Dave Mount

Drummer with Mud


David George Mount, drummer: born Carshalton, Surrey 3 March 1947; twice married: died 2 December 2006.

One of the identifying features of the glitter bands of the early Seventies was the drumming. Instead of hitting the cymbals, drummers such as Dave Mount of Mud thumped out the rhythm with their feet, hitting the pedals for the floor toms to create urgency and excitement. Mud's "Tiger Feet", which spent four weeks at the top of the chart in 1974, was propelled by Mount's powerful drumming.

He was born and raised in Carshalton, Surrey and, in 1964, still in his teens, was playing in a local band, the Remainder, with the guitarist Rob Davis. Davis asked Ray Stiles, the bass player with the Trolls, if he would like to join the band, and on his first engagement, their vocalist was ill and replaced by Les Gray from the Mourners. By 1966, they had all joined Gray in the Mourners, and changed their name to Mud, as a short name looked bigger and better on posters.

Mud signed to CBS and worked steadily in social clubs in Surrey whilst continuing with their day jobs. Nothing was beneath them, as Gray recalled: "We would do anything because we wanted to work." They came second on the television talent show Opportunity Knocks and appeared on Crackerjack! and The Basil Brush Show.

The owner of RAK Records, Mickie Most, saw Mud at the Revolution Club in London, and invited them to join his label, Rak. He asked the songwriters and producers Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman to work with them. In 1973, Mud had hits with "Crazy" and "Hypnosis" and established their sound with "Dyna-Mite", which made No 4. This was followed by the repetitive but compelling "Tiger Feet", and the hits continued with "The Cat Crept In" and "Rocket". In 1974, they had the Christmas No 1 with "Lonely This Christmas", a song which captured Elvis Presley's style. Their final single for Rak was another chart-topper, a revival of the Crickets' "Oh Boy!" Also in 1974, Mount was strongly featured on an instrumental version of Glenn Miller's "In the Mood", released under the thinly disguised name "Dum".

The band members wrote the B-sides of their singles, with songs including "Do It All Over Again", "Mr Bagatelle" and the idyllic "Morning". But they wanted to write the A-sides and severed their connections with Chinn, Chapman and Rak. Most of the songs from then on were written by Stiles and Davis and, apart from the occasional track ("Hair of the Dog", "How Many Times"), Mount was not involved. Although Mud had further hits with "L'L'Lucy", "Show Me You're a Woman" and "Lean On Me", the fans lost interest.

Mud disbanded at the end of the Seventies, after which Mount worked with Gray in an oldies act, Les Gray's Mud. By the 1980s, he had moved into insurance.

Spencer Leigh

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