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David Surkamp

David Surkamp

David Surkamp


The story of David Surkamp is mainly the story of the band Pavlov`s Dog. David Surkamp also played in the band Hi-Fi with Ian Matthews, as well as released a soloalbum in 2007: Pavlov’s Dog is a 1970s progressive rock/AOR band formed in St. Louis in 1972. Pavlov’s Dog originally comprised David Surkamp (vocals and guitar), Steve Scorfina (lead guitar), Mike Safron (drums), Rick Stockton (bass guitar), David Hamilton (keyboard), Doug Rayburn (mellotron and flute) Read more on Last.fm
The story of David Surkamp is mainly the story of the band Pavlov`s Dog. David Surkamp also played in the band Hi-Fi with Ian Matthews, as well as released a soloalbum in 2007: Pavlov’s Dog is a 1970s progressive rock/AOR band formed in St. Louis in 1972. Pavlov’s Dog originally comprised David Surkamp (vocals and guitar), Steve Scorfina (lead guitar), Mike Safron (drums), Rick Stockton (bass guitar), David Hamilton (keyboard), Doug Rayburn (mellotron and flute), and Siegfried Carver (born Richard Nadler) (various string instruments including the rare vitar, a cross between a guitar and a violin).

Carver left the band after the first album. On their second album At the Sound of the Bell (1976), Tom Nickeson was added to the line-up on guitar and he took over Hamilton’s keyboard position after the album had been recorded as Hamilton left the band. Safron was still a member of the band but did not appear on the second album, former Yes drummer Bill Bruford played as a guest musician. Safron left in the aftermath of this, partially due to his failure to receive a promised credit on the album sleeve and the band’s third album featured Kirk Sarkisian on drums. The band’s debut Pampered Menial was released in 1975.

It was briefly released on ABC Records but quickly re-issued by Columbia Records. The result was that both versions appeared in stores at nearly the same time, which may have confused the public. Their second album At the Sound of the Bell followed on Columbia in 1976. The band recorded a third album in 1977, but due to poor sales of the first two albums, Columbia refused to release it, hastening the band’s split.

The third album finally appeared as a bootleg in the 1980s, a limited edition pressed from stolen master tapes. It was released under the name The St. Louis Hounds, without Pavlov’s Dog’s name on the sleeve. The album was released legally in 2007 by German label Rockville Music, titled HAS ANYONE HERE SEEN SIGFRIED, remastered and including additional 10 bonustracks of unreleased material from the 70ies.

The German label TRC illegally bootlegged the album titled THIRD, but this does not include the bonustracks. In 1990, a reformed version of the band, with only Surkamp and Rayburn and some contribution from Scorfina from the original line-up, recorded Lost in America for US label Telectro. LOST IN AMERICA was re-released worldwide by Rockville Music in 2007, after TRC also having illegally bootlegged it in the late 90ies. Also in 2007 the solo album DANCING ON THE EDGE OF A TEACUP by Pavlov`s Dog`s lead singer DAVID SURKAMP was released by ROCKVILLE MUSIC. The band toures again annually in Europe since 2005. Among others they played the Arrow Rock Festival in Holland 2006 in front of 54000 people, as well as headlining both the Burg Herzberg Festival 2007 (12000 people) and the Woodstock Festival 2008 (5000 people).

David Surkamp’s distinctive voice has been compared to that of Geddy Lee of Rush. When the band split up in the late 1970s, Surkamp was rumoured to be dead, although he in fact was working with former Fairport Convention member Ian Matthews on a band named Hi-Fi. While living in Seattle the group was successful on the club scene and recorded a 5 track live 12” EP in 1981 entitled Hi-Fi Demonstration Record and a studio album in 1983 entitled Moods for Mallards. The 2 Hi-Fi releases were on First American Records and were intended for national distribution, but promotion outside the Pacific Northwest was virtually non-existent.

The label self-destructed and was later revealed to be losing large amounts of investor money on purpose as part of tax shelter scheme. Hi-Fi proved to be even more obscure than Pavlov’s Dog. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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