Mick West

Guitarist and Goldhanger resident

Mick was a professional guitar player and composer who played with many top bands during his long career. He was perhaps best known in Goldhanger for his windsurfing ability. He originally moved to Fish St. for the fishing, but became hooked on windsurfing.


short clip from Mick's recording of

 Who am I...


...auto-starts for PCs

   but not Ipads,etc.

He made a very significant impact on the music scene over a large part of his live and there are several websites that record his achievements, including 4 videos, 24+ audio recordings and information about his career. Extracts from current and past websites with links to some are given here...

from... https://www.radiosparx.com/music/artist...


from...  https://www.ents24.com/uk/tour-dates/mick-west-2



- Biography and History :  Mick West –

Mick Who ?


Those of you who were around in the mid sixties may well remember (they say that if you can remember etc etc!!!)-a rock / blues band called “YELLOW DOG”-featuring a seventeen year old Mick on guitar-already being compared with the recently established greats such as Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck, Peter Green, Rory Gallagher etc.

Although, Mick felt self-conscious at the time about being "just too young" -(EC and the others were about 19 then!)...now read on..


Early Start...





In fact - Mick started playing a "Tommy Steele" guitar (actually a toy plastic ukelele - later to be re-labelled as "Beatles" guitars) at about age 7 and managed to actually get tunes out of it.


Micks first "real" guitar was bought for him on his tenth birthday - a very basic acoustic costing 3 guineas (£3.15p) - and his first "public appearances" were at the Elim Church in Dagenham accompanying gospel music.

Mick consequently got a Saturday job at the shop- and got involved with his first "group"-who were all much older than him. For months he travelled to Canningtown every week to rehearse in a pub hall, and did his first "proper" gig on his 13th birthday.


"I remember we were sitting around a table before going on to play - I've never suffered with nerves- and I couldn't understand why the others were shaking with fear, as we had rehearsed the numbers about 50 billion times!". Of course the Beatles had arrived by this time - and we did a mixture of Beatles, early Stones stuff and other pop songs. "


"I don't think we had a name at first - but after a while Brian (the "leader") came up with "The Lanterns" - that was probably the beginning of the end of that band!". I got to know all the local musos by working at the shop - and sometimes depped with other bands. The owner promised me a full time job when I left school - and I remember being bitterly disappointed when it didn't happen.


Early influences...



Meanwhile back in about '64 I had joined my second band ,all fellow schoolkids from Barking and all smashing blokes -(see picture - me on the left - we are purposely "playing" different chords - even the drummer!!) .


The other guitarist "Mally" (next to me) -was a really good player -I rated him much better than myself- his guitar had a tremelo arm and he aspired to play like Jeff Beck, which was all new to me.

The others are Pete on drums (Mallys' cousin) - and Nig on bass (pictured here using a Colorama same as mine before he made himself a bass ) Again more rehearsals, this band played better stuff - Yardbirds, The Who and other British R&B material, the only name I remember for this band was the "Nightwalkers",after a creepy film that came out at the time.

We only played a couple of gigs - but I don't remember why we split.


My last year at school was 1966 - one of the teachers played the new John Mayall / Eric Clapton Bluesbreakers LP in class which knocked me out. Around this time I started another band with a local bass player , Rob Johnson - and a drummer called Ernie Humphries.


We were supposed to be starting a six or seven piece "white soul" band - but we went to see this new "supergroup" at East Ham Town Hall called "Cream".


That night totally changed our plans - we saw how only 3 players could sound great - and the soul band idea went straight out of the window!.We called our 3 piece band "Faction" - doing mainly Cream and Hendrix stuff and blues covers - this was the blues band era - eg: Fleetwood Mac , Chicken Shack etc.


Again we rehearsed but didn't do that many gigs - but I managed to blag some recording time from a guy I had met who worked at Pye studios ,and we did a demo record of two original tracks - (one being "Wheels On My Wagon" which I have just introduced in my acoustic set). The demo wasn't good at all though , and the next gig was our last - as this was when "Yellow Dog" was formed.


