Just two weeks after the Beatles' landmark appearance on
The DC5 performed "Glad All Over," which had knocked the Beatles' "I Want to Hold Your Hand" off the top of the U.K. charts earlier in the year. The members of the group from Tottenham in North London were handsome and well dressed, and their music was a pulsating mix of percussion, vocals, sax and sex appeal.
Dave Clark was a demon on the drums, vocalist and keyboardist
The DC5 would appear on "
The DC5, Weinberg noted, were "these really good-looking guys with an incredibly powerful sound and with Dave Clark leading the band with his name on the bass drum. I had been playing the drums for a couple of years. When I saw that he was the leader, I said, 'That's a job I would like.'"
The band members starred in their own 1965 feature, "Catch Us If You Can," which was known as "Having a Wild Weekend" in the U.S., directed by famed filmmaker
Clark was also business savvy. He was not only the leader of the group but he was also its manager. And unlike the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, Clark owned the rights to the band's music. In 2008, the DC5 was inducted into the Rock and Rock Hall of Fame just days after Smith died. Clark and Davidson are the only two members alive.
The special features footage from the group's Sullivan appearances, which have not been seen in decades, as well as newsreel and other performance footage, clips of
The special, said Stephen Segaller, vice president of programmer for WNET, which produces "Great Performances," is a perfect fit for PBS.
"The early rock 'n' roll and the British invasion is so much of the soundtrack of the baby boomer generation," said Segaller, who was a fan of the DC5 growing up in England. "I remember every week turning into the live pop music shows on British television."
Clark, who wrote, directed and produced the special, said, "I was never going to make a documentary." But he said that friends like Hanks, Springsteen and Van Zandt had urged him to commemorate the legacy of the DC5.
The band began on a lark as a way to make the money for his youth soccer team to travel to the Netherlands to play a match.
"We were all mates from school," Clark said over the phone from London. "When we came back from winning the match, I thought that was going to be it."
But it wasn't. The group got a gig playing the staff ball at Buckingham Palace — a friend of Clark's mother worked as a maid there.
"We went up on the subway and had just enough money to get us a cab to get us through the palace gates," recalled Clark.
The group began to play clubs and American military bases. "They gave us hamburgers, which we never had," he said. "During the break, they would put these American records on the jukebox and said, 'Can you play them?' We didn't know them, but I said, 'Give us a copy of the recording and we'll learn them.'"
By 1963, the group was a mainstay at the Tottenham Royal, had released a few singles and had made the first of some 30 appearances on the classic British TV musical series "Ready Steady Go!" About a decade later, Clark bought the rights to the show.
But the group wasn't prepared for the impact of the Sullivan show. "Three or four weeks later, we toured America to sold-out big arenas," said Clark. "At first, we traveled by regular airplane, and it was absolutely chaotic. I said, 'Guys, we are going to get our own plane.'"
Weinberg saw the DC5 live during that first tour. He bought a ticket to see the group when it came to Newark, N.J., in May 1964.
Weinberg said he had never heard a "sound like that in my life. Mike Smith was one of the great vocalists in the history of rock 'n' roll. They sounded exactly like the records. They were great showmen. My whole drum style grew largely out of Dave Clark. The way he played, it was so forward. I can testify the drums were just pushing that rhythm."
'Great Performances: The Dave Clark Five and Beyond — Glad All Over'
When: 8 p.m. Tuesday; 10 p.m. Friday