Mick Ronson Sessions - 1960s and 1970s
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Mick Ronson Sessions - 1960s and 1970s
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This is our attempt to document all of Mick Ronson's many collaborations, sessions, productions, and guest appearances.

Michael Chapman (1969)

Michael Chapman was a singer/songwriter from Hull, who signed to Harvest Records and released his debut album Rainmaker in 1969. His bass player on that record was Rick Kemp, a regular on the Hull scene and a friend of Mick Ronson's. Rick suggested Ronson when Chapman got ready to record his second Harvest album, and the two got together a few times at Chapman's house and immediately hit it off. Gus Dudgeon, Chapman's producer, was initially resistant to using Mick on the album, but Chapman insisted. (Dudgeon wanted to use Mick Wayne from Junior's Eyes, who had recently recorded with Bowie.) Mick traveled to London for the recording sessions, which were done at Regent Studios. Mick played all the electric guitar on the album, and immediately won over Gus Dudgeon with his playing. The resulting album, Fully Qualified Survivor, was issued in 1970 by Harvest. It was Mick's first appearance on vinyl.

[Michael Chapman, to Campbell Devine] 'When it came to do my second album, Fully Qualified Survivor, they wanted me to have these London session guitarists on it, but I said: 'Bugger off! I know a gardener in Hull who'll blow them out of the water!''

Mick also performed a few BBC John Peel sessions with Michael Chapman. On 13 December 1971, he recorded a four-track session with Michael Chapman, Rick Kemp, Alex Atterson, Johnny Van Derek, and Laurie Allan. On 20 March 1972 and 14 January 1975, the same lineup recorded additional four-song Peel sessions. Mick would return in 1976 to play guitar on another Michael Chapman album, The Man Who Hated Mornings.

Visit the Michael Chapman website

Fully Qualified Survivor
Tony Visconti (1970)

When Tony Visconti's 1977 album Inventory was reissued on CD, a dozen bonus tracks were added to the album. Two of them feature Mick Ronson. 'Skinny Rose' was recorded by Mick Ronson, Tony Visconti, and John Cambridge in 1970 when The Hype had some extra studio time available. 'Clorissa' is also from 1970 and features Ronson, Visconti, and Woody Woodmansey.

[Tony Visconti, to Campbell Devine] 'Mick Ronson just floored us. When David and I met him we knew he'd fit in looks-wise, but we had no idea what was coming until he picked up is Les Paul and played for us. He really didn't have to be taught the few songs we'd already worked up with John Cambridge. Mick just watched our hands on the guitar and bass necks and he just knew what to play. He was a blessing.'

Visit the Tony Visconti website

Inventory CD
Elton John (1970)

During the recording of Bowie's The Man Who Sold The World, Mick Ronson and Michael Chapman were offered the chance to record with Elton John at Trident Studios. Gus Dudgeon was Elton's producer, and he suggested Ronson and Chapman to Elton, based on his experience during the recording of Michael Chapman's album. They each recorded a version of 'Madman Across The Water', with Mick contributed electric guitar to one and Chapman playing acoustic on the other. Their versions of the song were not used on the resulting album, Tumbleweed Connection, but Mick's version was later issued in 1991 as a CD bonus track, and also on a couple CD compilations.

Visit the Elton John website

Classic Elton John CD
Lou Reed (1972)

David Bowie and Mick Ronson traveled to New York in September 1971 to finalize David's contract with RCA Records. It was on this trip that Mick and David met Andy Warhol and Lou Reed, and were reunited with the rest of the Warhol crowd including Cherry Vanilla, Tony Zanetta, and Leee Black Childers (they had met a few months earlier when Warhol's play dPork came to London). It was from this group that Tony DeFries created the American arm of MainMan, and Lou Reed eventually came into the fold. Reed's second solo album Transformer was recorded at Trident Studios in London in August 1972, with David Bowie and Mick Ronson co-producing. Mick was intimately involved in sessions, arranging songs and contributing guitar, piano, recorder, and backing vocals. The album relaunched Reed's career, and spawned the international hit 'Walk On The Wild Side'.

[Mick Ronson] 'We were pretty sharp and that's how records were made back then. Records were done very quickly. I mean, when David and I produced Lou Reed's Transformer, we recorded the whole thing in 10 days, six hours a day. We recorded the whole thing in 60 hours and it was mixed and that was it.'

[Lou Reed] 'The thing with Ronno was that I could very rarely understand a word he said. He had a thick Hull accent, and he'd have to repeat things five times! But he was a real sweet guy, and a great guitar player.'

Visit the Lou Reed website

Transformer LP

Mick with Lou Reed
Mott The Hoople (1972)

In early 1972, with Mott The Hoople on the verge of splitting up, Overend Watts contacted David Bowie to see if he needed a bass player. When Bowie learned of the band's imminent demise, he offered Watts a song that he had written called 'All The Young Dudes'. In short order the band was back together, Mainman was overseeing their affairs, the group was signed to CBS Records, and Bowie himself was slated to produce their next album All The Young Dudes. Mick Ronson was tapped to write the string arrangement for the track 'Sea Diver', which Ian Hunter recalls was done for 20 quid on the back of a fag packet.

All The Young Dudes 45
Pure Prairie League (1972)

The Pure Prairie League was a country-rock band formed in 1970 in Columbus OH, after singer-guitarist Craig Fuller and bassist Phil Stokes had a falling out with the leader of their previous band, J.D. Blackfoot. The group eventually signed to RCA and released a self-titled debut album in 1972, produced by Bob Ringe. During David Bowie's 1972 USA tour, Bob Ringe approached Mick Ronson about doing some session work, and during an October break in the Bowie tour, Mick traveled to Toronto to contribute string arrangements and backing vocals to the group's sophomore effort, Bustin' Out, also produced by Ringe. (Mick's vocal credits are disguised by a typo that lists him as Rick Ronson). When it was released later that year, initial album sales were disappointing and the band was dropped from RCA. But the group soldiered on, and were rewarded three years later when a song from the album, 'Amie', garnered significant radio play was issued as a single. 'Amie' reached the top 40, but by this time Craig Fuller was no longer in the group, having received a call from Uncle Sam for Vietnam and opted for alternate duty as a conscientious objector.

Mick's work with The Pure Prarie League had a definite influence on him. Two songs from the Bustin' Out album - Craig Fuller's 'Angel #9' and George Powell's 'Leave My Heart Alone' - would later be covered by Mick in 1974. A song from Pure Prairie League's debut album - Adam Taylor's 'Woman' - would be also be covered by Mick, on his 1975 album Play Don't Worry.

