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Remembering Dave Ball

Chris Copping

Chris Copping writes to BtP (2 April 2015)

Hi Roland.

This is a sad occasion, one which I would not have expected.

Memories: 1971 – after the last tour with Robin, we decided to go back to five-piece and I said I'd like to play bass.

So we were looking for organists and guitarists. This was all conducted at the Stones' rehearsal studios in Bermondsey St (SE1 as I remember). Most of the applicants for the guitar role were pathetic, some so much that we could hardly keep ourselves from laughing.

Then this tall exuberant chap walked in, plugged his Gibbo in and immediately demonstrated that he could handle blues guitar.

Add to that his great humour and personality and we had a start towards a new band. Dave thought it was his joke-telling that gained the gig but that was just an added extra.

We didnšt have such luck finding an organist. Matthew came down a couple of times but it had been made clear earlier that he was a brilliant musician who did not like touring and was more suited to production.

Then BJ remembered his old friend Alan Cartwright. And the new line-up was formed, with me on organ.

And this line-up survived for a few tours which included the live Edmonton album, the biggest seller the band produced.

Dave seemed to bring luck to the band. Apart from his excellent blues chops, he would keep us entertained in boring US airport lounges with such things as collapses on the floor and other Pythonesque activities.

There was always an 'up' factor with him and we are not talking pills. We are talking personality. He even brought luck when we visited the casino in Reno – he kept winning and some of us followed his lead. The more we won, the stronger the drinks became until the time came when Mrs Franky Brooker poured us back to the hotel.

I stayed in contact with him afterwards when he came to Australia and also met up with him a couple of times back in the UK.

God Bless You Dave- you will be sadly missed.

Chris Copping

Dave Ball's page at BtP  


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