In Summer 1968, New Musical Express reported that a big merchandising campaign was going to be launched on the British and foreign markets. Fans of Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich would be presented with cardboard cut-outs, Dave Dee soap and Dave Dee bedside lamps. This is the drummer’s spot: the Mick cut-out book.
Real name: Michael Wilson.
Born: Amesbury, March 4, 1944.
Hair: Brown. Eyes: Green.
Height: 6 ft.
Weight: 12 st.
I often feel sorry for drummers. When you watch a pop group performing, it’s always the lead singer and the guitarists who claim all the limelight. The poor old drummer’s sitting down somewhere at the back and people tend to think he’s not very important.
Well, I don’t suppose anybody’s ever come to your house and said: “What lovely foundations you have!” But the foundation still holds the house together. And, in a way, that’s what the drummer does for a group. He provides the rhythm – lays down the musical foundation – so the other boys can build a song on top. Very important – the drummer!
In the Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich group, the drummer is Mick.
Mick is tall and has an open face that somehow reflects his love of the country. He feels happiest in the open air and is fond of riding, fishing and flying. But horses are his first love. He is already looking to the time when the group retires from public life. “I don’t think I could take anyone saying ‘Do this!’ to me. And what I would really love is to have a stud farm, breeding my own horses – I’m learning about that now.”
Mick already has a house just outside Salisbury, near his home town, so when he gets his farm, that’s where it’ll be. And with his honest face and love of the country, he should be successful!
Like Dave Dee, Mick was interested in history and sport at school. He played football against Dozy, the group’s bass guitarist, on one occasion. Mick’s team won 18-3! Drum kits are very expensive – you can pay £ 20 for one cymbal – and Mick certainly couldn’t afford a kit in the early days. But a pair of sticks weren’t too bad, so he contented himself with those and used a tin drum. Good practice!
The first number he ever learnt to play on the drums was one of Cliff Richard’s – ‘Do You Wanna Dance?’ When Mick was asked to join the group, he had to play for Dave first, of course.
Mick sat down with the boys in fear and trembling that he wouldn’t know their songs. But what did they play? – ‘Do You Wanna Dance?’! So Mick really went to town on that one, and got the job. And, like all the other members of the group, he’s been with Dave Dee from the very first gig right up until today. One of the secrets of their success!
There were several years between the time Mick left school and the group starting to make enough money to live. And difficult years they were, too. During this time Mick worked in a garage as a motor mechanic.
By the way, I daresay that Mick is the sort of boy who appeals to quite a lot of you, particularly with his interest in horse-riding. So it’s only fair to point out that he is already in love – with his wife, Pauline. He first met Pauline over four years ago when the group was playing in Salisbury. It was a friend of Pauline’s who started it all. She was crazy about Tich, so she went to hear the group and took Pauline with her. As it turned out, Tich didn’t fancy Pauline’s friend, but Mick fancied Pauline!
It wasn’t long before Mick decided that Pauline was the girl for him, but it was two years before he popped the question, and another year before they were married. Progress is slow when your boyfriend is a pop star and hardly ever has time to see you! Dave Dee and the boys had a rule that no girls would accompany them on gigs and they stuck to it.
Mick already has a little boy, named Julian, and would like to have another child, a daughter, before too long. He thinks that brothers and sisters should be as close together in ages as possible. And he has plenty of confidence that he’ll be able to cope with them: “I reckon I am quite a good Dad because I understand young people, and because I’m young and in show business.
“By the time Julian really gets to know what’s going on, I won’t be travelling or rushing about so much. We’ll be established and I shall settle down.”
It is hard on Pauline sometimes when Mick goes off on a long tour. But as Mick says, it has its advantages. They’re all the more pleased to see each other when the tour’s over!
Mick leads two lives. When he’s working, he really likes the excitement of tours, recording, giving interviews, rehearsing, and all the other aspects of a pop star’s hectic existence. But when he goes home, it’s the quiet enjoyment of home life, with his wife and little boy and the refreshing contrast of a long ride for him. He didn’t say which he preferred, but I somehow think it’s the quiet life.
Like all musicians, Mick has his own favourite performers. As far as drummers go, he particularly admires Peter York . . . He used to be the drummer with the Spencer Davis group but has now left to go solo. Mick is also keen on the big band sound, like the glenn Miller band of the 1940s.
The success story of Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich is already half told. Every record they make reaches a high place in the charts. An ambition, as yet unfulfilled, is to make the number one spot – that’s in the second half of the story. And as for the drummer, Mick, half his story is told, too. Even Mick doesn’t know what’s in the other half, but if what has happened is anything to go by, it should make good reading. All we can do is congratulate him for what he has already achieved, and wish him well for the future.
And here’s a message for you, Pauline. Thank you for letting Mick play so much, and give our love to Julian.
All the scans above have been kindly donated by Helmut.