Dave Wintour obituary

My friend Dave Wintour, who has died aged 77 of cancer, was one of the most sought-after bass session performers from the 1960s onwards, playing with a formidable list of artists in the world of rock and popular music.

Many artists benefited from Dave’s deft touch on the bass, including Dusty Springfield, Clifford T Ward, Chicken Shack, Rick Wakeman and Leo Sayer. He played bass on Roger Daltrey’s 1975 solo album Ride a Rock Horse and on the Who’s original 1969 Tommy album.

Dave toured with Neil Sedaka and is featured on the 1974 album Live at the Royal Festival Hall with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. In 1975 he played on the Stealers Wheel LP Right or Wrong. Then in 1995 Dave became a Wurzel for seven years.

Dave was born in Lydney, Gloucestershire, in the Forest of Dean, the son of Edith (nee Phipps), a school secretary, and Jack Wintour, a miner, and later a market gardener. He grew up in the Forest with his sister, Julie, attending Bream infant and junior school and Lydney grammar school.

As a young man he got a job in a music shop in Gloucester and joined a band, the Chas Kingsley Combo. His talent was spotted and he was asked to be a session musician at the Dolphin nightclub in Gloucester. From there his music career took off. His friend Fiachra Trench remembers playing with Dave at the Empire Ballroom in Leicester Square for tea dances as the Johnny Joseph Band when the revolving stage stuck and revolved around to the front of house and back, over and over again. They did manage to play through their laughter.

In 1986 Dave met Joan Stafford; they married soon afterwards, their daughter Clemmie was born, and they settled back in the Forest of Dean.

When Dave “retired” from the Wurzels in 2003, the family moved to Donegal, Ireland. With the music scene there so vibrant, Dave was never short of musicians to play with. His last tour was in 2019 with the Eric Bell Trio – I saw him as the tour passed through Abergavenny and, modest as ever, he asked if it was a good gig. He was magnificent.

Dave was funny and could be a naughty devil at times, with a twinkle in his eye, but a more gentle, kind and generous man you could never meet.

He is survived by Joan and Clemmie, by his son, Matthew, from his earlier marriage, to Meg, which ended in divorce, and two grandsons, Harry and Joseph, and by his sister, Julie, and stepson, Matthew.