|Mickey Finn Speaks Out (A memorial R.I.P 1946-2003)|
|Photgraph by Mr. Masayoshi Sukita|
In the autumn of 1997...Mickey Finn, Jack Green, and Paul Fenton were invited
to appear at a specially organised show at the Cambridge Corn Exchange. This
was the culmination of a week of events which had started with the unveiling
of a memorial by the Performing Rights Society to commemorate the 20th
anniversary of Marc Bolan's untimely death. The show featured many musicians
that had worked with Marc over the years, but when Mickey, Jack, Paul and
Marc's son, Rolan, appeared together the audience went wild. A decision to
re-form the T-Rex band was inevitable. Rehearsals were arranged and three
new members were carefully chosen to complete the line up.
The new band will feature all of their hits from the seventies and will
recreate the unmistakable T-Rex sound. The band are currently recording an
album of T-Rex hits, and releases are planned to coincide with a world wide
tour due to start in March 1999.
*This info is courtesy of Mickey Finn's T-REX website
|TILL DAWN EXCLUSIVE||February 2000|
|In the Fall of 1999, Mickey Finn and manager Barry Newby contacted Rick Dalvano (list manager of the Till Dawn online community). From there, it was decided by Mickey's management & later his public relations firm that the Till Dawn internet mailing list / web site was a good place for Mickey to meet some of the Bolan community and answer some of the member's questions. The interview was conducted while Mickey was in the midst of his recent tour of the U.K. Thanks to Rachelle Stewart and Robert Epstone for their help in setting this up..|
|MICKEY FINN INTERVIEW, January 26th - February 1st 2000|
|Questions were provided by the members of Till Dawn|
*****Mickey Finn's T.Rex and the future*****
Till Dawn: What are your future plans within the context of the group? Will you follow it through with a CD of T.Rex cover songs or do you foresee the band striking out on its own (i.e. writing its own material etc.)?
Mickey Finn: BOTH, BUT ALL SONGS IN THE 21ST APPROACH
T.D.- I noticed that the band has changed the name to Mickey Finn's T-Rex. Does this indicate that we can see some changes within the current line up?
T.D.- Is there any one word or description that you can think of to describe the audience that is coming to see your shows?
Mickey: FRESH NEW YOUNG FANS... AS WELL AS THE OLDER 'DIE HARDS'
T.D.- After all those years of being the quiet second man in the band, are you excited about leading the new T-Rex? I know many of us feel it is nice to see you get some recognition.
Mickey: VERY MUCH SO.
T.D.- I think it is fantastic that you're out there giving T.Rex fans a fun-filled night of memories, a bit of nostalgia, and (for some of the younger fans) a chance to see you in the flesh. Did you have reservations about including T-Rex in the band's name?
***** Joining Tyrannosaurus Rex and the early days*****
T.D.- Do you recall your first meeting with Marc? What were your thoughts? Did you realize that you were being considered for membership of Tyrannosaurus Rex? Did you ever think that maybe you'd dropped a clanger by joining the group?
Mickey: YES, I REMEBER THE MEETING VERY WELL AND WENT ALONG PURELY OUT OF CURIOSITY. NEVER OCCURRED THAT I HAD DROPPED A CLANGER.
T.D.- Did you have any similar interests that drew you close as friends? From what I read, Marc was impressed with your paintings. Were there other mutual interests?
Mickey: BOTH INTO EARLY ROCK AND ROLL. OBSCURE BE-BOP, WENT TO SAME CLUBS, SAME PLACES.
T.D. - Did you feel the difference you brought to the band after replacing Steve Took? It was quite noticeable to fans of Tyrannosaurus Rex. Can you share what you think those differences were?
Mickey: YES, MORE DEDICATED THAN STEVE WHO WAS AN ACID CASUALITY.
T.D.- What is the earliest recording featuring you with Marc? What was the last recording you did together?
Mickey: EARLIEST - BY THE LIGHT OF THE MAGICAL MOON. LAST - NEW YORK CITY
T.D.-Did you know or ever meet Steve Peregrine Took?
