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Here are some links to webpages featuring Mickey Jones,
Updated 10th March 2010
Sadly Mickey Jones passed away yesterday, 9th March 2010.
He was the best guitarist and the best singer I ever worked with and the nicest guy I ever met. My condolences to Jenny and George. He will be missed by many and may his music be appreciated evermore.
Here are a couple of live Flying Pigs MP3s. They are only from cassette copies of the desk mixes so the quality is not great but there is plenty of Mickey Jones.
Talk About A Morning by Buzzy Linnard
This Time Round by Mick Hawksworth
Flying Pigs CD now out on Voiceprint
The Flying Pigs was a three piece Rock Band regularly playing the main Pub Rock venues in London during the eighties. The band featured cult guitarist Mickey Jones from the legendary Welsh band Man, ex-Alvin Lee bass player Mick Hawksworth and Phil Little, veteran of the London pub circuit, on drums.
The band made three recording sessions, producing ten tracks which have just been released, after twenty one years, on Voiceprint.
CD NEWS - Voiceprint have released the Flying Pigs CD on the Point label. Follow the link to purchase online.
Real Audio stream of Back Together Again from the CD.
session 1 Dulwich - Recorded in a dingy Eight track studio near to Mick Hawksworth's home. We did this session within the first few weeks of getting together since we needed some kind of tape to get gigs.
Jet Laggin' by Mickey Jones
On The Street by Mick Hawksworth
session 2 Alvin Lee's - All done in a day at Alvin's luxury Sixteen track studio on his farm in Buckinghamshire. Pete Carr produced and mixed. Alvin plays lead guitar on Private Movie.
Back Together Again by Mickey Jones
Breaking Up by Mickey Jones
Psycho by Mick Hawksworth
What In The World by Mickey Jones
Private Movie by Mick Hawksworth
session 3 Drums Recorded in Mick Hawkworth's bedroom and the rest at Pete Carr's
on a different day. Pete Griffiths loaned loads of mikes for the drum tracks
and while he was bending over to get them out Mick let off a starting pistol
behind him. Pete jumped about ten feet. Fine way to treat a sound engineer.
Assylum by Mickey Jones
Last Birthday Party by Mickey Jones
Against The Crowd by Mick Hawksworth
Although the master tapes seem to have disappeared, these recordings have been rescued and re-mastered in a digital studio and are at last preserved. You can buy them through Amazon.
Here are a couple of tracks from the first gig The Flying Pigs did at The Two Brewers in Clapham Common, London on 2nd November 1979. The quality is not great but you can hear the adventurous Spirit in Mickey Jones playing.
In the Autumn of 1979 Mick Hawksworth approached me about forming a band and I was quite flattered because he was well known in the South London circle of musicians and had played with Alvin Lee. Mick had also played with Andromeda who I had heard on John Peel's Top Gear in app. 1970. They were really spacy, moreso than Pink Floyd in a way, and I really liked them. Andromeda recorded an album on which Mick wrote a lot of the material but I have never been able to find it anywhere. Mick also recorded an album with a group called Fuzzy Duck, on which he wrote several songs.. I don't recall knowing of them, but theirs is now one of the most valuable progressive vinyl albums available in the collectors market and Fuzzy Duck enjoy something of a cult status.
Mick and myself held some unproductive auditions although it nearly clicked with a guy called Mike King and an ex-Manfred Mann's Earth Band guitarist, Dave Flett. They were both funny guys and very good players but Mike King was hilarious, a complete nutter. I remember the climax ending of one song we played and on the last big note he swung the arm of the guitar up. He was a big guy and the head of the guitar went through the false ceiling. He pulled the guitar out minus a machine-head. Hawksworth and myself fell about laughing and were unable to continue playing.
Then Mick Hawksworth suggested phoning ex-Man guitarist Mickey Jones who had been playing in London pubs with his own three-piece called Manipulator. Mickey came down to the pokey eight-track studio just up the road from Mick’s flat in East Dulwich and the three of us clicked instantly. We started rehearsing in my cellar at home and within a couple of weeks we were playing in a few different pubs in South London. Sometimes Steve Waller (another ex-Manfred Mann guitarist with the voice of a Righteous Brother) would join us and the pub would be packed to see Waller and Mickey Jones playing together. Two fabulous singers, both lead guitarists with major original progressive bands of the seventies.
