|Disc and Music Echo - Inside article||November 28, 1970|
|Mickey Finn - a frustrated artist who shuns the limelight...|
|Written by: Rosalind Russell|
Mickey Finn, the quiet half of T. Rex, is paying the price of success. Their recent busy round of venues has meant a lot of hard bongo drumming for him, and as a result his right hand is swollen and painful.
However, it didn't impede his playing for their Top Of The Pops recording. With "Ride A White Swan" already at number 25, they hope that TV coverage will boost it even higher in the chart.
"I feel funny about television," said Mickey. "We've done TV in Brussels, but TV seems so distant."
Recording numbers is a completely different atmosphere from performing them onstage for most groups, and T. Rex is no exception.
When we recorded "Elemental Child" it was straight-forward but when we do it onstage it becomes more complicated and involved. With the audience there you get a contact high."
Mickey has been with Marc for just over a year, but is rarely in the limelight. He prefers it to remain like that.
"I'm happy to be doing what I am doing. I don't feel in the shadows. I wouldn't like to be the centre of attraction. I'm just happy to be a musician."
At present, Marc is writting all the T. Rex material, but Mickey has a few ideas for songs and has written down some words. But he doesn't feel ready to think about song writting properly just yet.
"I'm still learning. There's plenty of time to think about writing. Anyway Marc writes so many, I'm not sure mine could be squeezed in! We've so many songs to choose from, we could play for three hours."
At the moment, Marc is busy writing a story album, incorporating battle scenes, about the earth when it was still called "Beltane." They would like to perform it at the Festival Hall. The audience would be provided with a copy of the story and part of it would be sung and other parts read.
Apart from that, they have another album almost ready for release and it should be out in a couple of months. It will be called simply "T. Rex."
"The new album is fantastic. I feel more involved in it than I was with the first one I did with Marc. That was "Beard of Stars." We're both playing much better now and the words on the new album are beautiful."
Mickey is a passive kind of person and lets the decisions rest with Marc. His ambitions are few and he has no worries as long as he works.
His adventure into the music business was accidental. He was an art student in Croydon, but split after 11 months because he says he didn't like the way the students were exploited.
Apart from designing the decor for a couple of shops, like Granny's and the now defunct Apple boutique, he hasn't had time to continue his painting.
Having a few musical friends, he used to sit in while they played. At first he would merely tap time but eventually everyone got together and bought him a bongo drum so that he could join in properly.
They called themselves Haphash and the Couloured Coat and actually made an album.
"We thought it would be a nice thing to do. We played in Amsterdam and it was a flop. We weren't organised or anything. I didn't take it seriously. It was a pastime."
Mickey finally met Marc in a restaurant, where they began talking about music and decided that their ideas coincided. They still get on very well and are now looking for someone to play bass on a few numbers in the act.
If we get a bass player I will be able to play a full drum kit. We're not going to get really heavy. It will just let us fill out."
Fans who held on to T. Rex as the last stand of flower power have been startled by the recent introduction of electric guitars into the act. Mickey feels that fans will gradually come around to the idea, especially as they have no intention of dropping the soft numbers.
Both he and Marc are fans of rock artistes like Carl Perkins.
"There's a lot of excitement in doing rock numbers. You could say there's a lot of soul. And we got mobbed at Sheffield. I was pulled off the stage. Basically the people don't want you to progress. I do it myself. When Dylan came across here a few years ago and did electric numbers a lot of people got up and walked out.
"But they get used to you. We can be very soft and we can be woodland rocking."
T. Rex are hoping to take their woodland rock to the States in February. There are plans afoot for a tour lasting five or six weeks.
"I'm looking forward to it. It'sll be nice. A change of atmosphere and a change of audience. Also we might be going to Australia for a day."