Monday, May 30, 2011

The Other Mick

And who says there can only be one "Mick" in rock 'n' roll?  Despite a career cut far too prematurely after a bout with cancer, guitarist / composer / innovator / producer Mick Ronson contributed more to the rock arena than others could only hope to achieve in a lifetime.  While Ronson is most notably remembered as the lead guitarist from David Bowie's Spiders from Mars/Ziggy Stardust era, his legacy looms much larger.  Here is a short list of some career highlights for which he is owed due credit:

-He had a stint with Mott the Hoople and thereafter, remained a long-time friend/collaborator of Ian Hunter.

-John Mellencamp has credited Ronson with arranging key parts of his mega hit "Jack & Diane," including the "let it rock, let it roll" segment of the song.

-Ronson has collaborated with Van Morrison, Elton John, Roger Daltrey, Chrissie Hynde, Morrisey and...most importantly:

-Ronson had the honor of serving as a distinguished member of Bob Dylan's ROLLING THUNDER REVUE BAND -- which in my mind, and I'm sure most Dylan devotees would agree -- was the single greatest era of Dylan's storied career.  Need I say more?

So hats off to Mick Ronson: guitar extraordinaire, rock visionary and all-around, well-respected bloke.  

*Ronson's birthday was a few days ago -- May 26th -- and he would have been 65.

Here is Ronson's last major live performance:  "All The Young Dudes" with Bowie, Hunter, Brian May, at the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert held on April 20, 1992.  Ronson would pass away one year later.

An older clip of Ronson and David Bowie performing "Starman"