Mike Grose, Queen’s First Bassist, Dies
Mike Grose, who played bass in the first version of Queen, has died. As of press time, neither the cause of death nor his age are known.
Brian May broke the news on social media. "Yes — not a jolly time for us," he wrote on Instagram. "Mike Grose was Queen’s first bass player. Around 1970, Roger [Taylor] 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. Bri"
May gave other details on Facebook, saying that Grose played three shows with the band between June 27 and July 25. He added a quote from Taylor. "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," the drummer wrote. "He always sounded huge. RIP."
According to Mark Blake's Is This the Real Life?: The Untold Story of Queen, Grose co-owned PJ's, a club where Smile, the band May and Taylor were in prior to Queen, often played, and once sat in with them following an argument between Taylor and singer-bassist Tim Staffell.
But unlike the other three members, Blake added, Grose wasn't a student and the time they spent between gigs working on songs didn't mesh with his style. "Grose was used to working a day job and playing gigs in the evening," Blake wrote. "Grose thought the band had potential but wasn’t prepared to wait. He quit after a few months, returned to Cornwall, played briefly in a group called No Joke with, bizarrely, Tim Staffell, before forming his own haulage company and dropping out of the music scene."
Grose was replaced by Barry Mitchell, and the band played a few shows in 1971 with Doug Bogie before John Deacon joined in February 1971.