Mick Ronson Newcastle City Hall 13th Aprl 1974

Mick Ronson Newcastle City Hall 13th Aprl 1974
ronsontixAfter David Bowie disbanded the Spiders from Mars, his management saw Mick Ronson as a potential new pop star. “A lot of people thought that Mick Ronson was going to take over from where Bowie was kind of letting it go. ‘Cos he was always prettier and more talented. He had a huge following of fans. De Fries thought he was his next star.” (Leee Black Childers). Ronson released an album “Slaughter on 10th Avenue”, and a few singles: the excellent instrumental album title “Slaughter”, a cover of Elvis’ “Love Me Tender” and the very Bowie-ish “Billy Porter” (straight from Bowie’s 60s “London Boys” period). He also went out on tour to promote the album, starting with two appearances at the Rainbow Theatre in London in February 1974. Ronson’s band featured Mark Carr Pritchard on guitar (Mark was a member of Bowie’s side project Arnold Corns), fellow Spider Trevor Bolder on bass, Ritchie Dharma on drums, ex Aladdin Sane pianist Mike Garson on keyboards, Thunderthighs on backing vocals (Thunderthighs were famous backing singers who featured on Mott the Hoople singles and Lou Reed’s “Walk on the Wild Side”, and also went on to have some success of their own), and a 5 piece brass and woodwind section. I think the woodwind section appeared only at the Rainbow show. The tour gained mixed reviews and attendance was patchy so plans for extending the tour were quickly abandoned. In September he joined Mott the Hoople and then went on to join Ian Hunter in Hunter Ronson. Mick himself admitted that he didn’t feel entirely comfortable as a front man: “I decided that solo vocal projects for me weren’t quite right. I felt uncomfortable singing as I didn’t quite believe in what I was singing. So I decided to knock my recording career on the head.” (Mick Ronson).
ronsonfolderI saw the Newcastle gig of the tour. It was reasonably well attended, and loved the track “Slaughter on 10th Avenue”. I remember that he played most of the album, and everyone sat applauding politely. Then towards the end; I think it may have been the last song or the first encore, he played “Moonage Daydream” and the place went crazy. Everyone, including me and my mates, ran down to the front of the stage. It reminded us how great those Ziggy shows had been, and was amazing. I have the tour material which, rather than a programme is a folder containing promo photos of Mick (as a teen pin-up 🙂 ), a poster, and a flyer inviting me to join his fan club.
A recording of the Sheffield gig of the tour shows the setlist as: I’m The One; Leave My Heart Alone; Growing Up And I’m Fine; Only After Dark; Angel #9; Hey Ma Get Papa; The Music is Lethal; Maker; Love Me Tender; Pleasure Man; Woman; Slaughter on 10th Ave.; Moonage Daydream. Encore: Girl Can’t Help It; Something To Say; White Light White Heat. I would guess that the Newcastle show will have been similar. Mick Ronson was a great talent, an amazing guitarist, a cool guy and a big part of the Ziggy phenomenon. Sadly missed.

6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Mike Hopkinson on April 4, 2014 at 9:51 am

    Dear Vintagerocks,
    I have signed up to your amazing blog, thanks for so many great posts, and the detail in this one is incredible.
    I have started a similar thing myself on ‘Tumblr’ but am not entirely happy with that site so I might start again (covering classic rock gigs from late 1975 onwards).
    Look forward to new posts, and I’ll be exploring your site further keep up the fantastic work!
    Kind regards, Mike


  2. Posted by nemesisgame14 on May 1, 2022 at 8:56 pm

    Brilliant article. Just saw it today (April 2022). For me, there was no other like Mick Ronson. Loved him with Bowie. Loved his work even more after the Bowie collaboration. Not only was he a fantastic guitarist, arranger and producer – he was, by all accounts – a very, very nice and kind fellow. Thank you for this article.


    • Posted by vintagerock on May 2, 2022 at 11:27 am

      Many thanks. Pleased that you enjoyed it. Yes Ronno was often underrated, particularly as regards his input musically and in terms of showmanship to the Ziggy legend. I remember this tour well, I have the album and it is wonderful. Happy days and happy memories of a great guy and great guitarist. Peter


      • Posted by nemesisgame14 on May 4, 2022 at 1:38 pm

        Thank you so much for your personal response. I’m very touched.

      • Posted by vintagerock on May 4, 2022 at 1:43 pm

        Thank you for your kind message. I always try and respond to each comment on my blog. I hope you enjoy reading my concert memories. Please feel free to comment upon any others. Thank you for your support. Cheers Peter

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