planet gong archives

mike howlett

1973 March-May : Paragong
Didier Malherbe, Mike Howlett, Didier Tibault, Pierre Moerlen, Steve Hillage, Tim Blake : Live '73
1977 Sphynx
Nik Turner, Steve Hillage, Miquette Giraudy, Andy Anderson, Mike Howlett, Harry Williamson, Paul Francis, Tim Blake, Morris Pert : Xitintoday (Charisma CDS 4011); 1978 : Nik Turner, Steve Broughton, Mike Howlett, Harry Williamson, David O'List, Corinna
1978-1979 : The Radio Actors
Harry Williamson, Sting, Gilli Smyth, Steve Hillage, Nik Turner, Mike Howlett, Steve Broughton, Nuclear Waste

born Lautoka, Fiji 1950-04-27, educated Fiji, Singapore, Australia (Sydney)

During the 70's Mike played bass and wrote with esoteric space-funk group Gong, who were only the second signing to the nascent Virgin Records. After leaving Gong, Mike put together his own group, Strontium 90, with musicians Sting, Andy Summers and Stuart Copeland, who went on to enormous success as The Police. In 1997 the recordings of this group were released on Sting's own record label Pangaea and have sold about 100,000 albums to date.

Mike began producing records in the 1980's and had a string of Top 10 UK Hits including: Martha and the Muffins, Echo Beach; OMD Enola Gay, Souvenir, Messages; A Flock of Seagulls, I Ran (US Top Ten), DNA (Grammy award winner); Blancmange, Living on the Ceiling; China Crisis, Wishful Thinking.

...and other internationally top-selling albums by: Joan Armatrading, Berlin (U.S.), The Alarm, Gang of Four, Julian Clerc (France), La Union (Spain), Fischer Z, Gowan (Canada). All these albums each achieved sales in excess of 500,000. In 1982 Mike received a Grammy award from the U.S. National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences for his work on the Flock of Seagulls track DNA.

In 1987 Mike became a founding member of the Record Producers Guild (later known as Re-Pro, and now the Music Producers Guild(approve sites)) and continued to have a high profile association with the Guild as an elected member of the Executive Board. As international co-ordinator, Mike was instrumental in organising the first ever rock concert in Red Square, Moscow in 1992.

From 1993-95 Mike ran his own record label, Mauve Records, specialising in singer/songwriters. Although finding only limited commercial success, Mike gained valuable experience in the many essentials of running a record company, from promotion and marketing to manufacturing, distribution, licensing and accounting - the joys of the small label experience!

In 1996 Mike began playing bass again with Gong, after a gap of seventeen years completing several world tours including the USA, Europe and Japan, and has been working with the Gong-owned GAS label on special projects, including the You Remixed(approve sites) album of early Gong material re-mixed by contemporary dance artists including The Orb, The Shamen, Ken Ishi and System 7.

In 2010, after completing his doctorate, Mike accepted a professorship with Queensland University(approve sites), Brisbane, Australia. There is a similar version of Mike's biography on their web site(approve sites).