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Dave Taylor | Still Rockin' In The Same Ol' Way

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Still Rockin' In The Same Ol' Way

by Dave Taylor

Midnight Rock Good Time Series vol. 3. Explosive Big Band Boogie, Jump Jive and 50s Rock & Roll. Rockin' Dave Taylor (1957-2016) featuring his own style of Big Band Rock & Roll, led by his singing and piano playing in the Dave Taylor trademark style.
Genre: Rock: 50's Rock
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  Song Share Time Download
1. All She Wants to Do Is Rock
2:28 album only
2. Rock Me (alt. Version)
3:07 album only
3. Dim Light Boogie
2:01 album only
4. Now That I've Found You
4:40 album only
5. Seven Nights to Rock
4:24 album only
6. You're Wrong (alt. Version)
2:01 album only
7. I'll Be Glad
2:24 album only
8. Can't Stand Those People
3:28 album only
9. Rockhouse
3:05 album only
10. Grizzly Bear Boogie
2:07 album only
11. It Doesn't Matter (alt. Version)
3:49 album only
12. Rockin' Rollin' Spacemen (alt. Version)
2:40 album only
13. Mr Rock
2:18 album only
14. Back to Basics
5:12 album only
15. Honey Hush
5:27 album only
16. I've Lost Her Again (alt. Version)
3:44 album only
17. Schooldays
2:46 album only
18. Driving Home
2:59 album only
19. Poor Ol' Mr Woogie
4:43 album only
20. Rockin' in the Same Ol' Way
2:40 album only


Album Notes
Still Rockin’ in the Same Ol’ Way – the Beginning…

After arriving in Finland from the UK in 1977, Dave was starting to make a name for himself in the clubs around Finland. During those early days Dave worked as a session player on albums and in the making of various TV jingles for chart-topping producer/artist Mikko Alatalo. It wasn’t long before Dave recorded his own single Dim Light Boogie/Razzle Dazzle, during which time Dave met a bass player who played Dave a copy of a Big Band Swing album by local artiste, Kalle Fält. The album was arranged by Paul Fagerlund, with lyrics written by Vexi Salmi, featuring some of the top session players on the Finnish music scene. It was that record which sparked off Dave’s career in Finland. He loved the album and one year later he was under a recording contract for Vexi’s record company, with the same arranger and band behind him. The result of this liaison became known as Rockin’ in the Same Ol’ Way, initially released in 1978 on an EP, and followed shortly by the album. All She Wants to Do Is Rock, Rockhouse and Rockin’ in the Same Ol’ Way, contained on this compilation, were all released on the original LP.

“Excellent songs, brilliant production.” (Dave Price, Head of Production, BBC Radio)

…And Then…

This CD kicks off with All She Wants to Do Is Rock from 1978 – a Wynonie Harris original, one of Dave’s all time favourite artistes and, sure enough, Dave gives the track his characteristic Boogie treatment.

Dim Light Boogie was the first of Dave’s songs ever to be released. It was recorded by Charly Records for the Rock*n*Roll Is Still Alive album in 1976, sung by Graham Fenton of Matchbox fame, during a live performance by the Hellraisers, one of Daves first bands. Dim Light Boogie was also featured in 1978 on the Finnish TV version of Jukebox Jury, ‘Levyraati’. Dave tied first place with Count Basie! Subsequently, Charly Records released much of Dave’s material during the period 1976-1993.

“If Dave is not soon among the hottest names in the Finnish music scene, I will readily eat grilled chicken shit!” (Jukka Rönkä, Warkauden Lehti Newspaper)

It Doesn’t Matter and You’re Wrong were originally recorded by Dave in 1977 at a little studio in Tin Pan Alley in London with Dynamite, a new band he had just formed, with Roger Cover on bass. You’re Wrong was the first number Dave recorded under his own name. After the recording session, armed with his original mastertape, Dave walked into the offices of CBS in London. Having been rejected by the powers that be at CBS, he came down in the lift, where he was approached by the manager, at that time, of Alvin Stardust. As the story goes, he took a liking to Dave’s new single after hearing it in the A&R department and promised to include one of these new tracks on the B-side of the forthcoming Alvin Stardust single. This said, he walked out, equipped with Dave’s mastertape. Unfortunately, he was never seen or heard of again, and Dave could do little else other than go back into the studio some months later and re-mix the tracks… a lesson learnt! The band, Dynamite, is still going strong today. I should also mention that Dave was unsuccessfully looking for a ‘black’ bass vocalist for the backing vocals on It Doesn’t Matter. He ended up singing all the harmonies himself!

Nick Barnes, bass player with Little Tina & Flight ’56, recalls that, in 1977, the Dutch Rockhouse Records had invited the band for a tour of Holland and to record an album. Bert Rockhouse had seen Dave on stage with the Hellraisers and suggested that Dave should be asked to play on the record with Little Tina & Flight ’56. So, Dave’s first encounter with the band was on a trip back from Rouen with the Hellraisers, being dropped off their tour bus, with his upright piano, at the port of [Newhaven], then loading up the piano into the Flight ’56 tour bus and heading for Holland, for his first show with Little Tina. This was closely followed by four days in the studio in the making of the album ‘This Little Girl’s Gonna Rock It’. Following the tour with Little Tina & Flight ’56, one day while Dave was having a drink with Bert Rockhouse in his studio, they discussed many aspects of music production, leading to Dave’s recording of the song Rockhouse. Although the track was written for Rockhouse Records, when Dave was looking around for an outlet for the song, Vexi Salmi beat Rockhouse to it and it was released on the original Rockin’ in the Same Ol’ Way LP.

