Tower Of Power's Mic Gillette Passes
January 19, 2016 at 5:14 PM (PT)
MIC GILLETTE, founding member and horn player of the OAKLAND, CA funk/soul band TOWER OF POWER, died suddenly of a heart attack over the weekend at the age of 64, the SF CHRONICLE reports. GILLETTE started playing with the band in 1966 as first trumpet, but also played trombone as the band rose to fame rise to prominence in the 1970s.
“The TOWER OF POWER family was stunned today by the news that MIC GILLETTE, our dear friend and bandmate going back to 1966, passed away,” bandleader EMILIO CASTILLO announced on the group’s website Sunday night. MIC was without a doubt the greatest brass player I've ever known,” he said. “Our sincere condolences go out to his wife Julia and his daughter MEGAN and their entire family."
On top of being with the band during its several Top 40 radio hits, such as “You Are Still a Young Man” and “What is Hip?,” GILLETTE also played with acts such as SANTANA, THE ROLLING STONES, ROD STEWART, ELTON JOHN and dozens of others. He left the band in the mid-'80s to settle down with his family.
Yet GILLETTE still did session work and played around NORTHERN CALIFORNIA with the MIC GILLETTE BAND that included his daughter, MEGAN MCCARTHY. He briefly rejoined TOWER OF POWER in 2009 where he toured full-time for two years. After that, be started teaching music, working with students at EAST BAY middle and high schools up until his death.