Biography

Mick Cox was born in Gillingham in Kent (U.K) in 1943 as the bombs were dropping.

With a classical musician for a father, and two uncles who were jazz drummers, it was almost inevitable that Mick would choose a musician's life. After something of a misspent youth, his dad persuaded him to join the air force, "to get a bit of discipline".

This turned out to be very fortuitous for Mick, as he was posted to Downpatrick, near Belfast in Northern Ireland where he met and befreinded some fine musicians. It was whilst he was here that Mick first met Henry McCullough who he would later go on to replace in Eire Apparent.

Around this time a band called The Alleykatz were becoming very popular on the Belfast scene. Meeting with their then guitarist, Billy Hollywood after a gig, Mick discovered that Billy was on his way out of the band and landed the job with The Alleykatz. Their popularity and success grew and The Alleykatz found themselves playing support slots with such people as Stevie Winwood of Spencer Davis fame.

Belfast and beyond.

After the break up of The Alleykatz and a disastrous tour of Germany with another band, Mick got back to London in '67. At this time, Mick's brother John was playing with Van Morrison who had returned from recording Brown Eyed Girl in America.

Mick takes up the story from here:

"John left after a while and recommended me so I joined and Van went out under his own name on a similar circuit we had done with The Alleykatz. I had a flat in Limestone Road, and he [Van] used to come up all the time. I remember Van bringing the Brown Eyed Girl single up for the first time and playing it."

Eventually Van got a call to go back to America and shortly afterwards, asked Mick to join him out there as part of his band. At the same time Mick received another phone call from Dave Robinson of Eire Apparent who said that Henry McCullogh had been arrested in Canada over drugs offences and did Mick want join Eire Apparent on a tour with Jimi Hendrix?

Mick says:

"By this time I was already a huge Hendrix fan.At this point Van couldn't afford to take me over and support me. Of course the Hendrix, Eire Apparent, Soft Machine thing was on the road and had serious money behind it and Hendrix was huge at this point, having done Monterey.

So I got the call, I got my visa, they sent me the air ticket and off I went . Picked me up at the airport in a limo, and straight off to the Record Plant to do the Eire Apparent album in tandem with Hendrix doing Electric Ladyland."

A life less ordinary.

The full story of how Mick became a good friend and protege of Jimi's is one the most absorbing you will find and Mick has given full length interviews to magazines such as Wavelength and UniVibes about this time in his life.

After he left Eire Apparent in 1969, Mick success continued when he returned to England and formed Magnet. With a single in the U.S. charts and a tour of America which Mick describes as "the best tour ever" he continued to leave his mark on the music industry.

In 1973 Mick released a solo album which charted in the U.S., sold over 50,000 copies and won as ASCAP award. He joined up again with Van Morrison playing on Common One and Poetic Champions Compose as well as touring the U.S. and Europe as part of Van Morrison's touring band.

No sunset.

From The Alleykatz through his work with Eire Apparent on the album Sunrise, to solo albums and tours, the career of Mick Cox has spanned over four decades, no mean feat for any career, especially that of a musician . A chronological history of Mick's incredible career is on the discography page on this site.

In 1995 Mick recorded and released his second solo album, entitled Compose Yourself. You can hear some extracts of this solo outing are on the sounds page. He continues to work as a professional musician and in addition to being well respected and busy guitar player, is also an accomplished arranger, keyboard player, pianist and harmonica player.

Mick died in 2008 after a battle with cancer but was playing and composing to the very last and was an inspiration to all those around him.

Reset
Up
Down