“There is hardly any rocker in the Nordic Countries who can offer as fierce a stage show.” (Suosikki Magazine)

Dave originally heard the song I’ll Be Glad at the Solar Penguin hotel in the Algarve back in 1977, whilst performing at the casinos in and around Albufeira. It was written by Bobby Boulter, who was later to become Dave’s road manager. Dave liked the melody and decided to record his own version of the song.

Now That I’ve Found You was composed by Dave in 1978, originally entitled ‘Laajavuori’ – inspired by the famous ski-jump in Jyväskylä, Finland, which Dave could see out of his apartment window. The song was recorded with a full orchestra in 1986 and it was re-named ‘Song Number One’ as there were no lyrics for it! Words for the song were written by Dave in 1990 and the track was finally mixed in 1998. It has never been released until now, 23 years after it was first composed! The 2-inch mastertape of the song was nearly lost due to corrosion, and when it was put on the machine for mixing the tape shredded and stuck to the recording heads. After discussions with Ampex, the mastertape was ‘dried out’ for 3 days in a special oven at Ampex headquarters and transferred into digital format just in time to save it. This song combines a full symphony orchestra. Note the haunting counter-melody. The track features Dave’s late arranger colleague, Paul Fagerlund, at his best.

Rockin’ Rollin’ Spacemen was a demo track, recorded ‘live’ at Dave’s apartment in Finland around 1980 on his old, faithful Revox B77! For those in the know, this arrangement is an interesting variation of the final version eventually released on the Jive Jive Jive LP in 1981, which can be found on Good Time Series vol. 1, Cadillacs & Moonlight.

While residing in Finland, Dave was once arrested at his home in the middle of the night for working without a work permit and deported to Germany! Following wrangles with the Finnish Immigration Authorities, in 1982 Dave’s single, Can’t Stand Those People, was dedicated to them. Dave was annoyed, quite rightly so, as is evidenced by the lyrics of the song: “What do we call those people…”. (The song must have hit the spot as the formalities were radically changed, albeit some years later, when Finland joined the EU!) The beat is masterfully held together by Olli ‘Big Daddy’ Ahonen on drums although, when first released, his name was fatefully misprinted as ‘Pig Daddy’ – a name which has stuck with him ever since! The guitarist, Jari Siekkinen, arguably was Finland’s answer to Tommy Steele!

Mr Rock was originally released in 1982, on an LP of the same name. Schooldays, a cover of the Louis Jordan favourite, represents a taste of Big Band Swing, also first released on the Mr Rock LP.

“Fantastic! He jumped onto stage from nowhere and totally bewildered his audience – I have never seen anything like it!” (Markku Veijalainen, MTV)

The B-side of the single Mind Your Own Business (1982) is also is included on this CD – a track entitled Rock Me. This song was adapted into a promotional track for Beavers, one of the largest jeans manufacturers in Scandinavia, and distributed on a red flexi-disc under the name of The Girl in Beaver Jeans.

A full orchestral treatment has been given to the Jive Jive Jive LP original from 1981, I’ve Lost Her Again – recorded in 1988, mixed 9 years later in 1997!

Grizzly Bear Boogie was among the sixteen piano Boogie Woogie instrumental tracks licensed by Dave to Charly Records for the Boogie in the City album, recorded in 1993. It was originally played by Neville Dickie – another of Dave’s mentors - in the late 1960s, at the height of his success. At the age of 11, when learning to play the piano, Dave would often hear Neville Dickie on the radio and decided to write to him asking for guidance on how to play Boogie Woogie. Neville replied, sending Dave the original music to three of his songs – one of which was none other than Grizzly Bear Rag! A horn section brings colour to the original version of Driving Home, also first released on the Boogie in the City album in 1993.

Seven Nights to Rock, Honey Hush, Back to Basics and Poor Ol’ Mr Woogie are all recent productions recorded at Dave’s Midnight Rock Studio, all featuring top class musicianship. Back to Basics – a pun on words, also borrowed by John Major – acts as a tribute to one of Dave’s all time favourites, Count Basie. As a 15-year old teddy boy, Dave used to jive to Honey Hush at the Cocked Hat in Nottingham, before he was playing professionally. Here the track features the wailing trombone of Robert Jarvis, the first-rate guitar of Jim Knowler and the commendable double bass of Jarrad Coombes.