Visit the Pure Prairie League website

Bustin' Out LP
Milkwood (1972)

Laurie Heath, Chris Barrington and Sally Graham were original members of The New Seekers, a group put together by ex-Seeker Keith Potger which also featured Eve Graham and Marty Kristian. Laurie and Chris had been friends since childhood, having attended acting school and appeared in the film Goodbye Mr. Chips together.

[Keith Potger, to NME in 1969] 'I tried the agencies and advertised in 'NME' and 'The Stage'. I found Laurie, who played guitar. He had a friend Chris, who played bass guitar. Then Chris got in touch with a friend he'd made in Australia, Marty Kristian, who was a big teenage star over there. By the end of May I'd found three boys, but it was very difficult to find two girls who looked right together and who sounded right. Then after three months of looking, they both turned up on the same weekend - and both with the same surname!'

Laurie, Chris and Sally appeared on the debut album by The New Seekers, but left in July 1970 to form their own trio, Milkwood. This group released three singles for Warner Brothers, beginning in 1972. The first single ('Watching You Go' b/w 'Here I Stand') was produced by Don Hunter and featured a Mick Ronson arranging credit on the A side. It's likely Mick Ronson's involvement with Milkwood led him to record the Laurie Heath composition 'This Is For You' on his Play Don't Worry album. Other reports of Mick Ronson involvement with The New Seekers are probably erroneous.

Milkwood 45

Milkwood 45
Lulu (1973)

Lulu rose to prominence in the 1960s, largely based on her appearance in the movie To Sir With Love and her hit single from the film. Her career had begun to flag a bit in the 1970s, but a chance meeting with David Bowie in 1973 resulted in a collaboration. They discussed working together, and Bowie worked up arrangements for 'The Man Who Sold The World' and 'Watch That Man', which were recorded in July 1973 at the Chateau D'Herouville in France during the sessions for Bowie's album Pin Ups. In addition to playing and singing on the tracks, Mick Ronson and David Bowie are credited with production and arrangement. The tracks were released as a single in the UK and Europe in 1974, and also appeared on a 1976 album in the USA entitled Heaven and Earth and Stars, and on several subsequent compilations.

[Lulu, to Campbell Devine] 'Mick Ronson was the first guitarist who ever accessed and combined a pop/rock and punk ethic in his guitar playing. His style was totally unique to the day. I loved working with Mick in the studio. He was not a diva, he was a kind and gentle soul.'

Visit the Lulu website

Man Who Sold The World 45

Earth & Moon & Stars LP
Dana Gillespie (1973)

Dana Gillespie was a former girlfriend of David Bowie, who was signed by Tony DeFries and his MainMan organization. During the summer of 1971, Mick spent time working with Dana on her first RCA/MainMan album, Weren't Born A Man. The album was not released until 1973, and when it appeared it boasted two songs produced by David Bowie and Mick Ronson, 'Andy Warhol' and 'Mother Don't Be Frightened'. The tracks were recorded at Trident Studios with the Spiders From Mars and Rick Wakeman. The latter track also features a Ronson string arrangement.

In June 1974 Mick worked with Dana Gillespie again, on her second MainMan/RCA release Ain't Gonna Play No Second Fiddle. Although Mick is not credited on the album, he did produce two tracks that remained unreleased until they appeared on a 1995 CD compilation: 'Never Knew' (which appears in another form on the LP), and 'Lavender Hill'.

The sessions for Ain't Gonna Play No Second Fiddle may have planted the seeds for a couple later personnel decisions: drummer Simon Philips would be recruited for the first incarnation of the Ian Hunter/Mick Ronson band, and guitarist John Turnbull would accompany Mick on the Old Grey Whistle test in April 1975. In 1994, Gillespie would perform at the first Mick Ronson Memorial Concert at the Hammersmith Odeon in London.

Visit the Dana Gillespie website

Weren't Born A Man LP
The Fallen Angels (1973)

Following his split with David Bowie, Mick planned to form a new band called The Fallen Angels around the players from the Pin Ups sessions - keyboard player Mike Garson, bassist Trevor Bolder, and drummer Aynsley Dunbar. The lineup was to be rounded out by vocalist Scott Richardson, who had previously fronted the Scott Richardson Case (SRC), a Detroit-based hard rock band which released three albums for Capitol Records. Richardson had been brought into the MainMan family by Angela Bowie, and became good friends with David. But Richardson backed out after a disagreement with Tony DeFries over contract terms, and the project fell apart. The only evidence of this short-lived collaboration are the two Ronson-Richardson compositions on Mick's debut album, 'Only After Dark' and 'Pleasure Man'.

Bob Sargeant (1974)

In April 1974, Mick Ronson teamed up with RCA recording artist Bob Sergeant to record his solo album First Starring Role. Mick produced four tracks for the LP, and contributed string and brass arrangements as well as playing the recorder. Sargeant would later return the favor by cowriting the title track to Mick's next solo album, Play Don't Worry. Sargeant's album was recorded at Trident Studios in London, with familiar faces like Mike Garson and Ritchie Dharma helping out. First Starring Role would prove to be Bob Sargeant's only album, and he would soon find bigger success as a producer, most notably with Haircut 100 and The English Beat.

First Starring Role LP
Mott The Hoople (1974)

In September 1974, Ian Hunter held a star-studded press conference at the Hotel St. Moritz in New York to announce what most music journalists already knew: that Mick Ronson was joining the band, replacing the departing Ariel Bender. Ronson's tenure in Mott The Hoople lasted only a few weeks, just enough time for a single (Saturday Gigs) and a short tour of Scandinavia and Europe. Plans for a UK tour in December 1974 - followed by an album and a US tour - were abandoned when Ian fell ill and announced he was leaving the band. This did not end the collaboration between Hunter and Ronson, however.

Visit the Mott The Hoople website

Saturday Gigs 45

Mott The Hoople
The Spiders From Mars (1975)

In 1975, members of David Bowie's backing band The Spiders From Mars decided to give it another go. Trevor Bolder and Woody Woodmansey teamed up with Dave Black and Pete MacDonald from Kestrel, and signed a deal with Pye Records. The resulting album was recorded at Trident Studios and featured Mike Garson on a few tracks, and was issued in 1976. The album that resulted was not a commercial success, however, and the group soon split. However, an unreleased track recorded for the LP, She's A Roller, features a guest appearance from Mick Ronson on guitar. The track was intended as a single, but was shelved when the group was dropped by Pye.

