Gates of Heaven

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Publication: Syracuse New Times
Author: Corbett, Kevin
Date published: March 17, 2010

Country music veteran David Gates died suddenly on March 7, after four decades on stage in several popular Syracuse bands. Gates' solid bass guitar skills kept him working, while the bearded picker's warmth and affable nature made him a winner with audiences. Gates, 60, was a member of the Southern Comfort Band at the time of his death.

"Dave was a great player and singer," said Southern Comfort guitarist Eric Will, who played alongside Gates with Little Joe and the Memphis Beat in the 1970s and the Jessie Derringer Show in the 1980s. "He was the original bassist in Southern Comfort. He had a nice disposition, was good natured and outgoing. He never had a bad word to say about anybody."

Gates frequently laughed off the coincidence that he shared his name with the lead singer of the 1970s pop band Bread. Gates' wife and two sons encourage fans and friends to make a charitable contribution in his memory.

-Kevin Corbett

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