Sunday Morning, April 13, 2008, Ted Nugent´s drummer/producer, Cliff Davies, passed away in Dallas, Georgia. He was 59 years old.
Cliff was best known as the drummer and producer for Ted Nugent in the 1970´s and early 1980´s when Ted was at his peak. This wasn´t a surprise. As those closest to him know, and Ted himself admitted many times during that period, Cliff is the man responsible for making Ted Nugent a household name.
Originally brought in to produce Ted by Lew Futterman in 1975 and eventually, taking over duties behind the drums. his contributions to Ted Nugent´s career cannot be ignored. He was an Unknown Hero of Rock a man who did his job but is often overlooked beyond being a name on an album jacket. However, beyond just his production credits, for example, there are many little known pieces of trivia, Cliff was the voice on the studio version of the song Stormtroopin. Derek St. Holmes who always sung the song live, didn´t particularly like the song and so Cliff stepped in to provide the studio vocal. He also co-wrote and/or arranged all of Ted Nugent´s biggest hits though given little or no credit. He didn´t need that. That was the way he was. The ultimate team player. For example, the "Bolero" section of Stranglehold was created by Cliff. He also co-wrote the song "Together" with Rob Grange from Free-For-All. Again, all of this behind the scenes and never was there any complaints about who should get credit.
After leaving Ted Nugent in the early 1980´s, Cliff spent time working as a producer for various projects including the final Grand Funk album, "What´s Funk". Eventually, however, he walked away from the industry.
In recent years, Cliff lived in the Atlanta, Georgia area. In 2005, after a brief reunion with former bandmates Rob Grange and Derek St. Holmes, he began work on the development of the Rock and Roll Remembers Foundation, a charity close to his heart. The foundation, in Cliff´s words, was a long time in coming as there was a need that needed to be filled. And so Rock and Roll Remembers was created specifically targeting those within the rock and roll industry. It´s mission was and is to aid and assist those within the rock and roll community who fall on hard times. Even though he was not financially secure himself, he generously donated his time to help this cause, something that will never be forgotten by those whom we are able to help in the future. That was the way Cliff lived. He always had time for others. His work will not be for naught and the foundation will move forward in the hopes of being able to truly help those in need the way Cliff wanted. However, there is a giant void that may never be filled.
His final production credit and recorded appearances were all to benefit Rock and Roll Remembers. As a member of the Unknown Heroes of Rock, Cliff produced a studio EP featuring himself on drums and an assortment of friends lending a hand to help raise money for the foundation. It is currently available exclusively through the foundation. (If you would like a copy, please contact Rock and Roll Remembers.) He also made his final public appearance at a benefit concert on April 5, 2008 in Fresno, California as part of the Unknown Heroes.
For those who would like to express their thoughts they may do so through the Rock and Roll Remembers Website, www.rockandrollremembers.org or via email at RRRemembers@aol.com..
Melodic Net Comments
Ted Sucks DIck
Ted Nugent is a draft dodging piece of shite
Thanks for not even throwing a friend a bone, Nugent.
.....people hate Teds lippy mouth....he played Hard Rock Music in Detroit....what do you expect him to act like-?
Look on the Ted Nugent album released in 1975 and it say "all selections written and arranged by Ted Nugent except "Hey Baby" which was written and arranged by Dereck St.Holmes. Nugent is the most egotistical musician I have ever witnessed. What an ass.
ALWAYS LIKED TED OLD BAND OF THE 1970s & EARLY 1980s. ESPECIALLY CLIFF, HE WAS NOT THE BEST DRUMMER THEN, BUT HE WAS PERFECT FOR TEDs STYLE OF MUSIC. MY FRIEND TOLD ME CLIFF PASSED, AT FIRST I DID NOT BELIEVE IT, THEN SEARCHED HIM ON THE COMPUTER, WAS SHOCKED TO HEAR IT REALLY HAPPENED, GUNSHOT TO THE HEAD. WELL, HE WILL BE MISSED FOR YEARS TO COME.
Cliff Davies was to me the churning powerhouse that drove Double Live Gonzo and the epitome of the true rock drummer
with funk and soul. Ted's calling "Mistah drummah ,drummah c'mon,cmon' owwww, owww" with Cliff and the bass guitar just pumpin" in the background still makes my spine tingle. Touches my heart to see He was loved by those who knew Him personally as well.
