Based on an original Wurzelmania page by 'Zider Ed' - Paul Gunningham and Frank Blades
Dave "Squire" Wintour - joined The Wurzels about 1990, replacing Mike Gwilliam as the band's bass guitar. Dave stayed with the band for several years, leaving in 2002 when Jai Howe returned to the fold.A prolific session player both prior after his Wurzelling, Dave Wintour's bass playing turns up on numerous albums including some of the greats of the 1970s sand onwards - he appears to have had more chart success (albeit as a session musician) than all the rest of The Wurzels put together!Dave Wintour passed away on July 12th 2022 following a short fight with cancer.
Dave first hits the music radar in the mid-1960s as part of Division Two, a band with up-and-coming musicians - Mickey Keen (guitar), Dave Wintour (bass), Mike O'Neill (keyboards) and Clem Cattini (drums); Dave would later work with Clem again on the 1974 Slapp Happy album.
March 1972 saw the released of Kenny Young's solo album Clever Dogs Chase The Sun, which is the first record I have found of a release with Dave Wintour on bass guitar (alongside the likes of guitarists Chris Spedding and Dave Edmunds). Later that year, Dave joined the seminal British jazz-rock groups If. Formed in 1969, If were Britain’s answer to the pioneering American bands Blood, Sweat and Tears and Chicago, and features two saxophone players. Essentially a live band - and true to its strong jazz influences - If was one of the few jazz-rock groups to feature solos by all the band members not just by the lead instruments. Dave was a member of the band for about a year or so, joining after the release of If IV, and playing a role in the recording and subsequent touring of their fifth studio album Waterfall. He left the band sometime in 1973 before the release of their sixth album Double Diamond.
1973 though was a busy year for Dave with his session work giving him credits on a number of high-profile, top selling and chart-hitting albums including Rick Wakeman's album epic prog rock album The Six Wives Of Henry VIII and Murray Head's album Nigel Lived. By the end of the year Dave was working with avante-garde jazz musicians Dagmar, Anthony Moore and Peter Blegvad on their debut project under the name Slapp Happy. 1974 was even more successful for Dave, with work on Neil Sedaka's Live At The Royal Festival Hall album, the debut album from Leo Sayer, and Adam Faith alongside Deep Purple guitarist Richie Blackmore. The Deep Purple link however is stronger through his work with Ian Gillan.
April 1974 saw Dave in Ian Gillan's Kingsway Recorders studios. Ian Gillan had remained pretty much out of the public eye for two years following his departure from Deep Purple, during which time he involved himself in a number of business interests, none of which prove particularly profitable. In the spring of 1974, he began to work on his first post-Deep Purple solo tracks aided by Dave Wintour and other session players Mike Moran (keyboards), Bernie Holland (guitar) and Andy Steele (drums).
On the back of the Gillan sessions, Dave was drawn into the newest incarnation of Steelers Wheel in 1975, presumably due to his working relationship with Andy Steele and Bernie Holland who had been involved in the band on the Fergusile Park album a few years earlier. By this time Steelers Wheel had become a duo with founder members Joe Egan and Gerry Rafferty employing backing musicians as needed in the studio and on tour - much like Steely Dan did. Dave was one of the backing musicians hired to play on the band's album Right Or Wrong which was released on A&M Records.
The late 1970s saw Dave cement his reputation as a reliable top-quality session musician. A quick look at his discography sees top recording artists were using him - people like Clifford T. Ward, Eric Carmen, Chris Rainbow, Elton John's drummer Nigel Olsson, Russ Ballard, Alexis Korner and Demis Roussos.
In 1980, Dave teamed up with singer/songwriter Iain Matthews, formerly of Fairport Convention, Matthews Southern Comfort and Plainsong. Matthews was backed by a band called The Insults which consisted of Dave Wintour (bass) along with Mark Griffiths and Bob Metzger on guitars, and Rob "Argent" Henrit on drums. It was a short-lived project!
