Sunday, 18 October 2009
Flip remembers Mickey Gee
In memory of Wales` greatest guitarist - Mickey Gee
Earlier this year I sadly attended the funeral of the Welsh guiatr great Mickey Gee in Cardiff, many musicians were there including Shaking Stevens, Geraint Watkins, Andy Fairweather Low, John David, Terry Williams,John Lewis and Ian Calford, Mickey had provided immaculate Fender bending to all these guys, he`d played with Ian`s dad the late Cal Ford and the Brakemen.
He was a valued part of Edmunds Rockpile and played on the great Carl Perkins Rockabilly Session tv show. He also played with Tom Jones, Lulu, Joe Cocker,Bill Wyman as part of Willie and the Poor Boys and the great 70s rockabilly band Memphis Bend recording a brillaint album on UA that sadly has not been issued on cd and was an important part of the Shaky sound during the 80s chart hits years. When ill health hit him in the 90s he turned down many lucrative jobs/tours preferring to turn up in the local pubs and clubs of Cardiff and sitting in.
A few years back much to my surprise BBC Wales tv acknowledged that music started before Tom Jones by putting this prog out reunting Edmunds, Geraint, Mickey, Andy, etc and one of the many highlights was Mickey`s version of the great Chuck Berry blues rocker Betty Jean (given the wrong title on youtube BTW).
There's an old b& w clip of the pre fame Tom Jones in rocker mode doing What`d I Say and Chills n Fever on tv, look carefully at the young guitarist with hair it`s Mr Gee!
My fav memory of Mickey is of him blowing up his amp doing a Burnette rab classic as his set opener, much of a delay ensued as a roadie went off in his van to find another amp, eventually he set up the new one, Mickey played the Burnette intro and the new amp blew up!
I also love the story about Chet Atkins dressing room where Chet was holding court to all these modern guitar gods when Mickey shyly entered the door, most of the stars looked at this shy bald bloke and wondered who the gatecrasher was. Chet spotted him and called him over to sit next to him and got them both guiatrs whilst they ripped thru the Reed/Atkins classic The Claw, much jaw dropping ensued in the room, I bet they're still jamming up there.
Sadly missed, a wonderful part of my collection is devoted to Mickey.