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Mike Howlett (born 27 April 1950) is a Fijian-born musician, producer and teacher based in the United Kingdommarker and Australia.

In the late 1960s Howlett was the bassist in Sydneymarker pop band The Affair which travelled to Englandmarker after winning a music competition. He then settled in Londonmarker and in 1973 joined renowned British progressive rock group Gong, which had been founded by another Australian expatriate, Daevid Allen. Howlett remained with Gong until 1977 , recording several albums with them and co-writing much of their material later in this period with drummer Pierre Moerlen.

After leaving Gong, Howlett formed the short-lived band Strontium 90 in 1977, bringing together Sting, Stewart Copeland, and Andy Summers for the first time; the latter trio would later achieve massive success as The Police. Howlett originally intended Strontium 90 to consist of himself, Sting, Summers and drummer Chris Cutler, but Cutler was unavailable and so Copeland was recruited, brought in by Sting, with whom he had already been playing in an early incarnation of The Police. Howlett taped several demos of the band, including the very first version of Sting's "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic" which was the first recording of the song ever made; he also taped a Paris Gong reunion concert in May 1977, which marked the first time that the future Police played together live. An archival collection of Strontium 90 material was released as the album Strontium 90: Police Academy in 1997.

Howlett became an in-demand producer with a string of notable credits. He produced many hit singles and albums for leading New Wave music acts including:

Gong performs occasional reunion gigs around the world, and Mike usually joins them. In 1993 he launched a record label, Mauve, which released albums by singer-songwriters: Rafa Russo, Debbie Cassell and Jay Fisher. From 2005 to 2009 Howlett was Chairman of the Music Producers Guild (MPG).

Howlett has lectured in music technology at several universities, including the University of Glamorganmarker (Pontypriddmarker, Walesmarker, UK) and Thames Valley University, Ealingmarker, and in 2009 accepted a position as Head of Music at Queensland University of Technologyin Brisbanemarker, Australia..

He is married and has three adult children.

References

  1. Planet Gong: Mike Howlett
  2. Members Directory: Mike Howlett Music Producers Guild
  3. [1]


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