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Rockin Dave lived in Finland from 1976-1982 where he led a very successful life never out of the public eye.

Dave was only 20 when he took up an invitation to return to Scandinavia 1977. Dave loaded his upright piano into the back of his Thames van and headed for Finland, where he spent the first six months playing piano in local bars. The very first demo recording, made in the summer of 1978 in Finland by Dave and his newly formed Rocket 88 band, was Razzle Dazzle/Dim Light Boogie. It was produced by Mikko Alatalo, who is now a well-known TV presenter and household name in Finland. Then, in 1978, Dave became an overnight sensation while performing at The Culture House in Helsinki where the biggest Rock*n*Roll event, The King of Rock, took place. Jyrki Hämäläinen, then Chief executive of the top Pop Music Magazine ‘Suosikki’ said: “Dave Taylor, is the most sensational act in Finnish show business today”.... He further added: “Dave Taylor is without a doubt, the most promising and talented performer in years on the Finnish rock scene. And he certainly has something to give to every true rock’n’roll lover no matter where ever in Europe he is heard.” Dave was the absolute top of the bill that night and received raves from the critics nationwide, and the Dave Taylor fever was a fact!”


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Dave was immediately signed up by Levytuottajat Oy, one of the largest Finnish record companies. TV and Radio shows followed and Dave was featured on the classic Finnish hit TV show Levyraati based on the hit British show Juke Box Jury. Dave performed live on two occasions on Levyraati, attaining 2nd place on both times out of 20 or so Finnish pop stars. Dave also became a regular guest on Tapani Ripatti’s hit Radio shows.


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When the authorities discovered that Dave was working without a work permit, he was deported to the nearest non-Scandinavian country, Germany, where he stayed for two weeks, grappling with the Finnish Government officials in order to obtain a work permit. Fortunately, for Dave, this meant spending two weeks in the notorious Reeperbahn area of Hamburg. "That was the hardest two weeks of my life, not to mention trying to obtain a work permit", recalls Dave. With the assistance of record company executive, Vexi Salmi, Dave was able to return to Finland and in the following months recorded the singles Dim Light Boogie/Mona Lisa, Peggy Sue/All By Myself and Cadillac Car/Rockhouse as well as his first solo album, Rockin' in the Same Ol' Way,featuring such tracks as Cadillac Car, Don't Want Tyin' Down Girl, Dave's Boogie and a revised version of Twelve o'Clock Rock. The album also contained Hey Little Girl (which, some 18 years later, saw the addition of a full 50-piece orchestra). The album was licensed to Charly Records in the UK and sold around the world. Cadillac Car became a hit among the Rock*n*Roll circles and its sales were boosted by the feature of the track in the Finnish film release 'Life, Here I Come' ('Täältä Tullaan, Elämä').

Rockin Dave wows the audience in Helsinki in 1988

Posted ImageRaimo Henriksson General Manager of Warner Chappel Music said: “Dave Taylor, as far as I am concerned, is a synonym for Rock'n'Roll at its best, purist and most flourishing form. Ever since our first meeting at Midem, Cannes, in 1985, I noted that Dave often referred to the same names and professional phrases which I myself like to use when talking about music. This professionalism can clearly be heard in Dave's recordings.”

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He went on to say: “To this day, there are still stories told about Dave's performances, (playing the piano upside down or performing unnerving acrobatics during his stage shows; his unique entrance to the venue by parachute and his inimitable Boogie Woogie playing technique, yet, never compromising the quality of the music).”

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1980 saw the release of Dave's new single Lonely As I Can Be/I've Lost Her Again and his second solo album, entitled Countrybilly, or perhaps better known as Jive Jive Jive, as it was called on its UK release on Charly Records. The album was inspired by Dave's interest in Rockabilly and Western Swing as well as Dave's own favourite piano player, Merrill E. Moore. His combination of these produced the unusual, dynamic sound of the recording. Later in 1980, Dave was commissioned to write the theme to the proposed film ‘Midnight Rock’, in which he was also due to star, although the film project was never realised.

By 1981, Dave was firmly established in the Scandinavian music scene, doing regular TV appearances and radio interviews and driving audiences wild with his inimitable act, playing his full size piano with virtually every part of his body. Standing on his head. Tilting the 200 kg instrument across his body while lying on the ground. Or perhaps performing an acrobatic somersault off the top of the piano. He was not named the 'Acrobat Pianist' without good reason! The ecstatic audience would often carry Dave's piano, with him standing on it, around the auditorium, sometimes with hilarious consequences, not least the long cable to the microphone becoming entangled around the audience! Dave tells of one occasion when his piano was taken through the auditorium and out onto the street, with Dave hanging on and still playing. This caused bewilderment among the local police, who forced the audience to set him down, although Dave continued playing the piano! "I was about 400 yards from the band who were still on stage in the auditorium and I was playing probably 4 seconds behind them because of the time delay", Dave chuckles.Posted Image

The renowned Finnish writer, Väinämöinen, had this to say in 1979: “Dave is an exceptional phenomenon in rock music circles; Dave Taylor knows his business, there’s no doubt about it, Dave’s latest album, Rockin’ in the same ‘ol Way is definitely the best rock album of the decade.”

Having gained extensive knowledge in all aspects of the music business, Dave formed his own record label, DT Records, to gain total control over his career. It played host to such releases as the LP Mr Rock; 1982 (DTLP100), single Mind Your Own Business/Rock Me; 1982 (DTS001), EP Steppin' Outa' Line; 1986 (DTEP100), LP Happy Birthday Boogie Woogie; 1988 (DTLP200) and the single Won't You/Under the Moonlight; 1988 (DTS002).

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