Wednesday 11 January 2023

In Memoriam: Dave Alcock

Today would have been Dave Alcock's 48th birthday. He passed away unexpectedly on January 1 - and his passing has been felt deeply by those of us that knew him and were lucky enough to play and/or record with him during his time at Sundae Sound. 

I met Dave around the time he graduated from Cochrane High School - he and a bunch of friends would show up at Parkades gigs with their infectious energy and enthusiasm. The first few times I saw Dave behind the drum kit was with Elmo's Dream, playing excellent and energetic power pop.

Somehow we talked Dave into playing with the Parkades - which he did for a short bit in 1994 (just long enough for him to record a four-track tape for the band) before heading off to London, Ontario to pursue a Diploma of Audio Engineering. When he came back to Calgary, he started working at the venerable Sundae Sound, joining the team of Rob Bartlett and Dave Horrocks. Since there was already a Dave in the house, Dave Alcock became known as Young Dave - a name which stuck.

Dave's probably best known as a drummer for his tenure with Chixdiggit; he engineered their first LP and joined the band for their next two records, touring extensively with them. Even after his time as their drummer, Dave continued to work closely with the band on their recordings.

In 2001, Dave became the owner of Sundae Sound, eventually moving the studio from its Bearspaw Road location to the former Q Sound space. Soon after that, he joined forces with Kara Keith on the very excellent Falconhawk, putting together two CDs for that project. 

In recent years, Dave had started playing with old Elmo's Dream bandmate Mark Rudd, close friend Travis Davies, and former Inferno Dave Anderson in Des Arcs; they had put out two records and had recently completed a third.

From when he started at Sundae Sound to the time when he closed up shop and went back to school in 2011 (this time to pursue a Diploma of Broadcasting Systems Tech), Dave worked with an amazing range of artists - his Discogs credits include Ian Tyson, Jann Arden, the Primrods, Mico, National Dust, Corb Lund, James Keelaghan and Oscar Lopez, the Agnostic Mountain Gospel Choir, the Corta Vita... it's hard to pick up a CD that came out of this city in the 2000's that doesn't have his name on it. Reading remembrances from those that worked with him during this time, there's one theme that keeps recurring - Dave helped musicians be their best in the studio with his quiet, insightful approach.

A Celebration of Dave’s Life will be held at Canadian Legion Branch 275 (755 - 40th Street SE, Calgary, AB) on Sunday, January 22, 2023 at 2:00 p.m. Donations in Dave's memory can be made directly to with the Centre for Suicide Prevention.

Our thoughts are with Dave's partner, Kimberly, as well as all of those who played with and loved Dave. He was a wonderful guy, and I feel lucky to have been able to play and record with him.


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