Rick Huxley: Bassist with the Dave Clark Five

 

Although critically dismissed today, the Dave Clark Five was one of the most successful groups of the 1960s, having several UK hits and a following not far behind the Beatles' in America. Rick Huxley was part of the Dave Clark Five throughout their career and played bass on all their records, adding backing vocals when required.

The oldest member of the Dave Clark Five, Richard Huxley was born in Dartford in August 1942, the son of a publican. He played the guitar and when he left school at 16 answered an ad to join a beat group led by Dave Clark. Clark, no great musician himself but a brilliant organiser, knew how to pick competent players and by 1960 he had the line-up he wanted: himself on drums, Mike Smith (keyboards and lead vocals), Lenny Davidson (lead guitar), Huxley (bass) and Denis Payton (saxophone).

With a potent brand of pop and rhythm and blues, the Dave Clark Five found regular employment with Mecca Ballrooms. Huxley said that one of the tunes in their repertoire, "You Can't Sit Down", recorded by the Philip Upchurch Combo in Chicago in 1961, was the basis for their own trademark sound. Their two years with Mecca broadened their experience but their singles for Ember, Piccadilly and EMI's Columbia label only had limited success.

It was their sixth single, "Glad All Over", released in December 1963, which provided the breakthrough. The repetitive song, written by Clark and Smith, with its thunderous, thumping sound, soared up the charts, replacing "I Want To Hold Your Hand" at the top. Said Clark, "I knew that we needed a song with thumps in. We had been playing dance halls and we were getting a great audience response to the stomping things we were doing."

The press dubbed it "The Tottenham Sound", and the follow-up single, "Bits And Pieces", a No 2, was equally noisy and powerful. Some dance halls were reluctant to let the band play their hits as they feared that dancers would damage the floor.

Dave Clark wanted to emulate the success of the Beatles in America and the first of their 18 appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show came in March 1964. Sullivan warmed to their good-looking, clean-cut image, and indeed, they looked like the younger members of a yacht club with their blazers, tab-collared shirts and white trousers. Clark encouraged them to concentrate on the US market. They toured more extensively than the Beatles and released numerous singles for America only, having a No 1 with "Over And Over" in 1965.

Clark paid the band members a weekly salary and Smith told me in 1991 that he was happy that Clark had been making the decisions. "We didn't care," he said. "To us it was just a matter of enjoying ourselves. There were the Three Musketeers – Rick, Lenny and myself – and we were the three terrors who got up to a lot of mischief. We had water fights and caused havoc in hotels but it never got into the papers. I think that a lot of the other groups deliberately did outrageous things to get noticed, but we had the publicity anyway. We ate good food, had lots of fun and played the concerts: it was a good life." A publicity leaflet at the time states that Huxley liked peace and quiet and was only irritated by leaky ballpoints. The high living was perhaps not for him; his favourite food was tripe and onions.

Their film Catch Us If You Can (1965), directed by John Boorman and written by Peter Nichols, was very successful. Paradoxically, it was about a pop group trying to escape from commercial demands. Huxley had comedic talent and his role could have been expanded.

The group did show some versatility, in particular, with the ballad "Because" and the soulful "Come Home". When they appeared on the 1965 Royal Variety Performance they chose to perform the country hit, "Welcome To My World". The group had too much of a bubblegum image to become psychedelic in 1967, and despite hits with "Everybody Knows" (1967) and "Red Balloon" (1968), they disbanded in 1971.

For a time, Huxley worked for Vox amplifiers, but in 1973 he and a friend, Doug Jackson, opened their own music equipment store close to the Oval. In 1987 Huxley moved into electrical wholesale. He had smoked heavily and he suffered from emphysema. Payton died in 2006 and Smith in 2008, and Huxley's wife, Ann, in 2012.

Spencer Leigh

Richard Huxley, bass guitarist: born Dartford 5 August 1942; married Ann (died 2012); died 11 February 2013.

Arts & Entertainment
Madonna in her music video for 'Like A Virgin'
music... and other misheard song lyrics
Sport
Steven Gerrard had to be talked into adopting a deeper role by his manager, Brendan Rodgers
sportThe city’s fight for justice after Hillsborough is embodied in Steven Gerrard, who's poised to lead his club to a remarkable triumph
News
Much of the colleges’ land is off-limits to locals in Cambridge, with tight security
educationAnd has the Cambridge I knew turned its back on me?
News
Waitrose will be bringing in more manned tills
newsOverheard in Waitrose: documenting the chatter in 'Britain's poshest supermarket'
VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
News
The energy drink MosKa was banned for containing a heavy dose of the popular erectile dysfunction Levitra
news
Environment
People are buying increasing numbers of plants such as lavender to aid the insects
environmentGardeners rally round the endangered bumblebee
Sport
Australia's Dylan Tombides competes for the ball with Adal Matar of Kuwait during the AFC U-22 Championship Group C match in January
sportDylan Tombides was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2011
News
Ida Beate Loken has been living at the foot of a mountain since May
newsNorwegian gives up home comforts for a cave
Extras
indybest10 best gardening gloves
Arts & Entertainment
tvIt might all be getting a bit much, but this is still the some of the finest TV ever made, says Grace Dent
News
Posted at the end of March, this tweeted photo was a week off the end of their Broadway shows
people
News
peopleStar to remain in hospital for up to 27 days to get over allergic reaction
Arts & Entertainment
The Honesty Policy is a group of anonymous Muslims who believe that the community needs a space to express itself without shame or judgement
music
News
Who makes you happy?
happy listSend your nominations now for the Independent on Sunday Happy List
Life & Style
life
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Apprentice IT Technician

£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is a company that specializ...

1st Line Technical Service Desk Analyst IT Apprentice

£153.75 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is an innovative outsourcin...

1st Line Helpdesk Engineer Apprentice

£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company has been providing on site ...

Sales Associate Apprentice

£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: We've been supplying best of breed peopl...

Day In a Page

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit