Saturday, January 16, 2010

Green Day

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

4 Vegetable peelings:

Blogger Rog said...

I used to buy the Tornados singles in Gravesend's Discland, and play them with my Shadows EP's constantly. I didn't realise Mt Cattini was so prolific.

5:41 pm  
Blogger Robert Swipe said...

Thanks for the word on Mick, Richard - I had no idea he'd passed on. Stray Photon will be devastated - he used to follow the latterday Pirates career and saw them not all that long ago. I will pass the news (and your touching appreciation) on to him...

That's a fabulous clip too - just a shame that it's occasioned bysuch sad news.

L.U.V. on ya,


p.s. nuff respec' is due for getting Joe Moretti right! Boyakasha!

wrod vercif: bargies (onion?)

3:38 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

Dave, I can see you're down wiv the kids, just like me.

Bob, I only found out when I opened the Indie and saw his (very large) obit. The Joe Moretti thing is one of those perennial pub quiz questions that gets lodged deeply.

11:40 am  
Blogger Mr VeryVeryBored said...

Ah, the extra terrestrial sound of Telstar. What a quality record. With one foot in the distant past and one dipped gingerly in the technology of todays hipsters, time to crank open Spotify... daaah, dah, daaaaaah, dah, daaah, dah dah dah, daaaahhhh....

11:36 pm  

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