IT is no surprise that Mick Hucknall remembers his playboy lifestyle in the Eighties as a “good time” in his life.
He dated a string of stunning actresses, sports stars and supermodels and slept with up to three women a day.
Mick Hucknall remembers his playboy lifestyle in the Eighties as a ‘good time’ in his life[/caption]
Mick is married to art dealer Gabriella Wesberry and together they have daughter Romy, now 15[/caption]
As well as being the Simply Red frontman with a silky voice and a head full of red hair, Mick was also known as a lothario who bedded more than 1,000 women.
In an exclusive interview Mick recalls: “I was just touring the world and being single, being a playboy, being a bachelor — I didn’t really know what I was doing.
“I was just having a good time whenever. I like to have good times.
“I think in your life it’s a good thing to have dimension, to have done lots of different things, to have lots of different experiences.
“If you’re only here once, then it’s good to try and have all the experiences that life can offer you.”
They have since sold more than 50million albums, five of them making the UK No1 spot.
But today the 62-year-old singer and songwriter’s pastimes could not be more different.
At 47, he became a dad to daughter Romy, now 15, and in 2010 he married her mum, art dealer Gabriella Wesberry.
He now has a taste for the finer things in life, enjoying half a bottle of wine a day from his own vineyard on the slopes of Mount Etna in Sicily, spends time fishing at his 19,000-acre estate in Ireland and most recently has been at home in Surrey working from his bedroom on Simply Red’s new album.
Mick said: “I am a father and a husband. And I’m still having a good time. Very, very different, yeah, but I love it.”
And he insists with a laugh that his wild times are very much behind him.
He said: “Those days are long gone. I don’t miss them. I’m in a much happier place now than I’ve ever been in my life.”
He even gave up work completely for a few years when Romy was born because he “wanted to be there every day for her”.
Now she is following in his footsteps and heading off to art school in September.
Mick admitted: “She is much, much bet- ter at drawing and painting than I ever was.
“She is very talented in that way.
“She is also learning to play the piano but she’s more interested in the visual arts.”
The family grew even closer during Covid.
He said: “I guess the bad news would be that if during lockdown you realised you didn’t get on well with your husband or wife and you got divorced.
“But for many of us, we found that we wanted to spend more time with our families because we realised that we weren’t spending enough time with them before Covid.
“I think this has been a huge social change in the world, where people now prioritise differently because of the experience of the lockdown.
“My relationship with my wife grew deeper during lockdown, absolutely.
“My relationship with my daughter and my wife has been really confirmed and actually enriched by the experience.”
It was during Covid that he worked on the new album, Time — out on May 26 — which was written entirely on his iPhone.
He said: “Part of the reason the album’s called Time is that I feel that the lockdown period was like a kind of time warp.
“Millions of us were reflecting on our lives, the value of our lives.
“We were reflecting on our families, our friends, what the priorities are in our life.
“What is living for? Is it to just go to the office every day? Or is it to spend more time with your family and friends?
“I feel that I’ve gone through the same experience as many other people except the difference is, much like a writer who writes books, I write songs about my particular surroundings and situations.
“All these songs were written on a guitar and my iPhone.
“I press record and I sing into the iPhone and all the ideas go into the iPhone, then into the iCloud, and so nothing disappears.
“I am a natural artist, this is what I do. I create things, it’s that simple.
“I think this album will be remembered as one of my best pieces of work.”
And part of its allure will be Mick’s famous voice.
As well as the new album, Simply Red will perform 20 shows around Europe this summer — when Mick turns 63.
But retiring is not something he is considering.
He said: “The idea of retiring for musicians — if you can still sing, there’s no reason to stop.
“It’s very different than another profession.
“For example, if you’re a construction worker or a road worker, you will need to retire because you’re physically worn out and you want to have some time.
“I totally understand that. But I think for musicians and songwriters and singers, I just don’t see how I would ever retire.”
And Mick goes to extreme lengths to make sure he keeps his voice in top condition.
He said: “The secret to my voice is I don’t talk very much — so thank God for email.
“And also, I don’t do very many interviews — ha!
“So especially on tour, I never do any interviews because I need to preserve my voice.
“When I’m on tour, I really don’t speak at all during the day.
“I just stay in my hotel room or go for a quiet walk. So that’s my secret — not to talk very much.
“After a concert I talk a little bit. I am just aware of not talking too much.
“So obviously I talk perfectly naturally with my family and people around me.
“But generally when I’m on the road, especially on tour, I just lock myself away and I don’t speak for most of the day.”
On tour the group are bound to perform their big hits which include Fairground, For Your Babies, You Make Me Feel Brand New and Stars.
One of his most loved songs was Holding Back The Years, and Mick says that now he does all he can to do just that.
He said: “The most important thing I think for human beings, when they get to be my age, is that you are healthy, that you’re in good condition.
“And touch wood, I’m very healthy at the moment. I’m in good condition. I’m not aching or don’t have any serious illnesses. So I feel very happy about that.
“Growing old is the whole story of life.
“It’s your process, the things you go through and I’m very much enjoying being alive.
“And I feel very lucky to have had the life that I’ve had. I just want to keep being creative and doing my job.”