Mike Heron

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Mike Heron
Birth name James Michael Heron
Born (1942-12-27) 27 December 1942 (age 72)
Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
Occupation(s) Singer, songwriter
Instruments Vocals, guitar, etc.
Years active 1965-onwards
Associated acts The Incredible String Band

James Michael Heron (27 December 1942, Edinburgh) is a Scottish singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, best known for his work in the Incredible String Band in the 1960s and 1970s.


He attended George Heriot's School, where his father was a teacher, and spent a year at Edinburgh University before leaving to start training as an accountant. He played in R&B and pop bands in Edinburgh, including The Saracens, and in late 1965 successfully auditioned to join a new trio, The Incredible String Band, with Robin Williamson and Clive Palmer.[1] Heron has said: "It was an exploring era in the Sixties and people were rebelling from the boring pop stuff into folk and blues and world music. You couldn't sit down and listen to Buddy Holly and pass the joint around. So we tried to make the kind of music we felt was missing from our lives, that fitted with the hippy lifestyle."[2]

Main article : The Incredible String Band

He has also released a number of solo recordings, mostly more rock-oriented than the Incredible String Band material. The first of these, Smiling Men with Bad Reputations, released in 1971 when still a member of the ISB, took eclecticism to a new extreme, blending rock, folk and world music into an atmospheric whole. Contributing musicians included Pete Townshend, Keith Moon, Duncan Browne and Ronnie Lane (as "Tommy & The Bijoux"!), John Cale, Richard Thompson, Dave Mattacks, Simon Nicol, Dave Pegg, Dudu Pukwana, Elton John, and Steve Winwood.

The Incredible String Band broke up in September 1974. With three other members of the final "electric" ISB line-up - Graham Forbes, John Gilston, and Malcolm Le Maistre - he formed the band Mike Heron's Reputation, later known simply as Heron, with whom he recorded and toured until 1977. In 1977/78, while still living in the Glen Row cottage near Innerleithen which had been the Incredible String Band's home and headquarters, he recorded songs which were eventually issued as The Glen Row Tapes. In 1979, he released a solo album on Casablanca Records, but then withdrew from performance for several years. In the 1990s he re-emerged with a new group, Mike Heron's Incredible Acoustic Band, and released the album Where The Mystics Swim.[1]

In 1997 he reunited with Williamson for some concerts, and from 1999 to 2006 performed occasionally with a reformed version of the Incredible String Band.

He has also recorded a song with his daughter Georgia Seddon, based on a poem by John Burnside, for the Ballads of the Book album released in March 2007.

Solo discography[edit]


  1. ^ a b Adrian Whittaker (ed.), Be Glad: The Incredible String Band Compendium, 2003, ISBN 1-900924-64-1
  2. ^ Tradicals by Peter Ross, Sunday Herald, 2009

External links[edit]