The late Mick Wayne’s best-known piece of work is as the guitarist on David Bowie’s Space Oddity – his solos and “rocket launch effect” are as legendary as Bowie’s “Major Tom” lyrics. During Steve Took’s time with Bolan, Wayne and his bandmates from underground act Junior’s Eyes (whose 1969 LP “Battersea Power Station” was produced by Tony Visconti) were arguably Tookie’s opposite numbers in the Bowie camp, until they were gradually replaced by various future Spiders from Mars in spring 1970.
Much water had flowed under the bridge when one day, while Mick was beavering away at session work in Olympic Studios in Barnes, in trooped Tookie, with [temporarily ex-] Pink Fairies rhythm section Sandy and Russ. to record three tracks – “Amanda”, “Blind Owl Blues” and “Mr Discreet”. The trio snapped up Wayne on the spot and became a four-piece band.
The session didn’t work out in the end. As Wayne put it, in a 1991 interview "The trouble with all that dope induced thinking was that he was always questioning the results. Nothing ever got finished." Still, that didn’t stop Mick from turning up to Steve’s flat-cum-studio beneath Tony Secunda’s office in Mayfair, therein to contribute some excellent guitar to erstwhile Missing Link CD tracks such as Lucky Charm, Flophouse Blues and I Caution You (a.k.a. Steel Abortion.)
However, Mick’s subsequent attempt to form a new version of the Pink Fairies with Sandy and Russ backfired horribly. Mick was a great guitarist, but an – ahem – unsuitable frontman, and his phase of the band (covering the “Well Well Well” single and a handful of gigs in late ‘72) is largely regarded as the lame duck of Pink Fairy eras. So much so that in the end, Took’s one-time Shagrat sidekick Larry Wallis had to be called in to rescue the band’s name from the mud.
As Lazza himself recalls: “I go onstage with them and we do things like "Going Down'. Mick Wayne's out front and he's singing stuff like: "Oh I'd walk ten miles for my big legged woman/I'd walk ten miles for my big legged woman/I'd walk ten miles/I'd walk ten miles/I'd walk ten miles/I'd walk ten miles/I'd walk ten miles for my big legged woman/Oh she's good to me my big legged woman." In the dressing room after the show, Russell Hunter says, "Either he [Mick Wayne] goes and Larry Wallis takes over as lead fuckin' singin' guitarist or I go."
“I'm standing there going, "Uh, uh…” Sandy says, "I'm with him Mick, you're fired. Larry, you're front man." I go, 'But fellas, I've never sung in a band and I've never written a song." "Well, you will now." About two weeks later we enter Chipping Norton doing KINGS OF OBLIVION. Mick Wayne never did another gig with the Pink Fairies. We were all these razor-sharpo, loonie, velvet-clad monsters into "KICK OUT THE JAMS MOTHERFUCKER!" and Mick Wayne wanted his big legged woman.”
Tragically, Mick Wayne died in a house fire in the USA in 1994. He is survived by his daughters Sarah and Abbegail.
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