DAVE CLARK FIVE SINGER-SONGWRITER MIKE SMITH, R.I.P.
Mike Smith, the lead singer and keyboard player of The Dave Clark Five, one of the premier bands to emerge during the 1960's "British Invasion", died today from pneumonia at Stoke Mandeville Hospital outside of London. His devoted wife, Arlene, who is known as Charlie, was by his side. Smith was 64 years old.
Smith, who was due to be inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame with his band mates on Monday, March 10th, was admitted to the hospital's Intensive Care Unit yesterday morning with a chest infection, a complication from a spinal cord injury he sustained in September, 2003 that left him a tetraplegic (paralyzed below the ribcage with limited use of his upper body). Smith had been in the hospital since the accident, and was just released in December 2007 when he moved into a specially-prepared home near the hospital with his wife. Prior to his hospitalization yesterday, arrangements were being made to transport Smith to New York so he could personally attend the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.
After his accident, Smith found tremendous support from his peers including Bruce Springsteen, Little Steven Van Zandt, and Peter Noone of Herman's Hermits, who helped defray his medical costs through donations and fundraisers. Long-time fan and "Late Show" bandleader, Paul Shaffer, helped organize a benefit concert in New York in August 2005, which featured many of Smith's fellow "British Invasion" stars, including The Zombies and Peter & Gordon. A DVD of the benefit, Paul Shaffer and his British Invasion: A Tribute to Mike Smith will be released in March by VDI Entertainment.
According to Smith's agent, Margo Lewis of TCI in New York, "These last five years were extremely difficult for Mike. I am incredibly saddened to lose him, his energy and his humor, but I am comforted by the fact that he had the chance to spend his final months and days at home with his loving wife, Charlie, whom he adored, instead of in the hospital, and that he was able to attend a recent concert in London by his good friend, Bruce Springsteen. He was extremely excited and honored to have been inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame and I am glad that he will be remembered as a "Hall of Famer," because he was in so many ways."
I spoke with Charlie Smith just moments before receiving the above press release. She told me that Mike passed away peacefully last night, confident of heaven, after exchanging "I love you" with her. Mike's health had declined rather suddenly this past week. While the above press release mentions some celebrities, Mike was also very thankful to his many fans/friends who sacrificially gave to provide him his wheelchair, his van, and most of all, the encouragement and prayers needed to continue these past years. Mike will have a better view than any of us at the R&R Hall of Fame Induction, not to mention an even more glorious induction into eternity.
This website will not pass out further specifics, exept as directed by TCI or by Charlie Smith. I cannot respond to your e-mails to answer further questions at this time. If you would like to send a sympathy e-mail (no downloads, pics, music or e-cards), feel free, I will collect them, and send them on to Charlie. The e-mail address here is email@example.com In our time of sadness, let us remember that his music and memory live on in many of us. He has left this world a better place, and has gone on to a place that is better still. - RKB