- Category: The Band
What is your favourite memory of Michael?
Toby Jepson: Longest legs and arm on the planet, never getting it wrong, slamming seven bells out of his drums with the worlds biggest smile on his face...he lived to entertain, whether he knew it or not!
Mark Plunkett: When we held the auditions for a new drummer, Michael was the only guy to not complain about the crappy kit we'd hired for the day. he just sat down and kicked the shit out of it. It was brilliant!
Bruce John Dickinson: When he auditioned on what was basically a childs toy drum kit. We deliberately set that up to find out who would moan and who would make the best of it. Mike played the shit out of it and was just a ball of positive energy.
Jimmy Dickinson: So many !!! I guess it's just his massive Cheshire cat grin when he sat behind a kit and played like a god...
Aside form drumming, what was Michael’s role within the band?
Toby Jepson: He was life and soul really, a very gentle guy under a torrent of super confidence...he made us laugh all the time and just never let us down in the studio or live...I remember thinking, 'we'll be ok tonight coz Mikes gonna be amazing...' every-night...
Mark Plunkett: Michael was full of energy and that energy was infective and a big part of the band.
Bruce John Dickinson: The Joker! He made us laugh every day - some times inadvertently.
Jimmy Dickinson: Being a massive rock star and shmoosing with the ladies...he was very good at that!
What, in your opinion, was Michael's defining moment in Little Angels?
Toby Jepson: For me I always loved 'Bone yard', just something about how he got hold of the idea...he used to love playing that track, I could tell watching the concentration on his face...the live version from Hammersmith is stunning...
Bruce John Dickinson: When he broke his lead bass drum at Hammersmith and did the whole gig on his left foot, including all the double kick parts, and no one noticed... He was a unique talent.
Jimmy Dickinson: His recorded performances on Young Gods - listen to 'Love is a Gun' to hear the sheer power and precision of his playing.
Any funny stories about Michael you’d like to share with the fans?
Toby Jepson: When he was asked about his influences on a radio interview and he said 'everything from Metallica to Chopin' but he pronounced it 'Chopping' Ha Ha! good old Mike. The most naturally talented person I have ever worked with. Full stop. Miss him and wish we'd kept in touch post Angels...
Mark Plunkett: He used to put on the most naff American accent when he was trying to impress the ladies. We caught him out a few times doing that and it was always a good laugh.
Bruce John Dickinson: My wife has the best story. Before she and I had hooked up Michael came up to her and her mate after a show in the crowd and said with no preamble - ‘hello ladies I’d really like to go to bed with both of you tonight’. He got a knock back, and laughed in a ‘it was worth a try’ sort of way.
Jimmy Dickinson: ooh that's a bit difficult....hmmm.....no sorry I can't..
What do you miss most about Michael?
Toby Jepson: The unpredictability...he could transform a song idea instantly...so inventive...probably the best player of his type ever in my opinion...
Mark Plunkett: It was a real bummer when Michael left the band and over the following years I saw very little of him. His funeral was a very sad occasion but it was great to see such an amazing turn-out of people who had come to pay their respects to him.
Bruce John Dickinson: I can’t believe he’s not here any more. He never seemed to grow up - that naivety, childlike passion for music and drumming and not really engaging with the stuff that normal people think about such as paying the bills or buying a car or whatever. Mike was the real thing – like Keith and Lemmy, it never occurred to Mike that there was anything else in life part from rock n roll and he lived at 100 mph. When I play the old stuff again its unthinkable that the person who put down those drum tracks is gone. I miss him.
Jimmy Dickinson: Just a massive personality - truly one of the greatest musicians I've ever played with.