Mickey Finn & The Blue Men

This band, which was named after the lead guitarist, Micky Waller aka "Mickey Finn", evolved out of a Shadows-like instrumental band called The Strangers, put together in Bethnal Green, East London, in Summer 1961 with Bevis Belmour rhythm guitar, Mick Stannard on bass, and Richard Brand on drums. The following year, they became a much more R&B-oriented group and enlisted vocalist Harry Bates.
By 1963, Waller and Brand left to form a more 'mod' sound band while the remainder of the group carried on as The Mates with a new drummer called Albert Smith.
In fact, they were both bitten by the Jamaican Blue Beat bug whilst hanging out at the Crypt Club, Aldgate, and then decided to concentrate on this music.
They therefore formed a new band, recruiting John Cooke aka "Fluff" on Keyboards, John Burkitt on bass and Alan Marks on vocals. After having heard about a drummer of the same name, with Cyril Davis & His R&B All Stars, Waller changed his surname to Finn. They called themselve "Mickey Finn & The Blue Men" and their agent, Don White, secured them a recording contract with Blue Beat records which released their debut single including a rendition of Elias & The Zig-Zag Jive Flutes "Tom Hark" coupled with "Please Love Me", composed by Alan Hawkshaw of Emile Ford & the Checkmates, in January 1964.
They would have recorded on Casey Jones & The Engineers single "One Way Ticket" b/w "I'm Gonna Love"...
After a couple of months, they switched to Oriole, and began recording with Jimmy Page on harmonica, after meeting him at Hackney Club 59.
The follow up, covering Bo Diddley's "Pills" and Jimmy Reed's "Hush Hush" (not to confuse with Bo Diddley's "Hush Your Mouth" as credited on its sleeve), was released in March 1964, which was banned after the police had discovered some purple hearts stashed in Mickey Waller's amp during a raid on The Scene Club.
Mid 1964, ex-Stranger, Mick Stannard replaced Burkitt on bass, and they became known as simply "The Mickey Finn".
Their final 45 for Oriole was a Chuck Berry number Reelin' And Rockin', but failed to chart though it was tipped as a hit on "Juke Box Jury".

Through their new manager, Chris Radmall, they got a deal with Columbia, and began recording with producer Shel Talmy in 1965: "This Sporting Life" (a smash hit for Ian Whicomb in US) /"Night Comes Down".Their 5th single, "I Do Love You"/"If I Had You Baby" was produced by Cy Paine and released in July 1966 on Polydor
The Mickey Finn spent the summer of 1967 in Southern France, where they had a residency at the Voom Voom Club, St-Tropez.Their most well known song was probably "Garden Of My Mind", with its Jimi Hendrix-influenced growling bass and pounding guitar work.They decided to call it a day in 1971, with Micky Waller and John Cooke going on to The Heavy Metal Kids (penning "Hangin' on" and "Kind Woman", 1974).
Waller relocated in France and became a sought-after session musician, recording with Nino Ferrer (LPs: "Nino Ferrer & Leggs", 1973; "Blanat", 1979; "Treizième LP"; "Ex-Libris", 1983; "Nino Ferrer & Cie"; "La Désabusion", 1993) and Jacques Higelin (LPs: "Champagne pour les uns, Caviar pour les autres"; "Higelin à Mogador", 1979; "Higelin 82", 1982). He eventually returned to the UK and joined Steve Marriott’s All Stars in 1976, and then ex-Pretty Things, Phil May & the Fallen Angels in 1977 ("The Return of the Electric Banana", 1978).
By 1999, Mickey Waller reformed Mickey Finn & the Blue Men with new musicians: Chris Lynn from the USA, on vocals and harmonica; Alain "Merlin" Gouillard from France (ex-Hubert Félix Thiéfaine and Louis Bertignac) on drums; and Alejendro Malassi from Argentina, on bass. The quartet recorded "Black Hole" LP.
From 2000 to 2003, they were joined by french bass player, Laurent Saligault, and american show man, Leroy Jones (ex-Tubes). Their final release was "Go Clean" EP, in June 2004, for Ten Minutes Productions.
From 2004 to 2011, Mickey Waller teamed up with Joane Calice, forming a blues-rock duet...

Micky Waller sadly died on 1 February 2013 in Paris.