Mick Ronson Band (1975)

IN 1976, Mick Ronson put together his own Mick Ronson Band. Ex-Cherry Vanilla drummer Hilly Michaels was involved, as well as ex-Beckies guitarist Jimmy MacAllister. Not much is known about the rest of the band, although Hilly Michaels has said they auditioned "hundreds" of musicians. Although they never recorded, this band provided Mick with the musicians who were recruited for a number of his sessions, including his work with John Cougar and Sparks.

[Jimmy MacAllister] 'After the Beckies, I joined Mick Ronson's band in '76, then joined Sparks later that year for one tour.'

[Hilly Michaels] 'Starting in 1975, I was the drummer for the Mick Ronson Band for two years in New York City - we auditioned hundreds of musicians.'

Bob Dylan (1975-76)

Mick moved to Manhattan in 1975, and he soon became a regular at the Greenwich Village clubs. Bob Dylan and Bob Neuwirth were regulars on that scene, and their performances at the Other End were a magnet for other artists, and everyone from Phil Ochs to Patti Smith turned up to play. Mick Ronson came down one night, having heard that Dylan might be appearing. Mick was actually thrown out of the club a few times, before Neuwirth recognized him and introduced him to Bob Dylan. They talked, and Dylan asked Ronson to come on the road with him.

After a few months of occasional contact, in October 1975 Mick found himself 'rehearsing' with Dylan at Studio Instrument Rentals in New York. The rehearsals were really just a jam sessions, as musicians were invited down to run through songs. From this organized choas sprang the Rolling Thunder Revue, a sprawling tour featuring Dylan, Joan Baez, Rambling Jack Elliott, Roger McGuinn, and a stream of guests including Allen Ginsberg, Kinky Friedman, Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, and Arlo Guthrie. Supporting the all-star cast was a backing band that came to be known as Guam: Bob Neuwirth, T-Bone Burnett, Mick Ronson, Rob Stoner, Dave Mansfield, Steven Soles, Ronnie Blakley, and Howie Wyeth.

The Rolling Thunder tour lated more than 60 dates, with a first leg from Oct-Dec 1975, and a second leg from Apr-Jun 1976. During the shows, Guam would play a warm-up set with solo songs from the various members, including Bob Neuwirth, Rob Stoner, T Bone Burnett, and Steve Soles. Mick Ronson would often perform a somg called 'IS There LIfe On Mars?' written by a friend of T Bone Burnett named Bob Barnes, a.k.a. Roscoe West.

[Bob Neuwirth, to CLssic Rock] 'Guam included Rob Stoner, David Mansfield and Steven Soles, and then we sent for T-Bone Burnett. Lots of musicians came alone and we just dragged people up on stage. It was just a lark at first. Ronson was a great lead player though, and he just jumped into it. I fell in love with his guitar playing on the spot... Dylan was at the club every night and people like Patti Smith and Bruce Springsteen came along. Rambling Jack Smith joined us, and Roger McGuinn came to see us and stayed. Ronson was great every night. There were seven guitarists in the band at one point, but Mick's brilliance was the way in which he adapted to what everyone else was doing around him. He played every style of music, too - Beck, Hendrix, you name it. Mick Ronson was, quite simply, a tour de force!'

[Mick Ronson, to Melody Maker in 1976] 'I'd never even heard half of these numbers. So I was having to listen and watch. I wasn't used to the sequence of songs, or how they developed. At first I was completely baffled by them all. Really baffled and confused. All I could do was try and play, just try to fit in with what was happening. I thought I was terrible at first. I was getting a bit frustrated. I wasn't playing well. But as the rehearsals went on, I started pulling myself into it a bit more. They took a bit of time with me, which I appreciated. Not many people would have had that kind of patience in that sort of situation. There was no great pressure on me to get it right, or to get out.'

The Rolling Thunder Revue spawned a live album, Hard Rain, as well as a sprawling, surrealistic movie entitled Renaldo & Clara. Mick plays a small role in the film.

Hard Rain LP

Renaldo & Clara Promo EP

Rolling Thunder Revue
The Sundragon Sessions (1975)

After the first leg of the Rolling Thunder tour was completed, Mick and a few members of the band spent some time at Sundragon Studios in New York City, recording some demos. The studio was located on West 20th Street, and was later used by the Ramones (Leave Home), Talking Heads (Talking Heads '77), and David Johansen (Here Comes The Night). Six tracks are known to have been recorded at Sundragon. Mick sang on 'Stone Love', 'I'd Rather Be Me', 'Is There Life On Mars?', and 'Pain In The City'. T Bone Burnett contributed his song 'The Dogs', and Steven Soles added 'Madman On The Loose'. In addition to these musicians, Dave Mansfield and Rob Stoner were also at the sessions. Although no one is sure, Dave Mansfield suggests that Michael Brecker and Howie Wyeth was also involved.

[Dave Mansfield] 'We later recorded 'Dogs' and 'Madman' on the first Alpha Band record on Arista. Sundragon Studios were in downtown Manhattan, but I don't remember exactly where. It was owned by a couple of guys, one of which was Michael Ewing. I can't remember Mike's partner's name. Steven Soles was involved with Sundragon, and probably was the one who suggested it because he used to record there all the time. Michael Brecker was probably there, because he lived in the apartment upstairs from Howie Wyeth (on 19th St. in Chelsea) at the time, and used to drop by to play with us frequently.'

Roger McGuinn (1975)

Mick's involvement with Bob Dylan's Rolling Thunder Revue led to his inclusion in a number of Rolling Thunder-related projects. One of these was Roger McGuinn's Cardiff Rose album in 1976. In addition to producing, Mick played a wide variety of instruments on the album. It is generally considered to be the best of McGuinn's solo output during his Columbia period, and one of the hardest rocking albums by an ex-Byrd.

During the Rolling Thunder tour, the backing group came to be called Guam. Between legs of the tour, members of this group - McGuinn, Ronson, Rob Stoner, David Mansfield, and Howie Wyeth - were reported to be forming a band called Thunderbyrd. They gathered at The Record Plant in Los Angeles to record Roger's Cardiff Rose album, with Mick Ronson taking on the role of producer in addition to playing on the album. But after the second leg of the Bob Dylan tour, the group never got back together.

[Dave Mansfield] Guam was just the name used by the backing band on Rolling Thunder. Thunderbyrd was one of the first attempts to put an actual band together after the tour, which never really jelled out of the rehearsal stage. Instead, we made the album Cardiff Rose for McGuinn in LA.

[Roger McGuinn, to Rock Magazine] What a great producer he is! Very business-like, very aggressive, and very together. He's one of the most professional people I've ever worked with. He had all kinds of great idea, and he never got bogged down, frustrated, or angry. He just worked all the time.

