Roger Morse - (England)
Under "Gigs review menu" you'll see that Roger sent
in a report and photos of the Ace Cafe show - well, here's another of Roger's
Whenever our local music shop had a Fender
Telecaster in, I would try to get a go on it, just to try out Mick
Green/Pirate riffs. They would never sound right on anything else,
although the early Johnny Kidd hits, Shot of Rhythm and Blues, I'll Never Get
Over You etc. all featured Mick using his orginal Gibson, Les Paul Jnr. which
also sounded great.
I wrote to a music paper back then, I think Melody
Maker? Asking the question 'what gauge strings does Mick Green of the
Pirates use'? Most of the bands at that time including us, were playing
Shadows instrumentals normally with string gauges where it was impossible to
bend a string much.
Then along came Mick Green playing completely
different and bending notes all over the place.
Unfortunately I didn't, after that get the paper
regularly enough and it wasn't until some years later a friend said to me that
he had read a reply from Mick in a music paper about his strings. I
never did read the reply.
Nowdays obviously string gauges are no problem but
in those days to be able to bend a string meant replacing a wound G string as
they were then, with a plain B string, moving top E to the B position and
adding a banjo string to top E as James Burton (Rick Nelson's guitarist) did.
As I mentioned in a previous letter, I used to
record The Pirates and others from the radio (mostly Saturday Club sessions),
as a lot of people did at that time.
I have been in touch with the BBC archives
recently, to see if they still have the session that I USED
to have of Johnny Kidd and the Pirates, but they say that is one that they
don't have now. What's happened to some of these old recordings and
We often see black and white film on the
television of bands that were nowhere near as good or well known.
It's hard to believe everything was wiped.
Johnny Kidd and the Pirates were on lots of programmes at the time. Hasn't
anybody got Shakin' All Over from 'Oh Boy'? or perhaps the Pirates doing My
Babe on Ready Steady Go, (although I do have that one on audio). I have
just managed to get recordings of the Everly Brothers Live Sessions on
Saturday Club 1963, through the internet, so it can be done. Someone out
there must have some film or live recordings (bootleg or otherwise).
I will shortly be going through some of my old
reel to reel recordings and hopefully will find some of the Pirates and
Dakota's with Mick on guitar. If I find anything interesting I will
let you know.