Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Passings: Rick Huxley, Bassist For the Dave Clark Five (1940 - 2013)

Rick Huxley, bassist for the Dave Clark Five, died on Monday at the age of 72.

A reason for his death has not been announced but Dave Clark said that it was unexpected after he was recently given a clean bill of health from his long battle with emphysema. Clark told Reuters "I spoke to him on Friday and he was in great spirits. He went through a recent doctor's check and had a good, clean bill of health. This came totally out of the blue, and I'm just devastated."

Huxley was born in Dartford, Kent, England in 1940 and, at the age of 18, joined the fledgling Dave Clark Quartet, replacing their original guitarist, Dave Sanford. Although he originally played rhythm guitar in the group, he moved to bass in 1959 when Chris Walls left.

In 1962, they changed their name to the Dave Clark Five and their management started promoting them as the "Tottenham Sound" (as opposed to the "Mercy Beat"). They first hit the U.K. charts in late-1963 with Do You Love Me (#30 U.K./#11 U.S.) and followed with their first chart topper, Glad All Over (#1 U.K./#6 U.S.).

The group was promoted as a "cleaner" version of the Beatles and they made a total of eighteen appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show. They also jumped into the movie business after the Beatles scored with A Hard Days Night, making Catch Us If You Can (Having a Wild Weekend in the U.S.) which was the directorial debut of John Boorman (Point Blank, Deliverance, Excalibur).

Overall, the group had eight top ten hits in both the U.K. and the U.S. between 1963 and 1970. The group broke up in 1970 although a different lineup, sans Huxley, toured for three years as Dave Clark and Friends.

After the Dave Clark Five, Huxley went to work for music instrument manufacturer Vox and, later, Music Equipment, Ltd. Later, he was involved in electrical wholesaling. Rick joined the group for their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008.

With the death of Huxley, only two original members of the group remain, Clark and guitarist Lenny Davidson.

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