Roger McGuinn would later resurrect the name Thunderbyrd for an album and tour in 1977, although none of the other Rolling Thunder participants were involved.

Visit the Roger McGuinn website

Cardiff Rose LP

Mick with Roger McGuinn
John Cougar (1976)

Although Mick's relationship with MainMan was winding down, he found time to help Tony DeFries with his latest discovery, Indiana native John Mellencamp. MainMan had signed John Mellencamp based on a demo tape he submitted, and after a quick name change they set their formidable publicity machine to the task of making 'Johnny Cougar' a star. (Tony Zanetta, president of MainMan USA, was made his manager.) Mick was asked to help out with the recording of Cougar's debut album, Chestnut Street Incident, which was recorded in sessions at The Record Plant and The Hit Factory. Joining Ronson at the sessions was his Rolling Thunder bandmate Dave Mansfield.

[John Mellencamp] 'I met DeFries and he asks, 'Have you written any songs?' Yeah, two. 'Okay,' he says. 'Here's $30,000. Go home and make some demos.' I thought, 'Thirty grand, thatís a lot of money' and I almost decided to take the cash and fuck off. Buy a new car or something. But I didn't do that. I made my demos and took them back. And then I met Mick Ronson, who hired me a band, including himself and pianist Michael Kamen. Ronson was on tour with Bob Dylan's Rolling Thunder Revue at the time, But he still played guitar for me. What a fantastic guy. He fixed the songs and DeFries put them out. I thought they were just work in progress, but no, they were good enough.'

Chestnut Street Incident LP
Kinky Friedman (1976)

Kinky Friedman is a musician, songwriter, humorist, novelist, columnist, and politician. He has released ten albums, published more than 20 books, writes a regular column for Texas Monthly, and appears regularly on the Bill O'Reilly show. He ran for governor of Texas in 2006, and received 12% of the popular vote.

Kinky was an occasional guest on Bob Dylan's Rolling Thunder Revue in 1975, and became a featured performer on the 1976 leg with Guam playing behind him. Kinky performed a number of different songs over the course of the tour, including 'Asshole From El Paso', 'Dear Abbie', 'Remember The Golden Rule', 'Rolling Across The USA', and 'Ride 'Em Jewboy'. A live version of 'Sold American' was recorded at Fort Collins CO on 23 May 1976, which eventually appeared on Kinky's 1976 album Lasso From El Passo.

Visit the Kinky Friedman website

Lasso From El Paso LP
New York Dolls (1976)

During the 1975-76 period, Mick was thoroughly immersed in the New York lifestyle. In addition to hanging out with Dylan and the folkies in the Village, he was also meeting and playing with some of the more cutting-edge artists in the City. On July 4, 1976, Mick celebrated America's bicentennial by turning up onstage with the New York Dolls, playing a flying V guitar borrowed from Syl Sylvain.

NY Dolls
John Cale (1976)

Another of Mick Ronson's legendary guest appearances in 1976 occurred a couple weeks after his guest spot with the New York Dolls. John Cale had announced two midnight gigs at The Ocean Club on the Lower East Side, with rumors that his old Velvet Underground bandmate Lou Reed would join him at the shows. Reed did turn up, and so did a few others - the band consisted of Cale, Reed, Patti Smith, David Byrne, and Mick Ronson.

John Cale
The Rob Stoner Band (1976)

Rob 'Stoner' Rothstein has quite a resume. He was signed to a songwriting contract by Leiber and Stoller, played bass and sang backup on Don McLean's 'American Pie', signed a solo deal with Epic in 1973, and toured up and down the East Coast with his rockabilly band Rockin' Rob and the Rebels. A chance meeting with Bob Dylan in 1970 started a friendship, and when Dylan came up with the idea for the Rolling Thunder Revue, he called on Rob Stoner to organize and lead the band.

Mick played a couple one-off gigs with Rob Stoner and other Rolling Thunder bandmates under the Rob Stoner Band monicker. Not much is known about these gigs, although a news items in The New Yorker mention the Rob Stoner Band playing a couple dates in Aug-Sep 1976.

[Rob Stoner] 'Mick was a very conceptual player with amazing tone, emotion and execution. He was always a complete professional, always coming up with creative surprises. He would always be listening to everything and have an overview beyond what most guitarists hear. Mick's musicianship was like his personality: no ego. His soft spoken humility was a contrast to his roaring lead playing.'

Visit the Rob Stoner website

Mick with Rob Stoner

Mick with Rob Stoner
Michael Chapman (1976)

In 1976, Michael Chapman had initially wanted Mick Ronson to produce and play on his next album. Mick was unable to commit to the project, but showed up at the studio during the sessions and contributed guitar to one song on the album, which was released the following year as The Man Who Hated Mornings.

[Michael Chapman, to Weird & Gilly] 'He turned up in the middle of the sessions with his Les Paul, the first Mesa Boogie amplifier I'd ever seen, and a bottle of Vodka. He was not in good condition! He came in and played all day and it as awful. Then all of a sudden he just clicked into gear on one tune, 'I'm Sober Now', and then instantly afterwards he double-tracked it perfectly in harmony. Then he went back to playing shit again!'

Visit the Michael Chapman website

The Man Who Hated Mornings
David Cassidy (1976)

In the summer of 1976, David Cassidy ended a self-imposed, two-year break from the music business asnd began working on a new album with Beach Boy Ricky Fataar at the Carribou Ranch in Denver. Mick Ronson, who had previously expressed an interest in producing Cassidy, was invited out to play guitar on a couple tracks. A friendship developed, and when Cassidy came through New York he stayed with Ronson. They rehearsed a bit at SIR, and discussed forming a band together, but neither party in this already-tenuous pairing was ready to commit to the project so nothing came of it in the end. But for a time at the end of 1976, the music press on both sides of the Atlantic - from Creem to Melody Maker - was buzzing with speculation about the pairing.

The album Cassidy recorded was eventually released in 1976 as Gettin' It In The Street, and the title track featured Mick Ronson's trademark guitar. The album was only released in the USA, but the title track was issued as a single in the US, UK, Germany and Japan.

[Mick Ronson, to NME] 'On the last date of the Rolling Thunder Revue, we was up in Colorado and David was recording up in Caribou, which was three or four miles up the road from the hotel where we were staying. So after the last gig I went up there to stay for a few days. I got to know him and he became a good friend. He's a good guitar player. Nobody knows that. He plays real good, sings real good, looks real good and I thought it might be a nice thing to do. It doesnít matter what people think - you canĎt be in The Partridge Family all your life.'

