DAVID V. COOPER a.k.a. CAPTAIN COOPER
*born January 27th, 1954, in TORONTO, ONTARIO
*died October, 2014, in CAMBRIDGE, ONT.
One of the great unsung guitarists of Canadian rock
His mother had an old spanish guitar in the attic, and at age 12 Dave
started making noises on it with a thimble. When he turned 14 he was
given a 'Canora' electric guitar and a purple 'Beltone' amp.
His first jamming experience was with DAVID TYSON (now a producer), whose family had an organ in the living room. At age 16 he studied classical guitar with LIONA BOYD, until she left for Europe to learn from JULIAN BREAM.Throughout high school he played in a band called ORGANIZED CONFUSION (later known as TUMBLEWEED) which featured ROB GUSEVS on keyboards (went on to play with LISA DEL BELLO , THE ARROWS,and KEVIN BREIT),AL HOURSTON on bass, and PAUL NIXON on drums (DOWNCHILD BLUES BAND)
bands during this period were THE ALPHA STRING BAND (with his future
brother-in-law JIM), HAGHILL while at Humber College in 1971("2 Scottish
lads & SCOTT NOBLE on keys"). Dave played in a funk band with PAUL NIXON
& JUSTIN PAIGE. After that band broke up, he played with EDWARD BEAR
for about eight months."We would do a short set of fusion-rock jams as HORIZON, then LARRY EVOY would come out and we'd play all his songs"
PINBALL was the first full-time pro band where he was paid to play original songs, with
GARNETT FORD on vocals, LEON STEVENSON (The EXTRAS) on drums, DAVE STONE (SYMPHONIC SLAM, MAX WEBSTER, RAINBOW) on keyboards & keyboard bass, later replaced by DONNY PAULTON (LIGHTHOUSE) and GARY BAUMGARTNER.
also went to school with TOM COCHRANE, who at the time had a band
called HARVEST. Dave and Tom started gigging together, first as a duo on
the Riverboat Coffee House Circuit, and later as a full band named THE
COCHRANE-COOPER BAND. He played on "What's In You" on Tom's first album
"Hang On To Your Resistance". They also did the soundtrack for XAVIER
HOLLANDER's movie "Pleasure Is My Business".
working on GARNETT FORD's "Under The Influence" album, Dave met IAN
THOMAS, who began asking him to join his band, but he was committed to
an east coast tour with Cochrane-Cooper which turned into a disaster.
water was bad and the whole band got sick. We were doing original
material, but were booked into disco clubs!! By the time we got back to
Toronto, the group was in turmoil, and Tom and I were left to fend for
ourselves. We decided to split up and I took Ian up on his offer".
go to IAN THOMAS BAND page or COCHRANE-COOPER BAND page for mp3 samples of Dave's guitar playing and lots more photos
Dave played in Ian's band for much of the 70's, touring,
and on the albums "Still Here", "Glider", "Riders On Dark Horses", and
"Add Water". Dave, Ian, GARY McKRACKEN, & TERRY WATKINSON (MAX
WEBSTER) did the soundtrack for "STRANGE BREW", the 'HOSER BROTHERS'
movie. Sadly, the Ian Thomas Band folded in 1979.
keep his hand in, Dave would jam with his friends GODDO, and HOTT ROXX
on the Yonge Street strip. "My brother-in-law was the lead singer of
Hott Roxx, a Rolling Stones cover band. I'd get up on stage to jam a
tune and end up playing the whole darn night!".
moving to Kitchener, he met a keyboard player named GREGG DECHERT. They
formed a group called NASTY HABITS and gigged locally. Dave then got the
call to join PULSAR so he and Gregg joined bassist PINO PALLADINO (THE WHO), vocalist JOHN SLOMAN (URIAH HEEP), and drummer DIXIE LEE (LONE STAR). "Unfortunately the three British members
never got their visa working papers together and they had to go back to
with PAT MOONEY (BATTERED
WIVES), JACK SMITH & GABE LEE. but "New Wave" was now the rage, so
Dave joined the
and recorded the album "I'm As Guilty As You". "We were HUGE out west, we even got the key to the city from the mayor of Saskatoon !"
go to Plummer Band page Cooper Band page for mp3 samples of Dave's guitar work and more photos
Gregg Dechert left for England to
join URIAH HEEP, the Plummer band folded, and Dave was on his own again.
"Out of the blue one day, I got a call from my old friend GARY McCRACKEN. He was playing in KLAATU, who were touring for the first
time, and their guitar player DEE LONG had had enough of road life. I
immediately joined GARY, TERRY WATKINSON, MIKE GINGRICH, TERRY DRAPER,
and JOHN WOLOSCHUK, to make it a six-piece band that could realize Terry
and John's complex arrangements". After playing many sold-out shows across Canada, Terry and John folded the band after only eight months ("Another heartbreak").
Meanwhile, Gregg had returned to Canada after touring with DAVID
GILMOUR and BAD COMPANY. He and Dave started PRISONER, and played a
regular house gig in Oshawa, and Port Perry."It was a great band until
Gregg developed nodes on his throat and we all had to wait for several
months for him to heal, but the band never did reform. I had enough, I
put my guitar in it's case and didn't play again for two years".
Dave was working for a promotion company in the mid-80's when he met a kindred spirit in TBork, TheEARLofSWIRL (indifference engine, Nth DEGREE , Falling Edge, ,THE BLURKS), who had a small studio. Together they recorded many hours of various kinds of music; Rock Parody, Fusion Jazzrock, Blues, Psychedelic-Experimental) that re-awakened Dave's interest in playing again. He started to play live shows in Kitchener with RAY BURKE in the POCKET WEASELS.
& VIC PFEIFER convinced me to start jamming at their studio, and I
loved the freedom of improvisation with a three piece. Vic left, and we
replaced him on drums with ROB TAYLOR (ARTOK). We now have over fifty
hours of freestyle jamming that we'll be releasing soon, I've finally recorded
the vocal album I've always wanted to do, I'll be playing on ARTOK'S new disc and there's tons of CAPTAIN
COOPER & TheEARLofSWIRL material that will be available soon
THE WAYBACK MACHINE
IAN THOMAS BAND
DAVE COOPER BAND 1
BRIAN PLUMMER BAND
DAVE COOPER BAND 2
THE MOIHAHA YEARS
The Pocket Weasels performing "BAD WOMAN BLUES" at THE CORONET, KITCHENER