TamTam Books News

Saturday, July 23, 2005:

For those who know me I have been obsessed with Joe Meek for the last ten years or so - and especially one of my favorite of his bands- The Honeycombs. The combination of Meek's production and Denis D'Ell's voice to this day strikes me as a personal expressway to my youth. I often felt that if people really wanted to know me - they should listen to the first Honeycombs album. Down below is Denis D'Ell's obit in the Guardian.

Denis D'Ell

Alan Clayson
Monday July 18, 2005
The Guardian

In the spring of 1964, the record, Have I The Right?, by the Honeycombs, was completed in three takes at the north London studio of the eccentric independent producer, Joe Meek. The only overdubbing was some four-in-the-bar stamping on the stairs of the building.
The Honeycombs were big on smiles, their gimmick being Honey Lantree, a smiling female drummer. Their lead singer was Denis D'Ell, who has died of cancer aged 61.

The record was soon dropped from the BBC Light Programme but was played relentlessly through the summer on the pirate Radio Caroline, with the result that it became a million-seller, topping the charts in Britain, Japan, Australia and South Africa, and reaching No 4 in the United States.
D'Ell, who was born Denis Dalziel, was the son of a lorry driver and was educated at Sir John Cass Foundation and Redcoat school, Stepney. In his teens, he lived in Chigwell, Essex, and worked as a railway signalman. "A couple of the lads thought I could sing," he recalled, "and entered me into a local talent contest." He won, and joined what became the Honeycombs.

By new year 1964, the group was regularly playing at the Mildmay tavern, in Stoke Newington, north London, where they were spotted by the songwriting team of Ken Howard and Alan Blaikley, who were seeking a vehicle for Have I The Right? The response to D'Ell's performance convinced them.

Three more singles - Is It Because?, Eyes and Something Better Beginning - had little domestic success, but That's The Way (1965), a duet by D'Ell and Lantree, made No 12 in the hit parade. Success overseas, notably in Sweden, delayed the group's demise.

On leaving the Honeycombs, D'Ell joined a Tottenham and Stevenage house band, and released a few solo singles. Better Use Your Head (1967) was much-requested on northern soul nights at the Wigan Casino. In the mid-1980s, he formed the Southside Blues Band before reforming the Honeycombs for a 30th anniversary concert in 1994 and some later events. During his final years, he was half of a duo, the Shuffle Brothers.

He is survived by his wife Belinda, and by two children from a previous marriage.

ยท Denis D'Ell (Denis James Dalziel), pop singer, born October 14 1943; died July 6 2005

Tosh // 10:13 AM

Comments: Post a Comment

This site is powered by Blogger because Blogger rocks!

The wonderful world of TamTam Books by publisher Tosh Berman