Bands: The Flee-Rekkers, Joe Brown and the Bruvvers, Cyril Davies R&B All Stars, the Wildecats, Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames, Brian Auger & the Trinity, The Steampacket, John Mayall's Bluesbreakers,
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Micky Waller died aged sixty-six of liver failure in London on 29th April 2008.
Micky had been an English drummer, who played with many of the biggest names on the UK rock and blues scene, after he became a professional musician in 1960. In addition to being a member, albeit sometimes briefly, of some of the seminal bands of the 1960s, Micky Waller played as a session musician with a host of UK and US artists and was famously known for never having a full drum kit whenever he turned up for recording sessions.
Micky Waller was born in Hammersmith, London, United Kingdom on 6th September 1941 and his first professional band, The Flee-Rekkers, had a number 23 hit in the UK Singles Chart in 1960, with their recording of "Green Jeans" produced by Joe Meek. Micky shortly afterwards left to join a well-known band of the day, Joe Brown and the Bruvvers. In July 1963, he joined the Cyril Davies R&B All Stars, a band with a volatile line-up, replacing the band's original drummer Carlo Little.
Davies died in January 1964 and Micky Waller left as the band was changed by Long John Baldry to become the Hoochie Coochie Men. Micky Waller went on to play with Marty Wilde as one of the Wildecats. While with Marty Wilde, Micky Waller played on two tours with Little Richard around the UK.
Like many musicians of the day, Micky Waller moved frequently from band to band, or as was often the case, the band he was in metamorphosed into another. After a short stint with Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames, a band he was to rejoin several times, he joined Brian Auger to become part of The Trinity, and was soon followed by Long John Baldry. In April 1965, the group was expanded by Rod Stewart and Julie Driscoll and evolved into a new band, The Steampacket.
Micky Waller subsequently joined John Mayall's Bluesbreakers for a few gigs in April 1967, while Mayall looked for a permanent drummer, and was soon replaced by Keef Hartley.
The band, Truth, in 1968 saw the four piece play a mixture of blues with guitar riffs. The instrumental, "Beck's Bolero", with Jimmy Page on rhythm guitar, The Who's Keith Moon on drums, and bassist John Paul Jones; combined with Micky Waller's playing on the remake of The Yardbirds' hit "Shapes of Things"; set the template for a heavier blues style. The following year, a second album from the band was 'Beck-Ola'. But by this point Micky Waller had already departed the band, to be replaced by Tony Newman.
In 1969, Micky Waller flew to Venice Beach Los Angeles to form the band "Silver Metre" with guitarist Leigh Stephens of Blue Cheer fame, fellow Brit Pete Sears on bass and keyboards, and Jack Reynolds as vocalist. They recorded one album at Trident Studios in London, England which was released on the National General label, produced by their manager, FM rock radio pioneer Tom Donahue.
Also in 1969, Micky Waller sat in on 'An Old Raincoat Won't Ever Let You Down', Rod Stewart's first solo album. The backing band on the album also included Ron Wood, Ian McLagan, Keith Emerson, and guitarists Martin Pugh and Martin Quittenton. Micky Waller's relationship with Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood served him well, as he would go on to join them on the next three Stewart solo albums, 'Gasoline Alley', 'Every Picture Tells a Story' and 'Never A Dull Moment'. The coupling meant that Micky Waller played percussion on Rod Stewart's transatlantic chart topping hit single, "Maggie May". Micky Waller also shared drum duties on Rod Stewart's Smiler album - the opening song of which contained Micky Waller's dog making noises.
In 1971, Micky Waller joined the Long John Baldry blues band for Baldry's first tour of the United States. The band included Ian Armitt on piano, and fellow Rod Stewart session men, Sam Mitchell on guitar, and Pete Sears on bass. Micky Waller continued to work regularly in both rock and blues bands, and joined the original line-up of the Deluxe Blues Band, with Dick Heckstall-Smith, and bassist Bob Brunning.
In the early 1980's, Micky Waller was a member of the Terry Smith Blues Band, with Jo Ann Kelly (vocals) and Tony Ashton (organ). Over the intervening years Micky Waller's playing experience included credits with The Walker Brothers, Cat Stevens, Eric Clapton, Bo Diddley, Dusty Springfield, Paul McCartney and Billy Bragg. In the early 1980s, Micky Waller also played in the Sam Mitchell Band.
Bob Brunning subsequently hung onto the Deluxe Blues band name, reusing it for a number of line-ups, whilst Micky Waller went to play in Italy for a period. Upon his return to London, Micky Waller briefly joined a revived Deluxe Blues Band that reunited him with Dick Heckstall-Smith and Bob Brunning, along with new members Dave Beaumont, Alan Vincent and Phil Taylor. He continued to play intermittently with a number of blues bands in the London area, including the eponymous Micky Waller Band. In his later years, he took a degree in law, and used his gained knowledge to win court claims for unpaid royalties.