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Dave Walker

Birth date: Jan 25, 1945
Birth country: United Kingdom
Birth place: Walsall, West Midlands, United Kingdom
Instruments: Vocals, Harmonica, Piano, Rhythm guitar


Black Sabbath (1977 - 1978)
Mistress (1976 - 1977)
Idle Race (1970 - 1972)
Redcaps (1961 - Jan, 1965)

Biography Picture     David Walker is a singer and guitarist for a number of bands; notably Savoy Brown and Fleetwood Mac. He shortened his name to Dave Walker. He started his career in the early 1960s with a Brumbeat R & B band called The Redcaps, who included his brother Mick Walker. and continued into the 21st Century. Other bands he played in include BeckettIdle RaceHungry Fighter, Raven, Mistress and Black Sabbath.

   Between 1965 and 1969 Walker played in Beckett, a band which included Pete Oliver, Don McGinty and Colin Timmons. Beckett played three days a week at the Rum Runner nightclub in Birmingham, but they never recorded.

     In early 1970, Jeff Lynne left his original band, Idle Race, to join The Move as it evolved into the Electric Light Orchestra. Idle Race had built a substantial cult following in the Birmingham area, and wanted to continue after Lynne's exit.

     In 1971, guitarist Kim Simmonds, leader of blues rock boogie band Savoy Brown, lost the rest of his band - guitarist Dave Peverett, drummer Roger Earl and bassist Tony Stevens - who left to form Foghat with ex-Black Cat Bones guitarist Rod Price. Simmonds recruited Dave Bidwell (drums), Paul Raymond (keyboards/guitars - later of UFO and M.S.G.) and Andy Silvester (bass) who had all just left guitarist Stan Webb's Chicken Shack. Dave Walker joined on vocals, to form the most commercially successful lineup of Savoy Brown to date.

     In August 1972 Danny Kirwan was fired from Fleetwood Mac and was replaced by Walker on vocals and Bob Weston on guitar. They joined Fleetwood Mac as they were struggling to record the "Penguin" album. Walker only appears on two tracks, his self-penned "The Derelict" (which was still apparently unfinished on release according to some reports) and a cover of Jr. Walker & the All Stars' Motown classic "(I'm A) Roadrunner".

      Walker then moved to San Francisco and joined Raven. It is known that Walker did some live shows with Raven, but most accounts suggest Walker never recorded with Raven due to legal difficulties. Walker and some ex-Raven members, joined a new "revolving door" band who called themselves Mistress (not to be confused with the later heavy metal band Mistress).

      Tony Iommi remembered Walker from their days in Birmingham, and contacted Walker in San Francisco, asking him to join Black Sabbath, as singer Ozzy Osbourne had just left the band. On the flight from San Francisco to London in November 1977, and for the next three weeks, Walker wrote lyrics to the new music which the remaining members of Black Sabbath (guitarist Tony Iommi, bassist Terry 'Geezer' Butler and drummer Bill Ward) wrote for their next album. No vocals were recorded with Walker, but the new line-up appeared on the BBC Midlands TV program "Look Hear" on 6 January 1978, performing their hit "War Pigs" plus an early version of what would eventually become "Junior's Eyes". After being fired from Black Sabbath in January 1978, Dave Walker more or less left the music business.

     After being out of the music business for eight years, in 1986 Kim Simmonds persuaded Walker to rejoin his revamped Savoy Brown, which included Al Macomber on drums and Jim Dagnesi on bass. In 1987 Walker moved to Gallup, New Mexico where he lived until 1998 and Savoy Brown recorded the "Make Me Sweat" album, followed in April 1989 by the "Kings Of Boogie" album.

     By the late 1990s Walker had relocated to Bozeman, Montana, where he met up with an old friend from his San Francisco days, Ron Sanchez, who had (and still has) a psychedelic garage band called Donovan's Brain, who have an "open door" approach to personnel, jamming and making music.

      In 2004, Walker also contributed vocals to a cover of "I'm Tired", on founder member of Savoy Brown John O'Leary's album "Sins". 

     In 2005 Walker recorded "Mostly Sonny - A Tribute To Sonny Boy Williamson". Musicians included members of Peter Green's Splinter Group, The Kinks, Downliners Sect (Don Craine & Keith Grant) and former Yardbird Ray Majors on lead guitar. In addition former Savoy Brown member John O'Leary is featured on harmonica.



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