[Manfred Mann's Earth Band]
Manfred was born and grew up in South Africa. Around 1960, he decided to move to England where he and Mike Hugg formed the 'Mann Hugg Blues Brothers' in December 1962 (They played their debut gig in March 1963). The band consisted of Manfred Mann (Keyboards), Mike Hugg (Drums), Paul Jones (Vocals), Mike Vickers (Guitar), Dave Richmond (Bass), Ian Fenby (Trumpet), Tony Roberts (tenor sax) and Dun Fay (baritone).
In 1963 they changed their name to Manfred Mann and their first album, 'The Five Faces Of Manfred Mann', was released in 1964. Manfred Mann, the group, had a short but notable career which saw the band change its line-up a number of times, most notably surviving the departure of lead singer Paul Jones. This produced no let-up in the stream of hit records, including '5-4-3-2-1', 'Doh Wah Diddy' which topped both the UK and US charts, 'Pretty Flamingo' which went to No. 1 in the States and 'Mighty Quinn' which became No. 1 in UK. These tracks now form the bulk of the 'Ages Of Mann' Album. Despite these pop hits the band remained close to their R+B and Jazz roots.
Manfred and Mike Hugg wrote film music together, including 'UP The Junction', 'Venus In Furs' and music for a T.V. drama 'The Gorge' as well as for many commercials. In 1969 the band split up to go their separate ways.
Manfred Mann and Mike Hugg formed Emanon, a Jazz-Rock band, which later became Chapter III. They made two albums with amongst others Bernie Living, Clive Stevens (Saxes), Steve York (Bass) and Craig Collinge (Drums).
After this brief flirtation with Jazz-Rock Manfred formed his own band, Manfred Mann's Earth Band in 1971, consisting of himself, naturally, (Keyboards, including his newest - the Mini Moog), Mick Rogers (Guitars and Vocals), Chris Slade (Drums) and Colin Pattenden (Bass). This was definitely the start of the most creative phase in Manfred's Rock career and the band has continued in one form or another to this day. Outside the work with his own band, Manfred has been a guest artist on a number of albums such as Uriah Heep's 'Look At Yourself', Trevor Rabin's 'Wolf', Mike Hugg's debut album, Jack Lancasters' 'Peter And The Wolf'. He also produced an album of Dylan Songs recorded by McGuiness Flint.
In 1991 Manfred recorded the beautiful album of North American Indian music called 'Plains Music'. This is one of his personal favourite albums featuring Barbara Thompson on Sax and introducing vocalist Noel McCalla, before he joined the re-formed Earth Band.
After finishing his work on a new MMEB Live CD Manfred is now planning a new solo album.
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A glass blower by trade, Steve has been playing the guitar since the age of 12, turning professional when he was about 20 years old. Steve's first taste of the big time came when he joined Hazel O'Conners band in 1980 with whom he toured the UK, Europe and the States. In 1984 he joined forces with Jim Capaldi for a projected US tour which in the event never took place.
In 1985 Steve joined the Earth Band during the recording of the 'Criminal Tango' Album and he also took part in the tour that followed. In the long gap after the recording of the 'Masque' Album Steve toured the world with the well known 70's band The Rubettes. Steve has, however, remained with Earth Band, touring extensively in the 90's as well as working on the 'Soft Vengeance' Album.
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On leaving school Noel joined the band Moon who were signed up with the Epic label. When Moon split up, Noel remained with Epic releasing the album 'Night Time Emotions'. Trevor Rabin produced and played on the album whilst Chris Thompson provided backing vocals. Around this time Noel also sang on Mike Rutherford's 'Small Creep Day'. Noel went on to work with many other bands including Mezzoforte, Morrisey Mullen and Sniff and the Tears. In 1987 Noel at last achieved his ambition of forming his own band Contact. Contact was working hard and becoming popular on the London circuit and produced a cassette to sell at gigs. This cassette is well worth tracking down. In 1993 the band changed its name to McCalla and released a 14 track CD, 'Push And Pull', which was received with enormous critical acclaim. Blues and Soul magazine suggested that Noel must be one of Britain's best Soul Singers. Noel's first involvement with Manfred was as a vocalist on the Plains Music album. When Manfred reformed the Earth Band he asked Noel to join the new band which he did for the 91, 92 and 93 European Tours. Noel has also been busy recording for the latest Earth Band album 'Soft Vengeance'.
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Mick comes from a musical background. His Dad was a drummer and his uncle a String Bass Player. The young Rogers was weaned on 50's Rock and Roll. His first work as a musician came during a summer season at a Holiday Camp. Later Mick joined the Australian hit band Nory Rowe And The Play-boys. He then played with Procession who were produced by Mike Hugg in the UK. Back in Australia Procession made the first live album ever recorded there at a club called Sebastians.
Mick returned home to England to join Manfred's new band, recording six albums and one major hit single 'Joybringer'.
Mick left the band after the 'Nightingales and Bombers' Album in 1975. At first he returned to Australia to work and then returned to the UK, where he formed the band 'Aviator' with Clive Bunker amongst others. They produced two albums.
At the end of the 'Somewhere in Afrika' European Tour he rejoined Manfred to record new songs for the US version of the same album. One of these was 'Runner' which became a hit record in the States. Mick has never been far away from Earth Band, contributing to almost every Earth Band album over the years including 'Plains Music'.
In between his work with Manfred, Mick is a prolific song-writer. He has also produced for other artists and played in various bands including Joan Armatrading's last sell out world tour. Mick has also worked with the Hotrods. There are rumours of a solo single release in Europe later with an album to follow.
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"Raised in Fishguard, South Wales, where is father worked for the secret police amid rising political chaos, Richard fled to London to pursue a career in modern popular music.
Since finding peace and tranquility in North London he has worked with David George's Cinerama, Wilko Johnson, Desmond Dekker, Rober Plant, Mica Paris, Eddie Reader, Sniff 'n the Tears, Allson Limerick, Chris DeBurgh, Gilbert O'Sullivan and Bradford Marsalis.
Richard attributes his phenomenal success to having kept a clean UK driving license throughout his entire adult life."
This was the original biog that Richard gave when he joined the MMEB 2000 tour. Following its publication he made the following comments.
"Since my biog was published I have had some people come up to me at gigs and say 'I didn't know your father was in the secret police' to which I reply - 'well you wouldn't, would you?'
My first connection with the band was back in 1970 when I knew Steve Fernie and we worked on the remix programme, Medicine Song and Sikelele. I was also involved in some tracks on Soft Vengence. Its great touring with the band and I am looking forward to working on the new album.
When I get some more time, I will sort out a fuller biog with all the grizzly details."
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