Dave tells of his first, self-imposed audition: “It was with Rock Island Line, a very good professional band, which was touring around the circuit. They had a hit with Choo Choo Ch’ Boogie in 1973. I was 15, I had been to see the band play, called the club and managed to find out the telephone number of their manager, Phil ‘Phab’ Bailey (who later became involved with Shakin’ Stevens, Matchbox and Crazy Cavan). Rock Island Line did not have a piano player and I told Phab that I wanted to join the band! He politely informed me that they were not looking for a pianist, but I pushed him and found out where the band was scheduled to play next. I snatched a lift from a friend and drove several hundred miles to the venue, with my piano, HH amplifier and 2 Carlsboro 4 x 12s. When I arrived at the club, I told the band I had been sent by Phab for an audition, to which the band politely informed me that they were not looking for a pianist. Despite their negative attitude (!) I set up right in the middle of the stage and I guess they didn’t have the heart to send me away. No-one bought me a beer, though! The show turned out to be great, it was a wild night and everyone, including the band, had a good time. Unfortunately, the band was not looking for a pianist and I did not get the job!”

Over the past ten years or so, Phab has released Dave’s material on a regular basis on his various productions.

Poor Ol’ Mr Woogie, a Chas & Dave original, Dave has transformed into a powerful, distinctive run.

This CD is concluded with Rockin’ in the Same Ol’ Way, the album title track of 1978. This track was also featured on Jukebox Jury on Finnish TV and, uncannily, again came in second place after Count Basie’s Splanky.

“Dave Taylor is the most sensational act in the Scandinavian show business today and undoubtedly the most promising and talented performer in the Scandinavian rock scene for years.” (Jyrki Hämäläinen, Editor/TV Presenter)

…Still Rockin’ in the Same Ol’ Way

Dave performed at the renowned Cannes TV Festival in October 1998. As his support, Dave chose the great Italian Swing & Jive band, the Good Fellas. The success of that show was such that it led to a further engagement, this time at the Cannes Film Festival in May 1999, where Dave, again with the Good Fellas, appeared at the launch party for the new Austin Powers film, ‘The Spy Who Shagged Me’. The audience included top Hollywood stars and producers, such as Steven Spielberg, Val Kilmer, Charles Bronson as well as Richard Branson.

As a sequel to the K-Tel release in 1996, a new Hooked on Jive CD consisting of Dave’s recordings was issued on the Emporio label at the end of 1998. In March 1999, Dave was asked to compose another jingle for CMR radio station’s Rock*n*Roll programme, Good Rockin’ Tonight, hosted by Dell Richardson.

At the end of 1999, Dave also found time to record a special celebratory Millennium CD, Time for Rock & Roll, featuring 12 tracks – one for each position on a clock face. In-keeping with the 12 points of a clock, only 1200 CDs were manufactured. All were sold within one month of release!

Following extensive touring in the UK and Spain in December 1999, including a Millennium party hosted by Sir Dai Llewellyn in Cardiff’s prestigious St. David’s Spa Hotel, Dave returned to Italy in January 2000, performing at some of Italy’s top clubs with the Good Fellas. At the time of going to print, Dave’s material is about to be issued on a new compilation on Raucous Records, which is currently under production. And look out for vol. 4 in the Good Time Series! 'A Rockers' guide to the Galaxy'

“I appreciate your music very much.” (Mauno Koivisto, President of Finland)




The well known pianist, composer and performer, Dave Taylor, has created a unique blend of Big Band Rock*n*Roll, Rhythm*n*Blues and Jump Jive rolled into one. A critic once said: "I don't for one minute think that Dave has sat down and contrived the history of Rhythm*n*Blues, but he has succeeded in doing so nonetheless. There are plenty of Blues, Jump Jive and Big Bands about but nothing comes close to this for being difficult to categorise. Dave's musical roots can be clearly heard in the likes of Merrill E. Moore, Louis Prima, Wynonie Harris, Moon Mullican and Count Basie."


In the early years of the 1960's, Dave began to show an interest in the piano located in the sitting room corner. This grew into an ambition, and Dave would eventually have to be dragged away from the keyboard. He always played the only way he knew how, and one day an 8 year old Dave asked his mother what his style of playing was called. She told him it was Boogie Woogie. She was also of the opinion that Dave should learn to play 'properly', and so Dave was sent to piano lessons. In his early teens, prior to entering the music scene, Dave was part of a group of Teds in Nottingham. They spent most of their time going from pub to pub in search for excitement,..and music! Dave was only 13 or 14 at the time and couldn't get served in pubs ...not a problem, as there was always someone who at least looked old enough to buy the round! They could not find much entertainment, so inevitably Dave ended up providing the music by playing piano in the pubs. At weekends, they went from record hop to record hop, including the legendary Boat Club, where Dave could be found every Saturday night watching bands such as Shakin' Stevens & the Sunsets and Rock Island Line.

In 1972, the highlight of the year for Dave was to see his idol, Bill Haley, perform in Nottingham, where Dave recalls Rudi Pompelli stepping off stage into the audience, playing his saxophone and shaking hands with everybody, including Dave. After the show, Dave wanted to obtain Bill Haley's autograph but could not gain access to the dressing room. One of the roadies agreed to grab it for him, although it later transpired that the roadie had been signing the autographs himself! "Still, I got the real thing when I played on the same bill with Haley (pun intended!) a few years later" Dave remembers. "His amplifier had broken down just before going on stage and he asked if he could borrow mine."

During the early days of his career, Dave auditioned with Rock Island Line, then managed by Phil Bailey, and met with Crazy Cavan & the Rhythm Rockers to discuss joining their band, although, after due consideration, in 1972 Dave decided to form his own band, Little Dave & The Rhythm Band. Dave, at that time 15 years of age, knew nothing about running a band and it soon fell apart, but Dave went on to join a local professional band The Earthquakes, while working on the assembly line at Raleigh Industries in Nottingham, with fame nothing more than a dream.


