Dave's Early Bands

By drummer Tom Brodeur.

There are a few things about Dave, which are as true today as they were in the 60's and 70's when he was just starting out. Dave always had amazing talent. I recall walking into a battle of the bands where "Dave and the Essex" were playing in a loud echoing gym at Marian High School in Framingham. These guys were nailing the vocal harmony on The Beatles "A Little Help from My Friends"; they looked sharp in blue tuxedos and had just blown four other bands off the stage.
Dave had a deep curiosity of all the local musicians. What music did they like? What equipment did they use? How well positioned was his band to be the best in the area? How many pickups on their guitars? What was the hottest brand of drums? What type of deal could be formed to start a new and better group?
This lead to Dave working with, jamming with, and playing with, just about every good musician in town. Of course everyone wanted to play with a guy like Dave who had tremendous energy, love for music, and amazing chops. If Dave was in your band…it was THE band to be in. I was fortunate to join Dave and the Essex as their drummer about two days after that Marian High performance. Dave was excited about adding some new punch and a keyboard player to the group. Alex Mariani who was the father of one of the band members managed the group and bought us an old bread truck with gig money so that the band could travel in style to local gigs. The band performed a wide range of songs by groups like Cream and The Beatles …stuff like "Time Won't Let Me" and Young Rascals tunes like "Come on Up" an "Midnight Hour". About two weeks after "Hey Jude" was released, the Essex covered that tune and used it to win a local battle of the bands competition. Dave on lead vocals of course…and for an encore, Dave puts down the guitar and takes the mike for a spirited rendition of James Brown's "I Feel Good".
A few years and a few bands later I was lucky enough to team up with Dave again in a band called ICE. This was kicked up cover band performing tunes by Queen, Yes, Beatles, Bad Company and Led Zeppelin. For a couple of years, ICE was untouchable as a local band…literally filling night clubs all over New England this time with big Marshall stacks, Flying V's, synthesizers, smoke shows, great vocal harmonies, powerful guitars and expensive lights. This was a full time gig for Dave. We received weekly paychecks and didn't have to work any kind of real job. What did Dave do in his spare time? He would visit guitar stores , buy new equipment, jam with local musicians, practice guitar and always on the lookout for the next big opportunity (does any of this sound familiar?). While other band members spent their time on girls and other bad habits…Dave was was honing his craft, looking for an opening, practicing his guitar, buying more Marshalls and networking to find out who was out there and what they were doing. After ICE, it was on to another band "August", then off to California - and the rest is history!

As for me, (author Tom Brodeur) I still play the drums and enjoy throwing money into my vintage drum collection. I am married and living between Hudson, Mass and Fort Myers Florida. I have been working in high-tech for about 20 years as a customer service executive. Currenty I have my own business called Service Advisors LLC.

Tom stays in touch with Dave, and goes to REO shows when he can.

Thanks Tom!