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Little-Known Santa No. 26
And now, ladies and gentlemen, the one! The only! The incomparable! The outrageous! The highly hormonal amazing aging struttin’ senior citizen! Little-Known Santa No. 26!
Saint Mick — Sir Michael Philip Claus to his family — first gained notoriety as part of the initial early-1960s British Invasion of the Arctic, when all sorts of groups of longhaired antic elves from Liverpool and London and Manchester were pouring over the Orkneys toward the North Pole to dominate Christmas. For the past fifty years, he’s been flamboyant frontman and lead signer for that famed supergroup, The Rolling Snocones (rightly considered by many to be the hardest-caroling band in the world).
It was the sight of the staggerin’, jiggerin’, jaggerin’, swaggerin’ Saint Mick prancing about the stage — along with the notorious ‘snow’ abuse by him and his rhythm guitarist sidekick and co-songwriter, ‘Leaf’ Itchards — that first got the band noticed by the music press. Of course, LKS#26’s many highly publicized trysts beneath the mistletoe and the midnight sheets with hotties, groupies, housewives and cougars of all ages and colors on their many tours around the globe didn’t particularly dampen the group’s popularity (or album or CD sales, either). It seems many of the ladies found Saint Mick the ideal bad boy, both naughty and nice, and he was on just about every gal’s to-do list. By the time of the release of their monster album Freezin’ Fingers in 1971, the group was widely recognized as one really chill band, and Mick the most chillin’ villain of all.
Here we see Sir Mick the whirling dervish in typical mid-concert mode, spryly sporting his signature scarlet spandex (the better to show off his Christmas package, my dear). But never fear; despite his antic and animated appearance, he has managed but once to accidentally swallow the microphone throughout his entire half-century-long performing career: during the second chorus of ‘Jumpin’ Jack Frost’ in front of a reported crowd of more than 1.5 million screaming Snocone-heads in Rio de Janeiro in 2006.
Over the past five decades, Saint Mick and The Rolling Snocones have crafted many of our most beloved Christmas classics. They creatively captured a child’s winter heartbreak under peer bullying in the country-ish ‘Tumblin’ Snowballs’. Their earlier tune, ‘Sympathy for the Santa’, had raucously, yet poignantly, addressed the annually recurring stress of finding ideal gifts for all the friends and family members on one’s Christmas list. But it was the group’s spectacular success and sell-out concerts that spawned one of its best-known songs. After being besieged one night by hundreds of thousands of aggressive fans and groupies (all clad in identical green ‘We Love You, Mick!’ tee-shirts), Sir Mick retreated to the safety of his dressing room and penned ‘I Can’t Get No Peace from Santa’s Faction!’.
The Snocones have mellowed in recent years, with songs more melodic and more broadly targeted. For example, the group famously went against rock-and-roll orthodoxy to enlist the London Boy’s Choir to chant the extended coda of a tune essaying the troubles of Black Friday shopping, ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want (at Wellmart at One A.M.)’.
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