Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Guitarist Mick Green Passes On

Guitarist Mick Green, who played with Johnny Kidd and the Pirates as well as Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas, passed yesterday at the age of 65.

Mick Green was born in Matlock, Derbyshire on 22 February, 1944. It was in 1962 that Mick Green and his childhood friends drummer Frank Farley and bassist Johnny Spence joined Johnny Kidd and the Pirates in early 1962. Mick Green remained with Johnny Kid and the Pirates until 1964, when he then joined Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas. With Mick Green on guitar, the band broke with their tradition of recording ballads and actually recorded such rock numbers as "Sneakin' Around" and "When You Walk into the Room." Unfortunately, the boom in beat music was over by 1965, so that Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas saw fewer hits. The group disbanded in 1967. Afterwards Mick Green worked with Cliff Bennett before spending seven years in Engelbert Humperdinck's backing band. Mick Green was a member of the band Shanghai, which released two albums (one in 1974 and one in 1976). Shanghai also toured with Status Quo.

It was in 1976 that The Pirates (Johnny Kidd having died in 1966) reunited for a gig. The reunion more or less became permanent, with the group playing various concerts well into the Naughts. In the Eighties and the Nineties Mick Green played with Van Morrison, Bryan Ferry, and Paul McCartney. He also recorded with Peter Green, formerly of Fleetwood Mac.

Although not widely known to the general public, Mick Green was in many respects a very influential guitarist. He had an impact on contemporary Pete Townshend of The Who, as well as Wilko Johnson of Dr. Feelgood. Green was one of the earliest guitarists to have a loud, aggressive playing style, one that would be part of the basis of The Who's sound, as well as many heavy metal bands. Although not nearly as well known as such contemporaries as Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck, Green arguably has a much influence, if not more.

1 comment:

Holte Ender said...

I loved Mick Green, we were from the same part of the world, about 40 miles away. I saw him with The Pirates in the late 1970s, he was one special guitarist. As you say, very aggressive, and a very clean picker with an occasional slashing style. Another one of my guitar heroes gone.