By the age of 17, Dave had left his day job and made a living playing in various Rock*n*Roll bands in the Midlands, one of his earliest bands was ‘Little Dave & the Rhythm Band’ which he put together in 1974. He went on to study classical music for a six year period, which helped teach Dave his inimitable Boogie Woogie playing technique. The last year of his studies culminated in the students' piano competition, featuring a compulsory classical composition as well as a second, optional piece. Dave chose Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata as his first number and, faithful to his conviction, Honky Tonk Train Blues as his second number. Due to the conservative attitude of the panel, this, however, brought a brisk end to his studies at the classical institution!

In 1975, Dave replied to an advertisement in the Melody Maker for an audition at the Adam & Eve, a well known Rock*n*Roll venue in Homerton. At the audition, Dave was snapped up by the then popular Rock*n*Roll group, the Hellraisers, who were in fact looking for a saxophone player! Having tried out a plethora of sax players, the band decided to give the job to Dave, and the very next day he found himself sailing out to Denmark to perform at the famous Hard Rock Café in Copenhagen. Two years of hard touring followed and, as well as working with the likes of Bill Haley, Chuck Berry, B.B. King and Shakin' Stevens, the following years consisted of tours throughout Europe and Scandinavia together with continuous session work. Along with the Hellraisers, Dave was also booked to play with Jerry Lee Lewis, but Jerry Lee would not permit other pianists on the same show. Dave played with Chuck Berry several times. In a concert at the Isle of Man TT Race in 1976, however, Chuck Berry refused to tune his guitar to the piano, which is standard practice, but he insisted that the piano be tuned to his guitar. As there was no time to find a piano tuner, Dave had to transpose every song up a semitone. Dave ended up walking off the stage in the middle of the set, when Chuck Berry insisted that a piano tuner be called half way through the concert!

Dave performed with The Hellraisers at The Pickett's Lock Festival on 15 May 1976, and their live recordings were featured on the compilation album Rock*n*Roll is Still Alive released on Charly Records. This was Dave's first record release and featured his own number, Dim Light Boogie. Since then, Dave has penned a catalogue of over 200 songs. Eventually, the experience Dave obtained led him to front his own band, Dave Taylor & Dynamite. The group had their debut concert at the Lyceum Theatre in London's West End, on 20 May 1977. After a conflict of musical tastes, Dave left Dynamite and began playing piano sessions for countless Rock*n*Roll bands throughout the UK and Europe. At one stage or another in his career, Dave has played with many British and U.S. artistes, including Sleepy La Beef, Screamin' Lord Sutch, Sonny Burgess, Terry Dene, Brian Poole, P.J. Proby, Billie Davis, Wee Willie Harris, Janice Martin, Big Jay McNeely, Jet Harris, Graham Fenton's Matchbox, Gene Summers, Mike Berry, Cliff Bennett & The Rebel Rousers, Tommy Bruce, Jess Conrad, Buddy Knox, Don Lang, Hayden Thompson, Heinz, Eddie Bond, Big Daddy and Marty Wilde.

Famous Showman and Politician Screamin' Lord Sutch had this to say about Dave: “Over the past four decades, I have worked with some of the best in the business: Eric Clapton, Charlie Watts, Jeff Beck. Dave Taylor, in my opinion, as a musician and showman, falls in the same category with these top guys.” He went on to say: “Dave doesn’t just ‘tinkle the ivories’, he hammers the keys to death!!!!”


In January 1977, Dave was asked to attend a recording session for the Dutch label, Rockhouse, with Little Tina & Flight '56. The album contained two tracks written by Dave: Don't Ever Go and Twelve O'Clock Rock, as well as his first release of Honky Tonk Train Blues. (Dave's first recording of this number was on BBC Radio One in 1976, during his guest appearance on 'It's Rock*n*Roll', hosted by Stuart Coleman.)

During this period, Dave formed another band called Red Hot, with which he toured throughout the UK, until the band folded in late 1977.

The road then led Dave from extensive bookings in France and Holland on to Portugal, where he spent several months playing the Casinos of the Algarve whilst negotiating with Bobby Boulter, the owner of the Solar Penguin Hotel, who had been involved with the organisation of Dave's first tour of Finland with the Hellraisers. (Later Bobby was to become Dave's Road Manager and long time friend.)


Dave was only 20 when he took up an invitation to return to Scandinavia. Dave loaded his piano into the back of his Thames van and headed for Finland, where he spent the first six months playing piano in local bars. The very first demo recording, made in the summer of 1978 in Finland by Dave and his newly formed Rocket 88 band, was Razzle Dazzle/Dim Light Boogie. It was produced by Mikko Alatalo, who is now a well known TV presenter and household name. Then, in 1978, Dave became an overnight sensation while performing at The Culture House in Helsinki where the biggest Rock*n*Roll event, The King of Rock, took place. Dave was immediately signed by Levytuottajat Oy, one of the largest Finnish record companies. When the authorities discovered that Dave was working without a work permit, he was deported to the nearest non Scandinavian country, Germany, where he stayed for two weeks, grappling with the Finnish Government officials in order to obtain a work permit. Fortunately, this meant spending two weeks in the notorious Reeperbahn area of Hamburg. "That was the hardest two weeks of my life, not to mention trying to obtain a work permit", recalls Dave.

