up Big Dave’s time with the band it would be this…
Pete Madden and Big Dave sitting upstairs in Petes front room at 198 Seaview rd….it would be say 10 am in the morning and the first of many callers might have been and gone….Pete would have made cups of tea for him and Dave and maybe a couple of pieces of toast and then as he did most days would have passed Dave a big lump of high quality hash..Pete may then have talked about jobs and stuff he had to do for that day and Big Dave would have sniggered …and probably said ” sound Pete…sound ” and then probably sniggered again….Big Dave was and still is a big part of DSB family …Dave ..we salute you…

Full Pot …

AJ01The only photo we have of AJ – One of the unsung heroes of DSB was driver and roadie Alan ” full pot ” Pearce ..we loved him like a brother and he was an integral part of everything we did….he was someone we all probably confided in individually with out ever knowing everyone else had talked to him about something as well …he was a cheeky bastard and would find humour in almost everything ……
He was the one I remember who gave me some acid to take before a gig ..I took it and not much happened and so I unwisely thought egged on by Alan ” this is shit better take the other half ” and of course it wasn’t shit and I remember being led on stage by Alan through the crowd as the acid took its hold thinking..”fucking hell…what are all these people doing here ” and Alan sort of shoving me on stage laughing hysterically…..I spent part of that performance under the pa rig staging pulling all sorts of mad faces thinking the audience must be really glad to be witnessing this piece of performance art as I morphed from this incredible creature into that…..Alan asked me later ” Dave ..why did you spend some much time under the rig ….no one could see you …I nearly crawled in myself to see where you’d gone ” …jeez……

At the end of the gig still tripping but wanting to come down quick…Alan provided the whisky that did the job …he was always there when you needed him…
Alan passed away last year aged about sixty four …..Paul reckons we’ve found a few new photo’s and I’m sure there will be some of Alan ” full pot ” Pearce so we’ll stick some up..
Dave.

We Mean It ….. Dick Smith Intro

The Dick Smith band…
Considering the popularity of this band not an awful lot has been written about them…well I intend to right that particular wrong and not from an outside view ..I was in the band …yeh it’s me Dave Barrett…the “wild and crazy ” lead singer….I will enlist the help and memories of some of the other members of the band and anyone else who has got something to say….
So where to start…Now my memory of my time spent in the DSB is to say the least slightly hazy ….what I think I know from what people have told me ..is that the DSB live were probably one of the hardest rocking outfits around at that time…one of the things I used to scream was ” We Mean it ” and we did ….this was no pub band doing covers…our aim every gig was to knock people flat every single gig…I remember backstage before we went on we would honestly say things like ” let’s blow this place to fucking bits….” Especially if there had been a band on before us ” you thought that was good…well take a toke on this ” we fucking meant it alright…and that I suppose is why all these years later people still cannot believe that it finished when it did where it did…
I’ll tell you the inside story…everything …if you wanna know..
Till next time,
Dave