|D'Abo was born in Betchworth, Surrey, the son of Dorothy
Primrose (née Harbord) and Edward Nassau Nicolai d'Abo,
a London stockbroker.
His surname comes from his father's part Dutch ancestry. He
was educated at Harrow School and Selwyn College,
Cambridge. He is 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m), and has eyes "that
honestly seem to change from blue to brown to green,
depending on the light" (Pete Goodman, music journalist).
D'Abo's original intention at Cambridge was to read theology
and become a priest but, faced with "everything to learn" (not
least Classical Greek and Hebrew) he "became wholly
disillusioned" (Rave, November 1966). He switched to
economics, also unsuccessfully, and left Cambridge with "a first
class jazz collection" but without completing his studies.
In August 1966 Manfred Mann, an established chart-topping
group, as replacement for Paul Jones, who was leaving to start
a solo career. Comparisons between d'Abo and Jones
became a media preoccupation at the time of the switch, but
d'Abo wasted little time dwelling upon it. "I enjoy being with the
group," he told Pete Goodman. "We really do have an
enormously wide range of musical tastes among us."
D'Abo's first big hit with Manfred Mann was "Semi-Detached
Suburban Mr James". It was nearly recorded with "Mr Jones" in
the title before it occurred to the group that it might be
interpreted as being an implied reference to Paul Jones. D'Abo
first recorded the As Is album (with the attaching single "Just
Like a Woman"). All of the UK Fontana and US Mercury
releases featured d'Abo.
He composed and produced Chris Farlowe's "Handbags and
Gladrags", a hit single (which was also notably recorded by
Rod Stewart and Stereophonics and subsequently became the
theme music to the BBC television show The Office) and "The
He also wrote two songs recorded by Rod Stewart on
Immediate Records: "Little Miss Understood" and "So Much to
Say (So Little Time)."
With d'Abo fronting, Manfred Mann enjoyed numerous hits,
including "Ragamuffin Man", "Ha Ha Said the Clown," "My
Name is Jack" and the Dylan-penned number one hit, "Mighty
Quinn." Manfred Mann subsequently disbanded in 1969.
|The Manfreds were coming to Benidorm Palace on Sunday 6th
March 2016 and I caught up with Mike D'Abo to chat about this
concert. and his great career........pictures of the Benidorm Palace
concert are shown including Mike and Paul Jones