I just found out today that we had lost Cliff. I'm almost too upset to
write, but I care too much to be silent. Cliff was my best friend in the
Central Michigan days. A fine musician, of course, but even more important
was his warm heart, his generous spirit, and his dry sense of humor.
Cliff gave so much to so many people, (and his cats, Leonardo and Amelia)
it's hard to have him gone from this earth. I wish i had kept contact with
him in recent years; I wish I had known enough to help. He talked about
some of you to me and I know you were important to him. I hope he had
people nearby who loved him.
As the third anniversary of Cliff Davies' untimely passing grows near, I am able to reflect on the good times we had with him back in Kalamazoo and Luther in the late 1980's. I am thankful for the time I spent with his family in Aldershot and grateful for the friendship we enjoyed. We lost track of Cliff when he moved to New York... and he lost track of us.
I would not be surprised by the lack of comment on any of Mr. Nugent's marketing in regards to Cliff's death. I was at the final meeting in which Ted put the screws to Cliff and Cliff walked away without royalties that rightfully belonged to him. Maybe today Ted realizes how much he really owes this man. The mark of a gentleman and scholar showed in Cliff during those times as he handled it like a gentleman. I've seen other writings in which Cliff offered advice to young musicians to do many things, including have a good attorney. THAT is what he was talking about.
I know that Cliff was an energetic, intellectual and creative force who was dignified in his demeanor and honest in his pursuits with his fellow man. He is and will continue to be missed by his friends in Michigan.
Cliff Davies.... I'm sorry we didn't have public health care in the United States. If we had, my feeling is that you would still be alive today. I wish we had known you were in trouble. We would have been there for you.
Rest in Peace dear friend. And tell your Mom I said Hi.
I loved Cliff Davies' drumming and got to seem him with the classic TN line-up at Madison Square Garden in 1977 and 1979. It pains me to realize that having been a major part of Mr. Nugent's best albums--as producer and drummer--did not mean he was financially set and had such worries about medical bills that he chose to end his life.
I will limit my comments about Mr. Nugent to the statement that I reserve my for love the albums Cliff Davies played on. It's that simple. It's about the music. Everything else is hot air.
Rest in Peace, Cliff Davies.
He was my Drum teacher :'( i almost swore i would never pick up drum sticks after i found out... here's my story. when i found out he died i went into denile, and acted like nothing happened, then i went into shock, and could bearly eat and didn't sleep well, then i felt like it was my fault and i cryed myself to sleep some nights :'( i miss him soo much. RIP One of my best friends Mr. Cliff Davies. -Holly 13 Yrs old
just found this ...what a great drummer...played with such finesse...I saw him at his final show in fresno on 4/5/08 with starz,mark farner,Ian lloyd and stories...along with his group....he stood behind me for a while...I made a comment to him about nugent...he seemed to ignore me...or maybe he was deaf or just does not respond about ted...most drummers just pound the crap out of their drums..but davies had a great style and was very smart about what to play and not to play....
The 1st concert I went to was March18th 1976 @ the Randhurst Ice arena (now a Home Depot) It was the tour for the 1st Solo album. That was the best show as far as the Ted Nugent band , I've seen almost every show in the Chicago area of his ,but the best were when Cliff was drumming, he had that tight ,jazzy-feel, yet straight-forward & powerful. He drove that band like no other.
I've seen Ted a few times since as a 3 piece and it's Quite weak.
Cliff will never get his due but I KNOW how important he was to that band. R,I.P. I'll never forget you.
Cliff and I were in British jazz/rock band IF together through their last two albums. We were celebrating starting our next US and Canada tour one night at the Greyhound Pub in London back in 1975, when after drinking too many beers and not eating, I became drunk and talked back to a Scottish bouncer who tried to throw me out.
Three bouncers beat me up and Cliff was the only guy in the band to come to my rescue. He took a beating also, but not as bad as mine. I ended up at the Hammersmith hospital for three days and we had to postpone the tour until I got better. Cliff and I were good friends and I miss him dearly...
Gabriel Magno (ex If and Ted Nugent and the Amboy Dukes keyboardist)
Good bye my dear friend. You truely changed my life. Thanks for the wounderful memories and great times. R.I.P. my good friend
I got to work with Cliff in the 80's. He was an insperation to me and all the people around him. He had made a real inpression on my life. Cliff was a great man to be around. He always had great stories to tell when you where sitting around bull shitting. He was lways will to share his knoledge and experience with you. Cliff will be missed by me greatly. I am sorry that it took me this long to look him back up. Till we meet again Cliff. Thank you for the experiences of a lifetime. Gary
I met and worked with Cliff in the late 60s and early 70s in France and London; a wonderful, humorous, talented guy with loads of musical ideas and a fantastic drum technique. He sang on the flip side of my one and only single, a great piece of psychedelia composed by him called "Maxwell Ferguson"! We did get in contact again in the early 90s with a couple of letters and phone calls but other stuff took over and so, when I found out online about his passing, I was - and still am - deeply shocked, but so pleased and not at all surprised that he meant so much to so many.
