Mickey loved the drums, but he didn’t realize how much until he was around ten years old. He started to play the bongos after a party on the beach in Long Beach, California. He began playing next to one of the bonfires when someone walked over, started listening, and eventually started dancing around the bonfire. Then another person came and started dancing. The power the music had over the people was amazing. “I knew then it was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life,” he said.

...it was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life

Mickey explained that humans are coded for music, and “it’s human specific, and human defining. We can dance to it. We can enjoy it together. Every culture on this planet has music.”

Music for the People

According to Mickey, there’s “music, and then there’s the music business.” He explained how the music business is very corporate right now; however on the other side of the spectrum are the performers. He believes “the most important thing is playing the music, and letting the people come and hear it.”

The Grateful Dead was known for giving music away for free. In fact, they were the first band to let people tape their concerts. Mickey believes a middle ground has to be found in regards to sharing music. Mickey, as well as the rest of the Grateful Dead, believed it was actually beneficial giving people the ability and freedom to tape their concerts because their fans could then share their music worldwide. He explained how there’s a fine line between accepting music as a gift and stealing it. “We allowed them [the fans] to take it [the music]. They didn’t take it from us,” he said.