Mike Smith was an exhilarating and dynamic performer who gained worldwide notoriety as lead singer and keyboard player of The Dave Clark Five, one of the hottest bands to emerge from the British Invasion of the 1960s. After a 2-decade hiatus from performing, Mike returned to the concert stage in early 2003 with his band, Mike Smith's Rock Engine. His tours were a rousing success with the band performing classic Dave Clark Five material plus other tried and true rock and roll numbers. But tragedy struck in October of 2003 when he had an accident at his home in Spain. He fell from a fence, breaking his neck and is now a teraplegic with only limited use of his upper body. He is currently in a London hospital, where he is under special care and receiving overwhelming support and encouragement from his many friends, fans and his devoted wife, Charlie. He is and always will be one of the great voices of rock from The British Invasion. Check out all the incredible tunes he belted out with The DC5 in this month's Best of the Best section.
On Tuesday evening, August 2, a tribute organized by the great Paul Shaffer, a true-blue rock and roll fan, was held at the BB King Blues Club in New York City. Due to the overwhelming demand for tickets, there were 2 shows which featured The Zombies, Denny Laine (formerly of The Moody Blues and Wings), Billy J. Kramer, The Fab Faux, and performing for the first time in 35 years, Peter & Gordon. All proceeds from the shows will be donated directly to Mike Smith.
If you'd like to make a personal donation
Mike Smith Benefit
And then there's Long John Baldry who died late last month. Rod Stewart and Elton John cut their teeth in his band. Elton's "Someone Saved My Life Tonight" was written about Long John. Eric Clapton said it was seeing Baldry that inspired him to pick up a guitar. When The Rolling Stones played their first gig using that name, they opened for Long John at The Marquee Club. Ginger Baker, Jeff Beck and Brian Jones all worked with him early in their careers. Rod Stewart said, "For me, just shaking his hand knowing all the great musicians whose hand he'd shaken before was mind blowing." Long John Baldry was a blues man who recognized talent and an unsung hero of rock and roll. May he rest in peace.
What's new this month . . .
In our Features section, check out The Are You On Something Classic Rock Top 500, assembled by the areuonsomething.com staff, plus a must read . . . Mike's Mix Tape Side 4 which is the perfect introduction to the article on Chinese Democracy, the upcoming (well, we think it's upcoming) Guns N' Roses CD. Check out the article to find out the latest information about this long-awaited GNR release.
In the Reviews section, there's a DVD review of "Edgeplay: A Film About The Runaways," plus CD reviews of Al Kooper's first solo disc in 30 years, "Black Coffee," System Of A Down's great new disc "Mesmerize," and Gabby La La's "Be Careful What You Wish For."
And joining the ranks of Best of the Best this month are The Dave Clark Five, The Four Tops, The Temptations, Rainbow, Nirvana, and Def Leppard.
Also, being that this month is the 36th anniversary of the original Woodstock Festival, we figured it would be an appropriate time to delve into the site archives for another look at The Truth About Woodstock. Check it out.