Davy O'List is a figure out of '60s British rock who is nearly as elusive as Syd Barrett -- an ironic comparison since O'List actually played briefly in Pink Floyd at a point in their history when Barrett was starting to fade out. A guitarist and singer who also played trumpet, O'List's first gig of any note was with the Attack, a psychedelic outfit that grew out of a band called Soul System. His chance meeting with the latter group's Richard Shirman led to O'List's joining the band on lead guitar in 1966. The Attack's lineup was never truly stable, however, and in less than a year O'List was gone, recruited by Andrew Oldham for membership in the Nice, which was to have been a Booker T. the M.G.'s-type backing band for P.P. Arnold. The Nice developed a sound of their own and soon split from Arnold, with O'List handling lead guitar and the vocals on their first single. The guitarist's style and temperament, however, didn't mesh well with that of Keith Emerson, the group's flamboyant keyboard player, who had plans of his own for the Nice's sound. O'List left after the first album and the recording of a song or two that later turned up on the group's second long-player. He passed briefly through the lineup of the Misunderstood, and intersected with Pink Floyd just as that band was looking for a successor to Syd Barrett, whose personal instability due to drug use was becoming a major problem, but O'List only lasted a few gigs. He next turned up with Roxy Music for one tour, and he subsequently played on Bryan Ferry's Another Time, Another Place LP in 1974 -- another recording, a single song with O'List, ended up on Let's Stick Together, but by 1975 he'd moved on to a short-lived association with the glitter rock cult band Jet. Since then, O'List's name has mostly surfaced on reissues of the various '60s bands with which he recorded, although he did release a solo album, Flight of the Eagle, in 1997. He remains an elusive and mysterious figure on the British rock scene, some 35 years after he started out. ~ Bruce Eder, Rovi
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