Peripheral Daves

Has there ever been another rock band with as many peripheral Daves in its history as Black Sabbath? Dave Walker, David Donato, Dave ‘The Beast’ Spitz . . . that’s two lead singers who never managed to record anything * or perform live with the band and a bass player who, to be fair, maintained a surprisingly long two and a half year association with them, but whose most notable legacy was to record the bass parts on all but one song on an album Mr Iommi originally intended as a solo album (ironically, the song he didn’t play on on Seventh Star, ‘No Stranger to Love’, is its most distinguished from a bass playing point of view – credit for that goes to Gordon Copley). It’s really most puzzling. Deep Purple and Urish Heep managed to knock out top drawer material with their respective Daves at front and centre – so what was it about Black Sabbath that made for such a Dave-resistant environment? I’d appreciate readers’ thoughts on this important and hitherto neglected question.

* Nothing that has been officially released, anyway; Mr Donato recorded some demos with the band, the fascinating story of which is related in the article linked to, an excerpt from Garry Sharpe-Yonge’s 2006 book Sabbath Bloody Sabbath.

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