Mick Ralphs

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Mick Ralphs
Ralphs in 1976
Ralphs in 1976
Background information
Birth nameMichael Geoffrey Ralphs
Born (1944-03-31) 31 March 1944 (age 79)
Stoke Lacy, Herefordshire, England
OriginHereford, Herefordshire, England
GenresHard rock, blues-rock, glam rock
OccupationsMusician, songwriter
InstrumentsGuitar, vocals, keyboards
Years active1964–2016
LabelsAngel Air, Griffin
Formerly of
WebsiteOfficial website

Michael Geoffrey Ralphs (born 31 March 1944, Herefordshire)[1] is an English retired musician, vocalist and songwriter, who was a founding member of rock bands Mott the Hoople and Bad Company.


Ralphs began his career as a teenager, playing with blues-rock band the Buddies.[2] He released a single with that group in 1964 before joining the Mod Doc Thomas Group in 1966. After an eponymous Italian album debut, the band changed its name twice, first to Silence in 1968 and then, in 1969, to Mott the Hoople. Ralphs remained with the band until 1973, leaving just after they achieved their commercial breakthrough with the David Bowie-produced album All the Young Dudes.

Upon exiting Mott the Hoople, he founded Bad Company along with vocalist Paul Rodgers from the band Free.[2] The band's debut album in 1974 included the Ralphs'-penned hit "Can't Get Enough",[2] for which Ralphs tuned his guitar in the open-C tuning C-C-G-C-E-C, stating, "It never really sounds right in standard tuning. It needs the open C to have that ring."[3] The debut album reached number one in the United States.[2] Ralphs continued to record and tour with Bad Company until the original band folded in 1982.

In 1984 he toured with Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour on Gilmour's About Face tour, although he did not play on the album. In 1985, he released a solo album, Take This, which included Free's and Bad Company's drummer Simon Kirke.[4] He teamed up with future Bad Company guitarist Dave Colwell for a limited four-run live support of the album, which also featured drummer Chris Slade of Manfred Mann's Earth Band and keyboard player Lindsay Bridgewater, who performed with Ozzy Osbourne.[4] He did one performance with a band called Cold Turkey.[4]

Bad Company reformed with different line-ups between 1986 and 1998. But after a reunion tour with the original foursome in 1999, Ralphs announced that he was giving up touring, something he was never comfortable with in either band, since he has an extreme fear of flying.[citation needed]

Ralphs second solo album It's All Good, an instrumental, came out in 2001.[2] Two years later his That's Life – Can't Get Enough album was released, including a demo version of "Can't Get Enough".[5]

In 2004, he once again teamed up with former Mott colleague Ian Hunter, playing second lead guitar (along with Andy York) on Hunter's UK tour.[4] Ralphs performed at Hunter's 2005 concert at the London Astoria, with Ralphs performing a guitar solo to "All the Way from Memphis".

Ralphs performing with Mott the Hoople at a reunion gig, Hammersmith Apollo, October 2009

On 2 July 2008, it was announced that the original line-up of Bad Company (minus Boz Burrell who died in September 2006) would do a one-off gig at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida on 8 August 2008.[6] According to Rodgers, they did this gig to "protect the legacy they have built and cement the rights to the trademark Bad Company for touring".[7]

Mott the Hoople, including Ralphs, reunited for two shows at the Blake Theatre in Monmouth close to Rockfield Studios where they rehearsed before playing five concerts at the Hammersmith Apollo in London, during September and October 2009. All five of the original members participated in the reunion with Martin Chambers assisting on drums.

In 2011, Ralphs formed The Mick Ralphs Blues Band with musicians he met while guesting at a jam session at the Nag's Head pub in High Wycombe: Stuart Son Maxwell, harmonica/vocals; Jim Maving, guitar; Sam Kelly, drums; Dickey Baldwin, bass. The band's website stated that Ralphs sought to explore his blues and soul roots, playing covers of classic blues and R&B songs. The band made its debut as Mick Ralphs and Co at Jagz Club in Ascot, Berkshire in June 2011, changing the name to the Mick Ralphs Blues Band soon afterwards. More dates were announced for late 2011 and early 2012.

In 2012, Bad Company performed a short run of European festival dates.

In 2013 and 2014, Bad Company and Lynyrd Skynyrd jointly toured throughout the United States and Canada, initially commemorating the 40th anniversary of Skynyrd's first album release and Bad Company's formation.[8]

In 2016, Bad Company announced a US tour with Joe Walsh. Ralphs initially announced that he would not be participating in this tour and that Rich Robinson of the Black Crowes would be standing in for him. In June 2016, the group announced a UK arena tour with special guests Richie Sambora and Orianthi culminating in a show at London's O2 Arena on 29 October. Ralphs rejoined the band for the duration of the tour. Following the band's concluding performance in London, it was reported that Ralphs had been hospitalized, having suffered a stroke.[9] He has not returned to the band since with his lead guitar parts being played by second guitarist, Howard Leese and keyboard parts being played by Rodgers.


Notable songwriting credits[edit]



  • 1984 - Take This - Re-edited on CD in 1996
  • 2001 - It's All Good - Recorded live in 1999 with Simon Kirke and Boz Burrell
  • 2003 - That's Life

Mott the Hoople[edit]

Bad Company[edit]

Mick Ralphs Blues Band[edit]

  • 2013 - I Should Know Better
  • 2016 - If It Ain't Broke


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Mick Ralphs". Nndb.com. Retrieved 9 June 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Biography by Steve Huey". AllMusic. Retrieved 30 December 2008.
  3. ^ Sharken, Lisa (15 May 2001). "Mick Ralphs: The rock 'N' roll fantasy continues". Vintage Guitar. Retrieved 21 February 2013.
  4. ^ a b c d rockdetector.com Archived 4 April 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "That's Life - Mick Ralphs | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 25 November 2019.
  6. ^ "Bad Company News". Badcompany.com. Archived from the original on 15 August 2009. Retrieved 9 June 2018.
  7. ^ "QUEEN NEWS". Brianmay.com. Retrieved 9 June 2018.
  8. ^ "Bad Company and Lynyrd Skynyrd Announce Summer 2014 Tour". Ultimateclassicrock.com. 8 April 2014. Retrieved 20 August 2014.
  9. ^ Bad Company musician Mick Ralphs recovering after stroke. Sunday Express, 4 November 2016. Retrieved 2017-04-29.
  10. ^ "Mick Ralphs: The Gibson Interview". Gibson. Archived from the original on 16 August 2018. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  11. ^ "Alison Krauss Cover Songs". The Covers Project. 9 March 2005. Retrieved 18 June 2013.

External links[edit]