Dave Ball is part of a family related with music. His brothers Pete and Denny also played in several 60s groups (you can check my pages on Denny Ball). Dave was born in Handsworth, Birmingham (UK), on March 30, 1950.


The first band I know with Dave is The Deadbeats; with his brothers Pete & Denny. They played together from 1963 to 1965.

Pete Ball (lead guitar)
Dave Ball (rhythm guitar)
Denny Ball (bass)
Pete Donohoe (drums)


This band was from Birmingham, but they played a lot in Germany. Don't know the members, apart from Pete Ball. Help, please!


Dave and Denny joined again in a blues band called Chicago Hush. This was 1967.

Dave Ball (guitar)
Mo Willetts (vocals)
Denny Ball (bass)
Paul Willetts (drums)
+ a keyboardist
(Chicago Hush, 1967)
(Left to right: Paul Willetts, Denny Ball, Mo Willetts, Dave Ball & keyboard player)
(click here for a bigger image, 60 Kbs.)

After returning from “exile” in Germany, Denny found his brother was playing John Mayall type blues, and sounding like a cross between Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton. Denny joined Chicago Hush and started to experiment with a different style of bass playing.

By popular consent Dave and Denny left the band on April 1st 1968.


This was the rehearsal band for things to come.

Dave Ball (lead guitar)
Denny Ball (bass)
Cozy Powell (drums)
This is how it happened: The Ball brothers were all in Germany, in different bands. Dave was in “The Madding Crowd” in the north, and Pete was in “The Sorcerors” (watch Cozy Powell biography page) playing the same circuit as Denny in “The Mayfair Set”. Denny first met Cozy Powell on stage at a Sorcerors gig in Frankfurt. A jam session ensued, and a musical relationship was born. It was Pete Ball who had met up with Cozy Powell in Germany in 1967, and hired him to play in the Sorcerors. This band spent some time in Germany and then went to Turkey playing USAF bases before going back to England. When Cozy and Pete returned, Cozy stayed at the Ball household, and lived with the family on and off for the next three years. The Sorcerors changed their name to Young Blood, and signed a record deal with Pye records. They released several singles (Denny wrote some songs with them). And that close friendship gave birth to Ideal Milk.

There are some early recordings by this trio including a BBC session, and some rehearsal tapes of the music which later formed the basis of the Bedlam album.


This was the merge of “Ideal Milk” with the ex Move star Ace Kefford.

Ace Kefford (vocals)
Dave Ball (guitar)
Denny Ball (bass)
Cozy Powell (drums)
Cozy handed his notice in to Youngblood. An interesting situation in which the Ball brothers and Cozy were all sharing the same house. Cozy was quitting Pete Ball’s band to join forces with the other Ball brothers. Fortunately, Pete Ball was very philosophical about the whole thing, and realised that Cozy was heading for a different style of playing, and that he was much more interested in a rock band.

The Ace Kefford Stand started rehearsals on September 2nd 1968. The first gig by this band was at the Belfry (home of the famous golf club) on September 21st 1968. Amongst the sell out crowd were members of The Move. Robert Plant and John Bonham also gave their support.

The Stand played some college and university gigs as they waited to secure a record deal which finally came from Atlantic Records.

From early recording sessions at Polydor in London, they released a single, 'For your love / Gravy booby jamm' (Atlantic, Apr 69), being the A-side a cover of The Yardbirds. This song can also be found in 'The perfumed garden, vol.2' sampler compilation.

A second single called “This World’s an Apple” (Oct 69, Atlantic) was released under the name of “Big Bertha featuring Ace Kefford” This was after the band had split up. This record is now a rare collector’s item!

In mid 69, Ace Kefford quits, and the rest formed a new band, Big Bertha. But meanwhile, Cozy Powell tried to form a power trio with Clem Clempson (watch their own pages).


This was to be next band for Dave. But I can't find more info about his stay there.


In October 1969, Big Bertha emerges:

Pete French (vocals)
Dave Ball (guitar)
Denny Ball (bass)
Pete Ball (keyboards)
Cozy Powell (drums)
Sometime later, the singer changes:
Dave McTavish (vocals)
Dave Ball (guitar)
Denny Ball (bass)
Pete Ball (keyboards)
Cozy Powell (drums)
The band signed to United Artists and recorded four tracks. “Munich City” was released in Germany and sold well. But after weeks of inactivity, and just a handful of gigs, Cozy was approached by Jeff Beck’s management company to meet with the legendary guitarist in London.

As we can read in my Denny or Cozy pages, they went for a while with Jeff Beck. But Denny soon returned to Big Bertha. Denny returned to the fold to try with his two brothers to salvage Big Bertha. They auditioned a new drummer. and set about replacing David Mactavish who quit when Cozy left.

After several days of auditions, two of the most unlikely people turned up at the house.