Jyrki Hämäläinen Chief executive of the top Pop Music Magazine ‘Suosikki’ said: “Dave Taylor, is the most sensational act in Finnish show business today.... Dave became an overnight sensation while performing at the Culture House, Helsinki, where the biggest rock’n’roll event, King of Rock took place. He was the absolute top of the bill that night and received raves from the critics, and the Dave Taylor fever was a fact!”

He further added: “Dave Taylor is without a doubt, the most promising and talented performer in years on the Finnish rock scene. And he certainly has something to give to every true rock’n’roll lover no matter where ever in Europe he is heard.”

With the assistance of record company executive, Vexi Salmi, Dave was able to return to Finland and in the following months recorded the singles Dim Light Boogie/Mona Lisa, Peggy Sue/All By Myself and Cadillac Car/Rockhouse as well as his first solo album, Rockin' in the Same Ol' Way, featuring such tracks as Cadillac Car, Don't Want Tyin' Down Girl, Dave's Boogie and a revised version of Twelve o'Clock Rock. The album also contained Hey Little Girl which, some 18 years later, saw the addition of a full orchestra. The album was licensed to Charly Records in the UK and sold around the world. Cadillac Car became a hit among the Rock*n*Roll circles and its sales were boosted by the feature of the track in the Finnish film release 'Life, Here I Come' ('Täältä Tullaan, Elämä').

Raimo Henriksson General Manager of Warner Chappel Music said:

“Dave Taylor, as far as I am concerned, is a synonym for Rock'n'Roll at its best, purist and most flourishing form. Ever since our first meeting at Midem, Cannes, in 1986, I noted that Dave often referred to the same names and professional phrases which I myself like to use when talking about music. This professionalism can clearly be heard in Dave's recordings.”

and went on to say:

“To this day, there are still stories told about Dave's performances (playing the piano upside down or performing unnerving acrobatics during his stage shows; his unique entrance to the venue by parachute and his inimitable Boogie Woogie playing technique, yet, never compromising the quality of the music).”

1980 saw the release of Dave's new single Lonely As I Can Be/I've Lost Her Again and his second solo album, entitled Countrybilly, or perhaps better known as Jive Jive Jive, as it was called on its UK release. The album was inspired by Dave's interest in Rockabilly and Western Swing as well as Dave's own favourite, Merrill E. Moore. His combination of these produced the unusual, dynamic sound of the recording. Later in 1980, Dave was commissioned to write the theme to the film Midnight Rock, in which he was also due to star, although the film project was never realised.

Seppo Elonen, celebrated journalist of Blues News Magazine, quoted: “No better rock’n’roll record has ever been made in Finland! Taylor’s music has to be categorised as rock’n’roll even though his style is original to such an extent that Dave’s own definition of swing rock describes his music a great deal better.” And added: “Dave Taylor is a convincing vocalist and a positively brilliant piano player.”

By 1981, Dave was firmly established in the Scandinavian music scene, doing regular TV appearances and radio interviews and driving audiences wild with his inimitable act, playing his full size piano with virtually every part of his body. Standing on his head. Tilting the 200 kg instrument across his body while lying on the ground. Or perhaps performing an acrobatic somersault off the top of the piano. He was not named the 'Acrobat Pianist' without good reason! The ecstatic audience would often carry Dave's piano, with him standing on it, around the auditorium, sometimes with hilarious consequences, not least the long cable to the microphone becoming entangled around the audience! Dave tells of one occasion when his piano was taken through the auditorium and out onto the street, with Dave hanging on and still playing. This caused bewilderment among the local police, who forced the audience to set him down, although Dave continued playing the piano! "I was about 400 yards from the band who were still on stage in the auditorium and I was probably playing 4 seconds behind them because of the time delay", recalls Dave.

The renowned Finnish author Väinämöinen had this to say: “Dave is an exceptional phenomenon in rock music circles; Dave Taylor knows his business, there’s no doubt about it, Dave’s latest album, Rockin’ in the same ‘ol Way is definitely the best rock album of the decade.”

Having gained extensive knowledge in all aspects of the music business, Dave formed his own record label, DT Records, to gain total control of his career. It played host to such releases as the LP Mr Rock; 1982 (DTLP100), single Mind Your Own Business/Rock Me; 1982 (DTS001), EP Steppin' Outa' Line; 1986 (DTEP100), LP Happy Birthday Boogie Woogie; 1988 (DTLP200) and the single Won't You/Under the Moonlight; 1988 (DTS002).


After spending five years in Finland and having performed in every venue from Helsinki to the most Northern tip of Lapland, Dave decided to return to the UK in 1983 to form a 10 strong Show Band line up, which featured some of England's top musicians. The group toured extensively in the UK and Europe and, whilst performing in a London club, was approached by a Royal Aide offering a season of private bookings in the Society party circuit, with venues ranging from the Hurlingham Club in London to private manor houses and yachts. Dave topped the bill at the wildest of all night parties, offering the ultimate in showmanship to impressive guest lists, which could have been copied directly from the pages of 'Who's Who'.

