Michael Ashcroft was born in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, England, but during his childhood the family lived in Holland and Sweden. Back in England, Mike attended Stowe School in Buckinghamshire, but any thoughts of university were soon forgotten as the British music boom overwhelmed his senses!

Mike learned the guitar by hammering out chords from a Beatles songbook on a cheap acoustic. When the blues boom arrived, he was immediately drawn to the playing of blues virtuosos Eric Clapton and Peter Green. As The Beatles and Cream demonstrated, pop and rock had no limitations, and Mike’s interest soon turned to bands that were further pushing those boundaries such as Yes, Genesis, ELP, Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin. Mike’s first serious band, London-based Quadrille, was a combination of many of these influences. They opened for David Bowie, Roxy Music and many other top names. The band also gained the much-coveted Marquee Club residency status, as The Who and Led Zeppelin had done before them. Unfortunately, management and personnel differences ended Quadrille’s promising future. Mike then joined up-and-coming progressive rock band, Mirage. Offers from major labels including Arista and Virgin were not enough to keep the band together, however, as it sank under management and personnel problems. Mike was then approached by a previous manager to put together a new band for EMI records rock artist, Jenny Darren. A dynamic, diminutive blonde bombshell, Jenny needed a kick-ass band to match her dynamic stage presence and huge voice. Mike assembled a hot band, which, in addition to himself on guitar, included American drummer Kelley Conover, Yugoslav keyboard ace Kornel Kovach and ex-Mike Heron bassist Mike Tomich. As her new album had already been recorded using uninspiring studio musicians, most of her songs had to be re-arranged to add some fire to them. ‘Heartbreaker’, written for Jenny by her producer Geoff Gill, was given a much heavier treatment, surprisingly similar to the way Pat Benatar did it a couple of years later!! Headlining tours and a live BBC broadcast followed, culminating in a triumphant appearance at the 1978 Reading Festival in front of a crowd of 45,000. Jenny’s next album, which was to include four Ashcroft /Conover compositions, was next on the agenda. However, management and record company disagreements slowed progress of the album, so Mike and Kelley spent time in EMI’s project studio recording some of their own songs, and working as session musicians in London. They actually have the dubious distinction of having played on the 1979 Yugoslav no1.hit single, ‘Los Glas’, by singer Dravko! Mike can also be heard on some of the tracks of the ‘Los Glas’ album. Interest in their material in America led Mike and Kelley to make the move to Los Angeles. However, as the ‘hair band’ era took over, their punk-edged material was, as it turned out, ahead of its time! Kelley moved to Northern California and Mike got married and settled in Orange County, California.

Fast forwarding to1994, Mike is busy writing and recording melodic hard rock style material. Needing a singer/lyricist/collaborator to help finish the songs, he puts an ad in the Recycler. Nevin Appel, just relocated from Seattle, answers it. Nevin’s vocals and musical influence inspires Mike to rewrite much of the music to incorporate a harder edge, with more emphasis on guitars and vocals. Financial pressures made the project, now named EGO, slow going, with the entire recording and mixing process taking place in Mike’s Costa Mesa apartment,. The EGO CD was finally completed in late 2004.

Mike's Bio