was born in Brooklyn (U.S.A.). He was singing Doo Wap when
he was a boy.
In 1969, he had his first band: The Belvederes. They played
nothing but late fifties and early sixties Doo Wap.
In the early seventies, Mike went to Denmark where he took (as he
said) a lot of acid.
When he went back to New York he sang in a series of commercial Doo Wap
and Rhythm & Blues bands.
Then he started a band called (Johnny
& ) The Kingbees.
Their music was based on the first two Rolling Stones albums.
Around this time, Mike lived in a loft in Manhattan. He drove bands
with his van, he was also a roadie for The New York Dolls.
© Mike Spenser
The Kingbees broke
up when they got regular jobs or got married.
Mike's parents left New York for Florida. Mike remembers : "I
lived briefly in Chicago and went to college to get out of the army
draft lottery which I drew a lucky 321. I left school next day".
For those like me who don't understand, Mike
explains : "In 1970/1971, the US Government created a lottery
which combined all 365 days of the year from 1 to 365. When your birthday
was picked if the number picked at random was low you would get called up
to join the army. If, within one year, your number was not called - like
high numbers - you were free for the rest of your life from being called
up. They would start a 1 and go up till they filled the quota of men
needed to replace those killed or missing."
Mike decided to leave for London.
There he got involved in the musical scene and soon put an ad in the
Melody Maker to recruit musicians into rhythm and blues. This led to form Chrome, with Zen De Fleur.
According to Mike, the band only lasted 2 months. Brian Turrington of The Winkies and Tyla Gang fame was around.