[David Cassidy, to Campbell Devine] 'Mick Ronson was a far greater musician and a far greater person than anyone was allowed to know. I loved him and admired his uniqueness, and was privileged to have worked with him.'

Gettin' It In The Street 45

Billboard, 16 Oct 1976
Sparks (1976)

Sparks sought out Mick Ronson in 1976 in hopes of having him produce their sixth album, Big Beat, and possibly even join their band. The brothers rehearsed with Mick at Danny Shea's rehearsal room in New York City, with drummer Hilly Michaels and bass player Sal Maida rounding out the group. One of the rehearsals with Ronson was recorded by Hilly Michaels on a portable cassette recorder, and reveals the band working through a number of songs from the Big Beat LP. Mick eventually bowed out of the project, but Hilly Michaels played on the Big Beat album and also played with the band on the subsequent tour. Jeff Salen was recruited to play on the album, and Mick Ronson Band guitarist Jimmy McAllister played on the tour. Hilly would eventually hook up with Mick Ronson again in 1979, in the Ian Hunter Band.

[Hilly Michaels] 'I was living with Mick Ronson on and off for years, auditioning second guitarists and bass players trying to put a new Mick Ronson Band together. One bright blue summer day, Sparks showed up and we jammed. Ron and Russell Mael were hoping that Mick Ronson would not only produce and play on Sparks' first Columbia record, but were hoping he would join the band. To prepare ourselves for the upcoming album Big Beat, the songs being worked on include 'Big Boy', 'Everybody's Stupid', 'I Wanna Be Like Everybody Else', and 'Throw Her Away (and get a new one).'

[Ron Mael, to Jim Wilson] 'The demos featuring Mick Ronson actually sound better than what the final album sounded like. We still have the cassettes of the really rough demos of Mick Ronson playing a lot of the songs and they sound really great because he plays with a lot of abandon. Rupert Holmes finally produced Big Beat and it was such a funny thing because heís 180 degrees away from the sort of producer that should be producing that kind of sound. It was just a screwy situation.'

[Russell Mael, to Weird & Gilly] 'Mick's manner was more easy-going than we expected. Mick the musician did not let us down with the image we had of him from his work with Bowie. His guitar work was every bit as musician-ly, flashy, and cool as we had expected. Certain pop musicians stand out above the crowd. Mick was one.'

Visit the Sparks website

Hilly Michaels (1977)

Drummer Hilly Michaels first hooked up with Mick Ronson in 1975 in New York City, when he formed a Mick Ronson band with guitarist Jimmy McAllister. He continued to work with Mick throughout the 70s and early 80s, on their own material as well as with artists like Sparks, John Cougar, and Ellen Foley. Hilly eventually became the drummer for the Ian Hunter/Mick Ronson Band in 1979. During this time Hilly also signed as a solo artist to Warner Brothers, releasing the LPs Calling All Girls in 1980 and Lumia in 1983.

[Hilly Michaels, to Colin Blades] 'After my stint playing drums for Cherry Vanilla, Mick took me under his wing and I ended up moving in with Mick, his wife Suzi, and Danny Shea. There was a rehearsal studio in the 4 story brownstone where Mick and just myself recorded dozens of songs, all Micks basic tunes. Together, we worked on these recordings for months and months.'

In 2010 Hilly issued the CD Pop This, compiling unreleased material dating back as far as the 1970s. Mick Ronson is confirmed to have played on at least two tracks (a demo of 'Calling All Girls' and 'What's Your Name') and likely played on several others, such as 'Dixie Dolls'.

[Hilly Michaels, to Colin Blades] 'I believe I asked Mick to play on this rare version of 'Calling All Girls' around 1977. Mick loved the song and asked to play guitar and sing on all the chores bits.One night I booked Sun Dragon Studios in NYC and Mick was prepared for the date. I wanted to rock the song up more, make it edgier. Mick requested to sing the chorus bits, he loved singing them and we had a blast, recording and laughing all evening. Listen to 'What's Your Name?' on Pop This. It's seven-plus minutes of Mick playing some very wild leads and riffs on a song I began writing with him in 1976 in NY during our quest for other players.'

Visit the Hilly Michaels website

Hilly Michaels
Topaz (1977)

Topaz was yet another offshoot of Mick Ronson's involvement with Bob Dylan's Rolling Thunder Revue. The group consisted of bassist Rob 'Stoner' Rothstein, guitarist Billy Cross, and singer Jaspar Hutchison. Rob Stoner and Billy Cross met in high school, and spent time together on the New York music scene. By 1974, Rob Stoner was fronting his own band, apparently using his bass as the lead instrument. He had two singles to his credit, 'Choo Choo Choo' and 'Country Killer', both on the Epic label.

In 1975, Rob Stoner got the call from Bob Dylan to join the Rolling Thunder Revue tour, and he played with Mick Ronson for much of the next two years. Billy Cross, meantime, had been touring the States and encountered Jaspar Hutchison in his native Texas. After the Rolling Thunder tour, Stoner, Cross, and Hutchison formed Topaz and released their self-titled LP in 1977. The album was produced by Don DeVito, and Mick Ronson is credited with rhythm guitar on 'Slice of Night', and piano on 'Some American Obsession' and 'A Modern Love Song'. In addition to Mick Ronson, the album includes contributions from fellow Rolling Thunder alumni Howie Wyeth and Luther Rix.

Stoner and Cross would tour with Bob Dylan again in 1978. Also in 1978, Billy Cross filled in for Mick Ronson during rehearsals for Ellen Foley's Night Out album, and he appears in the promotional videos for 'Stupid Girl', 'We Belong To The Night', and 'What's The Matter Baby'.

[Rob Stoner] 'Guitar slingers usually are concerned primarily with their own parts, and forsake the big picture for their own flash. Mick was a record producer who happened to have guitar chops. When you hired him, you were getting an extra set of production and arrangement ears along with the amazing guitar ideas.'

Topaz Press Kit

Topaz Press Kit
Philip Rambow (1977)

After moving to London in 1973, Canadian Philip Rambow first came to prominence as a member of The Winkies, whose 1975 debut album was produced by Mott The Hoople mentor Guy Stevens. The Winkies split soon afterward, and Philip moved to New York for a couple years, where he was immersed in the CGBG's scene, and played supprt to Television among others. He contributed a version of his song 'Night Out' to a CBGB's compilation album, and also recorded tracks for a Phil Spector tribute album. By 1977, Rambow had returned to London, and soon put together a band that included Mick's sister Maggie on backing vocals.