Cracked it.. nearly...

The guy who ran this gig was a drummer called Dave Jones -a great guy who is sadly no longer with us - whose own band were also playing - as well as another band featuring his brother Johnny Jones (also on drums) - making three bands in all.


At the end of the gig Dave decided to form his own "Cream" - taking a player from each band - namely himself , me , and a guy from Johnnys' band - a larger than life bass player called "Yeti" (if you saw him you'd know why). "Yellow Dog" started playing some local gigs and getting a following - after a while Dave left, and Yeti and I found a replacement in Colin "Loz" Victory (you work it out).


The band was really starting to sound good - playing a lot of music totally ad-lib - and getting much attention supporting bands like "Taste", "Free", "Family" and many others - we were beginning to be known and recognised by the industry and getting better gigs - but just as things were really starting to happen .... our management split up, and the band were suddenly left without direction .


Yeti left and was replaced by a guy called Ronnie Overson and we changed direction for a while , but the band was soon to go to "band heaven!". This was the end of one phase in my life - I really felt that Yellow Dog had been our chance for mainstream recognition - but it hadn't worked out and so basically that was it-and I was 18 years old!


I married my first wife Patsy in 1969 (Loz was best man!), and our daughter Shella was born in 1970. Loz and I had joined a band called Collusion , headed by another friend , singer Tony Davison - I had met him at the original Dave Jones gig and he had occasionally sung with Yellow Dog. Collusion was a totally different direction - sort of progressive / folk / blues /jazz - and we did a lot of my original songs.


We made a demo album (all in one day!) which was pretty poor - but we got signed for a one off record deal for a couple of the songs which we re-recorded , I think at Regent B- but alas we got no further.


We were then managed by a local club owner - Darrol Edwards (who became big in Virgin records) - and did the motorway runs for a while - which I got heartily sick of.


I retired from bands after this (so I thought) -and was working in a hi-fi shop in about '72 when an old associate came in out of the blue and talked me into a band he was forming - basically old mates doing pubs for fun - no hassle etc. Yeah right!


This became "Jackdaw" - actually a band of good musicians doing Steely Dan, Doobie Brothers, Average White Band numbers. We ended up on what was now the "disco" circuit - which meant more slogging up and down the country mainly getting ignored by young punters who had no interest in live musicians. (who did they think played on those records?) We also got signed up to our necks by a git of a bloke whos' name I won't mention.


I had started writing for the band -we got an album deal and went into Advision Studios to record -but again things didn't go too well - I wasn't allowed any musical freedom - and the git bloke appointed himself producer - excluding me from the mixes - by the time the album was finished I had totally lost interest and just wanted out - but the git held me to a full 5 year contract out of spite - and this really sealed my disillusionment with the music industry.


Nearly lost it!....



After a period backing some reggae and soul artists I left the band and started up a business based on a studio mixing desk design I had developed - this led to designing and marketing "UP" electronic percussion worldwide - finally closing in 1986 - .


I had also been playing pubs / working mens clubs etc out of necessity - working with various "shunt" bands and duos etc. - those 12 years left me totally shattered and exhausted and with lots of big problems for quite a few years to come! I had a heart attack at 39! and the next few years I didn't play at all - but produced hundreds of backing tracks, recorded other people and did some teaching.

Back on Form...





Thankfully, things did then get better. A girl singer knocked on my door for some backing tracks - and talked me into doing duo gigs with her.


A short time later I met my new love Theresa, who I married last year, and with her encouragement I started doing solo gigs.









These have now taken me full circle back to the Cream, Hendrix, Blues numbers and I have now started adding original material. There's also the prospect of recording about 300 original songs...this time how I want them to sound!





© mickwest.co.uk 2007



from... https://fandalism.com/mickwest1

from...  https://soundcloud.com/mick-west-songs

( 24+ of Mick’s recordings can be played on-line on this site )

Mick’s music on YouTube...

Who am I - Mik West music


Please Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood



The Best Love I Ever Had



Mick West - Wishing Well





Mick at The Chequers

in Goldhanger


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