It somehow escaped our notice that Mick Box celebrated his 65th birthday this past summer.
Mr. Box might possibly be the longest-tenured and most successful British rock star you’ve never heard of.
Since 1969, he has held high the tattered banner of Uriah Heep, serving as the Limey art-metal band’s lead guitarist, sometime songwriter, sometime manager and sole constant member.
He is, in other words, David St. Hubbins, Nigel Tufnel and Ian Faith rolled into one. And while he’s probably opened for a few puppet shows in his time, he appears to heartily enjoy what he does.
According to Wikipedia, Heep has sold 30 million albums worldwide and 4 million in the U.S. (About 3.5 million of those 4 million albums were probably sold between 1971 and ’74.)
But, while Heep’s appeal has become more selective in the States, the band still packs ’em in in Europe.
Anyway, here then are 10 things you didn’t know about Mick Box. You can thank me later.
1. He is a fan of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club.
2. He has appeared in one movie — 2011’s “Love.net,” a Bulgarian drama about people who find love over the Internet.
3. In 1975, he broke a bone in his right arm in a drunken fall off a stage in Louisville. He received three painkilling injections per day for the remainder of the tour.
4. His personal motto-slash-catchphrase is ” ‘Appy days!”
5. He has played with six bassists and seven drummers since 1969.
6. He has traveled to 54 countries.
7. He has a blog on his website and posts there roughly every week. (It is a follow-on from a weekly column he formerly wrote for Classic Rock magazine. One installment featured him praising both Steely Dan’s Alive in America and Pantera’s Cowboys from Hell.)
8. He still owns the first guitar he ever had, which is sort of cool.
9. He has never recorded a solo album, and indeed has appeared on only four albums outside Uriah Heep.
10. His Facebook posts are endearingly like those of any other proud father.