[Philip Rambow, to Ed DiGangi] 'My Bass player, Dave Cochran, got to meet Maggie and her friend Della. They wanted to do backing vocals, and we got them to come along. Maggie mentioned that Mick was coming to London, and that he was interested in hearing new young bands and songwriters and she would see if he would like to come along to one of our rehearsals. I was surprised when he arrived and brought his guitar. He listened to a few things first and then we jammed. It was pretty quick when he said he would like to join the band Ė we were all over the moon. He said he really liked my songs. Mick was happy just to play guitar in my band - his contribution was self evident. The most memorable gigs with Mick were at the Nashville rooms. My management came up with a bold idea. If we did the show as a free show Ė there would be no tickets for the fire marshalls to count hence we could just jam the place out Ė which we did. We did 2 nights and the rough count was about 1200 people per night. The legal limit was 500 or so. Everyone in London was there.

The group toured the UK in late 1977, playing several dates including Dingwalls and the aforementioned Nashville Rooms. A live version of 'Underground Romance' appears on the Hope And Anchor Front Row Festival album, but Mick had left for New York to meet with Ellen Foley just before it was recorded. Ian Lewis, who attended the shows, confirms this: 'Mick Ronson did not play with Philip Rambow at the Front Row Festival in the Hope and Anchor. I was at the gig. He did, however, play dates prior to this in London with Rambow. The venue slips my mind [The Nashville Rooms-ed.], but I do remember it being reviewed in either the NME or Sounds.'

When Mick returned from New York, he and Philip Rambow went into Wessex Studios and recorded four tracks with Chris Thomas producing and Bill Price engineering. (Songs from these sessions, such as 'Fallen', were later re-recorded without Ronson for Rambow's Shooting Gallery album). When Mick returned to New York to begin pre-production work with Ellen Foley, he suggested Philip Rambow's songs to her, and she eventually chose to record 'Young Lust' and 'Night Out' for her debut album, using the latter as the album title.

[Philip Rambow, to Ed DiGangi] 'Mick was completely responsible for this. While I was waiting for my record deal to get sorted out, Mick said he would introduce my songs to her. I was passing through New York and he was doing pre-production with her at her flat. That consisted of getting $500 from CBS to spend on records Ė which they did. Mick insisted that she listen to all the best young songwriters of the day, and he included me in that category. I played Ellen both those songs in her flat on acoustic guitar and she loved them so they were both included.'

Click here to listen to the 'Fallen' demo with Mick Ronson
Here is an overview of Philip Rambow's career

Phil Rambow
Van Morrison (1977)

In 1977, Mick teamed up with Van Morrison, along with Peter Van Hooke (drums), Mo Foster (bass), and Dr. John (keyboards). This lineup played at a press launch for Van's new album A Period of Transition at Maunkberry's in London on 15 June 1977. This gig was filmed for the So It Goes TV show on Granada Television, airing on 9 Oct 1977. The group then traveled to Holland to appear on the Wonderland TV program, filmed at Vara Studios in Hilversum, Holland on 22 June 1977. The Wonderland show was also broadcast on FM radio in slightly altered form.

[Mo Foster] 'We only did a couple of dates - a launch at Maunkberry's club in London - this was shown on Granada's So It Goes - and a TV show from Hilversum in Holland. And then Van went home!'

There are many rumours about Mick's involvement with Van Morrison, most of which were started when a bootleg CD called Amsterdam's Tapes incorrectly listed the date of the Wonderland appearance as 1974. Mick is also reported to have contributed toward the Van Morrison album A Period of Transition, but this has not been verified.

Visit the Van Morrison website

Mick and Dr. John

Mick with Van Morrison
Roger Daltrey (1977)

Recorded a year before the Who's Who Are You, the Roger Daltrey solo album One of the Boys was an all-star affair, featuring such luminaries as John Entwistle, Jimmy McCulloch, Rod Argent, Hank Marvin, Alvin Lee, Eric Clapton, and Andy Fairweather-Low. The songwriting credits reveal another impressive array of contributors, including Paul McCartney, Colin Blunstone, Philip Goodhand-Tait, and Steve Gibbons. The basic tracks were recorded in November 1976 at the Who's Ramport Studios, and somewhere in there Mick Ronson plays guitar - although no source has ever detailed his contributions to the album. In 1994, Roger Daltrey would perform at the Mick Ronson Memorial Concert.

One of the Boys LP
Corky Laing (1977)

Mountain drummer Corky Laing released his first solo album in 1976, Making It On The Streets. In early 1977 his manager, Bob Ezrin suggested that he team up with a few other musicians to record his second album for Elektra, and Ian Hunter was the first to be brought in. Alice Cooper guitarist Steve Hunter was tapped next, and the trio began writing and rehearsing and casting about for other members to round out the group. Andy Fraser was brought in from Los Angeles on bass for a while, and keyboard player Lee Michaels was also recruited. Fraser soon dropped out, citing other commitments, and was replaced by 'Buffalo' Bill Gelber. Ian Hunter and Lee Michaels eventually fell out, and so Corky called in his old keyboard player, George Meyer, to audition as a possible replacement. Management did not approve of Meyer, however, because he was not deemed to be a big enough 'name'. Steve Hunter left soon afterward to work with Bette Midler on her movie The Rose, and the project fell apart. Ian Hunter and Corky Laing took a break, but vowed to finish the album they had started.

By late 1977, Ian and Corky came together and decided to give it another go. Ian suggested bringing Mick Ronson in, and the trio began rehearsing and hanging out together. Most of 1978 passed, and Ian Hunter signed with Cleveland International and Chrysalis and was set to start recording his Schizophrenic album with Mick in January 1979. But he and Corky decided to put the finish to their project, so the trio went to Bearsville studios to begin anew.

[Corky Laing] 'Ian and I had made a little deal to complete it one way or another. Thatís when we went up to Bearsville. The Stones had just finished rehearsing there, using my drums and some of my equipment, actually, and we didnít move a thing. Ian loved that - the keyboards and drums were in all tune, we just walked into it. I called Felix Pappalardi, and said 'I want you to come in and play bass. I donít want you to produce, I just want you to come in and play bass and have a good time.' We had a great time at Bearsville, just rehearsing and playing. Paul Butterfield would come in, David Sanborn would come in, and John Sebastian too. We got these basic tracks rehearsed, and then we went up to Levon Helmís place to record it. Ian said we needed somebody to grab the vocals. Between Felix and Ian and myself there were all these vocals going on. So I ran up to Todd Rundgrenís house and said, 'Todd, would you help us out here?' So Todd came in to produce the vocals and sing along. It was fucking wild; it was just great. I headed down to Criteria Studios with Felix, and I called in Felixís mixer, Steve Klein, to mix the thing. Enter Leslie West, to put more guitars on! Those tracks we had were just fantastic. And thatís when the Cars broke wide open for Elektra. They had all these new wave bands; these really sharp, small, sleek bands. And here we were, the dinosaurs on top of the mountain in Woodstock, raising fucking hell. The record got shelved, because the president was fired and I didnít have a champion at the record company anymore. So there that record stayed.'

