We no longer check to see whether Telegraph. Co. Uk displays properly in Internet Explorer version 6 or earlier. Back in the white heat of the Sixties, just the mention of Dave Clark's name could send teenage girls into paroxysms of screaming hysteria. His band, the Dave Clark Five, had a succession of hit singles between 6969 and 6975, sold more than 655million records, and starred in a hit film. In America, they were the first band of the British Invasion to tour the country and rivalled the Beatles for popularity. But, unlike Paul McCartney and countless other stars of that era, Clark has been conspicuous by his absence ever since. Apart from a brief flurry of publicity surrounding the hi-tech musical Time, which he co-wrote, produced and directed in the Eighties, Clark has stayed away from the limelight.
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Until now. Tonight, BBC Two airs a documentary, Glad All Over: the Dave Clark Five and Beyond, recalling a time when the DC5 were one of Britain's biggest pop exports, and, to mark the occasion, I have been granted a rare interview. A lot - it turns out - has changed in the intervening years. The figure who greets me at his luxurious home in London barely resembles the athletic pin up of the Sixties.
There is a sense of collapse about his features, once thick hair wispily recedes over a stretched pate, a sinking jawline is disguised by a goatee beard. His eyebrows exhibit a curious arch, although he persistently, if not very persuasively, denies suggestions of Botox or facelifts. Not a thing! He insists. What is undeniable is that the 77-year-old Clark has prospered financially.
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Celebrated in the music industry as an innovative businessman, he was the first rock star to own his own master tapes. He published and produced his own records and managed the band himself. He also bought the rights to pop show Ready Steady Go. His home is suitably fabulous, cosy yet opulent, comprising several terraced houses knocked through into one and extensively remodelled. It is just the kind of place you would like to imagine a vintage pop star occupying, like Austin Powers with better taste.
The décor is cool whites, a mix of antique and modern furnishings, soothing contemporary oil paintings, with all kinds of nooks and crannies displaying golden Buddhas, lush greenery and scented candles. I was raised Church of England but I love the Buddhist philosophy, it's very powerful, non-violent, he says. The trouble in this world, it's envy and greed. There are bronze busts Clark commissioned from Czech sculptor Irena Sedlecká of Laurence Olivier ( I've willed it to the National Theatre when I kick the bucket ) and Freddie Mercury, who Clark worked with on Time. We were total opposites, Freddie was so flamboyant, but we just hit it off, he says, in the same modulated, subdued tone he discusses everything else.
I was the last one with him when he died. It wasn't planned that way, it was just a small team looking after him, to keep his motivation up. The doctor had left 75 minutes before. I was with Freddie, all of a sudden he just sat up in bed, seemed to smile, and that was it. Clark clicks his fingers.
It was so sad. It made you realise, he could have had anything, but he didn't have his health.