David Kerman (born August 24, 1959), better known as Dave Kerman, is a United Statesexperimental rock drummer and composer, best known as the founder and member of the Los Angelesavant-rockgroup5uu’s. He is also a member of the Belgianprogressive rock band Present and the Israeliavant-rock band Ahvak. Kerman has been a member of the United States bands U Totem and Thinking Plague, and the Dutch band Blast. He has collaborated with several musicians, including Bob Drake, Chris Cutler and Fred Frith.
Kerman lived in Israel between 2000 and 2003 and holds dual American and Israeli citizenship. He established RēR USA in 2003, the North American distributor of the Britishindependent record label, Recommended Records, and RēR USA’s own record label, AD Hoc Records in 2006.
Dave Kerman was born in Torrance, California, south of Los Angeles. At the age of six he started playing with the drum sticks, and at nine he auditioned for a percussionist in his school band. In spite of failing the audition, Grateful Dead keyboardist Keith Godchaux, family friend and neighbor, recognised potential in Kerman and suggested to Kerman’s parents that they buy him a set of drums. Kerman’s first public performance was at the age of 10 with a band of his that he had entered in a local talent contest.
In high school, Kerman formed a garage band with guitarist Greg Conway and bassist Jon Beck. They began as a cover band playing a mixture of Deep Purple, King Crimson and Lynyrd Skynyrd songs but soon switched to experimenting with noise music. Kerman also modified his drum kit to extend its capabilities, including adding telescoping metal tubing that changed pitch (made from old fire extinguishers), and stringing the bass drum shell with heavy-gauge strings that produced an un-tuned zither sound. He also started using a variety of objects to strike his drum kit with, including kitchen utensils, golf clubs and Barbie dolls.
In 1976 Kerman’s band named themselves “Farmer Fred Genuflects to A-440” and played at a Greenpeace Festival in San Diego, California. While their performance did not go down very well, one concert goer recognised potential and suggested they listen to Henry Cow and Faust. These new influences prompted Kerman to begin exploring new compositional techniques and he started writing experimental songs for his band. Even though Kerman was a drummer, he taught himself guitar and keyboards to compose on.
After finishing school, Kerman attended California State University, Dominguez Hills where he studied electronic and contemporary music under professors Marshall Bialosky and David Champion. At the time he also studied audio engineering at the Sound-Master Institute with Brian Ingoldsby.
By the early 1980s Kerman’s band was playing progressive rock and took on the name 5uu’s. They began recording their first album in 1984 and went on to make five more albums, an EP and a single. 5uu’s were also regularly featured on Recommended Records‘ Quarterly Magazine installments, with specially commissioned pieces, which were available nowhere else.The band toured 25 cities in Western Europe and 14 cities in Eastern Europe during 1995. The 5uu’s has been Kerman’s principal band, for which he is best known. He composed most of the music for this group.