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In Memory of Dave Ball: Guitarist, Songwriter, Singer, Author, Artist, Raconteur...
In Memory of Dave Ball, March 1950 – April 2015
This page is dedicated to the late great Dave Ball. It is a very simplified version of the website I designed for him and is intended to display the maverick talent he displayed over the years...
Dave Ball's Ballbreakers ‘Tail Dragger’
Karamel, May 2012
Featuring : Nick Pentelow & Andy Hamilton - Tenor Sax. Matt Winch - Trumpet. Sam Kelly - Drums, Winston Blissett - Bass & Paul Jobson - Keyboards. Oh - and Dave Ball on Guitar and voice (sic)
Procol Harum ‘Simple Sister’
TV Appearance 1971
Dave played alongside a vast array of musicians and bands over the years, including, Procol Harum, Bedlam & Big Bertha (with brother Denny Ball & Cozy Powell), Ace Kefford Stand, Long John Baldry, Ballbreakers ...
Ideal Milk ‘1812 THRASHED’
Possibly Feb 1968 with Cozy Powell (drums) Denny Ball (bass) & Dave Ball (gtr)
One of Cozy Powell's earliest recordings.
This is a very brief selected selection of some of Dave's recorded work
Dave was always a compulsive scribbler. Over the years he filled up scores of pocket notebooks with notes, stories, observations and diary comments. The following are extracts from his often hilarious “Half Hippie – Half Man” Autobiography.
EXCERPTS FROM THE BOOK:
“... I did some damage making my entrance to the world. I was born feet first ... which, surprisingly enough is precisely how I have approached most of my life up to this point.”
“Well I am going to admit, right here and now to having tried drugs. But, I only inhaled once. Of course, the inhalation lasted from 1966 until 1973, but that’s beside the point. I’d say I smoked, snorted and swallowed just about everything that was around at the time. Never ever injected anything though, thankfully I wasn’t that crazy.”
(on session work)
“When confronted with the need to read the dots the technique I employed was thus:
1.Pick up the chart whilst adopting a casual air, such as one might expect of The Times music critic giving it the once over.
2.Transfix the solo section and secretly hum the pattern of notes under the breath.
3.Memorise the notes and the order they appeared.
4.When the solo arrived, try to play those notes in context with the tune.
5. Retain a slightly bored – seen-it, heard-it, done-it-all-before - look.
PROCOL HARUM ERA
“After one of the shows as we were climbing into our limo for the drive back to the Hotel I was accosted by some girls brandishing posters and photos of Robin Trower. They came up to me with cries of “Hey Robin, do you like the pictures? Will you sign then please” I held this 3 foot blow up next to my head and asked if they thought it a good likeness. They just sort of nodded inanely and I didn’t really have the heart to tell them the truth so I did sign the pictures with “Best Wishes Robin Trower a.k.a. Dave Ball”. Some wag in the audience at Santa Monica noting that BJ had shaved off a radical beard since the previous tour shouted out “Hey Robin, who’s the new drummer?” (Hint: Dave on Left, Robin on Right)
“I heard bits and pieces… good review from Sounds, blah blah, best orchestral attempt by a rock band, NME blah blah blah, Melody Maker, very good review by Mark Plummer (who had been at the Edmonton Concert) but - and the voice was raised at this point – they put a picture of Dave Ball in it! I heard the gasps of incredulity from the assembled band. Dave Ball? How could this be? - well I never, etc. I sidled out from my corner wearing a large smug expression. Hi, the name’s Dave Ball… and don’t you forget it”!
BIG BERTHA AUDITIONS:
“One Indian (obvious even on the phone) rang and announced himself to be the King of Rock and Roll. I believe we had advertised ourselves as a heavy rock band so I can see where this guy’s error was. He called himself King Creole, or something equally silly. I couldn’t resist and asked him down to try out. What a guy. He turned up in an immaculate mohair suit; drainpipe trousers, winkle picker shoes, white shirt with slim Jim tie and the perfect accompaniment to the aforementioned sartorial picture - a small red rose in the lapel. He was an absolute gem. Obviously out-of-place with the four hairy denim clad yahoo’s confronting him, he was prepared to have a go. We obliged by playing tunes from his own repertoire of Elvis and Big Bopper songs and rocked and rolled for a while in good style. To cap what was a fun day he sang all of the songs with an American/Indian accent. Fabulous stuff, “You can do what you want (by golly) but don’t step on my blue suede shoes (oh my goodness me no)”.
A tiny selection of Dave's ‘scribbles’ as he called them...
IN MEMORY | DAVE BALL
Dave contacted me back in 2012 after he saw my work on the www.tommybolin-official.com site. We started work on his own site from opposite ends of the world and I can't recall having as much fun and being creative at the same time. I really admired his creative input and was, in turn, proud when he complimented me upon the launch of the site. I eventually met Dave while on holiday in Melbourne, September 2014 and saw this larger than life character exiting Flinders Street Station, decked out in ‘All Blacks’ attire and I instantly knew I was in for an eventful afternoon. (My) beers flowed freely (Dave was on coffees due to his situation, much to his displeasure), and I had a ‘BALL’ (couldn't resist!) listening to his insightful and, at times, hilarious stories of rock and roll days gone by. I feel honoured to have met Dave and want to continue this reduced version of his previous site in his memory!
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Dave sent me these shots a few years ago for the website. OK, Dave's hair in right hand photo is somewhat dodgy, but what was Cozy thinking??????????