Dave Pike was born in Detroit, MI in 1938, he started off as a drummer and later learned marimba and vibraphone. Pike's family moved to Los Angeles in 1954, he played backing for artists such as Dexter Gordon, Harold Land, Carl Perkins, Paul Bley and Curtis Counce. Pike played often around California and then moved to New York in 1960 to tap into a busier Jazz scene.
Pike found greater success on the East Coast, probably occurring through joining the popular Herbie Mann's group with whom he appears on several early recordings. Pike became heavily influenced by the Latin Jazz scene and in 1964, he recorded the album Manhattan Latin released on Decca.
1965 saw Pike session along side Herbie Hancock (of Blue Note fame), Billy Butler (of Prestige roster) and others culminating in a commercial but relatively unsuccessful (sales wise) album on Atlantic, Jazz for the Jet Set. Pike featured on marimba and Hancock on Hammond. A stylish Pan-Am stewardess wearing a space helmet featured on The album cover which was designed by Italian, Emilio Pucci. It was this album that Pike experimented more with soul, taking inspiration from Atlantic records who he was signed to at the time and who were synonymous with the experimental soul genre of 60's America.
Later in 1966 Pike recorded The Doors of Perception (taken from Aldous Huxley's 1954 book of the same name), with Lee Konitz on saxophone though it was only released by Atlantic subsidiary label Vortex in 1970.