Michael Gelardi of Magic Entertainments in London quoted: “In my 25 years in the entertainment business, I have produced many good and indeed great artistes from Sammy Davis Jnr., the consummate talent, to Jose Carreras, the prince of opera. Dave Taylor, however, is a one off. His high energy performance and amazing stage acrobatics, combined with his Rock & Roll piano playing and a jumpin’ band, make a good evening great every time. His is ‘must dance’ music and entertainment with a difference; Dave will even make an entrance to venues from the sky with his parachute display team, the Skyjivers. A rare offering which, deservedly, puts Rockin’ Dave Taylor in a class of his own.”

One year later, Dave appeared as a guest for the British tour of an American Rock*n*Roll group, Big Daddy, who achieved a Top 10 hit in the UK charts. Dave appeared in radio and TV shows, such as the Kenny Everett Show, the Old Grey Whistletest, Pebble Mill at One and Razzmatazz. A booking was also arranged for the Top of the Pops but the arrangement was cancelled at just one day's notice due to a new chart entry by Sir Paul McCartney!

It should be mentioned, too, that Dave was sworn in as one of Screamin' Lord Sutch's Savages, as well as being one of Brian Poole's Tremeloes. Brian Poole also recorded his own version of Dave's Hey Little Girl.


By 1985, Dave's reputation had reached the Far East, where he was offered a six month contract by the Hong Kong agent, Crazy Larry. The tour proved a great success, adding to Dave's record sales throughout the world and leading to a succession of Oriental tours, taking in such exotic new locations as Japan, Macao and of course Hong Kong. During his third tour of Hong Kong, Dave was performing at the British military bases. In the Philippines he played in a 1950s U.S. style Rock*n*Roll town, Angeles City, home of the volcanic Mount Pinatubo. The volcano erupted in the summer of 1991, destroying the entire City.

Dave was subsequently invited to open ‘Joe Bananas’, one of Hong Kong's top night clubs, in 1986. To commemorate the event, Dave's gold lamé drape jacket and blue suede shoes were placed on permanent display in a glass cabinet inside the club! While in Hong Kong, Dave obtained rave reviews by the Hong Kong public and a great deal of press coverage, for example, in the 'Hong Kong Standard' and 'TV Times', as well as appearing in a number of TV and radio shows, such as Edward Bean's popular 'Fizz Bizz'. Dave recalls that on the eve of the early morning recording of 'Fizz Bizz', where Dave played his then new track, You'd Better Listen to Me Now (Midnight CD705 Cadillacs & Moonlight), he took a taxi to the famous Hong Kong Peak. Unaware, that there would be no return transport after midnight, nor any means of contacting someone, Dave was deserted until the next morning, with nothing more than a six pack for company. He only made it back by walking all the way from the Peak to the filming location in Kowloon just in time for the recording of the TV show, shattered and complete with bloodshot eyes, having spent the entire night admiring the vastness of Hong Kong from the Peak!

Back in London, Dave could again be found in the recording studio, featuring on trombone Dave's friend of many years and star of the '6 5 Special', the late Don Lang.

In 1987 Dave headed for Barcelona, to perform an outdoor concert to his largest ever audience, totalling in excess of 100,000 people. Dave is said to have been the first Western Rock*n*Roller to hit the Soviet Union in 1988, headlining a concert for the Youth Communist Party... Dave returned to Russia on the collapse of the communist regime to perform for the Reformed ex Communist Youth Party!

Despite leaving Finland, Dave continued close collaboration with his Finnish arranger colleague, Paul Fagerlund. Tragically, Paul Fagerlund passed away on 3 July 1994. The fruits of this collaboration can be heard in some 50 memorable Big Band and Orchestral tracks recorded by Dave.

In 1992, Dave toured the U.S. for the first time travelling from New Orleans to Memphis and Los Angeles, and even across the border to Vancouver. The Boogie Woogie instrumental CD, Boogie in the City, was recorded by Dave later in the year, following a suggestion by Joop Visser, record executive, to produce a 'modern' Boogie Woogie album. Dave performed in the country of another of his favourite artists, Louis Prima, in 1995, the venue being the Forli Rock*n*Roll Festival, Italy. Hooked on Jive, containing 20 non stop Dave Taylor jiving tracks, was released by K Tel in late 1996. A further Hooked on Jive release of Dave’s material took place on the Emporio label in the latter part of 1998.

In October 1998, Dave was engaged to play at the Cannes TV Festival by a US cable TV network, HBO. He performed there with the 8 piece Italian band The Good Fellas. The show was such a success that Dave and The Good Fellas were booked to appear at the launching of Austin Powers’ The Spy Who Shagged Me at the Cannes Film Festival in May 1999, performing to VIP guests including a host of Hollywood stars and producers; Steven Spielberg, Sean Connery, Val Kilmer, Charles Bronson and Sir Richard Branson among others.

From July 2004, Dave spent 15 months on bail as he fought to clear his name after being arrested and threatened with 14 years in jail, charged under the 1971 Immigration Act on two counts of “facilitating the illegal entry to the UK” and “knowingly harbouring” once in the country his Brazilian fiancée for five years. Only hours before he was due in court, prosecutors dropped all charges.


