Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Micky Jones: 1946 - 2010

I just heard the very sad news that one of my favorite guitarists, Micky Jones from Man passed away on the 10th of March. I knew he'd been ill for sometime, having to leave the band in 2005. Micky truly was an inspiration to me and so many others. I have seen him perform on numerous occasions and he always blew me away. He never seemed to play the same solo twice and his improvisational skills were amazing, along with his wonderful voice. To me he always sang differently to anyone else I heard and his phrasing was unique.

I first found Man as teenager at a house party, drinking cider and trying to be cool. It was the album "Rhinos, Winos and Lunatics" and I'd never heard anything like it at the time. Micky's amazing soulful voice, brilliant songs, soaring guitar solos and fabulous harmonies. I went straight out the next day and bought it. I loved that album and still do ,as it brings back so many memories - teenage lust, hot party's and even hotter summers and it was never off the turntable. I still play it now.

Unfortunately they split up before I got to see them play in the 70's but by chance one day I was driving passed a venue in Wigan (The Beer Engine) many years later and saw a poster "Man In Concert", I couldn't believe it could be the same band as I'd heard nothing about them for an age. Amazingly it was, I got my ticket and I went to see them play and they tore the place apart, the audience just wouldn't let them off the stage, - from then on I went to see them whenever I could, meeting them on a few occasions. I remember speaking to Micky about some of the albums from the past and he commented, "you don't look old enough to be a fan of us" - he truly was a lovely guy.

The biggest thing apart from the music he left me was something I'd read in Deke Leonard's book, also titled "Rhinos, Winos and Lunatics." Micky would always strive to be original at all costs and try to do something new and that concept has never left me. It kicks me in the backside every now and again and makes me sit down with a guitar and write some music. It's something I believe in as a musician.

I just found this slideshow of Man's Music on youtube that someone has put together so brilliantly. Please follow the link above and watch the video and listen to 50 Man songs in 10 minutes and you'll get a flavor of what he was all about.
R.I.P. Micky Jones, Many Are Called But Few Get Up

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