1947 – 2011
Often the unsung heroes of many a rock gig (or the object of anger when it goes wrong) the mixer desk soundmen rarely get a mention. One of them, Davy Kirkwood, died in October 20111 after complications following surgery.
David’s long career behind the desk saw him work with dozens of bands, including The Rolling Stones, Supertramp, Stevie Wonder, Electric Light Orchestra, Dio, Men at Work, Air Supply, Leo Sayer, Zucchero, Ozzy Osbourne, Motley Crue, Warrant, Cinderella, Daryl Hall and John Oates, the Babys, Jackson Brown, Joss Stone and Rihanna. He had been in the trade since the late 1970s.
What brings us to mention Davy are the tours he did with Deep Purple, Rainbow and Whitesnake. Some years back, Davy was in touch regarding some soundboard cassettes he’d made of a number of bands, including Deep Purple and Rainbow.
A busy guy – he was working with Cinderella during 2011 – and based in America made negotiating difficult but during 2011 progress had been made towards coming to an agreement over the material. Of particular interest were cassettes he’d taped off the desk during 1976 on Deep Purple’s American and UK shows, including he thought their final gig at Liverpool.
It’s a real shame nothing came of this while he was alive but his estate are now going through the boxes more thoroughly to see what is there.
David Perry Kirkwood was born in Glasgow in 1947 and worked as a telephone engineer before starting a music career as the singer in a band called The Beings. He became an audio engineer not long after, working with fellow Scots the Average White Band and Marmalade. From there he went on to work with dozens of household names.
Daryl Hall has said: “I only knew Davy briefly, but I have to say from the crowd reaction, he was the best front-of-house man I ever had. What a great guy.” Joey Allen of Warrant added, “For the past 20-plus years I have had the sincere pleasure of having Davy as a dear friend. His wit, kind demeanor, life knowledge and ability to mix any type of music were equal to no one I have ever met in my life.”
Thanks to David Tedds.