Mick Csapo

Rhythm guitarist Mick Csapo was one of the longest serving members of the Rubber Band

Mick joined the band in 1963, when it was still called The Reverbs, and stayed on till the mid 1970s

Like many rhythm guitarists of the day, Mick was influenced by the clean disciplined rhythm playing of Shadows guitarist Bruce Welch. Mick brought a similar, distinctive sound and style to The Rubber Band, perfectly attuned to the rock 'n' roll, pop, instrumental and surfing sounds of the early 1960s.

Mick's sharp ear and a natural talent for exploring new styles were great assets as the band's repertoire evolved along with changing trends in popular music throughout the rest of the 1960s and into the 1970s.

Mick helped the band master the styles of Motown, Soul, the Liverpool Sound inspired by the Beatles, country rock and the many other musical influences that made this such an exciting period for popular music fans.

Mick handled these variations in style with apparent ease, contributing significantly to the adaptability of The Rubber Band as it successfully embraced and conquered a whole range of new musical trends.

The Rubber Band

Mick Csapo (right) was a very special guitarist. His tastefully solid rhythm work gave The Rubber Band that full, rich sound that was so popular with. Unobtrusive yet indispensible, Mick's playing was an art form that inspired the band's 'professional' sound. Seen here at Unisearch house, University of NSW, Mick is a study in concentration as he propels the groove along, creating that 'Rubber Band Sound.'

From the beginning . . .

Mick recalls, "In 1960, When I first heard Apache by the Shadows on the radio I thought 'that's what I want to do.' I hassled my oldies to buy me a guitar, which they did, a crappy cheap acoustic.

"Then I came to the awful realisation that I actually had to learn how to play it!

"Luckily my best friend Alex played guitar and he taught me the lead and rhythm to "Apache." I spent months practising my one song repertoire.

"Alex would later join the popular band Ray Brown and the Whispers. He played on numerous top ten hits and did national tours with that band.

"In 1962 I was going to school at the Marist Brothers at Parramatta. One of the teachers, Brother Claude, organised a talent quest to raise funds for the school, and I decided ( with my one song repertoire ) that I'd have to get in on this, so I got together with like-minded classmates Bob McKibbin and drummer Chris Roper to rehearse for the show."

"This was when I first met Ray Lynn. I knew from watching television that electric guitars were thin and solid bodied. So when I saw Ray one day walking through Parramatta Park carrying a flat guitar case, I ran up to him and asked "Hey mate, is that an electric guitar?" "So now I hassled my oldies again - this time to buy me an electric guitar. Bob McKibbin managed to borrow a guitar and amplifier for the talent quest, and we started rehearsing.

The Rubber Band

Mick (left) with school friends Bob McKibbin (lead guitar) and Chris Roper (drums) play Apache at a school talent quest/fundraiser at Parramatta Town Hall in 1962. Mick is playing rhythm guitar.

Mick continues, "Over the next twelve months or so I expanded my repertoire and formed a band with schoolmates.

"At the same time Ray Lynn (lead guitar) and Kevin Currie (bass guitar) formed a band which they called The Reverbs. It included two of their friends, Ron Miles on drums and Ron Johnson, who lived next door to Kevin, on rhythm guitar. I envied them. Not only could they play well, they also had good equipment, and a bass player who could actually play bass!!

"Unfortunately, my band was going nowhere and had started to fizzle out. One Saturday afternoon in 1963 I was dagging aimlessly in Parramatta when I bumped into Reverbs drummer Ron Miles. We chatted. Ron asked me, "how's your band?" I told him "nowhere" and he said "do you want to join us?" I said "shit! mad if I don't!."

"It just happened that rhythm guitarist Ron Johnson was leaving The Reverbs. They were looking for a replacement, and when Ron Miles saw me that day in Parramatta and learned I was looking around, he thought it was worth a try.

"Later that day Ron phoned me to say that Ray and Kevin had agree to try me out. They organised a rehearsal/audition for the next day. And I so it was I became a Reverb.

"A year later we changed our name to The Rubber Band. We thought it sounded better, and was more memorable. Not long after that we were lucky to hook up with Richard Debenham, a university classmate and friend of Ray's, who became our manager. Richard was amazing. He who took what was virtually just a garage band with a bit of work, to a whole new level as a popular and successful working dance band.

"With the growing success of The Rubber Band, we added lead singer Wayne Holstein. Now there were six of us. With both a female and a male lead singer, so we could perform a very wide repertoire.

"When Wayne eventually left us to move to the country, Les Murray joined the band. Then our drummer Ron Miles left us in 1969 to go to London and get married and we replaced him with John Long. That completed the 'classic lineup' of The Rubber Band which was very successful for many years."

The Rubber Band

Mick harmonising with Mayliu Currie at the IBM Social Club Christmas Party, held at the popular Crystal Ballroom in Ryde, Sydney, on 18 December 1970.

After more than ten years with The Rubber Band, Mick felt it was time to move on, and left the band in 1974. He spent time with a number of other successful bands, including Rockin' Horse, with fellow ex-Rubber Band members John Long, Mayliu and Kevin Currie, and later the band Squeeze, the extremely successful Sydney band put together by long time Rubber Band friend Al Monzo.

Like The Rubber Band, these groups and a number of others were managed by Ray Lynn. Ray eventually stopped playing with The Rubber Band to concentrate on running his successful agency business, Ray Lynn Enterprises, booking bands and other entertainment acts.

Mick Csapo

Detail from Rubber Band studio photo, 1966.

Mick Csapo

Detail from Rubber Band publicity photo 1968.

Mick Csapo

Nurses Ball, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Sydney, 9 October 1969.

Mick Csapo

Sodbusters' Ball, Wentworth Hotel Ballroom Sydney, 26 March 1970.

Mick Csapo

Sydney, 8 July 1970, at Castle Hill Showground.

Mick is a talented artist and cartoonist

Mick designed and drew the striking Rubber Band purple-and-yellow logo. He also designed the band's marketing material, letterheads, christmas cards and the like. Later he would do the same for Rockin' Horse and other bands.

Mick Csapo

3M Ball, Unisearch House, University of NSW Sydney, 22 August 1970.

Mick Csapo

Playing at a nightclub in Noumea, New Caledonia, during a pacific cruise with The Rubber Band in early 1971. John Long can be seen playing drums behind Mick.

Mick Csapo

Mick in 1974, now a member of Rockin' Horse.