Mick was acclaimed by Rolling Stone as one of the greatest guitarists of all time and voted by the readers of Creem as the 2nd best guitarist of 1974 (second only to Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page).
“As a rock duo, I thought we were every bit as good as Mick and Keith or Axl and Slash.”
“He was really up there with the great guitar players … superb, absolutely superb.”
Ziggy was one of five of Bowie’s albums to which Ronson contributed guitar and inventive arrangements, such as his fabulous orchestral arrangement on ‘Life On Mars’.
David Bowie sent a letter to the committee of Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame recommending that Mick Ronson should be inducted. Unfortunately, seeing that the Hall doesn’t have good enough taste to induct the Cure, Rush and many others, we may have a long wait.
Besides Bowie, his longest association was with Ian Hunter of Mott The Hoople fame, and he made substantial contributions to hits by Lou Reed and John Mellencamp
Ronson created the string arrangements for Lou Reed’s hit ‘Walk On The Wild Side’ and for Lou’s beautiful ballad, ‘Perfect Day’, both from the Transformer album, which he and Bowie produced.
“Listen to that arrangement of ‘Perfect Day’ that’s Mick Ronson.”
“Mick Ronson’s arrangements were killer.”
John Mellencamp (then still John Cougar) is also generous with crediting Ronson with helping to make his ‘Jack & Diane’ a number one hit.
“Mick Ronson put the percussion on there and then he sang the part ‘let it rock, let it roll’ as a choir-ish-type thing. And that is the part everybody remembers. It was Ronson’s idea.”
Ronson played with artists as diverse as Bob Dylan and Morrissey, whose ‘Your Arsenal’ album was produced by Mick. (And you might agree with me that it was Morrissey’s second best solo album.)
I want you to play it really loud, too loud to hear the neighbours screaming at you to turn it down.
Listen to that guitar solo, about three minutes in. Mick’s mesmerizing solo swoops and soars towards the heavens, with every bit of the emotion and passion and crazed personality of the greatest rock music.
This is music from an era when guitars were sex and, in the Seventies, no guitar was sexier than that of Mick Ronson.
If you’d like to hear more about Mick Ronson, let me know in the comments.
If you’ve got the Santa Monica version, play it even louder, too loud to hear the cops at the door.