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Mike Salt - Biography


Born:    25th December 1961 - Scarborough, Yorkshire, England.
First Ever Band: The Hornets - Age 10 - one guitar, a tamborine and a shaker at Frederick Nattress Junior School, Stockton-on-Tees.

Had piano lessons from the age of seven, but was much more interested by the sounds the intrument made when he lifted the lid and strummed the strings with a pencil!

Won the Darlington Music Festival in 1971 with a descant recorder.

Older brother, Anthony, sang with a school rock band and the guitarist had a Burns Rapier electric guitar. Mike used to play it when no-one was looking.

Constructive songwriting began at the age of 12.

Various attempts at forming a band - including 'Faded Blue' (four guys at school - a legend in their own lunchtime) and a brief but fun excursion with Paul Curtis, now the guitarist with Tytus Groan.

Designed and built an electric guitar at the age of 15 achieving Grade A for his GCE O-Level Woodwork. The 'Lyborg' was made of solid oak with rosewood fretboard, a Fender Strat trem and Ibanez pickups/hardware.

First Proper Band:   The Zeds - a four piece. Mike was 15 and played lead guitar. The drummer was 13 and the bassist was 14. The lads played a string of gigs at a holiday camp in Filey, Yorkshire - some covers and some originals. School leavers concerts at local schools including Scalby Comprehensive in 1978. The 'Lyborg' was used for all these gigs.

'Figurehead' - an uncompromising heavy rock three piece lasted about a year. Mike then formed a guitar vocal duo 'Ticket' with singer Chris Stanley covering Beatles' songs for pub and club gigs.

In the early eighties,'Stealbirds' managed a small amount of East Coast notability and even found their way onto BBC Radio Humberside thanks to 'Dr Rock' Chas White (Little Richard's official biographer). Gigs included a support slot for an Australian band called, 'Rose Tattoo' at Newcastle's Rock Gardens. (Rose Tattoo's lead singer, Angry Anderson went on to have a Uk No 1 with 'Suddenly' in 1988).

Mike joined a band of Christians, filling in on bass. He left because it challenged him too much personally. Shortly after that he decided to become a Christian the day before going to London to find a job and be with his fiance.

1983 - Joker was formed at Sleazy Joe's rehearsal rooms in Wapping East London. The four piece original rock band did the London pub circuit with Mike fronting in a jester's outfit.

The band were fortunate enough to get two recording sessions at the BBC Maida Vale Studios. Mike and Carolyn got married on 6th October 1984. Joker called it a day after spending Christmas in Wales.

1985 - Mike fell seriously ill and was diagnosed with insulin dependant Diabetes. Later that year, there was an exciting collaboration with an inspiring Scottish singer/songwriter called Tom Inglis. Tom played bass on the recording of 'Remembrance' at Silent Music Studios in Rotherhithe. The poem 'Remembrance' was written by Ted Harben, an English teacher from Mike's school days. It touched Mike so much that he simply couldn't stop himself putting music to it.

January 7th 1987 - Daniel Edwin Salt was born. Mike and family moved north to Scunthorpe, bought a house and became members of the Baptist Church. Itching to play music, it wasn't long before Mike teamed up with a friend called Mark from across the street to play pub gigs for extra cash.

Strong spiritual stirrings caused Mike to give up singing and playing all together for a while. The result was a whole new set of songs and a completely unexpected turn of events. After counsel and advice from Rev Colin Sedgewick and renowned music leader Chris Bowater, Crisis were formed in 1989.

August 8th 1989 - James Thomas Salt was born. Crisis did amazingly well for a local band by any standards. In 1992, they filled Scunthorpe Baths Hall at Christmas with a special event written by Mike and Carolyn called, 'Is Christmas Just for Children?'.

In 1993, having played numerous gigs and festivals (including Greenbelt and Crossfire), Crisis called it a day. The band had a powerful effect on lives of young people, many of whom took up Christianity and changed their way of life.

February 1994 saw Mike and Carolyn along with friends and supporters throwing everything they had into setting up a Christian Arts Charity called 'Label of Love'. This meant acting, dancing, singing, putting on workshops and shows all over the North of England. This was the first full time performance role Mike had ever had. Meridian TV played music videos by the band. Newspapers and BBC Radio covered gigs and events. Mainstream stores Virgin, HMV etc. stocked and sold merchanise. Mainstream record companies were approached. Initial interest was raised by the quality of the songs but the 'Christian' tag seemed to eventually put them off.

1999 - The Label of Love Event filled Hull City Hall, having already played at other main northern theatres.

The charity's work grew and a replacement was found for Mike so that he could lead the musicians with a new independant project aimed at the mainstream music market.

2000 - Mike and the other musicians enlisted the help of manager, Phil Lloyd. This led to Blue Jay Way - a name suggested by Phil. Everyone involved put in an exceptional amount of hard work and heavy investment which produced no tangeable results.

In April 2003, Mike reluctantly withdrew from Blue Jay Way.

Out of financial necessity, Mike took his Guild acoustic/electric guitar into East Yorkshire pubs for a few months. Before long the new Mike Salt Band was together including sixteen year old son Dan on bass.

In October 2003, the band played their first gig at The Springhead in Hull.

August 2008 - Mike enters four songs into the UK Songwriting Contest. Three of the songs reach the Semi-Finals and one song is awarded Commended Entry status.

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