|20 January 2010 Mick Green in Pieksamaki, Finland, summer 2005
In Memory of Mick Green
The British rock guitarist Mick Green has passed away. He died of a heart
attack in Ilford, Essex on 11 January 2010. He was born on 12 February
1944. Mick started his career in the early 60's in Johnny Kidd & The Pirates.
In 1964, he joined Billy J. Kramer and The Dakotas.
Green reformed The Pirates in the mid 70's with bassist Johnny Spence and
drummer Frank Farley. Thanks to extensive touring, they gained major
popularity in England as well as elsewhere in Europe. The Pirates' albums such
as "Out of Their Skull" (1977) and "Skull Wars" (1978) have definitely stood the
test of time.
Mick Green's services enjoyed a healthy demand among other superstars. For
instance, Bryan Ferry, Van Morrison, and even Sir Paul McCartney invited Mick
to join their albums and tours in the 80's and the 90's. During off-periods Green
used to teach guitar. He did this until his final days.
Already in Mick's early career, his phenomenal style of play attracted a lot of
attention. People like Pete Townshend were impressed by the combination of
solos and sharp rhythm playing. One of the biggest fans was Dr Feelgood's
original guitarist Wilko Johnson: he has played almost exactly in the same way
to this day.
"Going Back Home", co-written by Mick and Wilko, is still a bravura number for Dr
Feelgood and a number of other bands.
In private life, Mick Green was known to have a good sense of humor. The
gentleman also had his way with words.
Big in Finland
As far as Finland is concerned, Mick Green and The Pirates toured in the country a
lot. They also worked with a local band called Doctor's Order. They did tours
together - and even cut an album "Cutthroat and Dangerous". It was released by
Goofin' Records in 2007.
Seeing The Pirates live at the Kuusrock festival in Oulu, Northern Finland, in 1978,
was a shot in the arm for yours truly. Mick Green's raging guitar and the band's
magical performance had an unforgettable impact on a 15-year-old
up-and-coming music enthusiast. Contemporary Finnish rock giants Hurriganes
were bush league!
A vivid memory comes to mind. On the way to a 2005 festival in Pieksamaki,
Eastern Finland, he expressed some of his opinions on vintage guitars. "Why
does anybody collect old (Fender) Stratocasters and pay tens of thousands of
euros for them", he wondered. "That's bulls...t! While they're at it, why don't they
buy a rusty old Ford Anglia for 40,000? I've got a couple of Telecasters, and
that's all I need!"
Now the master player's Telecaster has fallen silent.
"My father has left the stage and for those of you waiting for an encore, go to the
internet, search for Mick Green and you will see him how he wanted to be
remembered. Heaven just got a bit louder."
Lloyd Green at his father's funeral 13 January 2010
OBITUARY BY KAKE KIIRIKKI
Links: Mick Green, The Pirates
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