Former Survivor frontman Dave Bickler has moved to clarify his departure from the band, saying he was “pushed out.”
He parted ways with the group last week, stating there was “no longer a place” for him in the band.
He was originally with the group from 1978-1983 and sang on Eye Of The Tiger. He was brought back into the fold in 1993 and stayed until he was fired in 2000 and replaced by Jimi Jamison. He rejoined the Chicago outfit in 2013 with the band stating their intention to carry both Bickler and Jamison.
But following Jamison’s death in 2014 from a heart attack, the band recruited Cameron Barton – and Bickler says, recently, he wasn’t invited to take part in rehearsals or the group’s live shows.
He exclusively tells TeamRock: “It was quite a shock when Jimi passed away. It was such a unique thing. I swore I would never go back but I got a call from guitarist Frankie Sullivan and he said, ‘Would you like to come and sing with Jimi?’
“I leapt at that because I was a good friend of Jimi’s. It was so sad, I didn’t realise how bad his health was. Nothing really happened for a long time but Frankie said he still wanted it to be two singers and he was trying to find somebody – not to replace Jimi, but find someone to take his place.”
Bickler reports the search went on for a number of months and once Barton was onboard, the band headed to Nashville for rehearsals. And that’s when he sensed all wasn’t well within the lineup.
The singer continues: “It was kinda strange for me because I didn’t really know Cameron Barton. And after that it got stranger. I got the feeling they didn’t want me but that they didn’t want to say it – they wanted me to say it. They wanted me to withdraw, as Frankie put it. So I said no. Then I turned the conversation over to management.
“They told me it wasn’t something they wanted to do but they didn’t want to actually say that I was fired.
“I had one more conversation with Frankie, meanwhile there’s no mention of rehearsals, no mention of the shows – I was not invited. So it’s kinda hard to come to any other conclusion than that I’m being pushed out. I don’t know what other conclusion to come to.
“Frankie basically wanted to make it my idea and it never was. That’s how it ended up. It was very disingenuous – I think it was an attempt to make it look better for the fans.”
Bickler is now working on a solo album – something he says was put on the back burner while he concentrated on Survivor. And although he’s out of the band, he wishes them well for the future.
He adds: “With no disrespect to Survivor fans, but I’m ready to move on – and I also wish those guys the best of luck. I’ve got friends over there and I want them to move on too.”