@brianmayforreal / Instagram
It’s a sad time in Queen’s world as they mourn the death of a powerful part of their past.
Mike Grose, who served as Queen’s bass player during their earliest days, has died. At the time of this writing, both Mr. Grose’s age and official cause of death are unknown.
The news came straight from Queen guitarist Brian May, who took to social media to share a photo, a memory, and his grief at the passing of a man whose role in Queen’s birth and subsequent rise to fame cannot be overstated. The photo, featuring Mr. Grose alongside drummer Roger Taylor, late frontman Freddie Mercury and May, is captioned:
“Yes — not a jolly time for us. Mike Grose was Queen’s first bass player. Around 1970, Roger invited him to come up to London from Cornwall to rehearse with us, putting those first songs together. He was a powerful figure, with powerful gear ! His sound was massive and monolithic ! In the end the liaison didn’t work out, but we owe Mike gratitude for helping us take those first steps. RIP Mike.”
He then signed off with his signature “Bri.”
Roger Taylor also chimed in via social media, who offered his condolences on social media as well, saying “So sad to hear about my old friend Mike Grose, who I first heard in a band called ‘The Individuals’, when we were both still at school. He always sounded huge. RIP.”
You didn’t see him in last year’s blockbuster film Bohemian Rhapsody, but he was there – if only in spirit. In author Mark Blake’s Is This the Real Life?: The Untold Story of Queen, it’s revealed that Mr. Grose was co-owner of PJ’s, the club featured in the beginning of the film where Roger and Brian’s band Smile often played prior to forming Queen. On one occasion he even sat in with Smile, eager to help out after a spat between Roger Taylor and Smile frontman Tim Staffell nearly sidelined the entire show.
But his time with Smile and later, Queen, didn’t last.
Mr. Grose played Queen’s first three gigs before his impatience with the band’s progress forced him out, quitting after a few months and returning to Cornwall where he attempted playing music once more before going into business for himself and leaving the music scene. Queen replaced him with bassist Barry Mitchell, and in the early days of 1971 played a few shows with Doug Bogie before stumbling across John Deacon just a few short weeks later.
The rest, as they say, is history.
Again, not much is known about Mr. Grose at this time and given his desire to live a relatively quiet, private life, it may very well stay that way. Our hearts go out to his family, friends, and former bandmates during this difficult time and we thank him for his contribution to Queen’s incredible legacy.
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