Dave has established the Midnight Rock record label and continues to produce recordings at his Midnight Rock Studio, taking time off to tour the world. Dave's songs have been licensed to companies worldwide and appear on countless compilations, including promotional albums for Coca Cola and the Co Operative Bank, among others.

In celebration of Dave's 25 years as a 'Professional Rock*n*Roller', a comprehensive collection of his recordings is being released by Midnight Rock Records in the ‘Good Time Series’. Vol. 1 of the collection, Cadillacs & Moonlight, was released in the summer of 1997. Vol. 2, Shotgun Boogie, came out in June 1998 and vol. 3, Still Rockin’ in the Same Ol’ Way was released in 2000. Vol. 4 in the series is scheduled imminently.

Apart from a busy touring schedule in the UK, Spain and Italy over the turn of the Millennium, and a party on Millennium Eve being hosted by Sir Dai Llewellyn, at which Dave was performing, in December 1999 he also released a limited edition special Millennium CD, Time for Rock & Roll (Midnight CD 2000).

In 2004, Dave was voted into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame! New releases in 2004 consisted of This Is Boogie Woogie! (Midnight CD 404), a compilation of explosive piano Boogie Woogie by Dave the way Boogie Woogie should be played, as well as Nordic Dream (Midnight CD 405) a light classical album Dave wrote and recorded back in 1991. It is a musical account of his impressions of Scandinavia, inspired by the various Nordic towns and landscapes, and influenced by the extraordinary music culture. In these light classical compositions can clearly be distinguished the traditional melancholy of the Scandinavian character and music, contrasting severely with the sensitive tranquillity and beauty of the Nordic nature as well as the impetuous seasonal divergence. The 19 recordings featured on this CD represent the inheritance of many years of collaboration between Dave Taylor and Scandinavia and a celebration of the Nordic Countries. Never knowing quite what to do with these recordings, they sat on his studio shelf for 13 years until Dave finally made the decision to release this CD!

The Nordic Dream album was shortly followed by Before the Dream (Midnight CD 406). Within it, are featured the original compositions, ideas, melody lines and arrangements which, 15 years ago, formed the foundation for the Nordic Dream project. This CD has a compelling character and essence created by its natural purity. Allow the music to guide your senses to explore its innocence, beauty and sensitivity, and it will bring you immense pleasure

In 2005 Dave brought out Big Band Boogie & Jive (Midnight CD 410). This compilation album was specially created to consist of rare archive material by Dave Taylor, some of which is here made available on CD for the first time. The tracks featured include Can't Stand Those People and Mind Your Own Business, both written in the early 1980s as a retort by Dave against the immigration and law enforcement authorities in Finland for giving him a hard time with work permits and visas, and ultimately deporting him in 1983. Won't You is regarded by many as the most 'commercial' recording ever made by Dave. The backing musicians here were 'on loan' from Joe Jackson and Elton John's bands. There's Boogie Woogie, as featured on the popular TV show “VIP Vision” in 1993, and Blast Off!, which became, and still is, the signature tune for the legendary Radio Caroline. Don't Say Goodbye at the Station was one of the first songs ever composed by Dave back in 1972, but it was not until the 1990s that the song was ever recorded. The outstanding guitar solo is by Judd Proctor, of Ray Ellington fame. The last three recordings mentioned also feature the impeccable tenor sax of Nick Pentelow, who was a member of Roy Wood's Wizard in the 1970s. Millennium Rock presents Dave's contribution to the 21st century. It was written by Dave for his special Millennium CD release for a London PR company, MAGIC. Bonus track 1, the recording of Rock Me, is an alternate version to the one released, recorded in a different studio and with a different band. As bonus track 2 on this CD is included The Girl in Beaver Jeans, which was adapted from Rock Me to use as a promotional theme song by the top Scandinavian designer jeans manufacturer in the 1980s, Beavers Jeans. The song was released on a flexi disc of which 100,000 complimentary copies were distributed to customers on purchase of Beavers products. “They call me Mr Rock cos’ rockin’ is all I do!” Indeed.

2005 also saw the release of another new CD, Songs from the Other Side (Midnight CD 509). This is an uncompromising album, which immerses us deep into the other side of Dave Taylor, the composer, best known for pounding piano Boogie Woogie, Rhythm & Blues and Rock & Roll. This CD contains a fantastic and extremely diverse collection of recordings written and arranged by Dave, ranging from an operetta to heavy rock, from pop to classical and beyond, which were never suitable for inclusion on his various Rock & Roll albums. Ever since his early teens, Dave has been composing songs, his first song, She's Got Class, he wrote at just twelve years of age on guitar in the back garden of his home in Arnold, Nottinghamshire, while sitting in a makeshift tent of a blanket thrown over a clotheshorse! This album leaves no doubt about Dave's broad musical knowledge and accomplished skill as a powerful songwriter, arranger and performer, whatever the style of music.

