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Mike Hugg

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Biography

Gosport, Hampshire (11 August 1942 – present)

Mike Hugg (born Michael John Hugg, 11 August 1942, Gosport, Hampshire) is a professional musician (drums, vocals, keyboards and songwriter) and a founding member of the 1960s group Manfred Mann.

Though not from a musical family, his parents condoned his jazz drumming so long as he kept up his piano lessons, and Hugg set his sights on a life in music, under the spell of Miles Davis and Thelonius Monk. He met Manfred Mann while serving as a musician at Butlin’s Clacton and also worked with jazz/RnB musician Graham Bond. Evolving from the Mann-Hugg Blues Brothers, the group recruited Paul Jones (singer) and later Tom McGuinness.

Hugg is a competent pianist and an able vibraphone player but his basic role in Manfred Mann was that of drummer. However, he recorded several vibraphone solos with the band (e.g. “I’m Your Kingpin”) and used the instrument to augment hits such as “Oh No Not My Baby”. He was credited as co-writer of the group’s early hits and contributed solo compositions throughout its life, including jazzy instrumentals (“Bare Hugg”) and wistful acid-pop (“Funniest Gig”, “Harry The One Man Band”). His abilities as a songwriter grew throughout the group’s career, though Hugg became progressively unhappy with the band’s commercial output, describing the group’s current single “Ha! Ha! Said The Clown”, in an interview with Melody Maker, as one of the five worst records he had ever heard.

He and his brother composed “Mister, You’re a Better Man Than I” which was recorded by The Yardbirds in 1965. Hugg composed the majority of the songs for the 1968 Paramount film Up The Junction, and sang the song “Sing Songs Of Love” for the film.

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