During the British Blues Boom of the 60s, a lot of music superstars got started in bands of young players who got together to explore American Blues and R&B with a distinctly local flavour. Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, John Mayall and The Stones rubbed shoulders with Rod Stewart and Elton John as they played in pubs and clubs around the country. Drummers are often the unsung heroes of such a scene, and Micky Waller played behind a host of legends as he added his jazz influenced ‘Waller Wallop’ to the mix.
Micky was born in Hammersmith, London and after studying with Jim Marshall, played drums with his first band The Flee Rekkers as their record ‘Green Jeans’ made number 23 on the UK Singles Chart. He joined the busy touring band Joe Brown and the Bruvvers, but was drawn to the Ealing Blues Club where he joined Cyril Davies‘ All Stars. When Cyril died in 1964, Micky spent some time in Marty Wilde’s band before joining R&B star Georgie Fame’s Blue Flames. Moving on to a band called Steampacket, Micky was joined by Long John Baldry and Rod Stewart, and after the band morphed into Brian Auger’s Trinity for a while, Micky played a few gigs with John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers. In 1968, Micky was asked to join Jeff Beck, Ronnie Wood and Rod Stewart on the seminal ‘Truth’ album, and after Jeff Beck’s horrific automobile crash, Micky played on the first six Rod Stewart solo albums. In 1969, Micky went to LA where he formed the band Silver Metre and then played on Long John Baldry’s first American tour. Back in London, Micky was a founder of the DeLuxe Blues Band, and over the following years he played tours and recording sessions with Eric Clapton, Bo Diddley, Dusty Springfield and Paul McCartney among many others. After moving to Italy for a while, Micky returned to playing on the London Blues scene and appeared on studio sessions with artists as diverse as Billy Bragg and Patti LaBelle.
‘Blues DeLuxe’ from the ‘Truth’ album: Micky is the guy with Glasses in the group shots.
In his later life, Micky studied for a Law Degree and successfully sued various parties for unpaid royalties, and was proud to claim that he had always made a living from his music. He passed away from liver failure in 2008.