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M3 (Original)
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M3

I have had to add the suffix "Original" as the name registered by myself and my friend Mick Jessett in 1982 has been used here on Soundclick by some other musicians. Never mind it won't be used by us again!

What is the story behind this? Well it is a tribute to my old mate really. I played in several bands with Mick over the years but this was the last one. M3 evolved from another band named Speed Limits (it certainly does!).

Speed Limits was a "normal" four piece. Drums, bass and two guitars. The bass player was the main vocalist and I sang backing vocals. We played a mix of my songs and covers with an occasional gem thrown into the melting pot by Mick. Mick and I shared guitar duties and we did use up several drummers until finally settling down with one. In those days most drummers were f.....g hard work and I suppose that is why someone invented the drum machine! We played for a long time with this line up until the bass player left the band. This was only to be expected really I suppose as he was prone to doing so. He had left a previous band that I had formed at an awkward time and was replaced in that one by my best mate at the time, Chris Payne.

Faced with the prospect of finding a bass player and possibly a lead vocalist I packed away my trusty old strat and "temporarily" took over both of those roles! This enabled us to continue gigging and so M3 was born! So named by me because we spent most of our time driving up and down the M3 motorway to gigs and there were 3 of us, all blokes!

The plan was to replace the bass player and revert back to our original line up, as I wanted to get back to playing the guitar, but it never happened! Our main priority then became to get another instrumentalist in to fill out the sound, either keyboards or guitar. Again it never happened except for a brief sojourn with a lead vocalist called Bob who was a friend of Mick's. He did not come up to scratch. Needless to say we were yet again to replace the drummer for a newer model named Mark and then the line up remained the same until the demise of the band when Mick decide to go back into education at university and moved to London.

Anyway I struggled both playing the bass and singing so the main downside was that my, already, poor vocals suffered at the expense of the bass playing. Mick eventually bought and used a very early Roland guitar synth. I never liked the sound of it and thought that it detracted from our sound. These tracks feature the synth.

So there we are. Up to date in the bands history. Mark had only been with us for a short while when we got the opportunity to play our first gig with the new line up at a charity event in a place called Frimley Green. I cannot remember if it was a 12 or 24 hour event but either way we were on second or third at just after midday! The hall was completely empty except for a few of our mates at the bar and some other bands bringing in their gear.

We played our set, had a few beers and set off home thinking nothing more of it. A few weeks later however Mick called me to say that the guy doing the PA had recorded every band as well! We were presented with a cassette tape of the set. The music that is available from this page is from that tape and some other home recordings of us.

I only ever played with Mick two more times after he moved to London. One was at my 40th birthday and then later at a rehearsal that he arranged with a view to starting up another band with me. He could no longer play very well by the time of the rehearsal, in my opinion, as he was far down the road of alcohol abuse. He died a couple of years later. I think that his body could no longer tolerate the abuse.

Mick was a great person to have in a band. He was not only a good player but was very easy to work with. He never tired of trying the same part over and over just to get it a little bit better.

These recordings are far from great but are here as a tribute to an old mate. I promised several people at his funeral that I would do my best to make some of his music available to them and so here it is.

Why this name?
Because we spent hours driving up and down the M3 motorway to gigs.
Do you play live?
Yes we played live, loads of special times.
How, do you think, does the internet (or mp3) change the music industry?
Well most of the world would never hear Mick or M3 if it was not for the internet and MP3 encoding.
Would you sign a record contract with a major label?
Does not apply in this case.
Your influences?
Mick was into Hendrix and Cream early on then Santana and later his taste was really jazz.
Anything else...?
As I have said these recordings do not show M3 in the best light. We played better on occasion but they are the only recordings that I have to offer. Mick would have said that on our day we were a "shit hot little three piece" and I think he was right. Please listen to them through rose tinted ears.

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