Chaps of a certain vintage will remember Johnny Kidd and the Pirates. Early line-ups featured such luminaries as drummer Clem Cattini (who I think holds the record for appearing on more tracks than anyone in recording history) and guitarist Alan Caddy who both left and went on to make the Beast's favourite record, Telstar, as the Tornados. Johnny Kidd treated the band members largely as session musicians, nothing wrong with that, this was the way it was done and comings and goings were legion but the most enduring team was Fred Heath (Johnny Kidd), Johnny Spence on bass, Frank Farley on drums and Mick Green on guitar. Although the band again fragmented with Green's departure around 1964, this line-up continued to tour as The Pirates after Kidd's premature death in 1966 with Spence and Farley owning the right to the name. Mick Green passed away last Monday. He was one of the most revered and respected guitarists in all of British rock. And no, it was Joe Moretti who played the riff on "Shakin' All Over" well before Mick joined.
Mick Green's distinctive gutsy and choppy style was borne out of necessity. Being a three piece he learned to play rhythm and lead together which isn't actually as difficult as it seems but many, including myself, use it to cover up their shortcomings. With enough distortion and volume, even I can sound half-decent. Mick Green had no shortcomings, he had, after all, even trained as a classical guitarist for 18 months. He inspired among others, Wilko Johnson, whose style is relatively similar, and with that the whole English pub-rock sound and thence punk. I saw them once, in 1979, supporting the Radio Caroline Roadshow in a cavernous sportshall in Ashford. They were fantastic and I do believe I worked up a sweat.
Mick Green 1944 - 2010