THE Dave Clark FIVE rocker DENIS PAYTON has died after a long illness. He was 63. Multi-talented Payton, who played the saxophone, guitar and harmonica, passed away yesterday (17DEC06). His band was credited with paving the way for fellow British group THE Beatles' success in America, after staging a hit US tour in the 1960s. The OVER AND OVER hitmakers were remembered earlier this year (OCT06) with a nomination for induction into the 2007 American Rock 'n' Roll Hall Of Fame. DAVE CLARK, one of the band's founding members, paid tribute to his longtime pal, saying, "He had an amazing philosophy on life and will be greatly missed by me and all who knew him. "Denis was extremely brave and not afraid of death." Payton is survived by LINDSAY, his partner of 16 years, his two sons from his first marriage and two stepsons. The Dave Clark Five broke up in the 1970s after garnering record sales of more than 100 million.