By Pat Metheny
I met Mick in the summer of 1973. Along with Gary Burton, we were both on the teaching staff at a summer jazz camp in Normal, IL. Mick and I wound up as roommates for the week.
We found an instant friendship and musical bond. We played duets that first night that remain among my fondest musical memories. Harmonically, melodically and just in every way, it seemed like as a pair, we could do no wrong. It was almost like we became one instrument when we played together. It was something I had never experienced before with another guitarist. I still haven’t.
On Gary’s invitation, I moved to Boston the following winter to teach at Berklee. Mick was already nearing the end of his time playing GB’s Quartet, and my dream of getting to be in Gary’s band seemed to be coming true.
Mick and I started doing occasional duet concerts around Boston during that period. They became quite a thing. Often there were lines wrapped around the block and lots of excitement whenever we would do them. Gary himself came to one of these gigs that winter, and hearing the way Mick and I could weave our thing together he came up with the idea of adding me to his Quartet, making it the GB Quintet that appears on Ring and later, Dreams, So Real.
Although I never studied with Mick, along with Joe Diorio and Mike Gillis, he was by far the best older and more experienced guitarist I had ever been able to be around. But beyond our musical relationship, it was our friendship across all those years that I will miss the most. From that first night at camp all those years ago, our personal discussions always seemed to extend for hours on what we were able to get to musically. We continued to play occasional duet shows now and then across the decades that followed, and we always took up right where we left off.
Mick was an inspiration to all of us who were so lucky to know him.
Categories: Jazz Music
Leave a Reply