21 September 1969|
Bronx, New York, U.S.
|Died||29 November 2001
Cause of death
|Fall, head injury|
|Known for||The Mary Janes|
Mic Christopher was born in the Bronx, New York to Irish parents Harry Christopher from Dublin and Vaun Heaney from Sixmilecross. They moved back to Dublin, Ireland, in 1972 where their son had an all-Irish school upbringing in Coláiste Chilliain Clondalkin. Christopher started to play traditional Irish music with school groups until he was about fifteen years old when he started busking.
Christopher was a busker in Dublin for about five years where he met many of the numerous musicians on the Dublin circuit, including Karl & David Odlum and Glen Hansard of The Frames, among many others.
In 1990 Christopher formed the band The Mary Janes with former Kila bass player and fellow busker Karl Odlum, and added Simon Good on guitar and Steven Hogan on drums. Over the next nine years The Mary Janes played together a number of guises. Firstly with Hogan on drums and, after Hogan left the band, as a three piece without drums. It was at this time that the band recorded their first album Bored Of Their Laughing.
In 1994 The Mary Janes signed a publishing deal with Warner-Chappell. In 1996 the band acquired the drumming talents of Mark Stanley from Australia and went on to record their second album Sham in 1998. Over the following years The Mary Janes played everywhere from the Feile and the Fleadh music festivals in Ireland, to Glastonbury Festival in England, to the CMJ in New York. The band also performed a six-week stint in Bosnia with the War Child charity organization. The Mary Janes finally split in 1999 and Christopher embarked on a three month solo tour of Victoria, Australia.
In the autumn of 2001, having recovered from a bad motorbike accident, Christopher released his solo Heyday EP and announced that he would be supporting The Waterboys on their next tour.
On 18 November 2001 in Groningen, the Netherlands, after he had played his set supporting The Waterboys, Christopher was found unconscious, having apparently struck his head on some steps following a fall. On arrival at a local hospital, he was found to have lapsed into a coma as a result of severe swelling to the brain. He never regained consciousness and died on 29 November 2001, aged 32.
The accident that caused his death was described by friend Glen Hansard: 'He went for a few beers after the show and simply slipped on some steps. It could have happened anywhere, at any time.'
Mic Christopher had been working on a solo album entitled Skylarkin' prior to his death. The album was incomplete but Christopher had left instructions as to how the recordings could be improved. During November 2002, work from many of his friends and family resulted in the posthumous release of Christopher's first and only solo album. Skylarkin' later won Best Album at the 2003 Meteor Awards. His family were present to collect the award on his behalf.
Since Mic Christopher's death, Glen Hansard of The Frames has dedicated each of their albums to him. They also dedicate their cover version of his hit "Heyday" to him when played live. The Damien Rice album, O, is also dedicated to Mic Christopher. Also Lisa Hannigan dedicated the song "Splishy Splashy" to him on her debut album Sea Sew.
- Heyday EP (2000)
- Skylarkin' (2002)