Author Topic: Poor old Dinky Diamond :-(  (Read 638 times)

Rizla

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Poor old Dinky Diamond :-(
« on: October 03, 2020, 11:37:04 PM »
Sparks drummer, whose wikipedia entry just drips with pathos. Who could have written it? 
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Diamond had enjoyed being a member of a high-profile band, and would sit in the office at Island Records, answering the telephones and reading paperwork.
Aww, Dinky mate.
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Diamond's departure from Sparks affected him badly, but he went on to appear with a number of bands, including (from 1980) the Sparks spin-off The Four Squares. Despite the name, the band actually had five members: Diamond on drums, Sparks' former manager John Hewlett on vocals, former Sparks guitarist Trevor White on bass, and two guitarists - Adrian Fisher plus Chuck "Bob Davies" Wagon (also of The Dickies) who shot himself before the band's main recording session at Bearsville Studios were complete.
Now what the fuck was this? John Hewlett deciding he wanted to be a pop star again? Hewlett also managed (and produced) The Dickies, who subsequently had nothing good to say about him. But what, he took their most talented (or least skaggy?) member Chuck Wagon for his own band? I knew about Wagon's suicide (I was a huge Dickies fan as a teen and he was always a fascinating character to me, reputedly a musical genius of sorts) but never heard of this project before.

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When The Four Squares failed Diamond gradually drifted out of music and after a series of jobs, in 1998 he and his partner of 21 years Jane Gant moved into a small terraced house in Sandhurst in Berkshire where he was troubled by a noisy neighbour and her partner for five years who slept all day and played loud music all night and who argued loudly in the street. At the same time Diamond had recently left a job he enjoyed and taken one which he hated, working for an internet gardening company. When the police and local housing association did not take action against the neighbour despite numerous complaints, Diamond got drunk and hanged himself from the loft ceiling in his home on 10 September 2004, though news of his death was only made widely known five months later when the verdict of suicide was confirmed at inquest. A heavy drinker, he had more than four times the legal driving limit of alcohol in his blood. The neighbour, Lisa Norman (then aged 27), told the Daily Mail, "I can't believe I'm being blamed." Her partner said, "He [Mr Diamond] had a history of alcohol abuse, and all the blame is being concentrated on my partner. She is distraught."

Jesus Christ, Dinky. What the fuck. What the fuck.

A fact that's not mentioned in the wiki article, somewhat surprisingly, is that he auditioned for but narrowly missed the gig as Split Enz drummer in 1976, after Emlyn Crowther was given the boot. It was put to a vote and Malcolm Green won by 3 votes to 2. Can't help but feel that might have saved his life.



Re: Poor old Dinky Diamond :-(
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2020, 11:39:33 AM »
I find that whole ‘transatlantic quirky power pop’ 1966 - around 81 family tree that takes in Johns Children, Jook, Sparks, Jet, The Quick, Radio Stars and The Dickies (as well as many others) utterly fascinating. Definitely book worthy.

I’m a huge Dickies fan and the fact that their bread and butter for the last 30 odd years has been playing the Banana Splits song to aging skinheads at punk revival shows tends to obscure how outre and fruity their origins are. Chuck Wagon may have been their Brian Jones but I find lead vocalist Leonard Graves Phillips an utterly fascinating character, a genuinely comedic ally talented frontman, a Stanshall esque performative absurdist and a hell of a power pop (not punk in anyway) songwriter. On the downside he’s  also a huge right winger and I’m never sure how serious the satanism stuff is (he was pals with Anton LaVey) but I like to focus on his good qualities which are have been hidden to most because of the context of where he makes his income.

The Four Squares are a fascinating barely was supergroup that kind of summed up that whole family tree as they were  made up of members of Johns Children, Sparks and The Dickies. AFAIK theh released one 7 inch , the B side of which ‘The Debt’  was re written pretty blantantly 10 plus years later as The Dickies ‘Zeppelina’ , with only a token credit to Davis and none to the other members. Compare and contrast:

https://youtu.be/EEYGrj89JF0

https://youtu.be/hvzDGpH39Xc

Re: Poor old Dinky Diamond :-(
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2020, 11:58:26 AM »
I always felt it was a shame that Sparks didn’t get Dinky back for the complete Kimono album show they did for Morrisseys Meltdown (no not that one) a few months before he died in 2004. Adrian Fisher was already deceased by that point, and it’s well documented that they burnt their bridges with Martin Gordon, but you know Dinky would’ve loved to do it.

Re: Poor old Dinky Diamond :-(
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2020, 08:40:15 PM »
I always felt it was a shame that Sparks didn’t get Dinky back for the complete Kimono album show they did for Morrisseys Meltdown (no not that one) a few months before he died in 2004. Adrian Fisher was already deceased by that point, and it’s well documented that they burnt their bridges with Martin Gordon, but you know Dinky would’ve loved to do it.
Unfortunately not Ron and Russell's style, but the fans would've loved to have seen that.

Dinky was fantastic but what a miserable story. He was in Sparks' 2nd ever backing band and their 1st since relocating to England, so he probably had no idea they'd all get the boot within 24 months. If you play with Sparks nowadays, you probably assume it's not a longterm thing.

Re: Poor old Dinky Diamond :-(
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2020, 08:56:54 PM »
Dinky Diamond works wonders apparently

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