Mickey Thomas (singer)
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Thomas performing in 1977
|Birth name||John Michael Thomas|
December 3, 1949 |
Cairo, Georgia, US
|Genres||Rock, blues rock, soft rock|
|Occupation(s)||Musician, singer, songwriter|
|Associated acts||Elvin Bishop
Mickey Thomas and Jefferson Starship
Thomas was born in Cairo, Georgia on December 3, 1949. He was inspired to pursue a career in music after travelling to Atlanta with longtime childhood friends Charles Connell and Tommy Verran to see a Beatles performance in 1965. Thomas, Connell, and Verran wound up in their first band together. Verran was the lead vocalist at the time. They split up to go to different colleges but later reformed in the early 1970s along with friend Bud Thomas as the "Jets".
Thomas was the vocalist for the Lords of London, a garage band from Douglas, Georgia for a brief time, along with guitarist Billy Folsom, bassist Bob Hutchinson, keyboardist Billy Corbi, and drummer Troy Blasingame.
Elvin Bishop Group
While singing lead for the Jets in 1974, Thomas joined the Elvin Bishop Group as a backing vocalist and eventually made it to lead vocals. He sang lead vocals on the 1975 Elvin Bishop single "Silent Night" and the 1976 single "Spend Some Time," but his best known achievement was singing on Elvin Bishop's chart hit "Fooled Around and Fell in Love", a #3 single in 1976.
Jefferson Starship & Starship
In April 1979, Thomas was asked to join Jefferson Starship after the departure of Marty Balin and Grace Slick. In 1981 he recorded his second solo album, Alive Alone. Former Elvin Bishop Group drummer Donny Baldwin became drummer for Jefferson Starship two years later when Aynsley Dunbar left.
Thomas spent most of the early eighties as the main vocalist of Jefferson Starship, performing several duets with Slick (who rejoined in 1981) and gaining greater influence in the band. After Paul Kantner left in 1984, Thomas was leader of the band. Kantner sued over the name of Jefferson Starship and the settlement left the band with the name "Starship". From 1985 until 1989 the band scored three #1 hit songs. When Grace Slick left again in 1988, Thomas sang all lead vocals. But their fortunes as pop music artists soon ran out. A tour was cancelled after Donny Baldwin attacked Thomas in a bar. The damage was such that it required facial reconstruction surgery. Baldwin was immediately fired after the incident.
Starship featuring Mickey Thomas
The original incarnation of Starship disbanded in 1991. In 1992 Paul Kantner reformed Jefferson Starship without Thomas, and Thomas formed a new touring band called Starship featuring Mickey Thomas. Touring has continued with this title.
Solo and collaboration efforts
Thomas recorded the solo album As Long as You Love Me in 1976. His first soundtrack effort was in 1978, when he recorded three songs for the film Skateboard. He was also credited that year as doing a scat vocal on the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band album simply titled The Dirt Band. The song on which Thomas is credited is "For a Little While".
In 1986, he recorded the song "Stand in the Fire" for the Rob Lowe hockey movie Youngblood. Thomas recorded the title song for the 1989 film Sing. He appeared in the 1989 film Dream a Little Dream and recorded the film's title song and its duet version with Mel Tormé for the soundtrack. The duet version was also played during the end of the film.
In 1987 Mickey Thomas recorded "Only the Fool Survives" with Donna Summer for her album All Systems Go. Their duet was released as the album's second single.
In 1998 he guested on Sammy Hagar's album Marching to Mars.
In 2002, Thomas and his touring band re-recorded all of the Jefferson Starship hits on which he had appeared. The resulting album was released in 2003, without any band credits being provided, as Forever Gold, part of a series of releases by St. Clair Entertainment Group. These recordings have been licensed to several labels, resulting in the release of Starship – Greatest Hits (Delta Records) and Starship – Greatest Hits (Brilliant Records). The original release of these recordings was as Starship – Greatest and Latest, available outside the U.S. only, and including both a CD and DVD.
In 2004 he released an album project, under the title of Over the Edge, produced by Fabrizio Grossi. In 2008 he recorded a new album with Aynsley Dunbar for Direct Music, featuring artists such as Jake E. Lee, former guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne. Thomas reunited with Elvin Bishop when Starship closed for them in late 2008.
In November 2010, Mickey Thomas announced on his website that a new Starship album, Loveless Fascination, would be released in late summer or early fall of 2011; the album was eventually released in September 2013. In July 2011, Thomas released Marauder, a solo project covering songs originally recorded by other artists.
- As Long as You Love Me (1976)
- Alive Alone (1981)
- Over the Edge (2004)
- The Blues Masters Featuring Mickey Thomas (2010)
- Marauder (2011)
- "MICKEY THOMAS". Starship Control. Retrieved March 10, 2016.
- "Jefferson Starship". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved March 10, 2016.
- "The Lords of London". Southern Garage Bands. 2008. Retrieved 2011-08-10.
- Tobler, John (1992). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 325. CN 5585.
- Tamarakin, Jeff (2003). Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 0-671-03403-0.
- Barnes, Lindsay (July 7, 2007). "Surrealistic fellow: Kantner still rocks the Starship". The Hook. Retrieved March 10, 2016.
- Campbell, Mary (August 8, 1984). "Paul Kantner Departs Jefferson Starship". Kentucky New Era. Retrieved March 10, 2016.
- Funk, Harry (February 17, 2006). "Jefferson Starship soars to Gallactic Reunion". Observer-Reporter. Retrieved March 10, 2016.
- Gleaned from the liner notes on the original LP and CD re-issue on Beat Goes On Records.
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