Former Survivor Singer Dave Bickler Says He Was Forced Out of Band

Survivor singer Dave Bickler is changing his tune as far as how he left the band.

To fully understand the story, you first need to know Bickler's history with Survivor.
  • 1978 - Bickler was recruited by Jim Peterik for his new band, Survivor. 
  • 1983 - Bickler had to undergo surgery for vocal fold nodules, keeping Survior off the road at a time when they were riding high from their international hit Eye of the Tiger (1982). When his voice did not recover as fast as the band desired, he was forced out and replaced with Jimi Jamison. 
  • 1993 - Peterik and Frankie Sullivan revived Survivor, bringing Bickler back as lead singer. While they recorded numerous demos, they were not able to get a record deal due to litigation with Jamison over the use of the Survivor name. 
  • 2000 - Bickler was, once again, fired from the group and Sullivan reestablished ties with Jamison. 
  • 2013 - Dave was brought back into Survivor in a configuration that would have him sharing lead duties with Jamison. He once again became loan lead when Jamison died on August 30, 2014.
  • 2015 - Survivor hired Cameron Barton to replace Jamison.
Which brings us up to late last week when Bickler announced that he was no longer in Survivor, saying "There is no longer a place for me in the band so I'll be moving on and direct all my energies to my solo project." Most assumed that he left of his own accord.

Dave has now decided to make the situation clearer in an interview with Team Rock. According to Bickler, once Barton was on board, he felt that his presence wasn't really wanted but that nobody would come out and tell him such. "I got the feeling they didn’t want me but that they didn’t want to say it – they wanted me to say it. They wanted me to withdraw, as Frankie put it. So I said no. Then I turned the conversation over to management. They told me it wasn’t something they wanted to do but they didn’t want to actually say that I was fired."

Even though he was still talking with Sullivan, he says that he never received word on rehearsals or shows. He just was not invited to participate. "So it’s kinda hard to come to any other conclusion than that I’m being pushed out. ... It was very disingenuous – I think it was an attempt to make it look better for the fans."

Still, Bickler said that he wishes the band well as he still has friends in the organization.

A fast bit of trivia on Bickler. During his time off from Survivor in the early-2000's, Bickler became the singing voice of the Bud Light "Real American Heroes" and "Real Men of Genius" campaigns.

1 comment

Huggyman66 said...

Survivor is one of those bands that has a somewhat chequered past as far as its two lead singers are concerned. First, Dave Bickler is hired upon the band's formation in 1978. After Bickler sang lead on several Survivor singles from 1981 to 1984, he is suddenly let go from the band (for most likely medical reasons). Bickler is suddenly replaced by Jimi Jamison in 1984. Under Jamison, Survivor had enjoyed great success from 1984 until 1989. Jamison would be later let go in the early 1990s & Bickler was brought back on board, only to be fired again in 2000. Jamison was once again reinstated & would be terminated from the group later again in 2010. Bickler would be brought back, albeit briefly, for a final time. He was replaced by a new unknown lead singer in 2014. Jamison had since performed with his own band, including between Survivor stints, and later died in 2014. Bickler has since engaged in various session work & voice over work in radio commercial ads between Survivor stints as well.

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