***** Being a member of T. Rex*****
T.D.- What T.Rex track do you feel contains your best performance and why?
Mickey: EARLY T-REX (Tyrann.Rex) PAVILIONS OF THE SUN, I LOVED IT ESPECIALLY BECAUSE IT WAS ACOUSTIC.
T.D. - I have read in several T.Rex books that it was your idea to have Marc add the vocal line "Meanwhile I'm still thinking" onto the final take of "Get it On". Is this true?
T.D. - You've said in the past that you were kept on a modest salary while the huge money rolled in to Marc. Did you ever feel mistreated or exploited by the pay arrangement?
Mickey: NOT TRUE. I HAD A 50% DEAL APART FROM THE RECORD DEALS.
T.D.- After the arrival of T.Rex, did you socialize much with Marc outside the studio or after gigs?
Mickey: YES VERY MUCH.
T.D.- As the band's popularity grew, did you find that you had more musical input during the making of "Beard of Stars" than you did with subsequent albums?
Mickey: YES... A LOT MORE!
T.D.- A question that must be asked... What is your personal favourite T.Rex album?
Mickey: BEARD OF STARS, ELECTRIC WARRIOR
T.D.- What was the atmosphere like in the dressing rooms directly after the Empire Pool gigs? Did any of you believe that the music press would give such rave reviews?
Mickey: I NEVER THOUGHT ABOUT IT. WE WERE HAVING SUCH A GREAT TIME.
T.D.- Did Marc ever express regret about releasing a particular track, wishing that it had been done differently? Are there any songs that you feel should have stayed in the can? Similarly, are there any songs which were left unreleased which you feel should have seen release?
Mickey: NO. A FEW REPETITIONS OF HITS. AND THE 8/9 MINUTE VERSION OF JEEPSTER AND OTHERS.
T.D.- What were the circumstances surrounding the recruitment of Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan to do background vocals for many T.Rex's studio tracks? Did you hook up with someone in L.A. who knew them?
Mickey: THE RADIO STATION PUT THEM IN TOUCH WITH US. THEY HAD HIGH ACOUSTICS AND DID "RIDE A WHITE SWAN" WITH US.
T.D.- In four short years, T.Rex covered much musical ground. What are your thoughts on the progression of T.Rex's changes in musical style from 1970 through 1974?
Mickey: IN THE BEGINNING, THE UNDERGROUND LOVED US. WE WERE NOT INTERESTED IN MONEY... THEN IT BECAME MORE COMMERCIAL.
T.D.- Can you explain Marc's sometimes harsh attitude to the people around him? What is/was your opinion on this?
Mickey: HE WAS A PERFECTIONIST AND ONLY WANTED THE BEST. HE THEN BECAME EXTREMELY EGOTISTICAL.
T.D.- How would you describe Marc when working in the studio? Did anything use to upset him? In your opinion, was Marc in control of what was going on in the studio?
Mickey: HE LOST HIS TEMPER IF THINGS DIDN'T GO WELL. MARC OR TONY VISCONTI WAS IN CHARGE.
T.D.- What was the climate of the T.Rex band around 1974 with the decline of T.Rextacy and the many changes being made to the band's sound as well as the addition of Gloria?
Mickey: I'll COME BACK TO YOU ON THIS ONE.
T.D.- Did Marc's decision to release "Bolan's Zip Gun" as a Marc Bolan album, not a T.Rex one, bring forward your decision to leave him?
Mickey: IT HELPED ME TO MAKE THE DECISION, I WAS NOT HAPPY WITH VARIOUS CHANGES GOIN ON.
T.D.- Did you know that Marc was planning a private fan club performance with you in 1977?
Mickey: YES, HE WANTED TO GO BACK ON THE PUB CIRCUIT.
T.D.- I know for me personally I ended up a big Blow Monkeys fan, in part due to seeking out their LP after I'd heard you had done session work on the track "Forbidden Fruit". Could you tell me how this session came about? Up until then, you had been very quiet on the music scene.
