Mick Green

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Michael Robert Green (22 February 1944 – 11 January 2010)[1] was an English rock and roll guitarist who played with The Pirates (with and without Johnny Kidd), Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas, and Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers.


He was born Michael Robert Green, in Matlock, Derbyshire. Green began his career in 1956, playing in a skiffle trio "The Wayfaring Strangers" with Johnny Spence and Frank Farley, who came second in a bands competition to the Quarrymen.[2] The trio then all joined Red-E-Lewis and the Redcaps, who became the Redcaps, backing Cuddly Dudley, when Reddy Lewis left.[3] Spence, Farley and Green joined Johnny Kidd & the Pirates in 1962, but then Green left to join Billy J. Kramer with The Dakotas in 1964. His ability to play lead and rhythm guitar simultaneously influenced a number of British guitarists to follow, including Pete Townshend and Wilko Johnson, the original guitarist for Dr. Feelgood.[4] Green's song "Oyeh!" was on Dr. Feelgood's debut album, Down by the Jetty; and a song he co-wrote, "Going Back Home" appeared on Dr. Feelgood's 1975 Malpractice and the live album, Stupidity (1976). Green was also a member of the band Shanghai, which released two albums, in 1974 and 1976, other members included, Chuck Bedford (vocals, harmonica, 1974-75), Pete Kircher (drums, vocals), Mike Le Main (bass, keyboards, 1974-75), Cliff Bennett of Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers (vocals, 1975-76), Brian Alterman (guitar, 1975-76), Pat King (bass, 1975-76)

Green reformed the Pirates with Farley and Spence in 1976 (Kidd having died in 1966). Over the next five years they became one of the hardest-gigging bands on the road and released four albums: "Out Of Their Skulls" (1977), "Skull Wars" (1978), "Happy Birthday Rock'n'Roll" (1979) and the ten-inch "A Fistful Of Dubloons" (1981). Green played the Fender Telecaster Custom produced in 1972 as his main guitar.

Green was also a member of the band Shanghai, which released two albums, in 1974 and 1976, and supported Status Quo on their Blue for You tour. Together with Quo member Alan Lancaster he wrote four songs recorded by Status Quo.[5]

In the 1980s and 1990s, Green played with, amongst others, Bryan Ferry, Van Morrison, Paul McCartney, Robert Plant and Lemmy, as well as the Pirates, with whom he continued to gig well into the 2000s. His other notable gigs included playing guitar for Van Morrison on the Pyramid Stage at the Glastonbury Festival in 2005, and with David Gilmour and Paul McCartney at the latter's return to the Cavern Club in support of his Run Devil Run album in 1999.

In his spare time he taught guitar privately, as well as at various local schools.

In 1990, Green played guitar with Lemmy and the Upsetters on their "Blue Suede Shoes" / "Paradise" single. The A-side was originally recorded for a charity album, and Green wrote the B-side with Motorhead's Lemmy Kilmister for this occasional Upsetters project.

From 1999 to 2008, Green performed regularly with the Van Morrison band. He played guitar on 1999's Back on Top and he appeared on his other studio albums up until he was on five of the tracks on Van Morrison's 2008 album, Keep It Simple.

In 2007, he did a six track minialbum "Cutthroat and dangerous" in Finland with a Finnish rock'n'roll trio Doctor's Order.

In February 2004, while on stage with Bryan Ferry in Auckland, Green suffered a cardiac arrest. His life was saved by two doctors in the crowd and following his return to England and recovery he carried on playing. He suffered kidney problems in February 2009 partly connected with his earlier heart problem.


Mick Green died of heart failure on 10 January 2010 in King George Hospital, Ilford, Essex. His wife Karen, sons Lloyd and Brad and daughter-in-law Hannah were at his side. Lloyd's wife Alice was in hospital at the time having just given birth to their baby son Ashton the previous day.

On 27 November 2010, the Mick Green tribute gig was held at the 100 Club and featured the Animals and the Wilko Johnson Band. Fellow Pirate shipmate and close friend Johnny Spence closed the evening together with Mick's two sons (Brad on guitar and Lloyd on bass) performing several of the Pirates' back catalogue to an enthusiastic crowd. Mick's two sons have since formed their own band, the Green Brothers. Mick's youngest son 'Brad' now owns a restaurant in North London of the same namesake simply called 'Green's Steakhouse', which boasts a burger which Mick invented.

Mick's son Lloyd plays bass guitar in UK Blues Rock band The Milk Men, with Adam Norsworthy of The Mustangs. Their 2016 debut album Full Phat was dedicated to Mick Green, and in 2018 their second album Gold Top featured a song co-written by Mick with Lloyd called 'This Is The Last Time'.


  1. ^ "The Official Mick Green website". Mickgreen.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-08-25.
  2. ^ Mair, Chris (20 January 2010). "Obituary of Mick Green". The scotsman. Retrieved 26 October 2010.
  3. ^ Eder, Bruce. "Biography of Mick Green". Allmusic. Retrieved 25 October 2010.
  4. ^ [1] Archived 24 December 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ "The Makers of ... The Status Dis-Quo-graphy". The-makers-of.info. Retrieved 2014-08-25.

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