THE DAVE WALKER HISTORY:
Born 25. Jan, 1945, Walsall, England.
Dave was raised by his very strict Grandmother, and Rock'n'Roll was not allowed to be watched on television in their household.
His first experience with public singing came at a very young age at the Methodist church. He was asked by the Sunday school teacher, if anyone could sing "Away In A Manger", Dave said yes. He was was standing on on a chair while he sang just because of his size.
In the teen years, Dave and his brother Mick formed a "backyard" Skiffle group who was playing the odd wedding and youth gathering.
Dave's first professionel performing was in the early 1960's with The Red Caps. The Red Caps were formed by guitarists/brothers Roy Brown & Ronnie Brown "King". It was the Brown brothers father, who was the manager of the Red Caps. He came to the Walker flat and spoke to Dave's grandmother about Dave and Mick joining the band. Other members included Jimmie Richards (later replaced by Alan Morley) on drums and Mac Broadhurst on sax.
Dave Walker and his brother Mick joined on rhythm guitar. Mick quickly switched to bass.
When Ronnie "King" left the band, Dave took over on the lead vocal chores. After the 2nd single, Roy Brown left and Mick Blythe joined on guitar.
In 1962 the Red Caps was playin on an American Army base in Fontenet, France. Previously, Rory Storm and the Hurricanes (with Ringo Starr on drums) had also played there. Having the good fortune of being opening act for the Beatles on four ocassions, The Red Caps landed a recording deal with Decca. 3 Red Caps singles were released over 1963 and 1964.
Between 1965 and 1969 Dave joined the band Beckett. Beckett was comprised of Pete Oliver (guitar), Don McGinty (drums) & Colin Timmons (bass) Beckett also included 2 keyboardists Graham (who would emigrate to Canada) and Alan.
Beckett played three nights a week in the Rumrunner Night Club in Birmingham. The Rumrunner was at that time managed by Dave's brother Mick. Years later the Rumrunner would be the launching pad for the band Duran Duran.
Mick Walker is now a well known British stand-up comedian.
The Idle Race was formed i may 1966 when 3 members from Mike Sheridan & The Nightriders wanted to make a new band.
Jeff Lynne joins the band after 2 months when Johnny Mann left.
In 1970 Dave and guitarist Mike Hopkins were asked by The Idle Race members Roger Spencer (drums), Dave Pritchard (guitar) and Greg Masters (bass) to replace Jeff Lynne (ELO, Traveling Wilburys) who was leaving the band.
It was Jeff Lynne himself who suggested Dave Walker and Mike Hopkins as his replacements.
Manager Don Arden (Sharon Osbourne's father) landed The Idle Race a recording contract with EMI.
This The Idle Race line up would release 2 singles for Liberty, 1 single for United Artists
and 1 LP "Time Is" for Regal Zonophone (EMI).
During the the group's last few months, all the members left to be replaced by what became Steve Gibbons Band.
In 1971, guitarist Kim Simmonds, was reforming his band Savoy Brown.
"Lonesome" Dave Peverett, Tone Stevens, and Roger Earl had just left Savoy Brown to form Foghat.
Former members of British blues band Chicken Shack, Dave Bidwell (drums), Andy Silvester (bass),
Paul Raymond (keys/guitar) along with Dave (vocals) and Kim Simmonds (guitar), became the most commercially successful lineup of Savoy Brown. This lineup recorded two albums, 1971's "Street Corner Talking" and 1972's "Hellbound Train".
After a whirlwind tour of the U.S. to support "Hellbound Train", Andy Silvester was replaced by Andy Pyle for the 1972 album "Lion's Share".
In September 1972, after hearing rumors that he was to be replaced, Dave left Savoy Brown when he was asked to join Fleetwood Mac. Fleetwood Mac had opened for Savoy Brown on tour and Dave had formed friendships with John McVie and Mick Fleetwood. They wanted to get back to more of their earlier blues sound and thought Dave would be a great frontman. Dave wrote and sang on one song "The Derelict" and sang on a cover of "Road Runner" on the "Penguin" LP.
"Penguin" was, at the time, the biggest selling Fleetwood Mac album. During the begining sessions for "Mystery To Me", some Mac members (as well as Dave himself) began feeling he didn't fit in with Mac's "musical direction". In 1973, the band unwilling to face him themselves, Dave was asked to leave the band by their management. After recording "Mystery To Me", Fleetwood Mac itself would fall apart during a tour of the US which ended with the firing of Bob Weston.