Discography of Mickey Finn
As Mickey Finn & The Blue Men
  • Tom Hark/Please Love Me (Blue Beat 203) - January 1964
  • Pills/Hush Your Mouth (Oriole CB 1927) - March 1964

As The Mickey Finn
  • Reelin' And Rockin'/I Still Want You (Oriole CB 1940) - June 1964
  • The Sporting Life/Night Comes Down (Columbia DB 7510) - March 1965
  • I Do Love You/If I Had You Baby (Polydor 56719) - July 1966
  • Garden Of My Mind/Time To Start Loving You (Direction 58-3086) December 1967
  • Ain't Necessarily So/God Bless The Child (Noiseburger ) - April 1995

EP & LP:
As Mickey Finn & The Blue Men
  • Black Hole LP (Ten Minutes Productions) - 1999
  • Go Clean EP (Ten Minutes Productions) - 2004

Mickey Finn & Jo

  • Lucky Like ThatLP(Ten Minutes Productions) - 2010

Various Line-ups and evolution of Mickey Finn & The Blue Men
The Strangers #1 (Summer 1961 - 1963)
  • Harry Bates (Lead Vocals)
  • Micky Waller (Lead Guitar) "Mickey Finn"
  • Bevis Belmour (Rhythm Guitar)
  • Mick Stannard (Bass)
  • Richard Brand (Drums)

Mickey Finn
& The Blue Men #1 (1963 - January 1964)
  • Alan Marks (Lead Vocals)
  • Micky Waller (Lead Guitar) "Mickey Finn"
  • John Burkitt (Bass)
  • John Cooke (Keyboards/Organ) "Fluff"
  • Richard Brand (Drums)

Mickey Finn & The Blue Men #2 (January - March 1964)
  • Alan Marks (Lead Vocals)
  • Micky Waller (Lead Guitar) "Mickey Finn"
  • Jimmy Page (Rhythm Guitar/Harp)
  • John Burkitt (Bass)
  • John Cooke (Keyboards/Organ) "Fluff"
  • Richard Brand (Drums)

Mickey Finn (April 1964 - 1971)
  • Alan Marks (Lead Vocals)
  • Micky Waller (Lead Guitar) "Mickey Finn"
  • Mick Stannard then Rod Clark (Bass)
  • John Cooke (Keyboards/Organ) "Fluff"
  • Richard Brand (Drums)

Mickey Finn & The Blue Men #3 (1999 - 2004)
  • Micky Waller (Lead Guitar) "Mickey Finn"
  • Chris Lynn (Lead Vocals/Harp)
  • Leroy Jones (Lead Vocals...)
  • Joane Calice (Lead Vocals/Bass)
  • Alejendro Malassi (Bass)
  • Laurent Saligault (Bass)
  • John Cooke (Keyboards/Organ) "Fluff"
  • Alain Gouillard (Drums) "Merlin"

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  1. Mick Stannard, Bass, has quoted, that when the group returned from St Tropez after their summer booking at the Voom Voom club 1967, the group were offered work in Las Vegas of which he (Stannard) declined to go, and so left the group, as he says, by that time he'd had enough of being a travelling musician and decided to stay in Britain and marry his childhood girlfriend. Over the years he has kept his Bass playing up to scratch and is now playing with a group called "Rewind" as of 2011

  2. You've overlooked Rod Clark (bass). There's some photos of him in the band at my website www.TheMoodyBlues.co.uk Any more info is always welcome.
    Tony Brown

  3. Is this the same Micky Finn who had a publicity stunt of advertising in the music press that he was giving a free birthday party, which I went to!
    It was in a hall in Stoke Newington, I think, and they were offering a prize to the person who wore his latest release in the most novel way! Happy days!!
    Vic G

  4. Mickey Finn was one of the guitarist of "The Batholic Boys" (2002-2004).
    See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HetZJBPlmMc

  5. Sorry "The Catholic Boys"

  6. Mickey Finn passed away 3 days ago.

  7. My copy of "Reelin' and Rockin'" is credited to Mickey Finn and the Blue Men, not the Mickey Finn.

  8. can anyone tell me what happened to Richard Brand the drummer in Micky Finn & the Bluemen

    1. Richard Brand is alive and well and living in Buckhurst Hill, Essex. We meet up on a regular basis and go to Le Touquet each year for a short break, which is the first place I played with the Mickey Finn in 1967. But I had done some gigs with them in 1966. Rod Clark.

    2. Hi Rod, glad to have a reply, i knew Richards brother Geoff, hope he is still with us i would love to hear from him, could you let him know the next time you see him to get in touch i am on Facebook & Friends reunited, Linda Bond was Hughes, That is great news i am over the moon to finaly have a reply thanks,
      very much appreciated