Mic Christopher

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Mic Christopher
Mic Christopher live at Whelans in 2001.jpg
Mic Christopher
Born Michael Christopher
(1969-09-21)21 September 1969
Bronx, New York, U.S.
Died 29 November 2001(2001-11-29) (aged 32)
Groningen, Netherlands
Cause of death Fall, head injury
Occupation Singer-songwriter
Known for The Mary Janes

Michael "Mic" Christopher (21 September 1969 – 29 November 2001) was an American–born Irish singer-songwriter, best known for his posthumously-released debut album Skylarkin'.

Early life[edit]

Michael 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 in 1972 when Michael was still a toddler. He later attended Coláiste Chilliain Clondalkin. He started playing traditional Irish music with school groups until he was about fifteen years old when he started busking. Busking in Dublin over the next five years, Christopher made friends with many of the musicians on the Dublin circuit, including brothers Karl and David Odlum, Glen Hansard and others.

Musical career[edit]

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. The band's lineup evolved over the next nine years, becoming a three piece without drums when Hogan left the group. It was the three-piece version that recorded the band's 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 Australian Mark Stanley, with this lineup recording their second album, Sham, in 1998.

Over the 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 split in 1999 and Christopher embarked on a three-month solo tour of Victoria, Australia.

In 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.

Death[edit]

Christoper's 2001 tour with the Waterboys performed in Groningen, Netherlands, on 18 November 2001. That night, after he had played his set supporting The Waterboys, Christopher was found unconscious, having apparently struck his head on some steps during an accidental 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."

Skylarkin'[edit]

Christopher had been working on a solo album entitled Skylarkin' prior to his death. The album was incomplete but Christopher had made notes 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.

Dedications[edit]

  • Since Christopher's death, Glen Hansard of The Frames has dedicated each of that band's albums to him. They also dedicate their cover version of his hit "Heyday" to him when played live.
  • Damien Rice dedicated his album O, released eight weeks after Christopher's death, to his departed friend.
  • Lisa Hannigan dedicated the song "Splishy Splashy" to him on her debut album Sea Sew (2008).

Discography[edit]

External links[edit]