The sessions recorded by Ian, Mick Corky and Felix were eventually released as part of an album called The Secret Sessions in the 1990s.

The Secret Sessions CD
John Cale (1978)

During the sessions for Corky Laing's album, Mick Ronson discovered that John Cale was recording in an adjacent studio one night. He suggested dropping in to see Cale, and at Cale's urging the group decided spontaneously to record an album. so the four musicians - Hunter, Ronson, Laing, and Cale - recorded about an hours' worth of material on Cale's dime.

[Ian Hunter] 'When I worked with Cale, that was great, really great. He brings something into a room, an aura. We did an album once, a workshop album. It was with Corky Laing and Mick Ronson. It was some great stuff, all the lyrics were stream of consciousness. Apparently, Iím one of the few people who can do that, if I get excited enough. I can reel off words without writing them down. They just come. We had it going for two nights, and it was great.'

The sessions are reported to have produced four compelted tracks, including a 'deconstructed' take of 'Shakin' All Over' and a John Cale original called 'What's Your Name Jane?'. Unfortunately, the tapes belongs to John Cale and have never seen the light of day. Cale has discussed releasing in on a few occasions, however.

Annette Peacock (1978)

Avante Garde artist Annette Peacock was an influential artist even in the 1960s. She toured with Albert Ayler, recorded with Paul Bley, and even participated in some of Timothy Leary's culture experiments. Robert Moog even sent her a prototype of his synthesizer, years before it became commercially available. In 1972 she released her debut solo album, I'm The One, on RCA Records. She signed with the MainMan organization, and Mick Ronson was a big fan of the album, and there are stories of Mick walking around with handfuls of her albums, handing them out to all comers. Her influence on him was obvious - he recorded three of the songs on her 1972 album for his own releases, leaving her arrangements in place.

Ignored by MainMain, Annette relocated to England and it was nearly fours before she released her followup album, X-Dreams. Mick Ronson played on four tracks on the album: 'Mother Never Taught Me How To Cook', 'Questions', 'Too Much In The Skies', and 'Don't Be Cruel'.

I'm The One LP

X-Dreams LP
The Rich Kids (1978)

The Rich Kids were a UK punk band featuring bassist Glen Matlock of the Sex Pistols, and vocalist Midge Ure prior to his success with Visage and Ultravox. The group was rounded out by drummer Rusty Egan and guitarist Steve New. The group recorded a single album, Ghosts of Princes In Towers, before splitting up. The album was produced by Mick Ronson, who also produced three tracks released as B sides. In the final days of the group, Mick Ronson played on stage with them.

[Glen Matlock, to Campbell Devine] 'I first came across Mick Ronson when I worked in Malcolm McLaren's shop Let It Rock in the King's Road. Ian Hunter, Mick, and Suzi walked in one day and I was chuffed to meet them. Mick was interested in a pair of pink loafers, and I had to get every box down in the shop to get the right size. We sorted out a pair that fitted, and then Mick thought I was upset at having to pull all the boxes out. I told him I wasn't, but he was straight up the ladder putting all the shoe boxes back with me. A lovely bloke from the off.'

Steve New: 'Working with Mick was really important for me. I respected him so much. As a musician Mick was incredible. [The Lyceum] was such a night, Ronson played with us on the stage with Ian McLagan on keyboards. Iggy was there, Steve Marriot turned up ... I remember thinking 'fucking hell,' you're with the creme de la creme here.'

Ghosts Of Princes In Towers LP
Benny Mardones (1978)

Benny Mardones started as a songwriter in New York City, and eventually began singing his own material. A chance appearance at Joyous Lake in Woodstock, NY got him the opening act on a Richie Havens tour, and he later signed with Private Stock Records. Benny's debut album, Thank God For Girls, was recorded at Bearsville Studios in Woodstock, with Mick Ronson on guitar and Jerry Shirley on drums. It was produced by Andrew Loog Oldham, who came out of retirement for the project.

[Benny Mardones] In 1975 I was asked to open for Peter Frampton and Dave Mason at Madison Square Garden and suddenly everything took off. One night there was a knock on my door and when I opened it, it was legendary Rolling Stones producer Andrew Loog Oldham and Larry Utall, president of Private Stock Records. After sitting at the piano and singing a couple songs, Andrew asked me if I'd like to make a record. The following month I walked into Bearsville Studios in Woodstock, and there in front of me was Mick Ronson and Humble Pie drummer Jerry Shirley. I about passed out! But within a couple hours I realized that Mick and Jerry were beautiful cats and Mick and I began a long friendship that lasted until the day he returned to England to fight the cancer that eventually took his life.'

Visit the Benny Mardones website

Thank God For Girls LP
Slaughter and the Dogs (1978)

Slaughter and The Dogs formed in Manchester in April 1976, when Mick Rossi, Wayne Barrett, Howard Bates and Brian Grantham teamed up in school in Sharston, Wythenshawe. They took their name from their favorite Mick Ronson and David Bowie albums, and convinced Malcolm McLaren to let them open for the Sex Pistols. Two cuts on the Live at the Roxy album paved the way for a record deal with Decca. In February 1978, the group released their third single, 'Quick Joey Small', which featured Mick Ronson on guitar and credited prominently on the record label. Mick also played on one additional track recorded at the same sessions, 'Who Are The Mystery Girls?'. Both tracks appear on the band's first LP, Do It Dog Style. Rossi would later dedicate two albums to Mick, a Slaughter and the Dogs live disc and a disc recorded with Andi Sexgang called Gabriel and the Golden Horn.

[Mick Rossi] 'I'd rung up Mick when I got my first Les Paul, and told him we were doing an album and I was just messing about, and said 'You've got to come play on it.' When he said okay, I nearly fainted. Mick just turned up with his Boogie amp and his Les Paul and he played on two tracks. Right about then our friendship was kind of locked.'

