February 22, 1944- January 12, 2010
It is with sad regret that I write of the sudden death of one of the greatest British rock n' roll guitar players, Mick Green. Best known for his finger plucking, slashing guitar style on his Fender Telecaster (he actually started out with a Gibson) in Johnny Kidd and The Pirates, whom he joined in March 1962. His debut with Johnny Kidd was on a cover of "A Shot Of Rhythm And Blues" (U.K. HMV POP September 1962). My personal favorite work of Mick's was June 1963's "I'll Never Get Over You" (U.K. HMV POP 1173 and U.S. Capitol 5065) where his power chord intro and plucking solo was both innovative and far ahead of it's time for a world knee deep in beat group sounds.
Hear "I'll Never Get Over You":
Equally amazing was his work on their singles "Hungry For Love" (U.K. HMV POP 1228 1963) and "Jealous Girl (U.K. HMV POP 1309 1964) where he style of combing rhythm AND lead guitar in his slashing/chopping/string bending style can be heard once again.
Hear "Hungry For Love" (Mick appears in at the far left in the photo displayed while the song plays):
Hear "Jealous Girl":
In January 1964 The Pirates cut their first "solo" single without Johnny, the amazing two sided sizzler of "My Babe"/"Castin' My Spell", both which showcased Mick's tremendous ability (U.K. HMV POP 1250).
Hear "My Babe":
Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas (Mick Green 2nd from right)
In June 1964 Mick left The Pirates to join Billy J. Kramer's backing band The Dakotas (whom he would remain with after they split from Billy in 1967 ). Indeed The Dakotas had previously cut two "solo" instrumental 45's without Billy during their heyday with him. When Green joined they would cut three more (two after parting company with Mr. Kramer). In my opinion some of Mick's most blistering guitar work was with The Daks. One listen to a track by them called "Sneaking Around" (originally cut by Rick Nelson and featuring the guitar talents of James Burton, hats off to the Hound for hipping me to that factoid) might convince you too.
Hear "Sneaking Around":
Mick "miming" on "Little Children" (a number recorded and released before he joined). You can spot him with his trademark Telecaster with a Secret Affair logo over his right shoulder in the background:
And here's Mick and The Dakota's doing "My Babe" with Billy on American TV (ignore the cacophony of Brit mad American twit girls screaming). I swear the lick he plays later formed the basis on a "solo" Dakotas 45 he played on called "Seven Pounds Of Potatoes" ( where it backed "I'm An 'Ard Workin' Barrow Boy" U.K. Page One POF 018 1967):
The Dakota's "solo" debut with Mick Green "Oyeh" (U.K. Parlophone R5203 1964):
After parting ways with Billy J. Kramer the band cut two singles. But before doing so they appeared on the flip of Billy's solo debut single for Robert Stigwood's Reaction label (a version of a Bee Gee's penned opus called "The Town Of Tuxley Toymaker") with a slightly off color little rocking number called "Chinese Girl", Reaction 591014(which believe it or not is available on iTunes incorrectly titled "Kinky Chinese Girl"). Oddly the last two Dakotas singles were vocal numbers, the above mentioned "Seven Pounds Of Potatoes" and their final single 1968's "I Can't Break The News To Myself"/"The Spider And the Fly" (U.K. Phillips BF1645).
Hear "The Spider And the Fly":
The world was lucky to have Mick Green. As you can hear for yourself he was an original who didn't cop from anybody. Indeed the greatest Mick Green fan's were Dr. Feelgood who's guitar hero in his own right, Wilko Johnson copped a great deal of style from Green and they even recorded a version of The Dakota's instro single "Oyeh" on their "Down By The Jetty" LP.