Mike Vernon produced albums for a large number of British blues stars during the late 1960's, including Chicken Shack, Ten Years After, Savoy Brown, Fleetwood Mac, John Mayall, Christine McVie, and Duster Brown.
While producing John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, Vernon auditioned Peter Green as a replacement for Eric Clapton and recalled that "his style was very different from Eric's but he had the same touch and conviction. What's more, he was affable and friendly, quietly confident, and easy to work with." Vernon courted Green to be the first act in a record label which he was interested in founding. Peter convinced Mick Fleetwood to join him, forming the core of Fleetwood Mac. These two, along with Bob Brunning and Jeremy Spencer, (with whom Vernon had recorded while working for Decca Records) formed Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac Featuring Jeremy Spencer and played at the Windsor Jazz and Blues Festival in August, 1967. In 1968, Vernon added Danny Kirwan to the lineup who had immediately impressed Vernon: "He had a guitar sytyle that wasn't like anyone else I'd heard in England. It reminded me of Lowell Fulson-- there was a certain vibrato in the finger work that was quite unusual. And he really had a nice melodious voice." In his book, My Twenty Five Years in Fleetwood Mac, Fleetwood described Vernon as "the initial person to give Fleetwood Mac support and recognition by making us the first band to be signed to Blue Horizon. The relatively short time that we spent on Blue Horizon was to be the band's most prolific period." Vernon also arranged for the band, which was opening for B.B. King in Chicago, to play at the Chess Records studio just before it closed with Willie Dixon, Otis Spann, Honeyboy Edwards, and Walter 'Shakey' Horton; Vernon has described these as "some of the strangest, weirdest recording sessions of the 1960s." Fleetwood Mac left Vernon's care in 1969 to be managed by Clifford Davis; Green stated that "Blue Horizon was sensible for what the group was at that time-- we were all beginners, apart from John McVie."
Vernon released a solo album entitled Moment of Madness in the early 1970's and was a member of the Olympic Runners from 1974 to 1979, for which he was also a producer.
Copyright © 1995-2002, Martin and Lisa Adelson, All Rights Reserved.