Quick Joey Small 45

Quick Joey Small 45
Dead Fingers Talk (1978)

Dead Fingers Talk were a band from Mick's hometown of Hull, and took their name from a William S. Burrough novel. They got their start in 1969 and were strongly influenced by classic rock bands, although as they rose to prominence in 1977 they were quickly lumped in with the punk and new wave crowd. They signed to Pye Records, and the label liked the idea of pairing a band from Hull with a producer from Hull. The sessions commenced at Tapestry Studios in February 1978, and when the label grew impatient with the speed they pushed the band to finish the album prematurely. The result, Storm the Reality Studios, was not a success.

[Jeff Parsons] 'Mick was a real nice guy; very accommodating. We had a lot of fun talking about the old days; talking about Bowie and Dylan. I think we got on too well with him. We werenít well disciplined and it would have been better if we had had someone who drove us a bit harder. It got to the stage where the record company said to us youíve been in the studio for weeks and weeks and we want the album. The first four tracks on the album were actually recorded live to a two-track machine one Friday afternoon. Over the weekend we got a telephone call saying we had no more time and they wanted the album. On the Monday Mick transferred the 2 track onto the 24 track and we did a series of overdubs. We did a marathon mixing session at Eden studios over in Acton and that was it. We were a bit disappointed and a bit shocked at the time because the first four tracks we regarded as being very much works in progress. The only tracks finished were 'Storm', 'Canít Think Straight', 'Everyday', 'Into the Future' and 'We Got The Message'. The rest was thrown together.'

Storm The Reality Studios LP
Roger C. Reale & Rue Morgue (1979)

Rue Morgue featured Roger C. Reale on bass and vocals, G.E. Smith on guitar, and Hilly Michaels on drums. They issued an album called Radioactive in 1978, but by the start of 1979 G.E. Smith had dropped out to tour with Dan Hartman. He was replaced by Jimmy MacAllister, formerly with The Beckies, who had also played with Hilly Michaels in the Mick Ronson Band and on the 1976 Sparks tour. The group headed into Trod Nossel Studios with Mick Ronson as producer to record a followup album, tentatively titled Reptiles In Motion. The sessions, which were never released, included the tracks 'Radioactive', 'She's Older Now', 'Make It Be Over', 'You're So Good To Me' and 'Aggravation Place', with Mick Ronson contributing guitar to 'She's Older Now' and 'Make It Be Over'.

[Roger C. Reale] 'Hilly, me, and the late Jimmy McAllister recorded a second LP with Mick Ronson, and also played out with Mick Ronson.'

Billboard, 17 Feb 1979
Ellen Foley (1979)

Ellen Foley is a singer and actress with a long resume. She got her start in New York in 1973, singing in bands and getting bit parts in theatre productions. She met Meatloaf and Jim Steinman in 1975, and began to sing demos and attend auditions with them. After a short detour in a TV series called Three Girls Three (where she co-starred with Debbie Allen), she returned in time to record vocals for Meatloaf's debut album Bat Out Of Hell for Steve Popovich's Cleveland International Records. She appeared in Steinman's Peter Pan-based musical Neverland, and then appeared in the Broadway revivial and film version of Hair.

Based on her Hair performance and her work on the Meatloaf album, Steve Popovich had her record some demos and she soon signed as a solo artist to Epic Records. Ian Hunter and Mick Ronson were tapped to produce her debut. After some pre-production in Woodstock, and in March 1979 they entered the Power Station to record Ellen's solo album Night Out. Mick and Ian produced and arranged the album, with Mick adding the string arrangements and guitars. Mick was also responsible for suggesting two Philip Rambow numbers, Young Lust and the title track Night Out. The band chosen to back Ellen for the album would later serve as the nucleus for Hunter and Ronson's band for the next two years.

[Ellen Foley, to Weird and Gilly] 'Ian and Mick were like Yin and Yang in a lot of ways. They really pushed each other's buttons. Mick was like, 'Alright mates, let's just play!' which sort of drove Ian crazy, but it also loosened him up and really got him to have fun and just rock out. That's why their collaboration seemed to work so well.'

Night Out LP

Mick with Ellen Foley and Friends
Genya Ravan (1979)

During the Ellen Foley sessions, both Ian Hunter and Mick Ronson took time out to contribute to the song 'Junkman' on Genya Ravan's Ö And I Mean It! LP in 1979. Ian Hunter sang a duet on the song with the former Ten Wheel Drive vocalist, while Mick Ronson added the lead guitar. The session reunited Mick with Bobby Chen, who had played in the Mick Ronson Band in 1976.

[Genya Ravan] 'Mick was in the same recording studio, Media Sound, working with Ian at the time. I knew Mick from London, and invited him in the studio to hear what I was doing. I asked Mick if he would like to play a solo on 'Junkman', and he fell in love with the song. I told him I wanted it to be a duet, and I was waiting for Van Morrison to finish his tour, but that I was going to have to wait about three months and that would hold up my release. I was also talking to Bruce Springsteen's management. That's when Mick said, 'Why not try Ian?' So I gave him a copy of the song on cassette, and a lyric sheet of what lines I wanted him to sing. He came back the next week, and sang the hell out of it!'

Visit the Genya Ravan website

And I Mean It LP
David Johansen (1979)

Next up on Mick's schedule was to produce the sophomore effort by New York Dolls vocalist David Johansen. Johansen's debut solo album had tilled much of the same soil as the Dolls (he even including several unrecorded songs from the Dolls repertoire), but for his followup he chose a much more mainstream approach. With Ronson at the helm, the record still retains echoes of Johansen's influences (girl groups, r&b) but steers around straight-ahead rock and to a more radio-friendly format (heck, 'Swaheto Woman' was dangerously close to disco.) Ronson produced and arranged, and also contributed guitar to a handful of tracks. Tom Mandel, fresh from Ellen Foley sessions, contributed keyboards.

[David Johansen, to Classic Rock] 'Me and Ronson met at the Gramercy Park Hotel when Bowie came over. We both enjoyed a cocktail. When Mick moved to New York we'd hang out, and he produced a record for me called In Style. Mick had, like, frosted hair and manicured nails and all that jazz - he was one of the cats. On his birthday I gave him a fine sharkskin suit which was very hip at the time. He asked: 'What do you want me to do with this?' I said: 'Wear it - you'll look good.' And with his thick Hull accent Mick said: 'I don't give a fook how I look!' To me, that's funny. What a great human being. I dug him like crazy.'

[Frankie LaRocka, to Weird and Gilly] 'Besides making you feel comfortable and getting the right performance out of you, he was such a groover-master. We'd be playing in the studio, and suddenly he would do one of those little 'turn around and bend down' things that he did on stage - and just give you that look, that Ronson groove thing.'

In Style LP

For more, see Sessions and Guest Appearances, 1980s and 1990s


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