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Full Name:

Mick Gower

Date of Birth:

13th September 1946
( Happens to be one day before my birthday
- Virgos are just great people)

Place of Birth:

Enfield, London

Marital status:

I am divorced now. You could say I am young, free and very single.

Where did you go to school ?

Stepney, East London

What were your favourite subjects at school ?

Metalwork, Woodwork and Art

What was your first job after leaving school ?

Engineering

What was the name of your first band ?

The Pioneers

What do you like in a person ?

That they are honest and open. I suppose I like a person to be a lot like me. I am just friendly to everyone and go out with the intention of liking everyone I meet.

What was John Richardson like in the early days ?

I have known John since he was 19. John was a lot of fun. He was really crazy and did some mad things. Messing around and wasn't serious very often. One time, just after he had become famous for Sugar Baby Love, I remember we were in a chip shop in the East End and the girl was cooking the chips.
She started looking at him and we knew she had recognised him. She didn't say anything but just stared and John stared back. She was just going to say something when John pointed at her and shouted at the top of his voice "I know you, you're from the Rubettes" The girl nearly jumped out of her skin. It was very funny.
Another time, we were walking down the road and John stopped an old lady and gave her a £20 note, saying "Go and buy yourself something" She hadn't a clue who he was. John was like that though.

I suppose being the drummer doesn't give you a chance to put your personality across so John found his own way of doing it. John made it purely on his talent and being extrovert . He had all the ingredients and was just waiting for the cook and the cook happened to come along.

What was Alan Williams like in the early days ?

Alan was more serious. While we were all mad he was more business like. I suppose you could say he was the calming influence on us.
I knew Alan from working the pubs in the East End. He had a band and I was in a band. We just kept on crossing paths.
One day, he asked me if I would like to join up with his band and I thought it was a good idea.
I think Alan wanted to be a pop star more than anything. He was driven by it then and I suppose he still is to a point

Were you good at music at school ?

I am self taught on the guitar and decided I wanted to do that. I made my first guitar when I was about 12 , I suppose. It wasn't very good of course but the interest was there. I got a shop bought guitar when I was about 13 or 14.

Did you find writing lyrics and music easy ?

Yes, I did

How does a song come to you. Is it the lyrics or the tune first ?

Either. Chords could come first sometimes. Other times a song comes complete

Who decided on the name The Medium ?

The band was called "Unsuited Medium", when I joined. The band I was in at the time was doing soul stuff . There was a bit of rivalry between my band and all the others. My band went to Germany and when we came back I decided that I wanted to play bass more than anything else. I was playing keyboards at the time. The band at this time was starting to fall apart and I used that opportunity to switch to bass. It was then that Alan contacted me to ask if I would like to join them. I told him that I wanted to play bass and not keyboards and if I remember rightly, they didn't have a bass player at the time.
Pretty much when there was John, Alan and me, we dropped the "Unsuited" part of the name.

Who were the other members of the group and what has happened to them ?

The other member of the group was Ian Leighton. He was a brilliant guitarist. I am not sure what happened to him after he left.

Do you have any clothing or items from your days with the band ?

I didn't keep anything, which is a shame really.

Who do you know from the Rubettes other than John and Alan ?

I met Mick Clarke when the Rubettes were recording Dancing in the Rain. I also knew Tony Thorpe. Tony was a really nice guy. A great singer and guitarist. He was into a lot of the original rock and roll stuff prior to the Rubettes. He also loved jazz as well. There is a top American Hammond keyboard player called Jimmy Smith and he had done a track called 'The Cat', which was like Booker T and the MG's 'Green Onions'. Tony was one of the only English people to play with him. Apparently Jimmy Smith was coming over to England to play and couldn't get a visa. So they did a broadcast on a ship and Tony went out to the ship to play.

Tony did leave the Rubettes under a bit of a cloud though, didn't he ?

Yes, he did rather. John was sure that Tony didn't really like him. There are very few bands who don't have character clashes. I end up being the mediator in our band and try to see everyone's point of view. Effectively, musicians can be conceited and do enjoy the adulation . You do have the out and out exhibitionists and I suppose it is their way of being someone else.