Very early on we recorded two or three tracks at the small studio near to Mick’s house but we were keen to get into a quality Studio and see what we could do. Somebody knew Pete Carr who had produced The Motors’ “Airport” hit single. He had expressed an interest in producing us and Mick had inveigled a day in Alvin Lee’s private studio on his farm in Buckinghamshire. We put down the backings for five or six tracks and Mick Hawksworth and I went to the pub with Alvin’s roadies. When we returned a bit later Alvin had put an intro and Lead Guitar solo on one of Mick’s tracks, “Private Movie”. Mickey said, “He came into the studio and I didn’t have any ideas what to do on the track so I asked him if he fancied playing the lead guitar and he plugged in and played it straight away.”
The story goes that Pete Carr took the finished tapes to the States and almost had a deal with a Major Record Company there when, at the last minute, some sequence of events or other conspired to dash the plans.
These times were difficult for Rock and Blues bands on the London Pub circuit. Punk had really established itself and many venues were switching to New Wave music in order to attract the youth.
The Flying Pigs played a few Tuesdays at a big pub in Clapham Common called The Two Brewers. We were pulling a crowd and within a year we were a regular Saturday night band at The Brewers. That was until a now well known BBC Radio DJ gradually took over the venue and concentrated on Punk and new Wave bands. He turned us down for a gig, when a year earlier we had been the pub’s main draw.
Although all the big pubs were going New Wave, Mick Hawksworth knew his way around and there was always two or three gigs a week in the smaller pubs which would still be full because a lot of people always showed anywhere Mickey played. Also, a lot of the other musicians in South London would come to Flying Pigs gigs and jam sessions were the norm with musicians like Steve Waller, Steve Smith and Brendan Hoban joining in. For a while Mick Hawksworth ran a Tuesday night Jam at The Mitre ( later The Tunnel) in Greenwich under the name Corporal Henshaws, among other things,and both Mickey and myself played in that at various times. Other guitarists like Brian Garibaldi and Jimmy Roach were often up with us. It was a great community spirit between the musicians in the area at the time.
I suppose the biggest gig we did was The Stonehenge Festival in 1983 or 1984, to about 11,000 people. Unfortunately it ended in a bit of a disappointment when the guy who introduced us walked off the stage dragging Mickey’s Echoplex unit with him. Certain delay effects were built into our sound and routine and it didn’t sound the same. Mickey is a trooper though and played a brilliant set.
The Flying Pigs worked less after Man reformed and Mickey moved to the West Country. From 1986/7 Mickey used to travel to London and The Flying Pigs did mini tours of London playing at places like Walthamstow’s The Royal Standard, The Plough in Stockwell, The Half Moon in Herne Hill, The Cartoon in Croydon, The Mitre in Greenwich and occasional gigs in Hastings and The South.
At the Royal Standard we often played with Steve Marriott whom we became great friends with. He used to watch Mickey play from the side of the stage. He told me a story about once having to pull Jimi Hendrix off his girlfriend at a party in his flat. A lovely man and one of the best soul singers ever from the UK. The last time I saw him he was watching us and when we came off I said “Why didn’t you get up and do a number with us?”, “You never f*****g asked me did you?” was his reply.I am sure he would have loved to get up and have a blow with Mickey and I suppose we thought he'd never have got up if we had asked him.
In 1990 I moved away from London to the South Coast and Mick Hawksworth evolved a different line up of The Flying Pigs. Both Man with Mickey and The Flying Pigs with Mick came to play gigs in Hastings that I arranged under our event banner "Liaison".
I am very pleased that the recordings we made so long ago are being made available and not going to waste. We thought that they stood up for themselves and it is good that people will be able to hear them at long last.
R.I.P. Mickey Jones
10th March 2010
Flying Pigs CD now out throughVoiceprint