Gold Meets... David Essex: 'Rock On' singer recalls humble beginnings and America regrets

12 August 2022, 06:00

Gold Meets... David Essex
Gold Meets... David Essex. Picture: Getty/Gold

By Tom Eames

David Essex looks back on his amazing career ahead of his long-awaited UK tour in Gold's latest interview special.

In the latest Gold Meets... interview with James Bassam, David Essex opens up about his music and acting career, and how he "couldn't be bothered" to make the most of 'Rock On''s success in the States back in the day.

David Essex returns to live touring in September, and he caught up with James about the shows, which promises to be a must-see for fans across the UK.

Watch the interview in full on Global Player here

Talking about how his music career started, David explained: "The first band I was in, I was a drummer, and then I was forced to sing, because the lead guitarist thought he couldn’t play effective lead guitar and sing at the same time.

"I was the youngest, and he said, 'You sing.”' So I started singing, reluctantly, on the drums – and then I got pulled off the drums and stuck up the front. And then the band fell to bits.

"And then the manager I had then – a great man, Derek Bowman, who sadly died a few years back – was a theatre critic – an academic. And he said, 'Do you want to go solo?' I said, 'Well, alright.' So that’s what we did!"

David Essex Rock On (music video)

With 'Rock On' a big success in the USA in the early 1970s, David lamented that he didn't spend more time over the other side of the Atlantic.

He said: "I think I fell out with [his record company] because when 'Rock On' was doing so well in America, I couldn’t be bothered to go there. Which, in career terms, was a bit suicidal, in a way.

"But as far as I was concerned, I was doing stuff in England, and my family were in England. So I didn’t really want to go, because I would have had to tour and tour and tour in America."

David Essex heads out on tour in September. Find out more information about venues and tickets here.

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