Farewell to ‘Dazza’: nice guy – and a cult guitar hero
Darrell Bath lived in Swiss Cottage for 15 years
07 October, 2021 — By Mike Baess
Darrell Bath with Ian Hunter
ESTEEMED glam and punk rock guitarist Darrell Bath has died at the age of 54.
To all those that met him, Darrell, who lived for 15 years in Swiss Cottage, was one of the nicest and most modest guys in rock’n’roll and had an incredible CV.
He had played with artistes like The Dogs D’Amour, The Vibrators, The Godfathers, Nikki Sudden, Die Toten Hosen, The Crybabys and most famous of all, Ian Hunter from Mott The Hoople.
He was a great and extremely versatile self-taught guitarist who could easily switch from classic rock’n’roll to punk, country, blues and even jazz styles.
Dazza, as he was known to his mates, moved to Fellows Road in the late 80s, and was a familiar face on the Camden music scene, making many friends in pubs like The Washington and The Steeles, regaling them with his expert knowledge of rock and roll, especially his favourite bands and artistes like The Rolling Stones, Faces, Mott The Hoople, Bob Dylan and Johnny Thunders.
He had already become a cult hero in bluesy glam rockers Dogs D’amour, playing on their hit album More Unchartered Heights Of Disgrace and had made a name for himself as an up and coming songwriter and ace guitarist for hire.
That pulled him into the orbit of Mr Hunter, whom Dogs D’amour had supported, and in 1994 Darrell became the songwriting/guitarist foil the ex-Mott leader was seeking after the death of Mick Ronson, working together for the next six years and playing a memorable show at London’s Astoria in 2001.
The amount of rock’n’roll legends that Darrell knew was staggering and he’d often hook up with fellow Camden residents such as Patti Palladin and Chris Wilson of the Flamin’ Groovies.
Darrell Bath in action
On another occasion he was backstage at a concert when Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood dropped in. Everyone was then invited back to a hotel and Dazza got to jam with one of his heroes. That was the kind of world he inhabited.
One of his projects in the early 2000s was the wittily named To Bob – a Dylan tribute act that he could either shape as a acoustic duo or as an electric band.
Around 10 years ago he moved to Brighton with his girlfriend Svenja and continued to blaze a trail, playing with punk legends The Vibrators and often touring the United States and Germany. He had a following right across the world.
The last word goes to Ian Hunter and a great tribute it is too – “Darrell Bath was a fine guitarist and a walking lyric,” he said. “I’ve always loved ‘characters’ in the bands I’ve been in. I never liked the ‘muso’ atmosphere – much preferred camaraderie. I think that’s what’s kept me touring for so long – and, of course, character-wise – Darrell was right up there!
“If the Stones had ever lost Keef – Darrell would have fitted like a glove. My condolences to his loved ones.”