Mick writes: Mick Phillips passed away on the 19th of February 2021 after battling cancer for five years.
Mick was the bass player with the Mick Clarke Band in probably our busiest ever period, in the late 80s and early 90s. He was with us when we first ventured into Central Europe playing long tours of Switzerland, Germany, Italy and Holland as well as two of the US tours. He also played on the albums "Steel and Fire", "Tell The Truth" and " No Compromise".
I had first met Mick when he was playing with a band called Erminor Gerome, which also featured a young Rod DeAth. Later he teamed up with singer / songwriter Dave Reid, and I was a part of that project for a short time, recording tracks at Island Studios and The Manor, in Oxfordshire, and memorably rehearsing for a couple of weeks in a cottage on the Pembrokeshire coast. What was known as "Getting It Together In The Country". After I left, the unit went to Bearsville Studio in the USA and recorded a complete album, but I don't think it was ever released.
In the MC Band Mick worked well with our drummer Mike Hirsh - they were close as friends and musicians, and this was important at a time when, initially, there was very little money to go round. You had to be doing it just for the experience and the music - there wasn't much else, other than a lot of hard work and hard travelling.
But Mick embraced the road life and also became in charge of the band's transportation, supplying and maintaining a Mercedes bus which we used for all our tours. In the studio Mick did a solid job, usually preferring to overdub his bass lines, resulting in a tight professional sound. He played on a couple of tracks in particular which are still popular today, the moody instrumental "New Star Over Texas" and the bluesrock "Talking With The Blues" with Chris Sharley on drums and Mike Bramwell on the keyboard.
We didn't always agree, both on musical and business matters, and there were some frictions between us. But I always knew that Mick was sincere in his convictions and there was, I think, a mutual respect between us. I would also use Mick's resolve sometimes, to my shame, when a situation was too much for me.. for example a couple of times when a promoter was trying to underpay us. There would come a point when I just couldn't handle it any more and I would ask Mick to have a word. We would always get paid.
Mick went on to other projects after the MC Band and we lost touch, although the music that he helped to create remained in circulation and the three albums were later re-issued by BGO Records. I'm glad now to be in touch with his family again, however belatedly. Mick was a good man, a strong character and a good hardworking musician, and I thank him for his contribution to my band.
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