Mickey: I WASN'T QUIET ON THE MUSIC SCENE. I HAD BEEN WORKING FOR YEARS WITH UP AND COMING UNDERGROUND BANDS.
T.D.- What do you consider to be your best recording outside of T.Rex? With all the session work you have done, is their anyone in particular whom you would like to work with again?
Mickey: THE SOUP DRAGONS, HI-FI'S - RCA RECORDS CALLED ME AND ASKED IF I WANTED TO RECORD A GIG WITH THEM.
T.D.- What's your real name?
Mickey: MICKEY FINN
T.D.- What music were you into during the late 60s /early 70s?
Mickey: JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING.
T.D. Were you interested in the other Glitter/Glam bands that took a lead from T.Rex, for example Slade, Sweet, and to some extent David Bowie and the New York Dolls?
Mickey: JUST DAVID BOWIE
T.D.- From where did you and Marc get the influence to start camping it up and putting on make-up?
Mickey: IT CAME NATURALLY.
T.D.- Have you ever considered writing a book about your time with Marc and what your life was like before, during, and after the whole T.Rextasy period?
Mickey: YES, BUT PLEASE NOTE THE TRIBUTE BAND T-REXTASY CLONES ARE NOTHING TO DO WITH ME.
T.D.-Were you surprised by the reappraisal of Marc as a rock legend after years of being dismissed as just another teenage pop idol?
T.D.- What are your memories of Marc's relation with time and death? He seemed to know that he would die young. Was it ever noticeable in your relationship with him?
Mickey: ONLY THAT HE MENTIONED THAT HE WOULD DIE YOUNG.
T.D.- Do you have any unpublished photos, letters, or poems of Marc's?
T.D.- Have you ever sat down with Rolan and shared your memories of Marc with him? Do you have any contact with him or with Gloria?
Mickey: YES AND NEITHER.
T.D.-Did Marc have a master plan for his career? It sounds to me like a succession of three album waves, i.e. "Beard of Stars" is as different from "Unicorn" as "The Slider" is from "Electric Warrior". There's a complete change in the tone and approach.
Mickey: NO, IT JUST EVOLVED NATURALLY.
T.D.- Outside of music and poetry, did Marc have any other interests or hobbies? He never really mentioned any.
Mickey: HE LIKED SURREALIST PAINTERS SUCH AS DALI - WE SHARED THAT INTEREST.
T.D.- Did Marc ever wear a watch?
T.D.- What do you think is the most significant thing you learned from Marc?
T.D. - B.P. Fallon has said that Marc had special knowledge "beyond this world". Can you give us some examples of this knowledge, how it showed itself, if indeed it did?
Mickey: I WISH I COULD, BUT IT WAS PECULIARLY SPECIAL TO HIM.
T.D. - What Bolan albums/singles do you have today?
Mickey: MORE THAN I'VE HAD BEFORE
T.D.- What was the atmosphere of Marc's home like?
Mickey: IT WAS TRANQUIL.
T.D.- With the resurgence of pop music, do you enjoy any of the new crop of bands? Outside of that genre, what bands/music do you listen to?
Mickey: YES - VANILLA FUDGE, CATATONIA, TRAVIS. I LIKE A LOT OF BLUES... EARLY OBSCURE RECORDINGS OF BLIND LEMON JEFFERSON, JELLY ROLL MORTON, ROBERT JOHNSON AND MOONDOG
T.D. - Mickey, thanks for giving us at TILL DAWN this unique opportunity to speak to you over the internet. What do you think of the internet and its ability to "connect" people across the planet?
Mickey: IT IS GOOD TO BE ABLE TO COMMUNICATE SO EASILY.
On a personal note...
Rick Dalvano - Mickey, I want to thank you for all you have given to Marc's music. It has provided us all with so many youthful memories and resounding joy. I think it is grand that you are finally getting some press recognition and respect for your musical contribution to the band's work. I wish you great success with the current band. Thanks for helping to keep yours and Marc's memory alive.
Thanks from all of us at Till Dawn.
Mickey: BEST WISHES AND MANY THANKS FOR YOUR INTEREST.