My son took drum lessons from Mr. Davies for several years when we lived in Paulding County. He just read about his passing and was so overwhelmed with sadness. He has wonderful memories of his time with him and will forever be grateful for the experience. When we left he was so compassionate with Isaac and even signed a cymbal to remember him by. Cliff Davies will be remembered by our family as a wonderful man in everyway!
I am old enough - and lucky enough - to have seen the REAL Ted Nugent band in '78. The band (Cliff, Derek, and Rob) made Nugent. There was a certain magic then, maybe it was the times, maybe just that night, when that magic had ripened to its peak. It left me with a certain, now nostalgic feeling that was never replicated in any other subsequent Nugent concert I attended. What a shame that TN's attitude destroyed that lineup only weeks later, though its no shock now, given his NRA poster-boy attitude.
To Ted: I hope you at least privately and warmly acknowledged Cliff's passing, because you missed your shot to re-endear fans such as me by a public acknowledgement. Instead, my perception of you has soured in the wake of your misperception of your own importance as a right-wing fanatic. Instead of evolving from a draft-dodging sissy into a public figure that slammed then-candidate Barack Obama with an immature level of vulgarity, you should have evolved into the white-bearded grandfather of rock God Intended you to be.
Cliff Davies was a great drummer. It's a shame that Ted Nugent did not publicly acknowledge his death. I never saw the original line up, but double live always made you feel like you were right there. I never heard so much energy coming out of any band. There will never be another band like Ted Nugent's in the 70's. Cliff was a huge contributer. Cliff RIP.
Cliff taught my young daughter to play drums. She has an autographed picture of him over her kit. What a humble genius.
Marie Perry Wright
I just saw the news....it broke my heart..Cliff was the most amazing drummer and such a good guy. We "were in love" in 1966... I remember such good times in Paris...where are all the Memos Four today?
I feel such sadness....
Cliff and I turned pro together in 1966/67 trekking the US Air Force bases in France and eventually playing clubs in France and Greece. I always knew as a 16 year old he was much more than the stick twiddling he wowed the crowds with.
I managed to get in touch with Cliff after nearly 40 years and we had a great chat on the phone and I really wanted to get to see him again. When I just checked the net a few months ago I sat in shock at what I had just read.
40 years was not enough to erase a friendship and I miss him.
Reading the tributes of those who knew him longer I knew he had not changed from the young lad who I walked the streets of Paris late at night after gigs. We played at Club Pierre Charron where Edith Piaf made her debut.
I still have a poster of the band and it is so sad he has passed on.
If anyone wants to get in touch email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Miss you mate.
Cliff was the first person to teach me how to play the drums when I was eight. I looked up to him as a musician and he was a great man. He will be missed.
I would cross paths with Cliff many-a-times throughout our respective careers, and as always it was a true pleasure!
Heaven has a new Drummer and one helluva good guy!
Till we meet again!
I was shocked to hear the news. Cliff and I were close friends in the 70's and 80's....We lost contact, and just met up again a few years again. I've kept him in my heart and mind all these years remembering the jam sessions and visitations in Atlanta. Cliff, I've always loved you and will miss your bright outlook and warm smile. Rest in peace. darling.
I looked at Ted's page on myspace and his own website.
I am sorry to say I didn't find a mention about Cliff.
Perhaps I missed it and there was some acknowledgment or mention of Cliff Davies and his passing.
Gosh if there ain't nothing from Ted,,
Wow, THAT is so SAD.
Found this on Cliff.
He always was one of the good guys.
I was lucky to have known Cliff, because my brother Martin played guitar and toured with him for 18 months with the band FIST. He was the consumate professional. His skills drumming were unbelievable, his touches, his fills were perfect, and all he would say was 'it's experience". He certainly had enough of that and of course it was more than that. He played with, engineered and produced the best because they wanted the best.
Such a sad loss, always positive and a compassionate man.
Sad news. I saw Cliff play live with Nugent in Shreveport many years ago.