Frank Aiello (vocals)
Maria Popkievitch (vocals)
Dave Ball (guitar)
Pete Ball (keyboards)
Denny Ball (bass)
+ a drummer
The new band was created, and with the new singers a whole new approach had to be made to the material. Denny wrote several new songs. Often sitting in a corner of the A&R department of the record company, or in the demo studio of the publishing department scribbling lyrics. The band were given a record producer Dick James and a rehearsal studio in which to come up with the right formula.

United Artists continued to make use of their signings through sessions and other appearances:

In January 1971, a promoter in Germany wanted to book the now defunct Big Bertha. United Artists agreed to limited funding for the band to go over and perform.
Dave Ball (guitar, vocals)
Denny Ball (bass, vocals)
Cozy Powell (drums)
A series of gigs in north Germany were put together and at last the band who called themselves Ideal Milk went on the road as a trio. Denny and Dave somehow managed the vocals over a thunderous Cream/Hendrix type of music full of solos and awesome power.

During the tour a live recording was made. The tapes are very interesting! WATCH THIS SPACE!

At the end of the tour, the trio vowed to reform ‘at some juncture’ and ‘do it properly’.

Cozy Powell went back to the Jeff Beck Group, Denny went to Long John Baldry Group, and Dave Ball joined superb band...


One of my favourite bands, I must admit. If someone cares to check how many of their musicians are in my Olympus...

Dave Ball comes to the band in August 1971, replacing Robin Trower.

Gary Brooker (vocals, piano)
Dave Ball (guitar)
Alan Cartwright (bass)
Chris Copping (organ)
B.J. Wilson (drums)
Keith Reid (lyricist)
They only released a live album Live in concert with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, a very beautiful album, with the company of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and the Da Carmera Singers. It was recorded on November 18th, 1971 at the Jubilee Auditorium, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. A single from that album hit the charts, 'Conquistador', with a superb solo by Dave.

In September 1972, Dave leaves the band, having recorded the tracks for next album, Grand hotel (Mar 1973, Chrysalis), being replaced by Mick Grabham. It's uncertain if some of the tracks in the album are really recorded with Dave.


Dave and Denny together again! When Bob Kulick leaves this band (later to join Meatloaf). Dave Ball joins here in September 1972.

Long John Baldry (vocals)
Elaine and Marsha (vocals)
Dave Ball (guitar)
Denny Ball (bass)
Ian Armitt (piano)
Joe Forgionne (drums)
The band play a few UK dates, and the Good to be Alive album is recorded. With some great guests: Lesley Duncan (vocals), Sue Glover (vocals), Liza Strike (vocals), Kay Garner (vocals), Sam Mitchell (guitar), Andy Bown (keyboards), Jimmy Horowitz (keyboards), John Mealing (keyboards), Terry Cox (drums) and Tony Newman (drums).

But there was another great reunion to come soon!


November 1972 and the core of Big Bertha/Ideal Milk reunites to form the ultimate band. Originally called The Beast, they changed the name to avoid confusion with another band in the States.

Frank Aiello (vocals)
Dave Ball (guitar)
Denny Ball (bass)
Cozy Powell (drums)
(Bedlam scans courtesy of Alex Gitlin)

They released a self titled album, Bedlam. With help from old Cozy mate, Max Middleton (keyboards). Produced by the late Felix Pappalardi (Cream's producer, and bassist in Mountain), who also played keyboards. They also released a single, 'I believe in you / Whiskey and wine' (1973, Chrysalis).

There are also some sessions of unreleased material which were scheduled for Bedlam II, but unfortunately, that never happened, as they split in April 74. (Please, someone should release this album!!!!!!)

There is also a CD of Bedlam from a live radio show recorded in 1974 when they were on tour with Black Sabbath. If someone has a copy of it, PLEASE write me an email message!
After Bedlam's separation, Dave seems to abandon music business. And I don't know more details about Dave Ball musical career. Can anybody help me, please?


Lately, I've read he played in Australia with a singer called Duffo. Can anyone confirm me this point?

And now? 

Pete has become a computer technician, and he has been living all around the world. But he still plays for fun.


Press here to read about Dave Ball sessions

Related links: From the always interesting Alex's Picks (by Alex Gitlin), we have:
From the superb site Knights in Blue Denim: The British Blues Scene '68 - '70 (by Christer Fridhammar & Vanja), we have:

Musicians mentioned in this page that I have projected to cover in my site someday: And short tributes to:

Family tree

Coming soon (I hope so!).

Thanks section

Very special thanks to: Dave Ball, for his help and kindness.

Special thanks to: Roland Clare, for help and support.

Thanks to: Alex Gitlin, as always, for many things.


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Page created by Miguel Terol on: 01/April/1999. Last modified on: 01/April/1999.