Would you have liked to play in the Rubettes or have you ever played on any tracks ?

You could say that I have already, as I have played with all of them at some time or another. If you are asking would I have liked to have had their success - then yes, obviously.
It's quite funny but I was in a band at the time the record broke and we were doing covers of all types of songs. We did actually cover that song and I used to do the falsetto part. The singer in the band couldn't handle that part so I used to do it. The only one I ever played on was when they were Baskin and Copperfield

How did you come to write 'Dancing in the Rain' and how did you feel when it was recorded ?

That song actually came from a little bit of melody rather than the words. I had a little recorder in the car and the first part I kept singing to myself. After that came the first few words for that bit of the tune and it just developed. It didn't have anything to do with sounding like rain or anything. I did the demo of it but not with the Rubettes and I presented it to John and Alan for their publishing company Jonalco. They listened to it and said that they liked it and would I mind if they did it.
Of course, I said yes. Although, it went as the B side initially, up North in the clubs it was actually being played as the A side.

How did you get the idea for Eva St Clair ?

I wrote this completely, lyrics and music. Melodically, I wasn't too happy with it, so I said to Alan that I had a song that needed some work. The words - the story I was fine about. It turned out totally different to how it originally started and Alan changed it in to an Eagles style track.

Was she based on any real person ?

No. (Laughs) If it had been a real situation, I probably wouldn't have written it. I think the name, somehow, conjured up a typical prostitute, whose real name would have been something completely different.

Tell me something about Edward Never Lies ?

A little story that not many people know concerning the backing on that track. Apart from the guitar, bass and drums, the backing was actually done by the Tremeloes. We didn't have time to finish the tracks.
They were in the studio for the next session, so finished it off . I actually wrote a song with Rick Westwood but nothing came of it. At one stage, John and Al were going to try and get a single out for me, one that I had written. They asked me to write some country and western songs, which I did, and I wrote them in a sort of Johnnie Cash style. There were some publicity photos needed and I remember that Rick Westwood actually took a photo of me.

(I saw this picture and told Mick he looked like Clint Eastwood)

Musically, who has influenced you the most ?

Buddy Holly was big influence - song writing wise. His stuff was very commercial and simple. The Beatles too, I would say and the bass player, Jack Bruce, who played with Eric Clapton. I admired him greatly because he had this skill, where he could sing and play bass. Singing and playing bass is at best difficult to do and different than playing rhythm guitar. If you try and sing a melody line and you are playing a melody line on bass, they could be totally different. It's a bit like rubbing your head and patting your stomach, it's difficult to keep everything going. (At this point, Mick played a little bit on his guitar)
Everyone has their idea of who the best bass player is. Some say Paul MaCartney was but maybe that was because he was an influence on them at the time

You have a band. What music do they play and how often ?

We are a five piece band which consists of bass guitar, lead guitar, drums, keyboards and singer, who plays rhythm guitar. The pubs we play in have a limited amount of money that they can spend when they are looking to hire bands. So, we don't play as often as we'd like. We used to play twice a week but now it's about once a fortnight. We play anything from Beatles to Verve.
Musically, I think our band is good. I have been with them for 10 years.

Have you written any songs for this band ?

There isn't any point, as we just do covers.

Your son is into music, has he written anything ?

He loves singing and he has written some quite good songs. We also have written some stuff together. But at the end of the day, you still have to have connections. Say, BoyZone are looking for material, you've also got to remember every songwriter in the country is going to be writing songs. Some people spend every day looking for the connections that they need to make it.
People like me, are hoping that one day something will fall in their lap and it is really tough. It's especially hard when you have done all the grafting and worked hard over the years, and along comes a band who haven't ever had to go through all that. They come along at the right time and make it.

What would you change in your life if you could ?

