Mike Jeffery, mystery man. Who was he?
Anyone got any info on him before the Animals? or otherwise? But not the usual stuff - pu-lease. Here's a start:
We know very little about his military service, apart from what's written in Caesar's book. Has anyone actually looked it up/checked it out? ("dark empty hole" indeed! Mike is not the focus of books about Jimi, managers are not generally of much interest to the average rock fan, they want to hear about their heroes, not surprising there is litte written about this man, who was shy of publicity and only gave a handfull of interviews, if that)
Originally Posted by Scrum Drum
I haven't seen any interviews with any of his girlfriends eg Lynn Bailey, his later wife, the actress, Gillian French, or any members of his family, apart from his father.
Everyone in the British army's record is "secret" ie not available, there is such a thing as confidentiality, you have to be family. Of course there's doubt he was MI5, it's a secret organisation!
In March 1933, Michael (“Mike”) Frank Jeffery (aka 'Jefferys' spell it how you like, it's just an added S) was born in Peckham, South London, he was the only child of Frank and Alice Jeffery, both Post Office employees.fficeffice" />>>
In a very short interview with his father (doesn't say by who) quoted in Electric Gypsy, he gave the following information:>>
"Mike did a little above average at school [he doesn't say what school] with an aptitude for sports [this later becomes "he was an Olympic skier" in Hit And Run: The Jimi Hendrix Story, and others;-)] and was never without friends. He finished his schooling in 1949 [no date given- probably September. No mention of qualifications earned, very unlikely that he achieved more that 'O' levels at 16 years of age, he probably passed several, including English, Maths, Physics & Chemistry, according to his father's statement about the Educational Corps] and went to work as a clerk [a very lowly position] for the Mobil Oil company, Then in 1951 aged nineteen, he was called up for National Service. He then says Mike's "exam success in science" [he doesn't state what qualifications, or where they were achieved] "helped him into the Royal Army Educational Corp" [according to wikipedia "by 1938 AEC recruits had to be either qualified teachers or university graduates, and were immediately promoted Sergeant." So unless by 1951 they had seriously lowered their standards for internal recruits, this was during the Korean war of 1950-53, but only having 'O' levels would not be enough, he was only a clerk with Mobil, he may just have employed as a clerk, or been chosen for further education with a view to him becoming an instructor - not very likely due to his extremely weak voice, or later joining the Intelligence Corps? (no record of him in the archives) - not teaching there. In any case he was very lucky not to have seen active service in Korea, maybe partly due to his (reportedly) suffering from light sensitivity, and having to wear tinted lenses?]. After his National service he then supposedly enlisted full time in the Intelligence Corps (IC)" [he doesn't say for how long, but apparently for around 4/5 years. This becomes “he was a [Royal Marines] Commando” in some earlier bios eg Henderson’s & Hopkins’ ]. In fact there is no record of him in the IC archives. A check of the London Gazette - where all British Army officers appear on being commissioned proved negative, ie if he was in the IC it was in a lowly capacity, as some kind of "expert" NCO, or NCO desk job. His extremely weak voice would likely rule him out of an officers position, and his weak eyesight which required wearing tinted glasses would rule him out for active service as he wouldn't be able to operate in dim light.
When asked his father said "Mike seldom spoke of his work". Having heard about Mike's reported bragging about being in something "undercover" in Egypt in the 1956 Suez crisis, the interviewer, obviously fishing, asked him if Mike spent a lot of his time in the IC in "civvies", if he spoke Russian and was he stationed in Egypt, he reportedly "confirmed this". According to Burdon in I Use To Be An Animal... bio, when Mike left the army he went on to Newcastle University to study "languages and sociology in which he gained an honours degree" (in his later book this becomes "sociology and political science, which he abandoned"). He also tells a story, in his Please Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood bio, of a "prank" Mike (a keen scuba-diver?) played, laying underwater charges off a tourist beach, with the US fleet (searching for lost atom bombs - a extremely delicate diplomatic crisis with facist Spain) lying just off shore in Majorca in the early morning and then detonating them to the shock and panic of the tourists (story repeated by Tappy 9 years later (funny how many of his tales originate in Burdon's books, but "star" him, not Burdon?;-). This combined with other stories Mike, and others, reportedly liked to tell, his liking for spying gadgets and his reported shoulder holstered pistol (was it a de-activated weapon? he, Chandler & Burdon were all military fetishists and had collections of firearms, knives and other militaria. Stickells spoke of carrying a pistol when he collected large cash payments after concerts in the US) have, not un-naturally, led to the juicy MI5 speculation (Let's not forget James Bond was "all the rage" internationally in the 60's;-).
I'll be adding more when I get round to it, and when new info turns up
Last edited by stplsd; 01-03-13 at 10:48 AM.
Frank Zappa: "Rock journalism is people who can't write interviewing people who can't talk for people who can't read."