A Musical Tribute to The Beatles
Michael Roe, (a.k.a. MICRO) was born in Phoenix, AZ, and grew up surrounded by Gospel music during his early years. Grandson of a Pentecostal minister, he started singing in the choir before age 10. Soon after, he got the fire to become a drummer and taught himself how to play listening to early Ventures records. At 15 he had picked up the bass guitar as well. At 16 he had recorded an album of Hawaiian music playing drums/percussion, plus tracks on gospel albums at Audio Recorders, in Phoenix, as a bassist.
While at Camelback High School (made famous by Alice Cooper in the song “Alma Mater” from the “School’s Out” album, 1972), he exclusively took up bass guitar, playing in a group called “Your Friends”. That band recorded a song that Mike wrote, pressing a few hundred 45 RPM singles, which achieved airplay on local radio station KRIZ. Mike and “Your Friends” is featured in a book titled “Yes, Phoenix had Music in the Sixties” by Edward Wincentsen.
Viet Nam came along and Mike joined the Navy. After his tour of duty, he went right back into the Rock & Roll trenches.
After working in several nightclub bands he decided to relocate to New York and start a musical group on the east coast. Touring throughout New England, the group gained notoriety, but eventually disbanded. Michael moved back to Phoenix playing as a hired gun, doing studio recording and live work.
Mike recorded a song he penned titled “Lost & Found”, on which he played bass and sang lead vocal, with keyboard duties provided by John Salazar, a former member of Marmalade Skies! A 45-RPM single was pressed and distributed locally.
During the early 1980’s, Mike performed with a local cover band “SASSI”, primarily working the Black Angus circuit (back when the restaurant had live bands!) SASSI moved to Colorado and became one of the premier showcase groups of the southwest.
Recording sessions at American Studios brought forth a 45-RPM single, with local distribution following. SASSI toured throughout the southwestern United States, gaining notoriety from stage and television performances. Guitarist Bobby Frasier (from Phoenix) joined the band prior to these sessions and appearances, and is now another member of Marmalade Skies! As bands move on, so did Mike, and after a successful run in SASSI, he returned to Phoenix.
After a stint in the house band at the venerable club, “The Nite Life” in west Phoenix, he was recruited into the all-original act “The Living Dolls’. They appeared on all the local music oriented television productions such as Back Stage Pass, Finn & Friends and Star Search. “The Living Dolls” appeared in a nationally released movie with actor Ben Vereen called “The Zoo Gang.” Playing themselves, they garnering a few acting scenes and contributing to the sound track as well. Sadly, the band’s run eventually came to an end.
After “The Dolls,” Mike played bass in country & rock acts. Rock band “For Crying Out Loud” made their mark throughout the Phoenix metropolitan area at all the major night club venues.
Mike started playing The Blues circuit for a while with Small Paul & Driving Wheel, taking the position as band director. Mike has also performed with local artists George Bowman & Roscoe Taylor, and “classic rock” bands “The Heat”, “Is Not Is Too”, “The Alley Cats” and others.
One fateful night, Mike picked up a ringing telephone. A voice on the other end says “Hey lets play some Beatles music, we’re going to cover the Rubber Soul album for a birthday party…” and “Rubber Spam” was born.
Five years later, another birthday party came around, and who, but the original bass player, could possibly cover another show like the original “Rubber Spam?” Well, unfortunately, it wasn’t Mike, he couldn’t make it due to time restraints and other scheduling. But, as fate would have it, things changed, and he made it to the birthday party, hearing the latest version of “Rubber Spam.”
When the drummer said, “We should keep doing this…” Marmalade Skies was formed from that primordial goo, and Mike was the guy to fill the bill on bass guitar, through natural selection and experience! And the rest is history…