I had been working on piano and vibes in Capetown SA from December 1963 to 1965 when I
returned to England. I heard a great soul band with a dynamic Singer from the USA
Herbie Goins and the Nightimers. The guitarist was John McLaughlin and the organist was
a friend of mine from Newcastle, his name was Nigel Stanger and he also played great piano
and great alto sax. He was perhaps smoking too much of the weed and he went back to ask
his father to give him the money to buy a C3 as he was tired of his M100 Hammond.
His Dad was a wealthy surgen and when he saw Nigel, he locked him in a room and wouldn't
let him out to continue his Musical career.
I was an old friend of Mike Jeffries who was the manager of the Animals and later
Jimmy Hendrix along with the bass player from the Animals Chas Chandeler. Mike wanted
to promote me with an instrumental band, but I asked him to lend me the deposit for
a Hammond M102 which he did. My first gig was a month in Hazyland, the club of Hazy
Osterveld in Zürich. John McLaughlin and I would get together in the afternoons
to play and learn some tunes, this is where I learnt to play bass pedals. Later on
in 1966 we followed Brian Auger and Rod Stuart with Julie Driscol and Long John Baldry
and the Steam Packet into the Papagoya Club in Saint Tropez for a month.
After we got back to London we started recording at Abbey Road Stuidios, and an album followed
soon after. I stayed with the band for about nine months, then got a trio job with John McLaughlan
and Jackie on drums, and did a tour, later on I did a month on piano with Coleman Hawkins and
I was also playing Hammond opposite him. We the did a tour of England with him.
Mike has also produced an audio file speaking about his way to the Hammond organ. Click the PLAY button
to listen to Mike !