In December 2005, Dave Taylor was approached by record producer/manager Phil Bailey to record vocal and piano and re mix, at Midnight Rock Studio, Phil's original recording of Choo Choo Ch' Boogie. The track was recorded, at Abbey Road Studios. There had been a double booking that morning with the result that, when they got there, the studio was reserved for Paul McCartney & Wings! Paul had not yet arrived, but Wings drummer, Steve Holly, was already there, and agreed that Phil could use Paul McCartney's studio time for the morning session. When Phil's drummer then phoned to say he was going to be late, Steve Holly offered to step in and played drums on Choo Choo Ch' Boogie. The track also features Tim Green on guitar (Mungo Jerry) and Alan Carvell on backing vocals (who is featured on other Dave Taylor recordings earlier in the 1980s).

All Dave’s CDs are available by mail order through CD Baby in the United States, www.cdbaby.com/all/rockindave.

An agreement has finally been reached between Dave and Warner Bros. for the reversion of Dave’s publishing rights, which means that Dave now owns the rights to all of his compositions, with the exception of one track, which is still owned by Charly Publishing who refuse to negotiate. But that’s another story…


Dave is currently building a new recording studio facility on the Costa Blanca, Spain, where the Midnight Rock operations will be relocated in due course.


As part of his show, Dave has parachuted to various venues with his Skyjivers parachute display team. When booked, in July 1990, at the Imatra Big Band Festival in Eastern Finland, Dave challenged fate by skydiving from 10,000 ft. onto the roof of a multi storey building in the town centre. Having successfully landed on a roof (albeit not the roof designated as landing area!), he climbed down a skylight and, to onlookers' surprise, found himself behind the bar of a local pub! Unperturbed, with the parachute over his shoulder and still dressed in his skydiving jumpsuit, he casually placed his order for a pint of beer!

So, for Rockin' Dave Taylor, even the sky's not the limit....

Stella Silver

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to write a review

Don Cunningham

The songs have grown on me and I think it is excellent!
When I first played it, I thought it was good, but now, having played it 9 or 10 times, the songs have grown on me and I think it is excellent!

Chas Hodges (Chas 'n' Dave)

This is fantastic! We have been boppin' away to it!
This is fantastic! We have been boppin' away to it! My wife loved it. That boogie thing you do in the middle of 'Poor Ol’ Mr Woogie'? you'll have to write it down, Im gonna learn that bit!

Roy Williams (nervous Records)

66 Minutes of piano-poundin' Rock'n'roll in Dave Taylor's own style.
66 Minutes of piano-poundin' Rock'n'roll in Dave Taylor's own style.

Ruusu - Finland

The arrangement and style is absolutely great and unique.

Keep Rocking Dave

Christo Utopia Music - Australia

Dave Taylor's CDs are most entertaining!
Dave Taylor's CDs are most entertaining!

Vincente Zumel

Absolutely great
Rock & roll, boogie-woogie, ballads, swing and good original jive, performed by one of the most charismatic British musicians of that genre. Dave Taylor is a good singer and a genuine piano player, who represents the classic fifties style, with more than thirty years of experience and a good number of records behind him. The CD includes twenty tracks where you will find own compositions together with, among others, Moon Mullican’s, Bobby Boulter’s or Lou Willie’s ones. Songs belong to different moments of Taylor’s life, from “Schooldays” –recorded in 1975- to the recent ones that come from 1999, all them performed on a convincing determined way thanks to the good work of a bunch of professional musicians who know what they are doing and how to get it. Dave Taylor is backed by a horn section including tenor, alto and baritone sax, trumpet and trombone, plus guitar, pedal steel, string arrangements, acoustic bass, drums and different instruments in some tracks such as flute, violin, viola, cello, accordion… and so on. A CD that should be taken into account. GREAT.

philippe SPENLE

very good rock&roll
GREAT musique; Not deviate from these old ways

Jyrki Hamalainen, Suosikki Magazine Finland

Dave Taylor, is the most sensational act in Finnish show – business today.

He was born in England and after a colourful and wild way of life and string of smaller hits on the continent he finally settled down in Finland and became an overnight sensation while performing at the Culture House, where the biggest rock’n’ roll event, King of Rock took place.

Dave didn’t win the title, because he was still a citizen of Britain, but he was the absolute top of the bill that night and received raves from critics, and the Dave Taylor fever was a fact.

The secret of Dave Taylor’s success is first class showmanship, excellent ability and a touch of rock feeling in the true fifties tradition.

Some people even felt that Dave is a modern 1979 version of the legendary Jerry Lee Lewis, with the same kind of guts and drive.

This title giant is without a doubt the most promising and talented performer in years on the Finnish rock scene.

And he certainly has something to give to every true rock’n’ roll lover no matter where ever in Europe he is heard.

Screamin’ Lord Sutch, April 1999

Dave Taylor didn’t just ‘tinkle on the ivories’, he hammered the keys to death
I remember Dave caught my attention as a talented young pianist/singer who, like myself, added some gimmicks to his stage appearances. He didn’t just ‘tinkle on the ivories’, he hammered the keys to death, played the piano with his feet, chopped it to pieces and even set fire to it on stage. And they call me a Raving Loony!

Over the past four decades, I have worked with some of the best in the business – Eric Clapton, Charlie Watts, Jeff Beck. Dave Taylor, in my opinion, as a musician and showman, falls in the same category with these top guys

Ben "Cool Cat" Clifford

This is rock n roll man!
This is rock n roll man! Cool!
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