History - Mike Gradas
Son from farmers, Mike Gradas (b. Michael Sorendsen Gradas, November 20, 1976, St. Neots, Northamptonshire, UK) passed the childhood in his native city and occasionally went Welwyn Garden City to visit his maternal grandparents. The quiet life in St. Neots turned molding the serene and restrained behavior of small Mike, contrary to parties.
From failure, the starting
In one of his visits, Gradas was presented by the common friend Mark Palmer to a neighbor of the building in that his grandparents lived called Gregor Stevens. In this time Mike played his first notes in the acoustic guitar and like Gregor also followed the same steps Palmer asked to both that write a music for a video-clip to be produced even by himself. The couple composes 'We Must Dream for Getting to Better Life' (one of the rare compositions in partnership of Gradas) and in spite of Palmer not to conclude the project they decide to do other music whenever Gradas comes back to Welwyn Garden City. When Mike begins to study the high scholl he moves to the WGC and starts to live at the his grandparents' house, facilitating the contact with the colleague Gregor. Together with another neighbor called Nick Willys that becomes the first vocalist of the group and eventually he assumes the bass, the rehearsals in the house of Gregor become much more frequents and soon Cliff Morgan enters as keyboarder starting like this The Gardeners's embryo.
In second plan
As Willys didn't demonstrate a lot of will in moving forward with the friends he ends up leaving the band and Cliff takes in the vocals while Mike and Gregor pass later on for the eletric guitars. With Cliff in the vocals it changes relationship inside of the group. Although they didn't go frequent, until then Gradas was the responsible person for the compositions beside Stevens. But as Cliff had for habit to write poetries he started to compose with Gregor due to larger likeness that the two already possessed and Gradas was like that despised. With this panorama and Pat Rudford's adhesion as drummer the group presents in amateur festivals and other types of events. Though the quartet to show an evolution Gradas seems not to accompany the his companions' growth because the alternation guitar/bass mainly in that he is submitted after the exit of Nick.
When they are recorded the singles 'Words in the Wind' and 'Christiane' and released the first CD
The Gardeners Grow Up, Mike Gradas is already effective as bassist but he doesn't participate in none of the compositions of the disc. This fact would repeat in Migraine Boy when The Gardeners will live in London and they are totally devoted to the music. Mike until takes a risk to write some alone songs but like them not put in the profile of a heavier disk and they suffer a certain objection of Cliff Morgan they finish being took off the repertoire.
The turbulent period what Cliff and Gregor cross after Migraine Boy Tour marked by drugs, for Brian Stanley's prison and divergences with manager Chris Bodan, favors Mike Gradas that just concentrates on the mission of doing music and introduces them in great number during the rehearsals and recordings of The Human Obiciclity is same to Transciding of the Nestery. For the lack of parameters with that double Morgan/Stevens came making Mike himself excused saying that his creations weren´t in a satisfactory level and ending up vetoing them. In spite of this when the bassist took courage and presented 'The Pirro's Victory' this immediately got Gregor Stevens support and it provoked a certain jealousy in Cliff Morgan. In fact 'The Pirro's Victory' was considered by some people one of The Human best songs and it caused strangeness the fact of not having turned one of the work tracks. The given reason so that this didn't happen it was final take done by Cliff Morgan had not been so satisfactory and the group advisably opted for not realeasing as single. Besides also it caused uncomfortable to Mike the turn of the alternation among bass/guitar due to the special participations in the album.
Shade of the own success
The beginning of The Human Obiciclity's Tour marked by the public's good reception and the polemic declarations of Cliff not just go back the attention to the front-men of The Gardeners in the interviews and back stages as in the stage where the reduced stature of Mike and the front most distant position seem to decrease his importance. After the tour end in the following year, Gradas and Rudford moved to California as part of the strategy of Bodan for The Gardeners get share in the North American market. In spite of the new situation that The Gardeners would face in United States, Mike remained overshadowed by double Morgan/Stevens that composes with Ray Manzarek (former-The Doors) one of the 20 songs to the commemorative CD of the 50 years of the rock and the opening song of the James Bond´s film 007: Virtual Conspiracy.
In the middle of the shooting
The things get complicated in The Man of Yellow Cover when Mike doesn't get to include any music between the 15 of the album and the media it goes back entirely to the cases envolving Cliff and Gregor. In this time Mike to get married with Judie Bailey an employee of his farm of cattle creation in Avon. The success of Yellow Cover Tour around the world paradoxically results in internal conflicts like the one of Cliff and Gregor in that Mike sketches a light support to the last for believing that Cliff was boycotting compositions him. Finally some days after the two fantastic mega-concerts in the Wembley Stadium that completed the largest tour of The Gardeners's history, Mike Gradas surprises everybody and decides to abandon the group, unchaining a series of events that it would affect the group.
Far away from Gardeners but not from problems
Although of Gradas never to have manifested officially on the real reasons that took it to leave Gardeners it was of knowledge that he didn't feel comfortable with the super-exhibition that the band had in the midia mainly about Morgan and Steven. His dissatisfaction was also knew with the fact of his songs have not so much space as the two leaders' works and of constantly to change between the guitar and the bass, because Mike preferred the guitar but almost always that there was a fifth musician he was moved for the bass. In the first months in that was distant of the former-group Mike went back to his farms in California and in Exeter and he saw from cabin The Gardeners collapse and release of The Gardeners Still Live, last work with his presence. But until the effects of the crisis in that his former-companions crossed they finished reaching him and Mike was surprised by a request of his wife's divorce curiously in the same time in that Gregor faced this problem.
In another trench
The divorce esteemed in half of the fortune that Mike possessed ended up leaving the former-gardener in delicate financial situation and stimulated him to come back to the musical scene. Liberated after an agreement with Virgin, Mike handsels one year later with UK Rangers by Astralwerks label also from EMI. In spite of the little expressivity of the debut album, the music 'Junkbox' takes some prominence showing a Gradas more envolted in the creation process of the group and established in the guitar. The second work Both Sides that only releases after the end of The Gardeners, confirms the tendency that Mike is more romantic influenced mainly by his new marriage with Patti Adams and by first daughter. After this last disc the members are devoted the other projects and the spaces among the recordings they become larger. Everybody Say the Same coincides with Cliff Morgan's death and Mike is summoned to defend his interests against Yanna Mason's pretenses of publishing material of the husband with the former-companions as if it was just credited to Morgan.
Getting some tips
The judicial subject would be solved three years later and with the catalog liberation of The Gardeners, before blocked by preventive measure, Gradas together with Stevens, Rudford and Yanna Mason they decide to release The Gardeners Anthology collection of rare recordings, singles and Welwyn Garden City´s boys unpublished compositions.