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Check out Mick on Wikipedia

Mick and The Deviants on Gonzo

Mick Farren (September 1943 – July 2013) was not someone who could be described as ‘best known for’ anything. Gloucestershire-born Farren was a singer with The Deviants and a musician of genius in his own right, both as a solo artist and in collaboration with a variety of others. A maestro when it came to bending the English language to his own will, he not only wrote a huge catalogue of songs but was an accomplished journalist (for publications such as the NME and the International Times, amongst others) and prolific novelist as well. He was a prominent figure in the UK Underground counterculture and also an activist and critic of everything from the commercialisation of Rock&Roll to the Vietnam War. 

Mick stated that The Deviants were originally a community band that "did things every now and then—it was a total assault thing with a great deal of inter-relation and interdependence". Musically, Farren described their sound as "teeth-grinding, psychedelic rock" somewhere between The Stooges and The Mothers of Invention.

The Deviants have been described as a transition between classic British psych and the punk/heavy metal aesthetic of the 1970s. They were the glorious sound of rebellion and a true people's band, or a bloody awful row, depending on your viewpoint. Personally, I favour the first description.

During a tour of North America's west coast the relationship between Farren and the musicians became personally and musically strained, and the band decided to continue without Farren, who returned to England where he teamed up with ex-Pretty Things drummer Twink (born John Charles Alder, 29th November 1944, in Colchester, Essex) and Steve Peregrin Took (born Stephen Ross Porter, 28th July 1949, in Eltham, South East London) to record the album Mona – The Carnivorous Circus, an album interspersed with interviews with members of the U.K Hells Angels, before concentrating on music journalism.

The three remaining musicians - Rudolph, Sanderson and Hunter - returned to England, and teamed up with Twink to form the Pink Fairies. At the end of the 1970s Farren again concentrated on his writing and relocated to New York. He would resurrect The Deviants name for occasional live performances, such as in February 1984 when he teamed up with Wayne Kramer and Wallis's band, which featured Sanderson and drummer George Butler. This set was released as Human Garbage. In 2002 a new line-up of the band (featuring bassist Doug Lunn, drummer Rick Parnell and vocalist Michael Simmons) released Dr Crow.


Farren then continued to perform and record sporadically under the name The Deviants, using a pool of musicians, which include Colquhoun and former Blodwyn Pig saxophonist Jack Lancaster. Eating Jello With A Heated Fork was released in 1996, credited to Deviants IXVI, followed by 2002's Dr Crow. On June 25th 2011, after returnning tolive in the UK, Farren performed on the Spirit of 21 stage at the Glastonbury Festival with The Last Men Standing. The band included Colquhoun and the Deviants late-1960s rhythm section of Sanderson and Hunter.


During a rare performance by The Deviants at The Borderline in Central London on 27th July 2013, Farren collapsed on stage. He died later in hospital.

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