Bickler was born in North Dakota, moved to Willmar, Minnesota, and then graduated from Benet Academy in Lisle, Illinois. His career began in 1968 as one of two lead singers and a musician in the early 1970s American rock group Jamestown Massacre. The group’s single “Summer Sun” was a Billboard Top 100 and Easy Listening chart entry in the summer of 1972. Bickler met Jim Peterik while doing commercial jingles in the mid-1970s, leading to their future partnership in the band Survivor. 
Bickler currently lives with his family in Brookfield, a suburb of Chicago.
On February 2, 2012, he appeared on The Colbert Report singing a passage from Newt Gingrich’s book A Nation Like No Other to the tune of “Eye of the Tiger”.
In 2009, Dave Bickler posted several new songs he was writing and recording for a future solo project via his Twitter account and website. On September 28, 2018, he released his debut solo album, Darklight.
In October 2017, Bickler appeared at Rockingham Festival at the Nottingham Trent University, UK. In 2018, he joined Jim Peterik on stage to perform Caught in the Game, Rebel Girl, and Eye of the Tiger.