Dave Ambrose ~ The Man with the Golden Ear
Dave Ambrose started his musical career playing with such luminaries as Rod Stewart, Fleetwood Mac, Jeff Beck and Arthur Brown before moving into the music business itself after a short period of time working for the ICA.
Peter B’s Looners (also sometimes called Peter B’s) were formed by Pete Bardens and Mick Fleetwood in 1966, following the breakup of their previous band, the Cheynes. The original lineup, in addition to Bardens and Fleetwood, included Dave Ambrose (ex-Steampacket) on bass and Mick Parker on guitar. An instrumental outfit, they were signed to EMI’s Columbia label, but Parker had exited before they got around to recording their sole single release, “If You Wanna Be Happy” b/w “Jodrell Blues,” with guitar chores on that record were handled by Peter Green in his debut recording.
Despite the impressive names involved, Peter B’s Looners proved a transitional vehicle for all concerned and the group had split up by the end of 1966.
Shotgun Express was a short-lived British R&B band formed in London in May 1966. Although it achieved little success at the time, it is notable for having briefly included such subsequently famous musicians as Rod Stewart, Mick Fleetwood and Peter Green.
The band emerged when Peter Bardens’ instrumental group, Peter B’s Looners, which included Bardens on keyboards, Peter Green on guitar, Dave Ambrose on bass and Mick Fleetwood on drums, decided to change styles and add vocalists.
They were joined by singers Rod Stewart – previously of Steampacket – and Beryl Marsden – who had been the leading female singer on the Liverpool club scene – and took the name Shotgun Express.
The band played London clubs, and focused on performing soul classics such as “Knock On Wood”, “In The Midnight Hour”, and “Hold On, I’m Comin'”. Green left the band in late 1966 to join John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, and was replaced by, first, John Mooreshead and then Phil Sawyer. The group released their first single, “I Could Feel The Whole World Turn Round” (Columbia DB 8025), in October 1966, but it was regarded as over-orchestrated by the band’s followers and was not successful. Stewart then left to join the Jeff Beck Group at the start of 1967. The group released a second single, “Funny ‘Cos Neither Could I”, again with little success.
Shotgun Express split up in early 1967. Green joined John Mayall’s band where he hooked up with John McVie, and was later joined by Fleetwood, and together they formed Fleetwood Mac.. Marsden joined The She Trinity, Ambrose joined Brian Auger & the Trinity, Sawyer joined Spencer Davis, and Bardens later formed prog-rock band Camel.
Dave’s career is now into it’s fourth decade of success, sharing many a stage as an artist, but really made his mark whilst working for EMI Music Publishing.
His first major success was the signing of The Sex Pistols. He was subsequently appointed as A&R Director for EMI Records where his signings included Gang of Four, Radiohead, DuranDuran, Pet Shop Boys and for Publishing, AC/DC, Blondie, Kate Bush, Tom Robinson, Paul Young, Vapours, Dexy’s Midnight Runners and Kaja GooGoo while spending his free time looking after Queen, Pink Floyd and Kraftwerk.
With intervals at both MCA as Managing Director and London Records, Dave was responsible for high profile acts such as Kim Wilde, Transvision Vamp and Happy Mondays.
It was at Planet 3 records, the label he opened in 1994, where Ambrose signed, Intastella and released various dance hits with Huff and Herb. In 1995, Ambrose signed Love City Groove and formed what has become a lifelong friendship and now collaborative effort with the bands’ Founder/Producer Songwriter, Stephen ‘Beanz’ Rudden.
Dave’s experience in the music industry has proven to be invaluable to every act with whom he has ever worked. From his beginnings as a bass player (from Jeff Beck to Mick Fleetwood) through to managerial roles at London Records and EMI, Dave has consistently worked with the defining artists of a generation.