Mick Bolton, a keyboardist who performed with Mott the Hoople and Dexys Midnight Runners, among others, died overnight on January 1, 2021, in his sleep. The news was reported on various social media sites on New Years Day, including an article by her former Mott bandmate, Morgan Fisher. Bolton was 72 years old. (He’s not the guitarist of the same name who co-founded UFO.)
Fisher, who himself turned 71 on January 1, called Bolton “one of the sweetest men and a great musician.”
Bolt was born Michael Bolton in 1948, in Lancashire, UK. He started piano lessons at the age of 11, learning mainly classical music but also the popular hits of the moment. He attended a teacher training college in Twickenham from 1967 to 1969. After winning a talent competition while playing the piano, he abandoned the teaching career to become a musician.
In 1969, he bought a Farfisa organ and joined his first group, White Myth. “We decided to be a ‘progressive blues band’, but we quickly found out that to get local gigs we had to play more popular songs,” he said. After some personnel changes, he left in 1971 to join a local blues group, Blind Eye, with supporting concerts for groups such as Free, Queen, Atomic Rooster, Supertramp and Slade.
In 1973 Bolton auditioned for Mott the Hoople as a pianist. They had had huge success the year before with “All the Young Dudes” and, after the release of their 1973 album Mott and the departure of organist Verden Allen, they were about to hire a pianist and organist Hammond to promote their new album. Bolton did not get the piano work, which went to Morgan Fisher. But a few days later, the group’s manager, Stan Tippins, called to ask if he could play the Hammond organ. Bolton got the job, joining Ian Hunter, Pete Watts, Ariel Bender, Morgan Fisher and Dale Griffin.
In July, Mott embarked on a headlining American tour with REO Speedwagon and Joe Walsh opening act. [As Fisher noted on a social media post, the band was then supported at times by Blue Oyster Cult, the New York Dolls, and Aerosmith.] Mott the Hoople was in demand and recorded appearances on popular syndicated music programs The midnight special and Don Kirshner’s rock concert.
A UK tour followed, with Queen opening act. The last concerts were at Hammersmith Odeon in London and they were his last with Mott the Hoople, when Bolton left for personal reasons. It appears on their 1974 concert album, Live.
To concern the group plays on The top of the pops to promote the single “Roll Away the Stone”
After a self-imposed decade outside the music business, Bolton auditioned for the position of pianist with Dexys Midnight Runners as they prepared to record their album. Don’t push me away in 1984. Although the job went to Vincent Crane, formerly of Atomic Rooster and Arthur Brown’s The Crazy World, Bolton said that a month later, Dexys’ Kevin Rowland called to say they were going to re-record most of the album. and that they wanted him on the piano.
To concern Bolton performed “The Waltz” from this album, many years later
Related: The musicians we lost in 2020
As Bolton notes in his biography: “In 1986, I heard that Linda McCartney was looking for someone to give her keyboard lessons. What she really wanted was someone to help her gain some confidence on the keyboard and encourage her to have fun playing. So I drove my old Volkswagen Beetle to their beautiful farm in Sussex and luckily I seemed to be exactly what she was looking for. Over the next few years, I would go to the farm twice a month and sit in front of two keyboards for a few hours denigrating old rock and roll songs like “Tutti Frutti”.
Linda was never going to be a great keyboardist, but she had a real enthusiasm for playing and singing and wrote great songs. One time we were working on one of her songs, ‘Endless Days’, and she said : “You know, Mick, there’s just something missing in this one. I’m going to go make a cup of tea, see if you can find something. During the time it took for him to make the tea, I was going to go make a cup of tea, see if you can find something. wrote a section of bridge that she loved, so it became part of the song, which is on her album. Great Prairie.
“Linda became friends with my wife Carol and myself, spending hours on the phone with Carol and sending us cards and letters when she was on tour or on vacation. She had written to me to say that she was looking forward to working with me again shortly before she died of breast cancer in 1998.
Bolton’s website notes, “I also perform in all kinds of private venues and events. So please contact us if you have an event or venue where you would like me to play.
Related: Links to hundreds of current classic rock tours