Dave Munden, Original Member of British Pop Group the Tremeloes, Dies

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Dave Munden, the original drummer and frequent lead singer for the British beat group the Tremeloes, best known for their hit covers of “Do You Love Me,” “Here Comes My Baby” and “Silence is Golden” in the 1960s, died Thursday (October 15). His death was announced on the group’s Facebook page. Munden had been in ill health in recent years. No cause of death was revealed; Munden was 76.

The group started in 1958 as Brian Poole and the Tremoloes, inspired by Buddy Holly and the Crickets. (They soon changed the spelling of their name.) Joining lead singer Poole were lead guitarist Rick West, rhythm guitarist/keyboardist Alan Blakley, bassist Alan Howard and Munden. As legend has it, they auditioned for Decca in 1962 and were signed in favor of another band, the Beatles.

In 1963, their recording of “Do You Love Me” (originally recorded by the Motown group the Contours) topped the British singles chart, replacing the Beatles’ “She Loves You” at #1. More Top 5 U.K. success followed, including their cover of “Twist and Shout.”

Poole departed the group in 1965 for a solo contract with CBS Records, leaving the Tremeloes a four-piece. In 1966, Howard also left and was replaced by Chip Hawkes. In 1967, as Hawkes relates, the revised lineup found a small publishing company that represented a teenaged songwriter, Cat Stevens. “I remember thinking ‘what a strange name!!,'” he notes, “although when he played us ‘Here Comes My Baby,’ we were very impressed! We recorded it the next week and CBS signed us up to release it, just to keep us and Brian happy.”

The single became a #4 U.K. hit.

That same year, they recorded “Silence is Golden,” a popular B-side in 1964 for the Four Seasons that was written by their primary songwriters Bob Crewe and Bob Gaudio. The single’s soaring vocals, attributed to guitarist Rick West, returned the Tremeloes to the top of the British chart and earned them their biggest U.S. success, reaching #11 on the Hot 100 on Aug. 19, 1967.

Related: The song is included in our feature, “Lost” British Invasion hits of the ’60s

Ahead of the song that week were hits by the Hollies (“Carrie Anne”), Jefferson Airplane (“White Rabbit”), Stevie Wonder (“I Was Made to Love Her”), the Doors (“Light My Fire”) and the Monkees (“Pleasant Valley Sunday”). At #1? The Beatles, with “All You Need is Love.”

Dave Munden in recent years (Photo via the Tremeloes Facebook page)

After achieving 11 Top 10 singles in the U.K., the group broke up in 1974. They reformed in 1979 and though there were no more radio hits, they remained a popular live attraction. The current lineup was to be part of a 2020 Sixties Gold Tour but it was delayed due to the pandemic.

Munden, born Dec. 2, 1943, made his final appearance with the group on Dec. 8, 2016, before joining fellow Tremeloes alums Hawkes and Poole. He once was asked by an interviewer what he enjoyed most about the group’s fame.

“Meeting lots of girls, having lots of fun and enjoying the money,” was the reply. “I bought myself both an Aston Martin DB4 and a Jaguar E-type sports car, which I enjoyed tremendously.”

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  1. Walter L.
    #1 Walter L. 17 October, 2020, 02:28

    The Tremeloes had the unfortunate distinction, inn their home U.K. market, of making a public denunciation of their hits!
    In the early 70s or so, they announced that their hits had been ” rubbish “, bought by ” silly suckers ” and they wanted to be a progressive group! They managed one or two Brit hits after that, but not many.

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  2. AnneCherch
    #2 AnneCherch 17 October, 2020, 04:44

    Real saddened to hear of Dave Munden’s passing. I’d been playing lots of Tremeloes videos lately as I love their songs and they’re still my favourite group. Back in the 60s there was no YouTube or Internet, so we could only watch our favourite singers when they appeared on Top Of The Pops or Ready Steady Go. My deepest condolences to the remaining Tremeloes and to Dave’s family. RIP Dave.

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  3. Big Al
    #3 Big Al 20 October, 2020, 14:04

    No matter how many times I the song ” Here Comes My Baby” , I start singing along, dancing and feeling happy. This has been true ever since a heard this song 55 years ago. The accompanying video is a joy to watch. The band members look and act like they are having a blast. That feeling translates to the music. One ? , was that among the early uses of a cowbell ??

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