Mike Howlett
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Mike HowlettBorn: 27/4/50, Lautoka, Fiji.
Educated: Fiji, Singapore, Australia (Sydney)

1970's Mike plays bass and writes with esoteric space-funk group Gong, only the second signing to the nascent Virgin Records.

1977 After leaving Gong Mike puts together his own group, Strontium 90, with musicians Sting, Andy Summers and Stuart Copeland, who go on to enormous success as The Police. In 1997 the recordings of this group are re-released on Sting's own record label Pangaea.

1980's Mike begins producing records regularly, yielding a string of Top 10 UK Hits, including:
Martha and the Muffins
Echo Beach
OMD
Enola Gay, Souvenir, Messages
Blancmange
Living on the Ceiling
Flock of Seagulls
I Ran (US Top Ten)
Wishing (If I Had a Photograph...)
DNA (Grammy award winner)
China Crisis
Wishful Thinking
Other internationally top selling albums (sales in excess of 500,000):
1982 Mike receives a Grammy award from the U.S. National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences for his work on the Flock of Seagulls track DNA.

1987 Mike becomes a founding member of the Record Producers Guild (now known as MPG - the Music Producers Guild) and as of May 2005 is currently Chairman.

1992 As international co-ordinator, Mike is instrumental in organising the first ever rock concert in Red Square, Moscow.

1993-95 Mike runs his own record label, Mauve Records, specialising in singer/songwriters. Although finding only limited commercial success, Mike gains valuable experience in the many essentials of running a record company, from promotion and marketing to manufacturing, distribution, licensing and accounting - the joys of the small label experience!

1996-99 Mike begins playing bass again with Gong, completing 3 world tours including the USA, Europe and Japan, works with the GAS label on special projects, recently the You Remixed album of early Gong material revisited by contemporary dance artists including The Orb, 808 State, The Shamen, Ken Ishi and System 7.

2000-01 sees the release of a new studio album with Gong, produced by Mike, and tours of the US, Europe and the UK, including Glastonbury Festival where Gong headlines the Avalon stage.

2003 Mike forms his own group called House of Thandoy with guitarist Steve Higgins (Karmakanics) and drummer Eddie Sayer (Lights in a Fat City, Third Ear Band, Courtney Pine) playing jazz/funk. The group perform at Glastonbury Festival, and at the Royal Festival Hall, London, in October.

2002-06 Mike embarks on a teaching career and currently lectures at the University of Glamorgan and at Thames Valley University - Ealing College of Music and Media - in Audio Technology.
The secret life of Mike:
Planet Gong http://www.planetgong.co.uk
Music Producers Guild http://www.mpg.org.uk/
Strontium 90 http://www.ark21.com/strontium90.htm

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photo by luc pilmeyer