Dave King & Asgard

Dave King & Asgard was a 1970's pop rock group.  Dave King & Asgard's musical repertoire ranged from covers of Dylan, Grateful Dead, Jackson Browne, Dave Mason, Hot Tuna, the Eagles, and others, through rock and blues jam sessions including original compositions by Dave King.  There were a number of 8-track tape and 2-track audio cassette recordings, a few that have recently turned up and been digitized for inclusion on this site but most were lost forever.  

Most famous for their impromptu and extended jam sessions, DK&A also recorded a number of albums but only four and a half have survived the 70s-

  • Ode to The Lonesome Cowboy featuring Dave King (studio album )

  • Lake Oswego Lady- DK&A Unhinged (studio album)

  • Dave King & Asgard- Live!!!  (live album)

  • Dave King & Asgard- Live at Haavahd (live album)

  • Dave King - Playin' With Myself (extended jam tapes)

  • Dave King - Wired (wire recordings from 1960)

DK&A only played a few professional gigs, often having to renegotiate their fees after their performance.  It may have been for this reason that the vast majority of their performances were free.  They were open to anyone who hadn't already left and wanted to join in the music.  Although never receiving the critical accolades enjoyed by other bands of the day, Dave King was immensely popular with his fans; which critics attributed to the fact that "most of his fans join him onstage, grab instruments, and start playing.  The rest are too drugged to notice how horrible the music is!" (Steve Carson, Creem Magazine, 1975)

Dave King credits major influences on his music at the time were Dave Mason, Freddie King, Grand Funk Railroad, and Norse Mythology (all of whom have a class action suit still pending against Dave King for defamation and public humiliation, including Odin, King of the Aesir).  Dave's first performance was captured on a wire recording from 1960, shortly after he completed his speech therapy; his final exam being the correct pronunciation of his speech teacher's name - Mrs. Ellenbogen.  Like many musicians, Dave began by studying classical music; playing first trumpet for the Parkman Junior High Orchestra.  His trumpet solo on Autumn Leaves at the 1967 Spring PTA Jubilee reportedly had his mother in tears (although opinions as to why differ- pride or embarrassment).  Dave gave up trumpet, and turned to the guitar, being entirely self-taught, which was blatantly obvious according to most critics.  His refusal to take music lessons or instruction were credited (blamed?) for his unique style and sound, something Dave, inexplicably, accepted as a compliment.

Asgard had a dynamic membership including, at various times, the following members (along with countless others through the years):

  • Dave King- Rhythm Guitar, Lost Guitar, Vocals, Percussion, Producer, Recording Engineer

  • Wynn Sherman, (Biff)- Rhythm Guitar, vocals

  • Doug Raskoff, (Lofaas, aka Calypso)- Rhythm Guitar, Lead Guitar, Percussion

  • Jeff Sherman (Jefe)- Vocals, Harmonica, Percussion, Tambourine

  • Rob Raznick, (RoHaas, aka Haas)- Vocals, Harmonica, Helms Doughnuts

  • Dickie DeSantis- Rhythm Guitar, Vocals

  • Gary Barton Wittow, (Angelo Fiat)- Percussion, Style

  • Jon Kissel, (the Screamer)- Screaming

  • Randy Cantor- Percussion, Vocals

  • Jerry Rosenberg- Percussion, Vocals

  • Carlan Yates, (the Loin, aka the Oak or Okie)- Harmonica

  • William Thomas Shea, (T. Willie)- Rhythm Guitar

  • Mitch Witten- Lead Guitar

  • Corey Williamson- Rhythm Guitar, Lead Guitar, and vocals

  • Pete Durgerian- Harmonica

  • Marv Wheat- Rhythm Guitar

  • Dan Roman, (Don)- Groupie, President of both the Dave King & Asgard fan club and Grand Funk Railroad Fan Club (Woodland Hills chapter)

  • Cindy Mann- Confidant

  • Mel Sherman (Lomo Kiero)- Interruptions

Dave King played Yamaki 6 and 12-string acoustic guitars in addition to his $11 1969 6-string electric St. George that he retrofitted with a $60 Gibson Humbucker pickup.  His favorite guitar was his Yamaha 6-string electric, picked up while on tour in Japan. It was fitted with one of the first wireless transmitters ever seen in the US and, in fact, many music historians credit Dave King with bringing about wireless live performance.  Rob Gershon, Rolling Stone music critic, was rumored to have said, "The only way I'd ever go to a Dave King and Asgard concert is if they played without wires or electric guitar cables!"  