In 1974, the band Hungry Fighter was formed with Dave and another former Fleetwood Mac frontman Danny Kirwan (gtr). Former Savoy Brown bandmates Andy Silvester (bass), Paul Raymond (keys) and, at different times, Tommy Farnell (drums) and Mac Pool (drums) rounded out the lineup. At one point even Mick Fleetwood was also approached to join. Hungry Fighter was short lived, mostly due to Kirwan's personal problems. Also contributing to the bands demise, the road crew was involved in a very bad accident the night before a gig at London University. All of the bands equipment was destroyed and roadie John Knowles was very seriously injured.
In 1976 Dave moved to the San Francisco area. After placing an ad on a local radio station, Dave was contacted to join Raven. Raven was fronted by former Quicksilver Messenger Service guitarist John Cipollina. Other members included Greg Douglas (guitar), Skip Olson (bass) and David Weber (drums). Raven performed in and around the bay area.
Dave returned to England for about 6 months. Returning to the bay area he again sang with Raven for a short period. Some rarely heard demos of this lineup were cut to pursue a record deal. Cipollina, playing with several bands at the time, did not have the time to put his full attention into Raven. In late 1976 the other members decided to split off and form a new band called Mistress.
The Mistress lineup consisted of Dave, Greg Douglas (guitar-Steve Miller Band/Greg Kihn Band), Skip Olson (bass), Chris Paulsen (drums) and Chris Kovacs (keys). When Skip Olson left the band Dave Brown replaced him on bass and Charlie Williams was added on guitar. Again, some rarely heard demos were cut in an attempt to land a recording contract. Greg Douglas would leave the band because of his commitments to the Steve Miller Band and Dave would return to England after being offered a job singing for Black Sabbath. After Dave and Greg Douglas had left, Mistress would eventually land a record contract with RSO and do one album. One song, written by Dave Walker and Chris Paulsen, "High On The Ride" would be included on this LP.
In 1978, during the Mistress period, Dave would receive a call from old Birmingham mate Tommy Iommi. In 1971, it had been Black Sabbath's road crew that had driven Dave to London to audition for the Savoy Brown gig. Sabbath's management (Don Arden) put in a good word for Dave with Savoy's then manager Harry Simmonds. Black Sabbath had just fired Ozzy Osbourne and needed a singer. Dave would return to England to sing with Sabbath for about six months. Work was begun on a new Black Sabbath LP with Dave writing lyric to the bands compositions. Much like his time in Fleetwood Mac, Dave never really felt that he fit in "musically" with Sabbath. Ozzy was re-hired and Dave returned to the US.
The David Walker Band was formed in 1979 with members Jim Wade (drums), Mike Williams (bass), Jim Pugh (keys), Michael Boyd (guitar) and Steph (Burnbaum) Burns (guitar). Nine studio demos were cut with this lineup. One song "Baby, Don't You Turn Me Away" would feature Dave's neighbor, Grateful Deads Phil Lesh on bass and former Mistress bandmate Chris Paulsen on drums.
Dave would eventually settle in Gallup, New Mexico. In 1987, after finding a copy of "Live In Central Park", Dave was prompted to get back in touch with Kim Simmonds. Simmonds asked Dave to re-join as singer for his new Savoy Brown lineup. With Al MacComber (drums) and Jimmie Dagnesi (bass) Savoy Brown recorded two studio albums for GNP Crescendo. "Make Me Sweat" and "Kings of Boogie" were supported by a full tour schedule of rock clubs and festivals all over the US, Canada and Europe. By the time "Live And Kickin'" was recorded in 1990 the lineup had changed to Pete Mendillo (drums), Rick Jewett (keys) and Lou Kaplan (bass). In 1991, tired of endless touring and the revolving door of musicians Dave once again stepped out of Savoy Brown. In retrospect, Dave spent more time in Savoy Brown in the 80's and early 90's than he had in the 70's.
In the 1990's Dave relocated to Montana. Playing acoustic gigs locally and in England.
In April 2004 Dave returned to England to do vocals on a project by producer Russ Garrett for Moreland Street Records. "Mostly Sonny" by Dave Walker and the Ambulators is now available on Moreland Street Records. Included in this project are Nigel Watson & Roger Cotton (from Peter Green's Splinter Group), Don Craine, Keith Grants and Alan Brookes (Downliners Sect), Ray Majors (Mott/British Lions), John O'Leary (Savoy Brown) and other musicians from the British Blues scene.
In October 2007 was Dave's CD "Walking Underwater" released.