Mickey Finn

Keep Moving!

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By this time, it's not all that much easier finding this 1997 French CD than it is tracking down Mickey Finn's original singles. For dedicated British Invasion collectors, however, it provides a valuable service by including both sides of six of their seven singles (though the first, apparently a Jamaican-flavored effort, is not included). A little more tenuously, it groups these with eight additional tracks that had, or supposedly had in some instances, Jimmy Page contributing as sessionman, as well as both sides of a 1963 single by Casey Jones & the Engineers whose connection to Mickey Finn and/or Page isn't clear. As for Mickey Finn's part of the CD, while they were on the whole a fairly average British mid-'60s R&B/rock band, they were fairly good, and did manage a few tracks well worth hearing for enthusiasts of that style, especially the oft-compiled jazzy R&B-rock tune "Night Comes Down." Though "Ain't Necessarily So" and "God Bless the Child" (apparently mid-'60s outtakes not issued until the mid-'90s) don't strike one as especially suitable choices for a band like this, actually both are very good, especially "Ain't Necessarily So," which accelerates into a tough rave-up. Their final single, 1967's "Garden on My Mind," is good mod-soul with a touch of psychedelia. So while some of the rest is pretty forgettable, ultimately the dozen Mickey Finn tracks are worth having for British Invasion collectors, though it remains unclear exactly which of these Jimmy Page might have played on (with "Night Comes Down" at least being one virtually certain candidate).

The Page connection also gives the CD an excuse to compile some odds and ends from his days as a sessionman, including his rare (and seldom reissued, if fairly dull) mid-'60s solo single "Keep Moving"/"She Just Satisfies"; Bobby Graham's cool drum-driven go-go instrumental "Zoom, Widge and Wag," on which Page briefly steps forward for some incendiary licks; four tracks by the Hairy Ones, most of which are bland covers of hits by Them, the Animals, and the Rolling Stones; and French superstar Johnny Hallyday's "Psychedelic." It should be cautioned that it's not been documented with certainty that he plays on all of these, though that's definitely him on the Graham instrumental. As for the 1963 Casey Jones single (whose A-side, "One Way Ticket," is a passable country-flavored rock & roller), its place in all of this is puzzling. It's still interesting to have this rare 45, if only because a pre-Yardbirds Clapton once played in his backup band the Engineers, though he's not on this single. And even if there's not as much Page on this CD as the packaging might intimate, it does boast a rare photo of a young Page with Mickey Finn on the cover, all the other musicians sporting longer hair than Jimmy.