Dave King's recording technique was unique; inspired by both the 1971 NASA Project Cyclops (the 1,500 array of radio telescopes to search for extra-terrestrial intelligence) as well as animal experiments in which a chimpanzee or elephant were given a paint brush and canvas and then left to create art.  Dave King would simply bring out some instruments, call some friends, start recording, and see what happened.  The idea was that he too, would create art.  Opinions still differ greatly as to whether or not that is what happened.  Dave had a style that, rather than lead guitar,  critics began to refer to as "lost guitar."  "Dave King's lead, or should I say lost, style is avant garde in quite a disturbing way.  If only he could play a scale, or even know what one was, his music might be bearable rather than embarrassing," John Greshing, Guitar Gods Magazine, vol. 4, 1974.

Only a handful of artists are credited with creating works that withstand the ages, transcend time and space, evoking emotions and touching the very center of the human soul and spirit. Some of the names that come to everyone's mind are da Vinci, Michelangelo, Beethoven, Renoir, Mozart, Van Gogh, ... sadly, Dave King did not join their ranks.  In fact, after a comprehensive listening to all the known recordings of Dave King & Asgard, music critics agree that Dave King singlehandedly ruined hundreds of potentially beautiful recordings. 

Thankfully, Dave stopped touring after a crash landing from one of his signature jumps tore both his ACLs.  World-renowned orthopedic surgeon Carlan Yates (a previous band member) told Dave he'd never play guitar again (actually he begged him not to).  

Like many musicians, Dave King went off in search of new sounds.  One of his treks landed him in Africa where he found new energy and a creative spark (thankfully not musical).  He recently published an African wildlife coffee table book from his safari- AFRICA These days Dave King is retired, living under a pseudonym in Beverly Hills, California. 

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ATTN: DK&A Fans... Please email any DK&A pix to be uploaded on the website!

Jeff and Lofaas                                                                        Biff and Dave   


                                           Dave                                              (sneaking out to avoid the fans)

Biff & Dave                                                         Fiat, The Screamer, Lofaas, and Jeff 

Asgard Studios (Woodland Hills, CA)

Dave                                                                                    Don and Haas


               Calypso                                                                     "The Screamer"

Jerry, Cindy & Lofaas                                                                   T. Willy                     



Don                                                   The Loin, rockin' it at the Harvard SAE house

Rare DK&A memorabilia, sent to the DK&A Fan Club (membership estimated in the 10's)
No, it's not a jumpsuit, but Elvis thought it was cool!


                        Mitch                                               The Loin burning down the house



Dave on tour in the South of France (the Lean Years)                                    Tom (driving the Magic Bus)                      



Carlan and Ali                                                           Dave (on an Italian train)



Lomo                                                                                 Lofaas



Dave and Tom (about to perform at Harvard Stadium after the Big Game)


Willie in front of a billboard for a Harvard musical production featuring music by Dave King & Asgard.


       The King's birthday cake


The many faces of Angelo Fiat


Dave "recharging" in Sedona                                                         Dave's vintage '69 St. George


                                         Jeff                         Dave (travelling on a French train to perform at the Eiffel Tower)



Dave (taking a break in France)                                    Rob (relaxing in a Greek club)



Rob, Cindy, Mort, Don, and Dave getting ready top play the Colosseum    





Dave (Relaxing after performing at Boston Garden)                                       Biff, Dickie, and Dave                 


                               Haas                                          Brief DK&A reunion (Biff , Haas, Dave, and Jeff)


These days Dave's listening tastes include:

Rap and Hip Hop- Dr. Dre, Fatboy Slim, People Under The Stairs, Warren G, Digable Planets, and Dilated Peoples, Massive Attack

Jazz- Bill Evans, Bill Frisell, Brad Mehldau, Miles Davis, Phineas Newborn, Jr., Pearl Django, Ginger Baker Trio, Ahmad Jamal, Stochelo Rosenberg, Angelo DeBarre & Tavalo Schmidt, and Bireli Lagrene

World- Huayuclatia, Mickey Hart, Outback, Sanjay Mishra,  Jaluka, Loreena McKinnitt, and Baka Beyond

Ambient/Electronica- Parov Stelar, Peter Chilvers, Seamus Ennis, Brian Eno, Cinematic Orchestra, Underworld, Zero 7, William Orbit, Killahertz, Marconi Union, Thievery Corporation, Bliss, and Aphex Twin

DJs - Solitone, Tetsuo, Parov Stelar

Pop (Voices)- Inara George, Priscilla Ahn

Classical - Joseph Haydn






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Dave King.
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