It is Mick Gallagher’s 75th birthday today so it seems fitting to share a bit about one of the most accomplished keyboard players in the business.
He’s contributed to albums by iconic punk-rockers The Clash, played with Paul McCartney, Roger Daltrey, Robbie Williams, Dave Stewart and Annie Lennox, and been a right Animal!
But he’s most well-known for being a member of Ian Dury and The Blockheads, and three years after Ian’s passing, I was asked to interview Mick for a lovely glossy magazine that was in publication at the time called Get Rhythm.
Mick was absolutely lovely. An entertaining, friendly and very personable guy, we had such a laugh as he spoke frankly about life with Ian, the future of The Blockheads and what it’s like to work with so many iconic names.
That first meeting led to months of working together on a photographic project for Where’s The Party, The Blockheads’ first album release since Ian’s departing and, consequently, I spent a lot of time with the whole band and got to know them well.
At the time of planning the project, Mick managed The Blockheads out of a unit in Harlow, Essex, where he also lived and we spent many an hour there chatting about the early years of the band and what Ian Dury was really like.
It was no surprise to me that Ian could be a bit of a difficult man to work with, I’d heard rumours of him being a strong-minded individual before, mainly a product of contracting Polio in his youth.
During the location hunt for the shoot, Mick offered to drive the photographer and I round to some of the local haunts that the band occupied in the early days and shared many stories from their tours and how Ian’s ‘minder’, Derek ‘The Draw’ Hussey managed to get him out of the many scrapes that he created.
I’ve met up with Mick and the band a couple of times since those early days and have since interviewed Derek after he became lead singer for The Blockheads, which is well worth a listen.
Unfortunately, Get Rhythm Magazine has long gone and the recording of the interview along with it, but I’m thankful that I had to transcribe our conversation for publication so that it still exists today.
Hope you enjoy the one with Mick Gallagher: www.CATtales.co.uk/MickGallagher