A tribute to Mickey Waller - 1947 to 2013
Mickey Waller started out with instrumental band "The Strangers" in Bethnal Green, East London, in the Summer of 1961. In 1963 Waller adopted the name Mickey Finn - after having heard about the drummer named Micky Waller - and joined with John "Fluff" Cooke (keyboards), John Burkitt (bass), Alan Marks (lead vocals) and Richard Brand (Drums) to form "Mickey Finn & The Blue Men", who released their debut single in January 1964. Jimmy Page recorded with the band over the following months. With Burkitt replaced by first Mick Stannard and then Rod Clark, the band were renamed "The Mickey Finn" in 1964. They released four more singles, the last of which, "Garden Of My Mind", is their most well known song and has become a cult favourite despite failing to chart at the time.
Reverting to his original name Mickey played guitar with Sam Gopal (1969–70) and Heavy Metal Kids (1972-74) before relocating to France and becoming a sought-after session musician. As Mickey Finn, he returned to the UK and joined Steve Marriott’s All Stars in July 1975, and in May 1976 Finn and fellow All Star Greg Ridley (bass) formed The Fallen Angels with Twink (drums), Guy Humphries (guitar) and (initially) Bob Weston (guitar) and Keith Boyce (drums). The band crashed their van on the way to their first gig, and Finn was the only remaining original member when they re-emerged in July 1977 backing ex-Pretty Things singer Phil May.
By 1999, Mickey Finn & the Blue Men had reformed and recorded the Black Hole album, followed by the Go Clean EP. In 2004 Finn formed a blues-rock duet with Joane Calice (vocals/bass). He sadly died in Paris on 1 February 2013
Mickey Waller's funeral - a message from Keith Boyce (Heavy Metal Kids bandmate & Friend)
Yesterday was a bright but very cold day in Paris where I, along with about 300 others, attended Mickey Waller's funeral at Pere Lachaise Crematorium. Among the crowd was Mickey's old band the Mickey Finn, his manager of many years David Morgan, the singer/actor Murrey Head and many other musicians, showbiz people and friends and family from the UK and France, and even the U.S.A.
20 or so people got up and spoke about Mickey's life while a big screen showed a brilliant slideshow of him and all the bands he had been in over the years. Mickey's music was also played over the PA and one of the songs played was the Heavy Metal Kids "It's The Same". Towards the end of the service some musicians who Mickey worked with got up and had a jam session.
A lot of us then made our way to a bar in the 18th district called Jazz Y Jazz where Mickey was a regular. The singer Jacques Higelin also turned up and more music was played. It was good to meet many old friends there and to reminisce and celebrate Mickey's life. It was a great send-off for him and he would have loved it.