That's very difficult. It's hard to scan your life off the top of your head. There was a band that we met when we went to Germany, a Swiss band, they were really big in Switzerland at the time and had a few No 1 hits. They did actually ask me to join them but I decided to stay with the band I was with. Call it loyalty, I suppose. I don't think I would want to change the person that I am

If you had three wishes what would you wish for ?

Another tough one. Another tough three, really. I suppose I wish there were no miserable ******* about and that everyone was happy, with no problems in the world.
For the second one, I suppose it would be nice to be famous, to get your views across and not just the adulation. To be in the right place at the right time. The third wish is that I wish there were only 2 wishes.

What car did you own in the 60's ?

The first car I had was an Austin A35, a little round, thin car. A couple of vans and a couple of 30 quid old bangers.

What is one of the most embarrassing moments you have had ?

One incident I remember. I jumped off a high stage, wearing these really skin tight, velvet trousers and they went from the back of the belt round to the zip. Right the way round. Luckily, it was the end of the night and to save my embarrassment, I sort of backed up to the edge of the stage. There are probably a million others but that one springs to mind.

What music do you listen to now ?

I've never been an avid listener of music. I'm not the sort of person who says 'I must go out and get that single' I own a strange mixture of music. If I was going to say a band it would probably be, Crowded House.

If you were going to cover a song, which song would it be ?

I can't really think of anything

What do you see yourself doing in the next 10 years ?

Living, I hope. Just being happy, I suppose.
I would like to think I could survive long enough to pay my mortgage off. Get that out of the way and then perhaps I could think about writing and doing the stuff I want to. I don't see why I wouldn't be playing in a band, ten years from now

Mick Gower/Macart © copyright 1998/1999/2012
All Rights Reserved.

 

 

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10TH FEBRUARY 2017

AN IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT

I HAVE LEARNED RECENTLY THAT OUR DEAR JOHN IS UNWELL AFTER A MILD HEART ATTACK.

My thoughts and very best wishes are with John and his family at this time. 

GET WELL SOON !!!

तूर्णमारोग्यमस्तु (tūrnamārogyamastu)

Image result for krishnan images wishing good health


 

 

 

MICK GOWER 

 

Mick Gower is a former member of the band The Medium. He has known John Richardson and Alan Williams for many years.
Mick is a songwriter. His famous compositions are 'Edward Never Lies' for the Medium, 'Dancing in the Rain' and co-writing 'Eva St. Clair' with Alan Williams.

Mick is extremely talented and designs and makes the most amazing guitars !! He also performs in his own band.

I am very pleased to say, that Mick and I have become good friends through this website. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank him very much for his time and for the honour of interviewing him.

 

This little tune apparently just popped into Mick's head.
I think it's a really catchy little tune

You could imagine Alan doing the weather report, couldn't you ??
I think he'd do a much better job than some of the weather guys.
He'd sure look a lot better too !!

 

Dancing in the Rain

M. Gower 1976

I don't remember going out last night.

 Someone said I made myself a fool.

 

 

I don't recall the things they said I did

I know I never do that as a rule.

 

I can't remember anything,

I must be quite insane.

 

 Cos, all I can remember is

Dancing in the rain.


I just can't seem to concentrate,

try time and again.


But, all I can remember is

Dancing in the rain.

 


 Did you really say the things you said.

Was it true, or is it fantasy ?


Did I lead you on or was I led.

Was it really you or was it me ?


I can't remember anything,

I must be quite insane!


Cos, all I can remember is

Dancing in the rain.

 


I've ruined my best shoes.

(Dancing in the rain)


I'm soaked right to the skin.

(Dancing in the rain)


I been dancing in the rain.

(Dancing in the rain)


What a funny mood I'm in.

 


 

The doctor said I should of stayed in bed.

I guess I should have tried to phone you.


But I just had to see your face again.

Now, I think, I've got pneumonia.


I can't remember anything,

I must be quite insane.


Cos, all I can remember is

Dancing in the rain.


I just can't seem to concentrate,

try time and again.


But, all I can remember is

Dancing in the rain.
(Rain, rain, rain, rain)