The Dave Clark Five lead singer Mike Smith died of pneumonia Thursday February 28, 2008, less than two weeks before the band was to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Mike became 64.
Mike Smith died at the Stoke Mandeville Hospital north of London. He was admitted to the intensive care unit Wednesday morning with a chest infection, a complication from a spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed below the ribcage with limited use of his upper body. He was injured when he fell from a fence at his home in Spain in September 2003.
Mike had been in the hospital since the accident, and was just released last December when he moved into a specially prepared home near the hospital with his wife Charlie.
Ray of sunshine/loving you (came on easy) CBS BA 222263
Smith & d’Abo Live at The New Vicoria, London November 5, 1976
A good friend of mine from England, George Rowden, illegally taped the very last concert Smith & d’Abo gave.This was at the New Victoria in London as supporting act of Sailor, with whom they toured Germany, Austria and England.
The show was taped with a cassette player, but the sound quality is surprisingly well. You can hear the words of the songs very good, and also the chats between the songs.
During the show Smith & d’Abo sang and played the following songs:
Ray Of Sunshine: This song starts with a one minute and 10 seconds instrumental part, probably to warm up. This powerful intro sounds fantastic, and is one of the best parts of the tape. “Ray Of Sunshine” sounds very much the same as on the album. Especially the drum is great. At the end Mike d’Abo says that this is their new single released today.
Take You Higher: Mike Smith does the vocals on this song, and he sounds as well as on the record. Also here is a different guitar solo than on the LP.
Two Worlds: Smith & d’Abo singing a great duet which sounds fantastic, that it makes me wonder why they didn’t sell well, and why they had to break up.
The Mighty Quinn: During the intro of this song, Mike d’Abo is telling the audience that Mike Smith once was a member of the Dave Clark Five, and the audience then start shouting and clapping.
I’ve heard many versions of “The Mighty Quinn” but this is certainly not the worst one. Mike d’Abo has the lead vocals, and especially the last chords with the sudden ending are really great.
A Broken Dream: Another ballad with Mike Smith again in the lead, and what a voice he has. Also the band is playing great, and the big applaus proves that the audience likes it too.
Rockin’ Chair: A song in which the two Mikes sing together very well, and now and then they seem to have a duel with their voices.
Free As A Bird: Someone in the audience shouts for “Free As A Bird”. It’s announced as their latest single. Mike Smith must get very high with his voice, and again it’s no trouble at all. This is probably the best song they do on this tape.
At the end of the song, Mike Smith thank the public they met during their tour. Then they introduce the rest of the band with Mo Foster on bass; Barry de Souza on drums and Ray Russel on guitar, so the same musicians as on the Smith & d’Abo album.
Skid Row Kid: The two Mikes and the band make this song much more powerful that on the album. It even sounds heavy, especially the guitar.
It is known, that “Glad All Over” was played occasionaly too during the tour with Sailor. Unfortunately they didn’t play it at their very last concert. For the real Dave Clark Five fans it would have been something special.
New Musical Express give reviews of concerts regulary. When reviewing the Sailor concert in Hamburg, they also wrote some lines about the supporting act Smith & d’Abo. That they name the supporting act is something special, and the review was something special too. This is what they wrote about the Smith & d’Abo show:
“The new Smith & d’Abo team opened the evening to an unusually warm response for an unknown act – so much for reputedly inhibited German cloth. Mike Smith was in fine voice. Mike d’Abo is still an engaging pop writer, and the pair’s double leads on keyboards and vocals in front of supporting guitar, bass and drums make for a combination with interesting potential.”
That’s not bad, but the record buying people probably didn’t read this article and that’s a pity.
Smith & d’Abo songs by other artists
The New Seekers
Mike Smith told me that Manhattan Transfer recorded “Running Away From Love” on November 11, 1977, but it actually never got on a record.