Mick Ronson life and biography

Mick Ronson picture, image, poster

Mick Ronson biography

Date of birth : 1946-05-26
Date of death : 1993-04-29
Birthplace : East Riding of Yorkshire, England
Nationality : English
Category : Famous Figures
Last modified : 2012-01-12
Credited as : Guitarist, songwriter, Multi-instrumentalist

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Michael "Mick" Ronson was an English guitarist, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, arranger and producer. He is best known for his work with David Bowie, as one of The Spiders from Mars. Ronson was a busy session musician who recorded with artists as diverse as Bowie and Morrissey, as well as engagements as a sideman in touring bands with performers such as Van Morrison.

He also recorded several solo albums, the most notable example of which was Slaughter on 10th Avenue, which reached #9 on the UK Albums Chart. Ronson played with various bands after his time with Bowie. He was named the 64th greatest guitarist of all time by Rolling Stone.

Michael Ronson was born in Beverley Road, Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire, in 1946, then moved to Greatfield, Hull. As a child he was trained classically to play piano, recorder, violin, and (later) the harmonium.

He initially wanted to be a cellist, but moved to guitar upon discovering the music of Duane Eddy, whose sound on the bass notes of his guitar sounded to Ronson similar to that of the cello.He joined his first band, The Mariners, in November 1963, when he was just 17. His stage debut with The Mariners was in support of the Keith Herd Band at Brough Village Hall, a gig for which the band traveled 35 miles and got paid 10 shillings (50p). While Ronson was working with The Mariners, another local Hull group – The Crestas – recruited him on the advice of The Mariners’ bassist John Griffiths.

Ronson appeared on the 1972 country rock album Bustin' Out by Pure Prairie League, where he undertook string ensemble arrangements and contributed guitar and vocals on several tracks most notably "Angel #9" which reappeared on his solo LP "Play Don't Worry."

His guitar work was next heard on Bowie's Aladdin Sane and 1973's covers album Pin Ups.However, he was absent from the subsequent Diamond Dogs album.

Bowie said in a 1994 interview that "Mick was the perfect foil for the Ziggy character. He was very much a salt-of-the-earth type, the blunt northerner with a defiantly masculine personality, so that what you got was the old-fashioned Yin and Yang thing. As a rock duo, I thought we were every bit as good as Mick and Keith or Axl and Slash. Ziggy and Mick were the personification of that rock n roll dualism."

After leaving Bowie's entourage after the "Farewell Concert" in 1973, Ronson released three solo albums. His solo debut Slaughter on 10th Avenue, featured a version of Elvis Presley's, "Love Me Tender", as well as Ronson's most famous solo track, "Only After Dark". In addition, his sister, Margaret (Maggi) Ronson, provided the backing vocals for the set. Between this and the 1975 follow-up, Ronson had a short-lived stint with Mott the Hoople. He then became a long-time collaborator with Mott's former leader Ian Hunter, commencing with the album Ian Hunter (UK #21) and featuring the UK Singles Chart #14 hit "Once Bitten, Twice Shy",including a spell touring as the Hunter Ronson Band.

In 1990, Ronson again collaborated with Hunter on the album Yui Orta, this time getting joint credit, as "Hunter/Ronson". In 1993, he again appeared on a Bowie album, Black Tie White Noise, playing on the track "I Feel Free", originally recorded by Cream. Ronson and Bowie had already covered this track live twenty years earlier, whilst touring as Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.

Ronson was also a member of Bob Dylan's "Rolling Thunder Revue" live band, and can be seen both on and off-stage in the film of the tour. He also made a connection with Roger McGuinn during this time, which led to his producing and contributing guitar and arrangements to McGuinn's 1976 solo album Cardiff Rose.

Ronson died of liver cancer on 29 April 1993 at the age of 46.

-Slaughter on 10th Avenue (1974 – UK #9)
-Play Don't Worry (1975 – UK #29)
-Heaven and Hull (1994)
-Just Like This (recorded in 1976, released in 1999)
-Showtime (live in 1976 and 1989, released in 1999)
-Indian Summer (recorded in 1981-2, released in 2001)

With David Bowie:
-The Man Who Sold the World (1970)
-Hunky Dory (1971)
-The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (1972)
-Aladdin Sane (1973)
-Pin Ups (1973)
-Ziggy Stardust: The Motion Picture (1983)
-Black Tie White Noise (1993)
-Bowie at the Beeb (2000)
-Live Santa Monica '72 (2008)

With Ian Hunter:
-Ian Hunter (1975)
-You're Never Alone with a Schizophrenic (1979)
-Welcome to the Club (1980)
-Short Back 'n' Sides (1981)
-Yui Orta (1990)
-BBC Live in Concert (1995)

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