Hughie Flint (pictured with John Mayall)

Hughie Flint was born on‭ ‬15th March‭ ‬1941and is perhaps best known for his stint in John Mayall‭ & ‬the Bluesbreakers,‭ ‬playing drums on the infamous Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton album,‭ ‬released in‭ ‬1966‭ ‬and affectionately known to fans as the‭ "‬Beano Album‭"‬. He began playing drums at age nine.‭ ‬In his early teens,‭ ‬he developed an avid interest in jazz. In the late‭ ‬1950s,‭ ‬he met future bandleader John Mayall at a local youth club in Wythenshawe,‭ ‬where John was teaching music.‭ ‬Hughie was‭ ‬17‭ ‬at the time.‭ ‬They discussed jazz and within a few years,‭ ‬Hughie was visiting John and his family,‭ ‬where he was introduced to blues.

Hughie joined John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers in April‭ ‬1964.‭ ‬He was the band’s first drummer.‭ ‬After leaving Mayall’s line-up,‭ ‬he formed McGuinness-Flint in‭ ‬1967,‭ ‬with Tom McGuinness‭ (‬who had worked with Clapton in The Roosters‭)‬.‭ ‬McGuinness-Flint scored UK hits with‭ “‬When I’m Dead And Gone‭” ‬and‭ “‬Malt And Barley Blues‭”‬.‭ ‬In‭ ‬1972,‭ ‬they teamed up with Dennis Coulson and Dixie Dean to record‭ “‬Lo And Behold,‭” ‬a collection of then unreleased Bob Dylan songs. In February‭ ‬1979,‭ ‬Hughie was a founding member of the Blues Band with Paul Jones‭ (‬ex-Manfred Mann‭) ‬and Tom McGuinness‭ (‬ex-Roosters and Manfred Mann‭)‬.‭ ‬Although Hughie left the band after several years,‭ ‬the Blues Band celebrated its‭ ‬25th Anniversary in‭ ‬2004.

Flint played in the Bluesbreakers on and off for‭ ‬5‭ ‬years,‭ ‬playing an integral part to their unique blues based sound‭ ‬-‭ ‬undoubtedly influenced on Flint's part by his life long love of jazz music.‭ ‬Flint also appeared on the Bluesbreakers albums Crusade‭ (‬1967‭)‬,‭ ‬A Hard Road‭ (‬1967‭) ‬and So Many Roads‭ (‬1969‭)‬,‭ ‬although principal drumming duties in the group were eventually taken by Aynsley Dunbar. In‭ ‬1970,‭ ‬Flint formed McGuinness Flint with Tom McGuinness,‭ ‬former guitarist with Manfred Mann.‭ ‬They scored a no.2‭ ‬in the UK that year with‭ "‬When I'm Dead And Gone‭"‬,‭ ‬which was followed in‭ ‬1971‭ ‬by another hit single,‭ "‬Malt and Barley Blues‭"‬,‭ ‬which reached no.5‭ ‬in the UK Chart.‭ ‬They also cut their self-titled debut album in‭ ‬1970,‭ ‬which reached the Top‭ ‬10‭ ‬of the UK Album Chart in‭ ‬1971.‭ ‬However the early success of the group proved to be short lived.

Despite featuring the production skills of legendary producer Glyn Johns and the accompaniment of veteran pianist Nicky Hopkins,‭ ‬their second album Happy Birthday,‭ ‬Ruthy Baby proved to be the end of the original line-up.‭ ‬Multi-instrumentalist band members Benny Gallagher and Graham Lyle left the group following its release.‭ ‬McGuinness and Flint teamed up with Dennis Coulson and Dixie Dean to release the album Lo and Behold in‭ ‬1972,‭ ‬which consisted solely of obscure Bob Dylan numbers.‭ ‬Shortly after this,‭ ‬Coulson left.

Despite the release of two further albums and a Greatest Hits collection in‭ ‬1973,‭ ‬the band split in‭ ‬1975.‭ ‬Also,‭ ‬around this time,‭ ‬Flint joined the Bonzo Dog Band for their final original album,‭ ‬Let's Make Up And Be Friendly. Flint's last band based venture was in The Blues Band,‭ ‬a supergroup composed of Dave Kelly,‭ ‬Gary Fletcher,‭ ‬McGuinness and fellow Manfred Mann veteran singer Paul Jones.‭ ‬Their debut,‭ ‬The Official Bootleg Album,‭ ‬was released in‭ ‬1980‭ ‬and Flint also appeared on their follow-up albums Ready‭ (‬1980‭) ‬and Itchy Feet‭ (‬1981‭) ‬before departing.

By the late‭ ‬1980s Flint had left the music industry and he dropped the‭ ('‬ie‭') ‬from his name,‭ ‬preferring to be known simply as Hugh Flint.‭ ‬He took the job of porter at Mansfield College in the University of Oxford in‭ ‬1988.‭ ‬He kept this job until‭ ‬2005.‭ ‬During this period of his life he stopped playing drum kits as such,‭ ‬preferring to dabble in percussion.‭ ‬Although steering clear of any full time commitment to the music industry,‭ ‬he remained in contact with John Mayall and appeared on the TV documentary Rock Family Trees to discuss the history of the Bluesbreakers and the many off-shoots of the band.

Besides his notable appearances in the aforementioned groups,‭ ‬he has also featured on records by Georgie Fame,‭ ‬Jack Dupree and Tom Newman amongst others. Hughie Flint is now retired.

Message from Hughie Flint to the‭ ‬www.wythit.com Discussion Forum Message Board:
Title:‭ ‘‬Wythenshawe Boy’Posted:‭ ‬Thursday,‭ ‬20‭ ‬September‭ ‬2007‭ ‬10:16
Author:‭ ‬Hughie Flint hugh@flashdog.co.uk 

"Having just returned home to Oxford after a memory-lane trip to Wythenshawe,‭ ‬I must say it was a depressing experience.‭ ‬I left there in‭ ‬1963,‭ ‬my last home being in Solway Road and the change was dramatic.‭ ‬A neighbour next door to where we lived in Solway said she wouldn't dare walk in the area after dark‭ ! ‬Of course,‭ ‬some houses had been well kept,‭ ‬but,‭ ‬the Benchill area seemed pretty run down.‭ ‬And my old church,‭ ‬St John and Thomas's in Woodhouse Lane was locked,‭ ‬with even a padlocked gate‭ ‬-‭ ‬there never used to be a gate‭ ! ‬My wish is that the people of Wythenshawe might see better times and have as fond memories of the place as I do.‭"‬ Hughie Flint