BOWIE GOLDEN YEARS

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Ex-Rat gets his chance in big time

Hull Daily Mail • 13 February 1970

 

After three years as guitarist for The Rats in Hull, Michael Ronson's break for the big-time comes on Monday, when he sets course for London to work in a new group formed by pop-idol David Bowie, whose disc Space Oddity, hit the Top Ten last year.

It will be quite a weekend for Michael, who lives at 8, Milford-Grove, Hull, and who today says "goodbye" to his work with Hull Parks Department and tomorrow announces his engagement to 16-year-old Denise Irvin, who, like Michael, lives on Greatfield Estate - at 32, Bexhill-close.

For 23-year-old Michael his chance has not come too soon. "My parents know that this is the only thing I have ever really wanted to do, and I have often felt like banging my head against a brick wall through wondering why I wasn't getting anywhere," he explained.

"Before I joined The Rats I did have a spell in London after working as a van assistant for the Co-op here.

"But London was a real battle even just to live and eat, and in the end I had to get a job in a garage because I wasn't earning enough from my music.

"I still could not afford to live, so I came back to Hull and a job with the Parks Department. At the moment I'm re-laying some school football pitches," he went on.

Michael's chance as a pro with the new group, which is called The David Bowie Hype, came through another Hull musician already with Bowie in London John Cambridge, who lived at 9, Brisbane Street off Hessler Road.

John went to the big city eight months ago and worked with Juniors Eyes before Bowie asked him to be his drummer.

John promptly mentioned Michael's name to Bowie, and since then, as Michael says, "It's just all happened."

David Bowie will be in Hull this weekend looking for some additions to his antiques collection and will take Michael back to London with him on Monday.

"I've been offered jobs in London before," said Michael, "but nothing as secure as this.

"I didn't want to go back there and find myself in debt with my equipment again, and the money from this job means I shall be able to live properly.

"The Hype has a record, The Prettiest Star, for release shortly and after that we shall be off on bookings up and down the country," added Michael.

"The main thing for me now, what I'm really after, is just to get myself known."

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this page updated January 17, 2020