During this time, Dave teamed up with Alan Charles Stewart and his brothers Paul and Colin to form the London-based pop-rock band Plain Sailing. With their expertise and background, they were quickly signed to a management company and were contracted to Chrysalis Records releasing an album entitled Dangerous Times. The band made a number of TV appearances including the Kenny Everett Show and recorded several 'live' performances for the BBC both for mainstream and world programming. Plain Sailing came 4th in the 1980 A Song for Europe with their song Easy; but were beaten by Prima Donna who went on to finish 3rd in the Eurovision Song Contest of that year! [link here]
The band worked with Frankie Miller, Demis Roussos and gigged extensively and regularly to full houses as part of the highly popular London Pub Rock scene at the time. Singles were scheduled and released but a quirk of musical fashion positioned them in the midst of the 'punk' explosion in the UK. This was not helped by a complete marketing breakdown as executives turned their attention to the latest bandwagon. The album's US release was subsequently blocked despite that market being its original 'target'. As the band imploded, Dave continued working with Alan Stewart, forming a studio band called Willy Jive which released a number of singles including a re-mixed version of Bo Diddley's Mona which had previously been recorded by Plain Sailing. The version was described as 'definitive' by Melody Maker. Martyn Ford produced another single, The Message Is Clear, at Chas Chandler's Portland Studios in London.
Dave also took on session work whenever it was around and in 1983 ended up playing with London-based rhythm and blues band The Pretty Things for a couple of years. The band were not the mighty band they had been in the late 1960s, and performed sporadically during that period. They did however record a live album in 1984 entitled Live at Heartbreak Hotel which included Dave on bass guitar.
On the band of his rhythm and blues experienced with the Pretty Things, in 1988 Dave was invited to join the ever-changing line-up of Stan Webb's Chicken Shack. He remained part of the band until 1990, and was the bass layer on the band's live album Simply Live recorded in Hamburg, Germany entitled but I have confirmation whether Dave was on that recording and released in 1989.
And after all that, Dave was invited to join The Wurzels. One of his first jobs was the live recording which became 'Mendip Magic'. He also appears on the 'The Wurzels Live' album. He left The Wurzels in November 2002.
On July 12th 2022 Dave sadly passed away at his home in Ireland following a fight with cancer. He had "retired" to Donegal in Ireland where he made a lasting impression playing with many local bands and acts, while still maintaining a healthy professional touring schedule as and when he felt like it. His last tour was in 2019 with the Eric Bell Trio (founder of Thin Lizzy), the 2020 tour being cancelled due to the pandemic. He never forgot his roots in the Forest of Dean and his friendship with the late Wurzels' drummer John Morgan, and right to the end was in touch with his friends in the area.
Dave was given a good send off by friends and local musicians . According to his good friend Keith Sherry - "it was very much a celebration of a life well-lived and we gave it our all. His wife and kids were there beside us all. He was flanked by his bass and his acoustic guitar either side of the coffin. At one point, we checked he was definitely gone by singing 'Combine Harvester'. We waited for his customary "Oh for f***s sakes!", but there was none forthcoming."
That sums it all up really! Cheers Dave.
The local papers reported his death:
WINTOUR – The death has taken place of Dave Wintour, Drumnacross, Kilraine and formerly of Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, very peacefully at home, surrounded by his loving family on July 12th, 2022. Beloved husband of Joan and dear father of Clemmie and Matt. Sadly missed by his loving family, sister Julie Gurney, and brother-in-law Edwin, mother-in-law Angie, grandchildren Harry, Joseph, Jasmine, Tom, Harry. Also greatly missed by Deirdre, Michael, Audrey, Hugh, Mathew, Sally and all the children and extended family and friends so proud to have known him.
Reposing at Shovlin’s Funeral Home, Sandfield, Ardara this evening, Wednesday from 7 pm to 9 pm. Funeral from there on Thursday afternoon at 12.30 pm to Lakelands Crematorium, Co. Cavan for Cremation service at 3.30 pm.
Dave Wintour's recorded works include: