Some people might laugh at my calling Mickey Finn underrated, or even calling Mickey Finn a musician. And then again, a lot of people, especially on this side of the Atlantic, probably don't even know who he is. And for these reasons I chose to commemorate Mickey in what seems to be my most popular feature here on Rock And Roll Ramblings.
In 1970, Mickey Finn replaced Steve Peregrine Took in T. Rex, on congas. He also contributed backing vocals, which were key to giving T. Rex their memorable, fun sound. Now, he was never the best-treated guy in the industry, then again, T. Rex were never the best received band out there. Marc Bolan went as far as to say that he was useless, his backing vocals sucked, and that he only kept him around because he looked great on stage. Now, I love Marc, but he went too far there. While a conga-ist is a more or less, disposable, member of a band, they can help to rhythmically keep the sound together, and, as Marc said, to be there and to look good on stage, to help give the band more of an image. The image was probably the center of T. Rex's success, and while Marc was the obvious main focal point, Mickey played a major role in defining the band's sound and look, which is what made them such an important part of the music of its day, and greatly influenced the music that was still to come. Where would T. Rex have been without Mickey Finn? God knows where. For all we know, they may still have been making folk records which nobody bought.
Stomach cancer took Mickey a few years ago, and, as with all the greats, we can appropriately say that he went before his time, and like too many greats, he died without ever receiving the recognition he deserved. But me here on this blog, I remember him, and I say, Keep on rocking, Mickey.